Kamakhya Temple – Glimpse of Ambubachi Mela

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Guwahati city ornate with the title of emerald city famously for its flora and fauna has abundance of interesting tourist destinations. One of the most important tourist attraction is Guwahati is the temple of Maa Kamakhya atop Nilachal Hill (blue mountain) at about 800 ft above sea level.

A lovely twenty minutes drive from the city center up the steep curves of the hill takes one to the main shrine. The entire temple complex comprises of many other temples and residence to people associated with the daily activities of the temple. Deities like Dasamahavidya, Kali, Bagala, Chinnamastha, Bhubanashwari, Bhairavi and Lord Shiva temples are scattered all around. The main dome of the temple is very beautiful as are the stone sculptures adorning the walls of the dome. This temple of Mother Goddess symbolizes the procreative aspect of nature. Traditionally Kamakhya is a seat of tantra learning but now it has lost the tantric touch yet the mysticism attached to it can be felt on visit to the Devi’s abode. It was believed that human sacrifice used to take place here in ancient times, and presently animal sacrifices of goat are still prevalent to ward off evil from one’s life, however people now prefer to worship the animal and allow them to go. In the temple of Bagala, it is believed that if you burn dry chillies and the smoke emitting from it doesn’t choke you then you or your family has fallen under the evil influence of Dristi (evil sight). Thereafter you can perform puja as required to ward off the bad omen.

Legend & History

This shrine is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas (sacred place where different body parts of Sati, Shiva’s first wife fell on earth) in India and hence most sacred amongst the Shaktha cult. The temple of Kamakhya has a very appealing story about its origin. The story of the Shakti peeths goes like this that once Sati fought with her husband Shiva to attend her father’s great yagna. At that grand yagna, Sati’s father Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati was enraged and in her shame, she jumped into the fire and killed herself. When Shiva came to know that his beloved wife had given her life, he went insane in anger, placed Sati’s dead body on his shoulders and did the tandav or dance of destruction. It is believed that the Yoni part has fallen here. No idol of deity is worshiped here rather enshrined within the inner sanctum is the yoni of Sati.

The Garvagriha

Pilgrims after washing their feet in the Kunda, have to queue up at the entrance porch from where they move slowly into the semi – dark sanctum. The inner walls are curved with images of gods and goddesses of Hindu pantheon. The idols of the Goddess along with other deities are kept on a throne. Pilgrims follow the narrow alley behind the throne to enter the sanctum. After a short flight of stairs one enters the inner sanctum, the Garbhagriha, which is a cave below ground level and consists of no image or idol but a rock fissure-a sheet of stone that slopes downwards from both sides meeting in a yoni-like depression some 10 inches deep. This hallow is constantly filled with water from an underground perennial spring. This vulva-shaped depression, covered in red cloth, is worshiped as the goddess Kamakhya herself and considered as most important Pitha (abode) of the Devi Maa.

Ambubachi Mela - Kamakhya Temple Guwahati

Festivals – Ambubachi Mela

In the month of Asadha when Sun steps into the first padma of Adra constellation the period of ambubachi begins and continues for four days. Generally Ambubachi commences on the 7th day of Asadha. Traditional belief is that Mother earth enters the period of menstruation. Mother earth is like a fertile women – cultivates, germinates and grows crops. It represents an ancient cultural phenomenon which results in the observation of rituals for the occasion of ambubachi.

With great religious faith lakhs of people from across the world throng the temple during the festival. The temple door is shut during these three days so in and around the complex a fair is observed. People visit the temple to buy items from around the country which are available only at that time. During this holy period Sadhus and Naga Sadhus as they are called for they carry them nude, gather from various part of the country to meditate and seek Maa’s blessing. On the fourth day when the door is opened pilgrims make darshan and take the blessing of Maa Kamakhya and tie a piece of red color cloth.
Apart from that Durga Puja, Kumari Puja and various other Sakti pujas are done here. Marriages, Shradha, Janaou etc too are held in the temple premises. The priest or the Panda there make arrangement for the rituals and if required also make arrangement for Bhoj (fooding). Only swatik (vegetarian) food without garlic and onion is served.

Nature’s Grandeur

Kamakhya is not only a religious hub but also abound in natural beauty. This abode of Goddess is bejeweled with nature’s grandeur. High up to the east of Kamakhya temple is the temple of Maa Bhubanashwari. Here apart from serenity and tranquility one can get to see the beauty of the whole city of Guwahati and thus you would want to spend hours sitting here. The breathtaking view of the valley below is something that you will not find anywhere else in the city. This panoramic view of Guwahati is a marvel by itself. The city of Guwahati bifurcated into two – north Guwahati and south Guwahati, by the mighty Brahmaputra is a breathtaking sight which lingers in your memory for long. The mesmerising natural beauty blended with spiritual atmosphere casts a spell not just to the worshipers but anyone who visits the place.

One can also get glimpses of monkey in its natural habitat. If one ventures downwards from the temple he can have enchanting experience with turtle in the turtle pond or ‘Koch Pukhri’. The temple premises is a big area, with up and down, so one can simply move around and enjoy the scenic view of the place. It’s also a photographers paradise.

How to Reach

Being inside the metropolis of Guwahati this tourist attraction of Assam is easily accessible. Six minutes from the railway station and 30 mins drive from Airport makes it reachable at any time of the day. There is Auto rickshaw and Taxi both in shared and hired basis from the bottom of the hill. Bus service is also provided by the State Transport department. Moreover Kamakhya guest house and small motels around the temple is very good for budget stay. But one should make booking previously for convenience. Restaurants atop the hill satiate your hungry palate after offering of puja to the goddess. Small shops strewed around allow pilgrims to buy memorabilia, pictures of God and goddess for their near ones.

A visit to Kamakhya temple is an inward journey of self that not only gives peace of mind but also cleanses inner self.

If you are looking for accommodation near Kamakhya, please read Hotels / Guest Houses near Kamakhya Temple Guwahati

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JayB

A self-described travel enthusiast...

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Indian Fairs and Festivals in June 2015 | Tripigator Travel Blog

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