Kamakhya Temple of Assam is one of the most revered spiritual destinations of the country. This is a Shaktipeeth belonging to Goddess Kamakhya; the tantric form of Goddess Durga. The temple of Kamakhya serves as a magnet for tourists, pilgrims and tantric sages from every corner of the country and globe. Kamakhya temple and the Ambubachi festival at Kamakhya have led Assam to acquire a special place in the map of the country at the world. When it comes to enlisting tourism or religious places in the NE, Assam’s Kamakhya temple ranks first in the list
There are many rare facts about Kamakhya temple not known to all. Some of the most unique and unknown facts are listed below
Kamakhya is one of the oldest shakti temples
There is not much historical record telling when and how the temple came into being. Inscriptions of king samudragupta at Allahabad bear the earliest references of this temple. It is however believed that Kamakhya temple is the oldest among all Shakti peeths that our country has. It is considered one among the 52 revered Shakti peeths that our country is dotted with.
Kamakhya is clustered with many other temples
Kamakhya temple complex is a God’s realm as it is home to many other small and big shrines such as that of Bhairavi, Tara, Ghantakarna, Bhubaneshwari, Kali, Sodashi, Bagalamukhi, Kamala, Matangi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati
Video Source: YouTube(Puja Jagat)
Kamakhya symbolizes procreation
The temple as per mythology symbolizes the power of procreation that every woman has. It is said that Sati’s yoni or ‘vagina’ and ‘womb’ fell on this area when Lord Vishnu disintegrated Sati’s body with his sudarshan chakra in order to pacify the enraged Lord Shiva. These two parts of the Goddess stand as a symbolic representation of the power to create new life that every woman possesses. Also, mythology tells that this is the place where the goddess used to have her intimate encounters with Lord Shiva and that too signals the start of a new life
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Goddess menstruates in the month of Ashad
Goddess at Kamakhya is an epitome of woman hood and it is believed that each year during the Hindu month of Ashad; i.e. around June-July the Goddess bleeds or menstruates. The temple doors are closed during that period for three days. On the fourth day the temple door is thrown open for devotees and a huge conglomeration of sages and devotees simply flood into the temple. It is during this time that Ambubachi mela is held at Kamakhya. It is said that during this time the waters of River Brahmaputra that which is connected with the natural spring ensuing from the temple’s garbha griha, turns red. This is taken as an indication of the Devi’s menstruation. Lal vastra and this holy water are often distributed among devotees as a token of the Goddess’s blessing.
The modern temple was built by a king
The current temple of Kamakhya was set up by Coochbehar king, Naranarayan in the year 1665; i.e. 17th century. During the 16th century the temple got destroyed followed by its re-building by the king
Garbha griha of kamakhya temple has no deity
The Garbha griha of the temple is a cave with no idol or image of deity; instead there’s a yoni-shaped sculpture engraved on a rock and it’s looked upon with great reverence by the devotees. A natural underground spring moistens the stone all the time.
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A half done stairway leads to the temple
Legend has it that demon Naraka who was in love with Goddess Kamakhya once proposed her for marriage. The goddess gave him a condition that if he could construct a staircase starting from the foothills of Neelachal parvat leading up to the temple within a span of just a night, she would readily accept his proposal. The infatuated demon started his work to impress the goddess. However did not complete the work as he heard the cock crowing and thought it was morning already. In reality it was not so. The goddess had played a trick on him by making the cock crow falsely. Hearing the cock crow the demon got frustrated and left his work half done which is why there is a half done stairway to the temple.
Video Source: YouTube(WildFilmsIndia)
Unique bee-hive like Shikharas of the temple
The bee-hive like Shikhara is the chief highlight of the present temple of Kamakhya. The shikhara consists of sculptured panels adorned with images of various gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon.
Geological formations within the temple
The temple’s innermost shrine has bedrock with a cleft shaped like ‘yoni’. Through that cleft, an underground, natural spring flows out. Though this is a geological phenomenon yet is very much symbolic
Several pujas are performed at Kamakhya
Apart from nitya puja/daily puja several other pujas are performed at Kamakhya. Those include pujas like Vasanti puja, Durgadeul, Madandeul, Pohan biya, Durga puja, Ambubachi puja, Manasa puja.
Related: Durga Puja in North East India