The state of Assam has many temples and monuments that bear testimony to its rich historical and cultural heritage dating back to the medieval periods. Most Hindu temples in Assam have origins in mythological legends. Assam is the land of Vaishnavite gurus such as Sankardeva and Madhavdeva, and you will see various temples dedicated to various Gods.
In this article, we are going to read about the 18 most famous temples of Assam:
One of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India, the Kamakhya Temple is an ancient Shakti Peetha situated on the Nilachal Hill in the western region of Guwahati, Assam. Ten separate shrines honoring the Mahavidyas, such as Kali, Tara, and Bhairavi, surround the main temple.
Thousands of devotees attend the temple each year during the Ambubachi Mela, Manasha Puja, and Navaratri in the autumn, which serves as a center for Tantra worship.
Located 7 kilometers from the Tinsukia District of Assam, in the little hamlet of Bordubi, lies the well-known temple devoted to Lord Shiva, known as Tilinga Mandir. Because of its enormous bell collection, the temple is also known as the "Temple of Bells" or "Tilinga Mandir".
This temple holds the record for holding the biggest collection of bells of all kinds, according to the Limca Book of World Records. The bells range in size from 50 grams to 55 kg and are composed of copper, bronze, brass, and aluminum. The site of the temple is where, close to a banyan tree, a Shiva Lingam appeared out of the earth in 1965. In Hindu mythology, banyan trees are regarded as divine and wish-fulfilling.
Henceforth, it's thought that if someone attaches a bell to Tilinga Mandir's banyan tree, their desire would be granted. They are supposed to go back to the shrine and tie a bell if their request is granted. This temple receives pilgrims all year round, but Monday is the busiest day.
The Negheriting Shiva Doul is a temple complex in the Golaghat region of Assam. It is perched on a hillside about 1.5 kilometers north of National Highway 37 and consists of a wonderfully adorned Shiva Doul and four smaller Douls dedicated to Ganesh, Vishnu, Durga, and Surya.
The current temple was rebuilt by the Ahom ruler Rajeswar Singha following several natural disasters. It was first established by the Kacharis in the eighth or ninth century AD.
The Siva Dol, a collection of three Hindu temples comprising the Siva Dol, Vishnu Dol, and Devi Dol shrines together with a museum, is situated in the center of Sivasagar on the banks of the Borpukhuri river. The Lord Shiva temple has an 8-foot-tall golden dome above a 195-foot-circumference base, making it a towering 104 feet.
During the Hindu month of Sawan, the temple organizes a massive fair during Mahashivaratri and draws pilgrims from all over India for the nightly Hare Krishna kirtan. Every year, the Devidol celebrates Durga Puja with tremendous passion from September through October, while the Vishnu Dol celebrates Dol Yatra and Rath Yatra.
The medieval shrine known as the Kedareswar temple was constructed in 1753 by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha and is located in Hajo, Assam, atop Madanchala Hillock.
It is an uncommon Svayambhu linga of Lord Shiva in the Ardhanarishwara form. Because the linga is so holy, the priests keep it hidden from the devotees' view by covering it with a metal bowl.
Located north of Guwahati on a rocky bed close to the majestic Brahmaputra River, the Asvakranta Temple is a significant shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Anantasayin Vishnu, the image of the lord perched atop a serpent, is the god worshipped here.
According to legend, before vanquishing the local demon Narakasur, Lord Krishna stopped here with his army and horses. One is said to be able to obtain salvation and have all sins forgiven by visiting this temple.
Situated on the southeast corner of Guwahati, the Basistha Temple is a Shiva temple that was built in 1764 by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha. The Basistha Ashram, which was built during the Vedic era and is thought to have been the residence of the sage Basistha or Vasishtha, is where the temple is located.
The temple is situated next to the banks of mountain streams that emerge from Meghalaya's hills and eventually flow into the rivers Basistha and Bahini/Bharalu. Even though the sage's meditation cave is five kilometers away from the temple, pilgrims still frequent it.
Madhavdeva, a saint-reformer, created Dhekiakhowa Bornaamghar, which is situated in the Jorhat region of Assam, India. Because of its large campus and historical significance, the temple is referred to as a Bornaamghar.
15 km east of Jorhat city and 3.5 km off National Highway 37, in the village of Dhekiakhowa, an earthen lamp burns always because the priests, following sacred rites, constantly refuel it with mustard oil.
The Naamghar, which Guru Madhavdeva established in the village, is the inspiration behind the temple's name. An old story goes that he was fed dinner by an ashamed old woman who could only manage rice and Dhekia Saak, a delicious wild vegetable.
But the saint guru was so delighted with the meal that he held a Naamghar there and designated the old woman as the one who would light the earthen lamp. Every day, a great number of devotees visit the temple, particularly in the holy month of Bhado when they commemorate the deaths of both gurus Srimanta Sankardeva and Madhavdeva.
The Bhairabi Temple is located near Kolibari, Assam, on the outskirts of Tezpur. It is regarded as a sidhapitha, a location where people make prayers and ask Maa Bhairabi for blessings so they might achieve their goals.
According to legend, Usha, the powerful Asura King Banasura's daughter, frequently worshipped the Goddess here. At this temple, the Durga Puja festival is held in a great style, and goats, ducks, pigeons, and other animals are regularly offered as sacrifices.
Located on the smallest river island, Umananda, this sacred site honors Lord Shiva and is set amid the powerful Brahmaputra River that flows through Guwahati, Assam. The British named the island Peacock Island because of its shape resembling a peacock. Hindu mythology says that Shiva made this island to please his wife Parvati.
It is said that Bhayananda lived here in the guise of Shiva. Because Kamadeva is said to have disturbed Shiva's intense meditation, causing Shiva to burn with his third eye, the island is also known as Bhasmachal. At Umananda Temple, Mondays and Maha Shivaratri are the most sacred days for devotees, and they are extremely happy during the new moon.
A 10-minute ferry journey from Umananda or Kachari Ghat, which are close to the Guwahati High Court, will get you to the island.
Situated in Latasil, in the western region of Jur Pukhuri, the Ugra Tara Temple is an important Sakti shrine honoring Devi Tara. This shrine is said to be connected to the navel of Sati, Lord Shiva's first spouse. The current temple was built by Ahom King Siva Singha in 1725 AD. Three years prior, he had excavated Jur Pukhuri, the pond that sits on the east side of the temple.
A severe earthquake destroyed the upper part of the temple, but a private person repaired it. Dikkaravasini is a Shakti peetha who is described in the Kalika Purana. She exists in two forms: Tikshna kantha and Lalitha kantha.
Lalitha kantha, also called Tamreshwari, is elegant and beautiful, while Tikshna kantha, also named Ugra Tara or Ekajata, is black and potbellied. The Goddess of Ugra Tara is believed to be a tiny pit filled with water rather than an image or idol found in the garbhagriha. There is a Shivalaya next to the Ugra Tara temple, with a pond behind it.
The Maha Bhairav Temple, honoring Lord Shiva, is perched atop a hill in Tezpur, Assam's northern region. Legend has it that king Bana founded it back in the primordial era. The temple was originally built of stone, but concrete was eventually added during renovations.
With much hoopla, devotees from all over the world flock to the temple on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri to serve Lord Shiva laddus laced with Bhang—an edible cannabis preparation blended with spices and milk—as prasad. The ceremony of releasing pigeons represents the emancipation of ancestral souls.
About 7 kilometers outside of the city, in the northern Lakimpur district of Assam, close to Sadiya, is the dilapidated Tamresveri Temple set amid woodlands.
The temple's construction is distinctive in that it is a single-stone structure held together by iron pins rather than clamps, despite the lack of cement. The temple's interior is filled with stunning geometric patterns, carved representations of animals, flowers, and birds.
The Navagraha temple, situated on the Chitrachal hill in the southeast of Guwahati, Assam, is devoted to the nine principal celestial bodies in Hindu astronomy. The Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, North and South Lunar Nodes, and Jupiter are these heavenly bodies. The temple functions as a center for astrological and astronomical studies.
An earthquake destroyed the temple's tower and much of it, although it was later reconstructed. In 1752 A.D., King Rajesvar Singha constructed the present temple. The upper part of the temple was rebuilt using corrugated iron sheets, however the inner quarters were spared from the devastation caused by the earthquake.
The historic Da Parbatia Temple is tucked away in the village of Da Parbatia, a few kilometers west of Tezpur City. This temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Assam and is well known for its imposing architecture.
The temple is renowned for its magnificent sculptures, some of which may be seen in the door frame ruins. This temple, which is protected by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 and has significant historical value, is supervised by the Archaeological Survey of India.
An elaborately carved stone door frame from the sixth century was discovered during archaeological digs in 1924. Built over the foundation of an old temple, the temple's ruins were created during the Ahom dynasty and consist of of a stone-paved layout plan of the sanctum sanctorum and a mandapa.
The Sukreswar Temple, a prominent Shiva temple situated on the Sukreswar or Itakhuli hill on the south bank of the Brahmaputra river in the Panbazar neighborhood of Guwahati city, was built in 1744 by Ahom King Pramatta Singha. In 1759, King Rajeswar Singha, who was also a supporter of the Saiva sect, gave financial support to the temple.
From the temple compound, there is a long flight of steps that descend to the Brahmaputra river. From there, visitors can enjoy the tranquility of the river, boats cruising by, people performing puja in memory of their departed loved ones, children playing in the water, and a view of the picturesque Umananda Island, the smallest river island in the world.
Located about 30 km west of Guwahati, Assam, on the Manikuta Hill near Hajo, the Hayagriva Madhava Temple is home to a beautiful figure of Lord Vishnu that resembles the image of Lord Jagannath in Puri, Orissa. For Buddhist Lamas, Hindus, and Bhutiyas who practice Buddhism, this temple is an important place of worship.
This is the site where it is said that Lord Buddha obtained Moksha, also known as Nirvana. This temple's entryway is a beautifully carved granite block construction that is five feet wide and ten feet tall. The facade of the temple has enormously detailed sculptures of the Ten Avatars, with Buddha occupying the ninth place. Near the temple is a big pond named Madhab Pukhuri, where people feed fish and turtles.
Each year, the Doul, Bihu, and Janmashtami festivals are celebrated with great fervor at this temple.
Assam's Kokrajhar district is home to the holy Hindu site known as the Mahamaya Temple, or Mahamaya Dham. This ancient temple, which has a rich cultural and historical legacy and is regarded as one of the major Shakti Peethas, draws a sizable influx of pilgrims and tourists every year.
The 400-year-old temple custom of animal sacrifice, which is particularly noteworthy during Durga Puja, is noteworthy. Visitors are treated to a wonderful sight as the temple also holds exquisite idols of Goddess Kali and Lord Hanuman.
Moreover, a few kilometers from the main temple is another site of worship dedicated to the Mahamaya goddess, called the Mahamaya Snaanghat Temple. Local mythology suggests that this is where Goddess Mahamaya would bathe, which is how the location got its name. This temple's annual Shakti Yagya, conducted by the priests, adds even more religious significance to the area around January.