Northeast India is a favorite destination for tourists from the country and abroad. However, it would be wrong to assume that tourists throng these beautiful hilly states only for exotic culinary delights and amazing biodiversity hotspots. These states are also visited by the tourists for several pilgrimage destinations. There are plenty of famous temples in states like Assam, Tripura and Manipur that have ancient myths and legends associated with them. These temples are visited by thousands of religiously inclined visitors.
Below listed are some of the eminent temples of the Northeast region.
Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple (Sikkim)
Sikkim is a state where the domain religion is Buddhism. However, there is a fair percentage of Hindus in the population of the state. This is why a number of iconic temples have been set up in Sikkim. One of the most famous temples in Sikkim is the Kirateshwar Mahadev temple. Located on side of River Rangeet in Legship, this temple is visited by several thousand pilgrims around the year. The legend of the temple is associated with Arjuna and Shiva. As per the myth, Lord Shiva blessed the third Pandava for win in war at the spot, in guise of a hunter. There is a dharamshala at temple premises for pilgrims. The temple is replete with people and activity during the Shivarati and Bala Chaturdesi. It is connected with mainland with a bridge.
Kamalasagar Kali Temple (Tripura)
Tripura is a state with a predominantly Hindu population and naturally there are a number of prominent Hindu temples. The Kamalasagar Kali Temple is one such instance. Located on a hill, 27 km from Agartala, overlooking the pretty Kamalasagar Lake, this temple is a major pilgrimage spot. It is adjacent to the Bangladesh border. The image of deity is made of sandstone and the resemblances with Goddess Durga are evident. However, a shiva linga is found at leg of the idol. The lake was dug by Monarch Manikya Bahadur in the 15th century and the temple was set up in the 17th century.
Lord Krishna Temple (Manipur)
This is one of the famous temples in Manipur. The Lord Krishna Temple is located on Imphal river banks at Brahmpur Guru Aribam Leikai. It was set up in 1704 AD. The brick made temple has a dome type hemispherical roof. The dome surface is adorned with floral motif. In the temple, one can find different events in life of lord Krishna. These idols are quite artistic. The Janmasthami festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm in this temple every year.
Nartiang Durga Temple (Meghalaya)
Located in the picturesque Jaintia Hills district, the Nartiang Durga Temple is one of the ancient temples in Meghalaya. Thought to be over 500 years old, this temple draws a huge number of pilgrims every year. It is one of the famous 51 Shakti Peethas mentioned in Hindu mythology. The rituals performed at this temple are a blend of ancient Khasi traditions and Hindu customs. Here Durga Puja is performed but instead of an idol, a banana plant is used for worship. During the puja, animal sacrifice is also done at the temple. As per the legends, the temple was a part of former Jaintia fort.
Asvakranta Temple (Assam)
Courtesy : www.indianmirror.com
Asvakranta temple is among major religious destination in Assam. Located in Guwahati, the temple is a place for worshipping Lord Vishnu. The reclining god is worshiped here by pilgrims. As per the folklores Lord Krishna slayed the demon named Narakasura here. The scenic beauty of Brahmaputra River is a major attraction of the temple. The carving depicting Lord Vishnu and other deities reflects excellent craftsmanship. Outside the temple, there is a footprint etched in stone which is thought to be that of Lord Krishna.
Bageswari Temple (Assam)
Located at the Bongaigaon town, this is one of the ancient and prominent temples in Assam. The temple is situated on top of Bageswari Hill. As per Hindu mythology, the trishul of Devi Durga fell at this place when the goddess’s body was cut by sudarshana chakra post her demise at Daksha yagna. The temple, owing to its hilltop position offers a beautiful view of the adjacent areas. At the hill, there is an ancient Shiva temple as well. Durga mahashtami is celebrated with much vigor in the temple every year and during that day animal sacrifice is also made to please the deity.
Sri Surya Pahar Temple (Assam)
Located in Goalpada, Sri Surya Pahar Temple is a major tourist destination near Guwahati. Its hilltop location has led to its naming. On the hilltop, there are a dozen stone carved images of Surya. Shiva lingas of varying sizes are also found in this region. The architecture of this temple is quite enthralling. These remains are likely to be from 9th century or so, say the archaeologists. The sculptures found in and near the temple indicate confluence of many religions. The hills are also replete with rare medicinal plants and primates. This has made the region a favorite with nature lovers along with pilgrims.
Akash Ganga Temple (Arunachl Pradesh)
Arunachal Pradesh is a state where people from various religions co-exist peacefully. The cultural diversity of state has resulted in existence of some Hindu temples along with Buddhist monasteries. The Akash ganga or Malinithan temple is among the major Hindu temples and pilgrimage spots in the state. Located in Likabali in West Siang District of Arunachal, it attracts plenty of visitors every year. The majority of the ancient temple, meant for worshiping goddess Durga is now in ruins. It was built in typical Orissa architectural style. The origins can be traced back to 14th century. 20th century excavations at the spot have revealed sculptures of major Hindu deities like Indra and Surya. The Akash-Ganga waterfall- about 5 km from the spot is also deemed holy by pilgrims.