Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are seven states in India that are collectively known as - seven sister states. It is often seen that as compared to the other Indian states, tourism or business in these seven states is higher. We will devote an article to few of the architectural wonders, temple or monument of each state.
Even though each state is diverse, they are still quite similar. You can visit these places and know about the lifestyle of tribal nations, one can acquire knowledge about the unique natural beauty. Assam is a state in northeast India that is connected to the rest of the 6 states in the Indian mainland. In this article, we will provide information about Assam, and its popular Kamakhya devi temple.
Kamakhya temple, located in Guwahati in Assam situated in the west part. The Temple is situated among Nilachala mountains. The temple is one of the oldest Shakti Peethams.
The main deity - This temple is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya. It is believed that this is the place where Sati's genetalia and reprodutive organs fell. What is different from other temples is that the goddess is not a painting or statue. A sculpture near the wall of the cave is shaped liked the femal genital organ. This sculpture is worshipped. The temple is also home to other manifestations of Devi like the 10 mahavidyas - Kaali,Tara, Sodshi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, chhinnamasta, dhumavati, bagalamukhi, Matngi and Kamala is also the shrine. These are 10 manifestations of Shakti (power).
History - According to Kalika Purana Goddess Kamakhya provides the boon of wish fulfillment. During Daksha Yajna time when he King Daksha, insulted Shiva j; Sati jumped in the fire pit. Shiva then began his macabre dance of destruction called the Tandava with the burning bdy of Sati. To save the world from destruction Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra and cut Sati's body into pieces. Where each of these pieces fell a Shakti Peeth emerged. It is believed that Sati's womb and genetalia fell here.
It is believed that one Kamdev (Cupid) lost his potency due to a curse. He worshipped at this alter and reclaimed his masculinity. Kamdev's name also appears in the name of this temple - Kamakhya.
Shakti once defied the spirit of creation of Lord Brahma. Since that day even the creator Brahma needs a woman's reproductive organs to bring new life into the world.
There was once a demon named Narak who wished to marry Kamakhya Devi. Kamakhya Devi did not wish to marry him so she instructed him to build a staircase on the Nilachala mountain to the temple in one night. As soon as the stairs had become almost complete, he heard a rooster crow. Narakasura thought it was morning and he left the task of creating the stairs. It is still unfinished. For the convenience of devotees, however a paved road has been constructed.
Architecture- The temple built in the past had been completely destroyed. Reconstruction of the temple was done in the 17th century, under the guidance of Cooch Behar's king Narayanan. The temples grand summit has paintings of Gods and Godesses on it The temple has three main chambers. The western part is not used for worship, but it is bigger. A small statue of the goddess in the central chamber has recently been established. There are images of Narnarayan on the walls of the room and the other Gods too.
Devotees queue at the main entrance to the inner chamber and carefully walk into a dark cave. Here is a natural underground spring whose water flows from within the womb like structure made on stone. Some stairs lead to the pool of water. Devotess can touch this water during their worship.
Feature - This mysterious pregnancy and fertility goddess part, is located in the inner chamber. It is believed that during the hindu month of Aashaadh (June) the goddess is menstruating. The water flows red in the Brahmaputra and the temple remains closed for 3 days. The water is distributed as prasad. The term "Ambuwachi" is used for this ceremony.
In today's times, all serious events being assessed using science. There is no scientific evidence of the red water of the Brahmaputra. Some believe that the priests use vermilion to color the water. However since this temple worships menstruation and fertility; it is believed that respecting a woman giving birth to a new life is worship of power (Shakti) itself.
Kamakhya Temple in Andhra Pradesh is in Devipuram. Besides Ambuwachi, Durga Puja is also celebrated with great pomp and show.
Guidelines - This temple is always crowded and the visit may take 2-3 hours.
How to Reach:-
By Road - Assam Tourism department buses are available
By Air - the airport near Guwahati in India is connected to all major cities.
By Rail - Guwahati railway station is 8 kilometers from the temple. Kamakhya is small, but it also has its own railway station and is easily connected to the rest of the cities.
Nearby attractions -
Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden
Uma Nanda Temple
Website - http://www.kamakhyadham.com/
content by Ananya
Image courtesy - Wikipedia Images