Kamakhya Temple – A Pilgrim’s Ultimate Destination

New Year resolutions made with a difference…I decided to visit Kamakhya Temple at Guwahati to start off the new year with new promises! The last year was a blessing for us which came in the form of our baby boy. And so we decided to visit this holy place to express our gratitude and seek the divine blessings. Not that it’s customary but definitely is calming.

Devotees in Kamakhya temple on New Year day
Devotees in Kamakhya temple on New Year day

Kamakhya Temple, an ultimate destination for pilgrims, is visited by thousands of devotees on New Year day to offer their prayers in the holy shrine. The ocean of people wait in long queues to be able to step inside the temple where the main shrine is located. There is no idol of the presiding deity Goddess Kamakhya, but she is worshipped in the form of a yoni like stone. Devotees carry puja essentials according to their beliefs to offer inside as pandas or pujaris perform rites on their behalf.

Kamakhya Temple
Source: https://instagram.com/mitrasneha?igshid=1l0sz4o2c61ay

The wait to get inside the temple could be way too long judging by the long queue. So we decided to skip it that day as it would be tiresome with a baby. There’s another shorter route, provided you spend some extra bucks, which takes less time compared to the main one. We remained content by lighting diyas (earthen lamps) and incense sticks on the allotted space outside the temple. Incase you want a detailed puja with proper rites you can get it done by the pujaris who are available in the temple premises. Ardent devotees even offer animals as sacrifice to overcome the doshas in their astronomical charts.

Ambubachi mela at Kamakhya temple

Devotee at Ambubachi Mela
Source: https://instagram.com/sandipan_garg?igshid=rcp4z08p24hb

Every year during the monsoon season (Assamese month Aahar) the Ambubachi mela is celebrated with proper rituals according to the Shakti cult at the Kamakhya temple. It is the celebration of the yearly menstruation course of goddess Kamakhya. It is believed that Maa Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this time stretch. The temple remains closed for three days and on the fourth day Goddess Kamakhya is bathed and other rituals are performed. The doors of the temple are then reopened for everyone and prasad is distributed.

A devotee during Ambubachi mela at Kamakhya temple
A devotee during Ambubachi mela
Source : Swarnav Borgohain

Lakhs of pilgrims from all over the country and abroad visit Kamakhya temple during this annual Ambubachi mela. People of all sects and ages visit the temple from far and wide… some who are ardent devotees, others like sadhus, intellectual and folk tantriks, babas, baul singers, aghoras make it their abode for those few days of the mela. Though this celebration is mainly observed by the shakti cult, yet people apart from this cult also visit the temple because of their devotion.

Sculptures at Kamakhya Temple
Source: https://instagram.com/shivaalaya_?igshid=12hfs3vigchga

Durga puja at Kamakhya temple

Durga puja is also celebrated annually here in Kamakhya temple. This festival which falls during Navratri in the autumn season also attracts a lot of visitors. The puja is performed in a unique way with Mahasnan or the ritualistic bath of the deity followed by sacrifices. Kumari puja is another important ritual observed during this festival where young girls are dressed up beautifully and is worshipped as a manifestation of Goddess Kamakhya.

Kamakhya temple gorgeously decorated on the occasion of Durga puja
Kamakhya temple gorgeously decorated on the occasion of Durga puja

Kamakhya temple, situated on top of the Nilachal hills on the western part of Guwahati city, is a very famous pilgrimage destination for Hindus, especially Tantrik worshippers. It is, in fact, the most important temple in Assam. The beauty of the place is enhanced by the small colourful stalls on both sides of the road leading to the temple. In here you get a variety of stuff to choose from to take back home as a souvenir of your visit.

Stalls at Kamakhya Temple premises
Source: https://instagram.com/travelwithankush?igshid=1tm519q6mu25w

How to reach there:

The temple is very near the Kamakhya railway station. If you are traveling by train then take a bus to reach the entrance to Kamakhya. From there bus services, trekkers, auto rickshaws, rental cabs are available to take you to the main temple on top of the hill.

Kamakhya Temple

Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati is the nearest airport  from where you can directly book a cab to the temple.

Due to Covid-19 outbreak the temple was also closed down for tourists and only recently has been opened for common public.

Read: A quick Guide for travelers to Guwahati City

By Pallabita Bora Phukon

A non-conformist, a dreamer, carefree by nature, I am an entrepreneur who is ever so passionate about her work. After a series of jobs and few entrepreneurial ventures, blogging came into my mind and nothing better than highlighting Assam could be my priority since I am in love with my state. So embark on this enchanting journey with me to Assam.

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