Menstruation is something a woman has to suffer through in silence.Traditionally, menstruation of women in India is frowned upon. It has always been surrounded by taboos and myths that exclude women from many aspects of socio-cultural life.
But at this temple, it’s celebrated.Hard to believe,I know !!!
Representing The Female Power of Shakti and celebrating a woman’s ability to conceive, not worshiping an idol rather yoni(Vagina)——
Yeah,we are in culturally rich India…We are in Assam…We are in Kamakhya…
Whether you are a true devotee and want to visit Shakti peethas or a true wanderer at heart and have no interest in Hindu temples,this place still has a new experience to offer and a lot of history to tell.
According to legend it marks the site where Sati’s womb and yogi fell.
For many visitors, this majestic temple is the only reason to visit Guwahati.
Origin of the name:
The origin of name “Kamakhya” has many stories.
Some says it has been derived from the Sanskrit word “Kama(Romance)” since Lord Shiva and Sati used this place as their secret love making spot while others believe that the God of love Kamadeva scratched off his curse with the help of womb that fell their and thus this place wads named after him.
Kamakhya Temple situated on the Nilachal Hill is dedicated to Devi Kamakhya and is a temple of religious importance for Tantric worshipers.
It is believed to be 2000 years old, but in such a long existence, it was destroyed and built several times. The current structure is about 500 years old.
The current temple has a beehive-like Shikhara, with delightful, sculptured panels
It was the place where the yoni (vagina) of Goddess Sati felt during the tandav nritya (dance) of Lord Shiva with the burning body of Goddess Sati.The legend goes back to the time of The Great Yagya, organised by the King Daksha. He invited every notable person in the universe, except his daughter Sati and her husband Lord Shiva. Despite of the unwillingness of Lord Shiva, Sati went to her father’s home, only to receive humiliation and dishonor. In the grief and anger, she sacrificed her body at the altar of the yagya.
When Lord Shiva heard this news, he came there and destroyed the yagya.
In the rage of losing her beloved wife, he stared the Tandav Nritya , with the burning body of Sati. Because of this, the parts of the burning body started falling on the earth one by one and that way, 52 shaktipeethas came in existence at 52 different places, mainly in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.It’s believed that the inner temple or the ‘Garvagriha‘ represents the womb or Shakti of the Hindu Deity.
The garbhagriha of the temple is basically a cave, below the ground level.The path is so narrow that two person can not pass from side by side comfortably without rubbing the shoulders.
Hardly few lamps are there inside the cave, so it is very hard to see anything clearly.There’s actually not an idol representing Kamakhya here, only a Yoni or the vagina of the Goddess that is worshipped.
A natural spring keeps the stone moist.
This temple celebrates a woman’s ability to conceive, as opposed to shaming it!
Believe it or not:
There was once a demon known as Naraka, who fell in love with goddess Kamakhya and wanted to marry her. The goddess put a condition that if he would be able to build a staircase from the bottom of the Ninanchal Hill to the temple within one night, then she would surely marry him.
Naraka took it as a challenge.He was almost about to accomplish the job when the Devi, panic-stricken as she was to see this, played a trick on him. She strangled a cock and made it crow untimely to give the impression of dawn to Naraka. Duped by the trick, Naraka thought it was a futile job and left it half way through. Later he chased the cock and killed it in a place which is now known as Kukurakata, situated in the district of Darrang. The incomplete staircase is known as Mekhelauja Path.
Annual Festival -Ambubachi Mela:
It is celebrated generally during monsoon season in the Assamese month of Ahaar, around the middle of June.
It is believed that the presiding goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti, goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this time stretch. So, this annual celebration marks the yearly menstruation course of goddess Kamakhya. The temple remians closed for three days during this period.
During this time, Brahmaputra River near the temple turns red in color. Lots of sacrifice rituals are being performed at the temple during this festival.
There are three types of entry tickets available, other than the VIP passes. This includes a general entry which comes without a cost but demands you to be in the queue as early as three in the morning, and yet doesn’t guarantee if you’d be able to go inside its inner sanctum before it closes in the afternoon.
Then comes the Special and Direct entry for INR 101 and INR 501 per person, respectively.
Official opening hours at 5.30am -1 p.m.Then it remains closed for cooked offerings and reopens at 2.30 p.m and keeps open till 5.30 p.m in the evening.
On Special Occasions, these timings get extended.
Tips to amazing photo-hunters:
Photography is not allowed inside the main temple as well as in inner sanctum.But you couldn’t stop yourselves from clicking the pictures of the temple premises.
- Beware of the Pandas who might try and trick you.Faith needs no mediator.Reach the temple and worship by your own.
- If you’re are planning to make an offering in the temple, my advise would be to get here early!Queues can be anything up to a few hours to get into the inner sanctum.
How to get there?
By Air: Nearest airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport,Guwahati which is around 18 km from the temple
By Train: Guwahati railways station is around 8 Km from the temple and connected to all the major station in the country
By Road: Guwahati being the state capital is well connected by roadways
Take a cab or a taxi from the airport or railways station and safely reach the temple.It’s hassle free.
Such stories, temples, and astonishing miracles are what strengthen the belief in the almighty and an omnipotent power in the hearts of many devotees.
This is what gives them the hope that there is a Shakti that takes care of them. Religion is a powerful and sensitive notion in India. The power of this goddess is firmly believed in and has said to cure the problems of women devotees.
So readers! Put this temple on your bucket list of places that you must go and visit!
Hi! I am Anushree Dash…
1 Part Entrepreneur
2 Parts Writer
3 Parts Social reformer
4 Parts explorer
5 Parts photographer, Too many Parts.
A free-spirited,non-conformist,,impenitent,independent,adventurous,boho soul and an admirer of life. Loves my Indian roots, Culture, Aesthetic Living, Saree, Poetry …