Guwahati (Assamese: গুৱাহাটী, spelled as Guwāhāti - with diacritics) formerly known as Gauhati is a metropolis and is the largest city of Assam in India, with a population of 818,809 (2001 census). It is also the largest metropolis in the north-east region of India and the second large metropolitan area in Eastern India after Kolkata. It is said to be the "Gateway" of the North East Region. Dispur, the capital of the Indian state of Assam, is located within the city is the seat of Government of Assam.The city is situated between the southern bank of the Brahmaputra river and the foothills of the Shillong plateau, with LGB International Airport to the west, and the town of Narengi to the east. The city is gradually being expanded as North Guwahati to the northern bank of the Brahmaputra. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation, the city's local government, administers an area of 216 km², while the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority, the planning and development administers an area of 340 km².Guwahati is a major commercial and educational center of North-East India and is home to world class institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. The city is also a major center for cultural activities and sports in the North Eastern region and for the administrative and political activities of Assam. The city is also an important hub for transportation in the North East Region.