Located on the Nilanchal Hill in the western part of Guwahati in Assam, Kamakhya Temple is one of the most revered shrines of Goddess Shakti. It's located at the top of a hill and enshrines the power of childbirth, making it extremely auspicious among followers of Tantrik Hinduism. The temple was constructed multiple times between the 8th and 17th centuries, and it's an amazing sight to behold.
The main entrance of the Kamakhya temple is beautifully designed with simple yet elegant carvings that are decorated with beautiful flowers. The temple has a massive dome that overlooks the Nilanchal Hills in the background. It is especially decked up during the Ambubachi Festival, and also serves fare for three to four days in June.
This temple is one of the oldest in the country and has a long and illustrious history. It is said to have been built during the Mleccha dynasty in the 8th-9th century, with worshipers coming from Indra Pala to Dharma Pala. The Kalika Purana was composed in the 10th century and elevated the importance of this temple as a seat for Tantrik rituals and sorcery.
Every religion has its roots in the rich history of India. The region is home to many prehistoric temples, but one of the most prominent religious shrines from ancient times was at Kamakhya. This temple, which was known as Xi Jiechuang, witnessed a number of ancient Buddhist traditions and was destroyed during the invasion of China by Hussein Sha. However, thanks to its founder Emperor Vishwasingha, who reconstructed the shrine in 1565 during his son's reign, it became a popular religious center for Hindus around the world.
The Kamakhya Temple is considered to be highly-revered by followers of Hinduism. Legend states that there are times during the month of Ashadh when the Brahmaputra River turns red. It is believed that this is a divine phenomenon and that it happens because the Goddess menstruates during this time. While some people claim it's because there are high iron and Cinnabar deposits in the water, others continue to believe that it's a divine miracle. Consequently, every year during the Ambubachi Mela, tens of thousands of devotees come to see this phenomenon for themselves.
The current structure of the Kamakhya temple, one of the eight Darshanas near Sapta Tirtham (the most sacred place for Hindus) is said to be a type that has a hemispherical dome and a cruciform-shaped base. The temple has four chambers aligned from east to west.
The main sanctum of the Garbhgriha is located on a platform that has sunken panels and sculptures of Hindu deities like Ganesha. The lower parts are made of stone while the zenith is in the shape of an octagon, with bricks making up the surface. The entrance to the temple can be reached via a series of rock-cut steps from ground level. There is an open-air space called 'Kamakhya' where worshippers offer sacrifices by pouring water into a large depression in the rock surface. All Garbhagrihas in this temple have this pattern.
The Calantap is a square chamber with intricate carvings that lies west of the Kamakhya Temple. It has small moveable idols of gods and goddesses who are found here, as well as images and inscriptions on the walls.
In the west of the Calanta lies the Panchratna. It is a large, rectangular construction with a flat roof and five small spires sprouting from its roof.
The last building of the Pancharatna archaeological site is Natamandir, which has an apsidal end and ridged roof. Rajewas Singha and Gaurinath Singha inscribed some of the walls.
Kamakhya Temple Timings
Temple hours change depending on the special day or event.
5:30 AM - Snana of the Pithasthan
6:00 A - Nitya puja
8:00 AM - Temple door open for devotees
1:00 PM - Temple door closed for food offerings to the goddess.
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