Welcome to the Basistha Temple/Ashram in Guwahati, where history and legend come together in a picturesque setting! If you’re a fan of the Hindu epic Ramayana, you’ll be pleased to know that this is where Guru Vashishta, constructed his ashram and took his last breath.
But wait, there’s more! This temple is located atop Sandhyachal Hill, near the Garbhanga Reserve Forest, home to elephants and a proposed butterfly reserve. And did we mention that the temple was constructed by King Rajeshwar Singha in the 18th century, who gifted 835 bighas of land for the ashram?
The Basistha Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated on the bank of mountain streams that originate from the hills of Meghalaya. The streams become the Basistha and Bharalu rivers that flow through the city.
According to legends, the great saint Vasistha founded the ashram during the Vedic age. He even cursed King Naraka once for stopping him from worshiping the goddess Kamakhya. After that, Vasistha muni went on to meditate on Shiva at the hermitage on Sandhyachal Hill. And he didn’t just meditate there, he also wrote the Vasistha Ramayana! So, if you’re a Ramayana fan, this place is a must-visit.
But it’s not just about the temple and the legends. The ashram is surrounded by forests and there’s a waterfall nearby, making it a perfect spot for a picnic. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even visit the cave where Basistha muni meditated, 5 km inside the ashram. How’s that for some Indiana Jones action?
Oh, and did we mention the holy dip in the Vasistha Kunda? Pilgrims flock here to take a dip in the downstream Vasistha Ganga created by the saint. And if you’re feeling extra curious, about 200 km from the Vasistha Kunda is the temple of Arundhati Mata, wife of the Vasistha saint.
Getting to the temple is easy too. Just hop on the City Bus No. 1 that operates from Adabari to Basistha via Paltanbazar, or take a bus from the nearby Paltanbazar Bus Stop. It’s just 14 kilometers away from the heart of the city.
So, what are you waiting for? Come visit the Basistha Temple and experience history, legend, nature, and maybe even a little bit of adventure!