Kamakhya Mandir: Shakti Peetha of Assam
29 Oct 2020
The Kamakhya Temple also known as Kamrup-Kamakhya temple, is a Sakta temple dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya.
It is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas. It is situated on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati, Assam at a height of 562 ft.
It is the main temple in a complex of individual temples dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas of Saktism : Kali, Tara, Sodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamalatmika.
Among these, Tripurasundari, Matangi and Kamala reside inside the main temple whereas the other seven reside in individual temples.
It is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus and especially for Tantric and Shakti cult worshipers.
The traditional accounts from Kalika Purana and the Yogini Tantra states that goddess Kamakhya is of Kirata origin.
The Kalika Purana, an ancient work in Sanskrit describes Kamakhya as the yielder of all desires, the young bride of Shiva, and the giver of salvation.
To get to the temple there are bus services from different parts of Guwahati and Assam. There are taxi services from the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (Guwahati airport) and the Guwahati Railway Station to Kamakhya temple.
The temple was set up by Koch King Naranarayan in the year 1665; i.e. 17th century.
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The Garbha Griha of the temple is a cave with no idol or image of a deity.
The temple’s innermost shrine has bedrock with a cleft shaped like ‘yoni’. Through that cleft, an underground, natural spring flows out.
The Ambubachi Mela, religious congregation held every year is the celebration of the yearly menstruation course of goddess Kamakhya. The temple remains closed for 3 days during this period.
The pond water at the backdrop of Kamakhya temple turns all red during Ambubachi Mela
Another annual celebration is known as Manasha Puja.
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Durga puja is also celebrated annually at Kamakhya during Navratri in autumn.
Ancient custom of animal sacrifice still goes in Kamakhya.
The place where the Kamakhya temple stands today is also considered to be where Shiva first courted Sati.
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