Golaghat which was one of the largest subdivisions of Assam later, elevated to the position of a full-fledged district of Assam on 15 August 1987, is the headquarters of Golaghat district and is a sister town to Jorhat which is about 55 km away. The place had been elevated to a subdivision way back in 1846. It has the earliest post/mail service and telegraphic communication systems in Assam that dates back to 1876. Golaghat has one of the oldest social - literature/rhetorical congresses of Assam. The Golaghat Sahitya Sabha is one of the oldest congresses of Asam Sahitya Sabha, started in 1918. It has been a District Headquarters since 1987. It is the only place in Assam to have SAI - STC after Guwahati.
The name Golaghat ('Gola' which means shop and 'Ghat' meaning the landing point of river ferry) originated from the shops established by the 'Marwari' businessmen during mid part of 20th century AD at the bank of river Dhansiri near present Golaghat town. Stone inscription of Nagajari Khanikar gaon of Sarupathar, dating back to the 5th century, reveals that there was an independent kingdom in Doyang - Dhansiri valley and relics of ramparts, brick structures, temples, tanks etc. discovered in these area confirms the presence of a kingdom during 9th and 10th century. The Doyang – Dhansiri valley came under the rule of Ahom's during 16th century. Prior to that, this part was ruled by the Kacharis known as Herombial. During Ahom rule this area was under 'Morongi – Khowa Gohain', an administrative officer.
Golaghat is known for many literary intellects who have made outstanding contributions to Assamese literature. The place has good old institutions which have got their distinctive credits in terms of academic performance and record high scores in the past when compared with other institution equivalents of similar repute in Assam. Primary and secondary education in Golaghat is offered by various schools which are affiliated to one of the boards of education, such as the High School Leaving Certificate (SEBA), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Schools in Golaghat are either government run or are private (both aided and un-aided by the government). After completing their secondary education, students either attend Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) through Degree/Junior College or continue Secondary School (AISSSE) in one of three streams – Arts, Commerce or Science.
Divisions: Golaghat has been divided into following divisions:
- Golaghat Central
- Golaghat East
- Golaghat North
- Golaghat South
- Golaghat West
Places of Interest:
- Golaghat Tennis Club
- The Sports Stadium
- The Boxing Club
- The Swimming Club
- Golaghat Stadium
- Uncle Robin's Children Museum: The museum is located on the Mission Road in Golaghat and within the residence of Dr Robin Banerjee, a naturalist of International repute. The museum is full of dolls, artifacts, mementos, movies and other personal collections of Dr Banerjee's lifetime. There are 587 dolls and 262 other show pieces. They have mostly been presented by admirers and children during his many trips to abroad and within the country as well.
- Golaghat Baptist Church: Golaghat Baptist Church, one of the oldest and biggest Baptist Churches in Assam, which celebrated its Centenary Jubilee in 1999, came into being in December 1898. The pioneering man in this Great Venture was Dr. O. L. Swanson, a missionary from America, who had come to Assam in 1893 along with his wife. Dr. Swanson was assisted by a number of local people.
- GATS - Golaghat Amateur Theatre Society: It is a Theatre cum Local Town Covention Hall that is located at the Centre of the City. Most of the seminars, conferences, theatres, meetings and other workshops are conducted in GATS Hall.
- Jamuna Water Park: It is a Public Park within the city that provides water boating facility for the localites and the tourists who visit the city.
- Jamuna Water Body: It is an especialized region of the Jamuna Water Park that has been preserved and is not open to public boating that has a rich recorded history of abundant flora and fauna plantations.
- Doss & Co.: Doss & Co. is one of the largest and oldest Department Store in Assam and largest within the City, that has been established way back during British Raj which is still present in the Centre of the City in its original building complex. The Department Store has may divisions that houses home appliances, electronics, and additionally select other lines of products such as paint, hardware, toiletries, cosmetics, photographic equipment, jewellery, toys, and sporting goods amongst others. A branch of this Store is also present in the sister town of Jorhat which is also equally huge and old.
- Athkheliya Namghar: It is one of the prominent religious places of Assam. The namghar was built in 1681 by Ahom king Gadapani. It is situated at the bank of river Kakodonga in Bosagaon of Golaghat district.