State : Assam in India.
Significance : The pilgrimage centre (One of the Peethasthanas).
Location : Kamakhya is located on a hill - Neelachala Parvat or Kamagiri near the city of Guwahati in Assam.
Kamakhya Temple Mandir Tourism in Assam
The Kamakhya Temple in Assam is one of the most venerated Shakti shrines in India, and is regarded as one of the Shakti Peethams associated with the legend of Shiva and Daksha Yagna.
Travel to Kamakhya is located on a hill - Neelachala Parvat or Kamagiri near the city of Guwahati in Assam. Shakti, residing on the Kamagiri hill is known as Kamakhya, the granter of desires. Assam traditionally has been known as the Kamarupa Desa and has been associated with Tantric practices and Shakti worship.
This mandir was destroyed in early 16th century, and then rebuilt in the 17th century by King Nara Narayana, of Cooch Bihar. Images of the builder and related inscriptions are seen in the temple. 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.
Most Popular Legend
Once when Parvati's father King Daksha organised a yagna, he did not invite his daughter and son-in-law to participate in it. Parvati, who was angry at this treatment of her father, went to her father's place to ask the reason for it. Daksha insulted Parvati again by calling Shiva poor and wild. Being the ideal consort of Shiva, Parvati could not bear the fact that her husband was being insulted in front of the guests. She immediately jumped into the yagna fire out of shame and anger and killed herself. Knowing this, Lord Shiva, became very angry and came to Daksha's palace. On seeing the dead body of his wife, he was so enraged that, he lifted the body on his shoulder and started dancing the tandav (the dance of destruction). The dance continued for several days and the earth was on the brink of being destroyed.
Then, on the appeal of all the other gods and goddesses, Lord Vishnu with the help of his chakra, started cutting Goddess Parvati's body. It is said that the parts of Parvati's body fell at different parts of the country, which are all considered centers of power or Shakti peeth. The reproductive organ of Goddess Parvati is said to have fallen atop the Neelachal hill in Guwahati and that is where the Kamakhya temple stands now.
Another Legend Says
Another legend says that the demon Narakasura fell in love with Goddess Kamakhya Devi once and he wanted to marry her. But as a goddess cannot marry a demon or asura, Goddess Kamakhya devi played a trick to save herself. She laid a condition that she would marry him only if he builds a mandir for her within one night. Narakasura agreed to it and almost finished building the temple overnight. This scared Goddess Kamakhya Devi and before the final steps of the temple were completed, a cock was sent to cry cock-a-doodle-do to announce the arrival of the morning, before it was actually dawn. This made Narakasura very angry and he killed the cock on that spot. But according to the condition Narakasura couldn't marry Goddess Kamakhya Devi after that. It is said that the present Kamakhya temple is the same that Narakasura had made for Kamakhya Devi.
Still Another Legend Says
The supreme creative power of Bhrahma was challenged by Shakti, the mother Goddess, and that Bhrahma could thereafter create, only with the blessings of the Yoni, as the sole creative principle. After much penance, Bhrahma brought down a luminous body of light from heaven and placed it within the Yoni circle, which was created by the Goddess and placed at Kamarupa Kamakhya in Guwahati.
The Kamakhya Temple has a beehive like shikhara. Some of the sculptured panels seen here are of interest. There are images of Ganesha, Chamundeswari, dancing features etc. The temple is a natural cave with a spring. Down a flight of steps to the bowel of earth, is located a dark, mysterious chamber. Here, draped with a silk sari and covered with flowers, is kept the "matra yoni".
There is no image of Shakti here. Within a corner of a cave in the temple, there is a sculptured image of the Yoni of the Goddess, which is the object of reverence. A natural spring keeps the stone moist.
Other temples on the Neelachala hill include those of Tara, Bhairavi, Bhuvaneswari and Ghantakarna.
History of the Temple
The exact date of the original temple is not known. It is believed that, the temple is an ancient temple. The Temple was rebuilt in 1665, after being destroyed by Muslim invaders. It was probably an ancient Khasi sacrificial site, sacrifices are still very much part of worship here. Group of devotees arrive each morning with goats to offer to Shakti.
The Festivals at Kamrupa Kamakhya Tour
Ambubasi / Ambubachi (Ameti)
A unique festival tour observed here is the Ambubasi (Ameti) fertility festival. It is believed that, the Goddess (mother Earth) undergoes her menstrual period during this period. At that time the temple is closed for three days and opened with great festivity on the fourth day. It is believed to be inauspicious to till the ground or to plant seeds, during this period.
Durga Puja is celebrated annually during Navaratri (Durga Puja in West Bengal) in the month of September- October. It is a three day festival attracting several visitors.
Travel to Kamrupa Kamakhya
Airport : The temple is located at Guwahati. Guwahati has it own airport. Hence, reaching Kamakhya Temple by air is not a problem.
Railhead : Guwahati has it own railway station. It is well-connected to all the parts of the country.
Road Transport : Guwahati has well-defined roads connecting it to all the parts of the state and the copuntry.
As the temple is located in Guwahtai, accommodation is not a problem. You can find all categories of accommodation here. The accommodations here ranges from luxury to budget.
Sightseeing Tour near Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati
One must visit the Guwahati Zoo, which is the largest natural zoo of the country.
The Shiva temple of Umananda, reached by motor boats and public ferries from Umananda Ghat, stands on an island in the middle of the Brahmaputra.
Atop a hill in east Guwahati is the Navagraha temple - the "temple of nine planets," - an ancient seat of astrology and astronomy. Housed in a red beehive-shaped dome, the central lingam is encircled by further nine representing the planets (graha) - Sun (Surya, Ravi), Moon (Chandra, Soma), Mercury (Buddh), Venus (Sukra), Mars (Mangal), Jupiter (Brhaspati) and Saturn (Sani). Two more were added, Rahu and Ketu, the dragon's head and the dragon's tail, or the ascending and descending nodes of the moon.
At a distance of 12 km from the railway station is the Vashistha Ashram (the abode of sage Vashistha), an interesting old shrine, with plenty of greenness and three beautiful streams, Lalita, Kanta and Sandhya. Several other temples like the Ugratara temple, famous for its golden idol and buffalo sacrifices, are also spread across the city.
Above Kamakhya is another small temple, Bhubaneshwari, from where one can have a bird's eye view of the Guwahati.