If you’re looking for a temple that’ll take your breath away and have you questioning your beliefs in divinity, then the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam, is the place to go. This temple, situated on the Nilanchal Hill, is considered one of the most powerful Shakti Peethas in India.
It’s an ode to the incredible power of women and their ability to give life, which is a big deal in Hinduism, especially among the followers of the Tantrik sect.
Now, let’s talk about the temple’s entrance. It’s like a giant flower bed, but better, because it has simple yet elegant carvings that are decorated with colorful flowers. Plus, the temple has a massive dome that overlooks the picturesque Nilanchal Hills in the background. It’s so beautiful that it’ll make you question whether you should take a picture or just stand there and soak it all in.
The temple has a fascinating history, dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries when it was built during the Mleccha dynasty. It was destroyed later, but the Koch Dynasty restored it in the 16th century, and it has been an important religious center ever since.
Let’s talk about the temple’s structure. It has four chambers aligned from east to west. The Garbhagriha, or main sanctum, is where you’ll find the goddess Kamakhya. It’s below ground level, and you can reach it via a series of rock-cut steps. But wait, there’s more! The Garbhagriha has a rock fissure in the shape of a vulva-shaped depression that’s worshipped as the goddess Kamakhya. The depression is filled with water from an underground spring, and all the Garbhagrihas in the temple follow this pattern.
The temple is especially crowded during the Ambubachi Festival, which celebrates the goddess’s fertility. The temple closes for three days during the festival, as it’s believed that the goddess is menstruating at this time. The temple is then opened, and the goddess is bathed, after which the normal activities of the temple resume.
According to legend, during the month of Ashadh, which falls in June, the Bramhaputra River that flows beside the temple turns red. Some say it’s because the goddess is menstruating, while others claim it’s due to the high iron and cinnabar deposits in the water.
The temple is open to visitors from 08:00 AM to 01:00 PM and from 02:30 PM to 05:30 PM on regular days. But on special days, such as Durga Puja, the temple’s schedule changes, and you can witness the Snana of the Pithasthana, Nitya puja, and other festivities.
So, there you have it! The Kamakhya Temple is a beautiful ode to the power of women and a must-visit for anyone who loves history, mythology, or just wants to be blown away by the temple’s sheer beauty.