Saturday, 9 November 2013

Shakti Peetham Kamakhya Devi - Uterus of Sati Devi

Goddess Kamakhya:-

One of the best known temple of Guwahati is Kamakhya, situated on Nilachal Hill, eight km west of the city. This temple honour the Mother Goddess Kamakhya, the essence of female energy. It is one of the 108 Shakti Peethas of Goddess Durga. Legend has it that Kamakhya came into existence when Lord Shiva was carrying the corpse of his wife Sati, and her "yoni" (female genitalia) fell to the ground at the spot where the temple now stands. 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".

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.

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.

The place where the uterus of Sati fell was not known till Kamadeva, the God of love, searched it out to rid himself of a curse by Brahma. He regained his rupa (beauty) here after worshiping in this peetha. Since Kamadeva regained his rupa here the entire place is called Kamarupa (Kamrup) and the deity is known as Kamakhya or one worshipped by Kama.

This temple 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.

Light of the East:-

As long ago as the first millennium BC, a great civilisation was forging a vast and powerful kingdom in the north east region of India, even extending westwards into Nepal. The kingdom was known as Pragjyotisha, and its capital Pragjyotishpura (meaning the Light of the East) was located on the site of what is now the modern-day city of Guwahati.

Later, during the fourth to ninth centuries AD, the kingdom came to be known as Kamrupa. Guwahati is also Kamrup, the ancient city of legend where Kamdev (the god of love and desire) took his birth. The district of which Guwahati is the headquarters is still known as Kamrup even today.

The city finds frequent mention in the great Sanskrit epics and poetry, including the Mahabharata. Nowadays, however, it is a busy business hub for the area, serving as the largest centre for commerce, industry and education in Assam.

The Kamakhya Temple, which is situated high up on a hill called Neelachal Parbat or Kamagiri in the city of Guwahati, is one of its several religious landmarks, which speaks volumes about the rich historical treasure over which the state of Assam is settled. This sacred temple in the heart of the capital city of Assam holds more than it meets the eye of the spectator. The Kamakhya Temple had been built in admiration to Goddess Kamakhya or Sati, who was one of the numerous incarnations of Goddess Durga or Goddess Shakti.

Sthala purana of Kamakhya devi:-

Gauhati is previously called as Kama rupa, Hari kshetra, Pragjyotisha pura etc.. This is the capital of a demon named, Narakasura.

Lord Vishnu kílled a demon named Hiranyaksha, in the form of Swetha varaha and saved earth. But, it is Tamasika avathara and he couldn’t realise his own state. He married Bhu devi(The Goddess of Earth) and spent life on earth.

One shouldn’t get sexual feelings in the time of Sunset. But, they didn’t followed that rule, which resulted in a son, who is a demon by character. Bhu devi prąyed Lord Vishnu to give boons to her son. Vishnu kept a name, Naraka, and made him as a king to the Pragjyotisha pura. He told to Bhu devi that Naraka becomes very bad and he will be kílled to save the world.
Bhu devi prąyed Vishnu a lot and got a promise from him that Naraka should become immortal unless kílled by her. Vishnu left the form of Varaha and went to Vaikuntha.

Goddess Kamakhya is considered as the Maya rupa of Bhu devi.

Naraka worshiped Goddess Kamakhya and he got a lot of energy. He ruled the world for many Yugas. He captured sixteen thousand princes and enjoying with them against their will. He made friend ship with Banasura. Banasura deviated him from the worship of the Goddess Kamakhya. He told that Kamakhya is also an unmarried girl and Naraka can marry her.

One day night, Naraka observed Goddess Kamakhya dancing in her temple. He approached her and asked to marry him. She laughed at him and told that it will happen if Naraka constructs temple, tank, and stair case from the foot of Nilachal hill to her place, by the end of that night. Naraka got mystic powers by worshiping her. He started fast and almost completed the task. Lord Vishnu appeared in the form a cock(fowl) and crew, which is considered as the starting of the day. Naraka became frustrated, chased and kílled that fowl. In the mean while the day really came. Naraka failed to reach the goal and got angry on Goddess Kamakhya. Kamakhya disappeared from that place.

The incomplete stair case is called as Mekhelauja path.
The place where Naraka kílled the fowl is called as Kukurakata chaki. It is situated in the district of Darrang.

Naraka stealed the Ear rings of Deva matha Adithi(Mother of Lord Indra). This became a very big insult for all gods. At that time Lord Vishnu and Bhu devi incarnated as Sri Krishna and Satya bhama. Indra prąyed Sri Krishna to kíll Narakasura.

Sri Krishna went with Satya bhama to kíll Narakasura. Goddess Kamakhya came with them. Satya bhama didn’t remember Narakasura as her son. Narakasura spoke to her in a very bad way. She became angry and kílled Narakasura by an Astra given by Lord Sri Krishna. All the sixteen thousand princes expressed their desire to marry Sri Krishna. He married all of them. Bhaga datta, the son of Naraka was made as the king of Pragjyotisha pura, by Lord Sri Krishna.

 Another legend:-

The demon Narakasura fell in love with Goddess Kamakhya once and he wanted to marry her. But as a goddess cannot marry a demon or asura, Goddess Kamakhya played a trick to save herself. She laid a condition that she would marry him only if he builds a temple for her within one night. Narakasura agreed to it and almost finished building the temple overnight. This scared Goddess Kamakhya 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 after that. It is said that the present Kamakhya temple is the same that Narakasura had made for the Goddess.

Kamakya Temple:-

"The temple symbolizes the 'fusion of faiths & practices' of Aryan as well as non-aryan elements". The different names associated with the goddess are names of local Aryan and non-Aryan goddesses. The Yogini Tantra mentions that the religion of the Yogini Pitha is of Kirata origin (non-Aryan influence). There existed a tradition among the priests established by Naranarayana that the Garos, a matrilineal people, offered worship at the Kamakhya site by sacrificing pigs. The goddess is worshiped according to both the Vamachara (Left-Hand Path) as well as the Dakshinachara (Right-Hand Path) modes of worship. Offerings to the goddess are usually flowers, but might include animal sacrifices. In general female animals are exempt from sacrifice, a rule that is relaxed during mass sacrifices.

Once upon a time Kamakhya Temple was the place of Tantrikism and Black Magic. It was a place where Animal sacrifices were practised. LEGEND says that this temple was built by a powerful king of the ancient kamrupa Narakasur of Naraka Dynasty. The current temple structure was constructed in 1565 by the great Koch General Chilarai of the Koch dynasty in the style of medieval temples. The form of the earlier structure, destroyed by the Kala Pahar, is unknown. The current structure has a beehive-like shikhara with delightful sculptured panels and images of Ganesha and other Hindu gods and goddesses on the outside. The temple consists of three major chambers. The western chamber is large and rectangular and is not used by the general pilgrims for worship. The middle chamber is a square, with a small idol of the Goddess, a later addition. The walls of this chamber contain sculpted images of Naranarayana, related inscriptions and other gods. The middle chamber leads to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in the form of a cave, which consists of no image but a natural underground spring that flows through a yoni-shaped cleft in the bedrock. During the Ambuvaci festival each summer,the menstruation of the Goddess Kamakhya is celebrated. During this time, the water in the main shrine runs red with iron oxide resembling menstrual fluid. It is likely that this is an ancient Khasi sacrificial site, and worshiping here still includes sacrifices. Devotees come every morning with goats to offer to Shakti.

Apart from the main devi temple, it also comprises of some other major temples of devi Kali, Tara, Bhairavi and Dhumavati Bagala, Chinnamasta, Bhuvanesvari. There are some other temples of various goddess can be seen in the complex. They are the Sitala Temple, the Lalita Kanta Temple, The jaya Durga Temple, the Vana Durga Temple, the Rajarajesvari Temple, the Smasanakali temple, the kail temple of Abhayananda dharmashala and the Sankhesvari temple. There are five temples of Lord Shiva in the Kamakhya complex. They belongs to different forms of Lord Shiva like Kamesvara (Umananda), Siddhesvara, Amratokesvara (Heruka), and kotilinga (Tatpurusa), Aghpra.

Kamakhya Temple complex also contains three temples of Lord Visnu. They are as the Kedara (Kamalesvara), situated near the northern side of the main temple, as the Gadadhara, situated in the north-western direction of the Kamakhya temple, and as Pandunath, which is situated in the eastern foothills of Pandu also known as Nilachal.

 complete view of the temple:-

Vatsayana,a Vedic Sage in Varanasi during the later first Century was approached by the King in the Himalayan region (now Nepal) to find a solution to convert the tribals and their rituals of human sacrifice to a more socially accepted worship. The Sage suggested the worship of a tantric goddess Tara that spread towards the eastern Himalayan belt till the Garo Hills where the tribals  worshipped a fertility 'yoni' goddess 'Kameke'. It was much later in the later Brahaminical period Kalika Purana that most tantric  goddess were related to the legend of 'Shakti' and began to be erroneously worshipped as a 'devi' by the Hindus.

According to the Kalika Purana, Kamakhya Temple denotes the spot where Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her amour with Shiva, and it was also the place where her yoni fell after Shiva danced with the corpse of Sati. This is not corroborated in the Devi Bhagavata, which lists 108 places associated with Sati's body, though Kamakhya finds a mention in a supplementary list.

The Yogini Tantra, a latter work, ignores the origin of Kamakhya given in Kalika Purana and associates Kamakhya with the goddess Kali and emphasizes the creative symbolism of the yoni,


The vertex of the temple is oval shaped like beehive-having 7 spires, 3 golden pitchers on blossoming lotus, upon that a golden trident. The temple flaunts beautiful frescos of adorned gods & goddesses of Hindu Puranas.The temple represents old Ahom sculpture.

The Panchabali, a ritual involving the sacrifice of a buffalo, a goat, a sheep, a pigeon and a duck is a common practice in the Kamakhya temple. It seemed as if it had been just cleansed with water “Three or four buffalos a month and almost the same number of goats daily,” he says. The sight of all those wanton goats in the premises come to my mind, unbidden.

Srichakram in kamakya Temple:-

 Sri Yantra, the symbol of Tantrikism or Tranta. It might be a misconception that Tantrik cults are over and done with, for the essence of it still continues to prevail rather openly in West Bengal and Assam. While Kalighat and Tarapeeth might have been big centers for such practices the seat of ancient tantricism is at Kamakhya Devi temple, Kamarupa Assam. This is the most important of all the Shakti Peethas in India. Kamakhya devi shrine hosts the yoni of Sati that fell here following the destruction of Daksha's sacrifice. This Shakti Peetha symbolizes the union of Shiva with Shakti, as described in the Kali Purana. They are depicted in constant union where Kamakhya is the Goddess of desire, who grants salvation. She is the young bride of Lord Shiva and together they symbolize the sublime reality of the miracle of life, the everlasting bliss of male/female union. This temple is situated atop a hill that overlooks the Brahmaputra river. The inner sanctum is a deep dark underground rocky chamber into which one descends by a flight of steep steps. The "Matra Yoni" which is inscribed on a rock is covered with silk sarees and is constantly moist by underground spring water. Tantrik cult is a different kind of cult where the orthodoxy of normal rituals and male dominance over the female took a massive beating. In tantricism, it’s the opposite where the female is given a lot more importance and is associated with Shakti. This is reflected in all their strange ritual practices. There is a deep divide between conventional worship and tantrik worship. In conventional worship, a woman is considered as "impure" during her 3 day monthly cycle, further to which she is almost treated as an untouchable in ancient brahmin traditions still prevailing today. In Tantrik worship, most of the rituals including initiation are centered on the 3 days, this period being the most important period where the woman is considered most pure and an incarnation of Shakti. This is clear from various references made in Tantric texts. Most of the tantrik texts have been found around the regions of Kamarupa, suggesting very strong prevalence of this cult around the Kamakhya Devi temple. The Yoni Tantra hails from Cooch Bihar but most of the Kaul Tantras originated from Kamarupa. The earliest comprehensive references made to the most important element of Tantrik ritual, called Yoni Tattva in the Kaula Tantra are given in the Kaula Jnana Nirnaya by Matsyendranath.

Kamakya Idol:-

The main temple is dedicated to Devi Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti or Goddess Durga .There is no idol of the presiding deity but she is worshipped in the form of a yoni-like stone instead over which a natural spring flows.

 Importance of Kamakhya Temple :-

Kamakhya is the mother goddess . Mythology goes that When Lord Shiva was criticised in front of Sati in Daksh Yagna, she could not tolerate her husband's insult and she decided to die . Angry Lord Shiva takes her body on his shoulder and travels the whole universe . Gradually Satis body starts decomposing and part of her body falls on earth in different places . All those places where Sati's body part fell were considered Shaktipeeth later on . Kamakhya is known as the granter of all desires .

Main Attraction of Kamakhya Temple :-

As beliefs goes , the pond water at the backdrop of Kamakhya temple turns all red at a particular time of the year . This time of the year is believed to be the time of menstruation of the mother goddess or mother earth .Clothes dipped in that water is ditributed as prasad .

Ambubachi Festival Rituals:-

Ambubachi Mela, also known as Ambubasi festival, is held annually during monsoon season in the Kamakhya Devi Temple at Guwahati, Asam. The Ambubachi festival is closely related to the Tantric believers and is also known as Kamkhya Devi Puja. It is believed that Goddess Kamakhya goes through her menstrual cycle during these days and therefore the temple remains closed for three days. Ambubachi Mela is also known as Ameti or Tantric fertility festival and is a four-day mela (fair). It is widely believed that Goddess Kamakhya goes through her yearly menstrual cycle during the Ambubachi days. The temple remains closed for three days – the menstruation period. People in large numbers wait outside the temple on the fourth day, when the temple will be opened. Sanyasins and Pandas from around the country asemble at the Kamakhya temple during this period. Large number of devotees make a mad rush when the temple reopens to receive the unique ‘prasad’ which is small bits of cloth, which is supposedly moist with the menstrual fluid of Goddess Kamakhya. It is considered highly auspicious and powerful.

Besides this, a number of other pujas are held in the temple all round the year.

These pujas include Durga Puja during navratris, Durgadeul, Madandeul, Manasa Puja, Pohan Biya and Vasanti Puja. Offerings are mainly in the form of flowers and fruits, but may include animal sacrifices as well.

NATURALLY FOR a Shakti temple that’s the nerve centre of tantricism, there are sadhus everywhere: Aghor sadhus engage in transcendental meditation at crematoriums in the dead of night and Naga sadhus, who lead a life of relentless atonement and practice voluntary nudity, perform incredible feats. Shankar, a monk from West Bengal, buried his head under the ground for many hours to appease the goddess. Amidst this pageant of ascetic fervour, some claim they can perform wonders like making childless couples conceive, dispelling marital problems and casting spells on enemies. You even come across a sadhu from Varanasi who has been performing a three-day yagna while his disciples distribute free food to devotees.

When the pilgrims disperse after being part of this melee, they take with them shreds of cloth red with the deity’s menstrual ‘blood’. The shreds are believed to be part of the angavastra used to cover the goddess’ yoni during the three days of her menstruation.

Most Powerful Tantric Peeth:-

 Apart from Ten Mahavidya temples, there are shiva temples also there named Kotilinga Mahadev, Kameshwar Mahadev, Sidheswra Mahadev but not in idol form. So here yoni and linga is worshipped which is must in Tantric pooja. So it is very popular saying that no tantric is complete without visiting the Kamkhya Temple. Since this is the most powerful tantric peeth, animal sacrifices is a must for getting tantric siddhis. Animals includes male small goats, buffalo etc The temple attracts lacs & lacs of tantric devotees in an annual festivals known as Ambubachi Mela, Manasha Puja etc.

Kanya Pujan:-

 For Vedic Sadhak Kanya Pujan, Kanya bhojan is a must apart from offering Puja to Kamakhya Devi as per vedic methods.


5:30 AM     Snana of the Pithasthana.
6:00 AM     Nitya puja.
8:00 AM     Temple door open for devotees.
1:00 PM     Temple door closed for cooked offerings to the goddess followed by distribution among the devotees.
2:30 PM     Temple door reopens for the devotees.
5:30 PM     Aarati of Goddess followed by closing of the temple door for the night.

Umananda Temple:-

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. 

Navagraha temple:-


A top a hill in east the of Guwahati is the Navagraha temple - the "temple of nine planets," - an ancient seat of astrology and astronomy.

Vashistha Ashram:-

At a distance of 12 km from the railway station is the Vashistha Ashram ( which is the abode of sage Vashistha), is 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.

Bhubaneshwari Temple:-

There is another small temple called Bhubaneshwari above Kamakhya from where one can have a bird's eye view of the Guwahati.

How to reach:-

By Air:-

The nearest airport is at Guwahati.

By Rail:-

Guwahati has it own railway station. It is well-connected by rail to all the parts of the country.

By Road:-

 Guwahati has well-defined roads connecting it to all the parts of the state and the country. Buses ply every 10 or 15 minutes from Guwahati to the foot of the hill from where one can go to the top by taxis that are readily available at the bus stop.


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