“A bird taking to its wings to fly towards the River Brahmaputra”- is the geographical shape of the state Assam on the map of India. The state with the magical natural charm in the north-east of India speaks volumes about ancient history, culture, and excellence in art and craft. The pristine state has stayed from time immemorial symbolic of India’s cultural heritage; its temples and festivals give glimpses of inspirational artistic glories. The ancient temples of north-east are a class of their own; those carry diversity in their pattern of construction and grand rituals. When visitors flock to the temples, literally they unearth hidden treasure of the immaculate culture.
As India has world-wide fame for its temples, the ones situated in Assam have their heritage of grandeur, honor, and tradition. Those could leave lasting memories in the minds of tourists for their blend of rituals, heart-warming customs, and excellence in architectural patterns. Rich with their anecdotes of divine splendor, those simply hold the visitors spell-bound. Especially, “Kamakhya temple” bears testimony to the ancient culture and great practices in rituals, which flourished in the olden times in India. Literally, the state Assam greets its visitors with open arms to introduce them to a great culture and significantly, temples stand as the introductory chapters of distinction in heritage.
The names and details of great temples with their magnificent charms go as follows;
Being one of the world renowned temples, Kamakhya Temple comes in the uphill place of Kamagiri or Neelachala hill in Guwahati. Acclaimed as one from the fifty-one ‘Sakti peetha’, the shrine has innumerable fables and mysteries about the ritualistic practices conducted inside it. Although, this abode of divinity does not have any image of Shakti inside, yet the corner of the temple has the sculpted image of yoni of Goddess. On the occasions of festivities, thousands throng the shrine to pay obeisance to this image. A flowing spring near the stone image keeps it moist. Once the pilgrims step inside the precinct of temple, they come to know about the legendary tales of miracles taking place in this abode of Goddess.
The breathtaking vista in “Madanachala hill” in Hajo of Assam has in its lap the temple of Kedareswara; the magnificent and revered place of worship of lord Shiva. Built during the Rajeswar Singha period, the king joined two walls in the gateway inside the temple in the year 1753. The distinction of this temple is the “Shivalinga”- the image of Shiva carries the name “Sayambhu Linga”. The “Linga” represents the image of God as “Ardhanariswara”- half male and half female form, meaning the true caring and sharing relationship of God and Goddess as the real divinity.
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Dol Govinda Temple
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As it goes with the fame of River Brahmaputra, the wonderful “Peacock Island” situated in it has another great temple of Lord Shiva. Legend says that the loving God personally created this temple for the happiness of his wife- Goddess Uma. The place, widely popular as “Uma-nanda” meaning dedicated to the happiness and pleasure of Goddess, it hosts the brilliantly colored festival during Shiva Chauthurdasi. The figures sculpted on the rocks speak volumes about the brilliance of Assamese craftsmanship.
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Ugra Tara Temple
This eighteenth century old temple of Goddess “Ugra Tara” is familiar with one and all across India. Known for the powerful rituals of “sakti”, this temple dates back to 1725, when King Shiva Singh of Ahom Kingdom built it up with great patronage. The precinct of the temple has the consecrated tank named Jorepukhuri as the temple of Goddess Ugra Tara was raised on its east. The Goddess is revered by her name mother “Sati”. An incarnation of Mother Durga, the shrine is most favorite place of innumerable devotees across India. Those visiting this abode of Goddess have faith that the mother would bestow on them long life, marital bliss, and harmonious relationship with everyone in the family.
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Maha Bhairav Temple
The township of Assam has this legendary temple located on the top of hillock inside the town. There goes the wide belief that the temple dates back to the days of scripture, when the demon king brought the tradition of worshipping “Shiva Linga” and legend says that the demon had established his capital city in the city of Tezpur. The uniqueness of this temple is, it has the largest “Shivalinga” in the world. Renowned for the festivities during the occasion of Shivaratri, Maha Bhairav temple is the icon of great Shavvaite tradition of ancient India.
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Assam is more familiar as the homeland of magnificent islands. Satra Temple is a marvelous t shrine of that came up in 15th century. The temple hosts the famous Rasotsava festival, where followers of Vashnaiva religion go in large number. As Satras hold great influence on the lives of Assamese people, those guide people towards progress and living in brotherhood.
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Once upon a time, there lived in Assam a Mongolian tribe at the beginning of 13th century, namely Chutiyas. The kingdom had “Sadiya” as its capital in the northern Lakimpur district of Assam. Moreover, the place “Sadiya” is famous for the temple of Tamresvari , which now-a-days exists in a dilapidated condition in the forests at a distance of 7 kilometers from the place. The uniqueness with the style of construction of the temple is the entire structure is a single stone building, constructed without cement. The stone has been held together by iron-pins but without any clamps. Although, the roof existed in Copper, it caved in after sometime. The interior of the temple has magnificent sculpted images of birds, animals, flowers, and superb geometrical designs.
In the famous hill of Chitrasala in South East of Guwahati of Assam, ‘Navagraha Temple’ is familiar as the home of God Sun, devoted to the worship of nine planets. Besides this, the temple has nine Shivlings symbolic of nine planets. The nine “Shivalingas”, adorned with nine differently colored clothes, signify the presence of nine types of planets. Built up in 18th century by King Rajeswar Singh, it is one of the most beautiful shrines of Assam.