Kamakhya Temple: A Popular Tourist Place in Assam
The Kamakhya temple located on the Nilachal hill, on the banks of Brahmaputra River, in the western part of Guwahati in Assam, is a famous Hindu temple of the Goddess Kamakhya. It is popularly said to be the oldest of the 51 Shakti peethas in the world. The holy temple is one of the most popular among all Assam tourist places. Numerous Hindu and tantric pilgrims visit the temple every year; it is also a must-see for foreign tourists visiting Assam.
The ancient Sanskrit work Kalika Purana narrates Goddess Kamakhya, the bride of Shiva as giver of salvation and yielder of all desire which attracts people from all over the globe to visit the temple. The Goddess is worshiped mainly by flowers but sacrifice of male animals is also a common ritual.
The architecture of the Kamakhya temple is fascinating and takes you back in time. It has a total of 10 Mahavidyas built in and around it, such as Bhuvaneshvari, Bagalamukhi, Chinnamasta, Tripurasundari, Tara, Kali, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Matangi and Kamala Temples. Inside the temple resides four chambers – the garbhagriha which is small, dark and located below ground level, and can be reached by narrow steep stone steps. The holy “mantra yoni” draped in a silk saree and covered with flowers is situated in the underground chamber. There are also several shops outside to buy offerings or flowers. You can also find souvenirs to take back which will remind you of the incredible spiritual experience at the temple.
The Ambubachi festival, celebrated during monsoon season in the Kamakhya temple attracts great tourist inflow. The temple is kept closed for 3 days as it is believed that the Devi goes through her menstrual cycle during these days and the temple reopens with grand celebration on the fourth day. This unique festival attracts devotees, pilgrims and travellers from far and wide. Durga puja is also celebrated in the temple and the festivity continues for three days.
The Kamakhya temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times and is believed to date back up to 2000 years. Its long existence against all evil has made people believe in the miraculous powers of the Goddess. You should not miss this temple while visiting Assam. Ask your travel operator for Northeast India whether this place is included in your travel package or not. If not, then you should choose one with which you can visit this place else you will miss the spiritual experience of a lifetime.