A Delightful Rendezvous with divinity

Travel is the most profound form of learning!

Each journey contributes greatly to our treasure of knowledge. None of us can deny the fact that every travel we undertake leaves an indelible imprint on our approach towards life. Even we are not able to notice when our moments of leisure turn into the moments of discovery.

The whole experience becomes all the more wholesome when you travel to a pilgrimage. It has been rightly said that- “The purpose of going to a place of pilgrimage is to get the chance to glorify the Lord“. In the upcoming discussion, I will share with all of you about our visit to a sacred shrine which enriched our soul consciousness from within.

We paid a visit to the Kamakhya temple in the month of March, a day before Holi. We reached the temple at 8.30 am and were blessed with the glimpse of the Goddess at 10.00 am through direct entry.

At the Holy Shrine of Maa Kamakhya (Credits-

The scenic environment and the thoughtful architecture of the temple provided us a deeper sense of enchantment from within.

The Geographical Location

Kamakhya temple is situated on the Nilanchal hills at a height of about 562 ft above sea level. The distance between Guwahati and the temple is 7 kilometres. On the way towards the temple, you all can spot multiple views of the green landscape which will surely rejuvenate all of you.

Mythological Connect

The literal meaning of the word “Kamakhya” is the Goddess of desires. Initially, this temple was constructed by Kamadeva with the help of  Vishwakarma.

This temple is amongst the 51 shaktipeeths of Goddess Sati. According to Hindu mythology, all the shakti peeths consist of those sacred places where  the body parts of Devi Sati fell on the earth . These places are revered since the time when the lifeless body of the Goddess was split with the powerful sudarshan chakra into various parts in order to revive serenity and harmony on the earth. The divinity of this shrine has been appreciated in the Kalika Purana as well. According to it, Kamakhya Devi temple is one of the four primary shakti peeths on the earth.

An Astonishing Fact

The most surprising fact about this temple is the absence of any idol inside the premises. The vaginal part of the Goddess is venerated over there.

There is a popular belief that the Goddess mensurates like every woman in the month of June for three days at a stretch every day. The main temple area remains closed during this time period. Even the water of Brahmaputra river turns red during these three days. All the devotees offer clothes at the temple during those three days in order to ensure that the bleeding gets soaked into those clothes. A white cloth is placed inside the Garbhagriha and after three days, that cloth turns red and then it is distributed amongst all the devotees as a Prasad.

In the contemporary era of women empowerment, it is an overwhelming fact to discover a temple wherein the ability of a woman to conceive is celebrated. The fact that mensuration is celebrated in this temple makes it all the more inclusive. This shrine symbolises the significance of feminine power in its entirety.

Festivities at Kamakhya Temple

Floral Decoration of Kamakhya Temple during Ambubachi Mela (Credits-

Following are the most significant events and rituals organised at the temple-

I. The famous Ambubachi Mela is organised during June every year. It is a three days annual festival. The tantrics also visit the temple during this festival. The famous “Kamiya Sindoor” is distributed at the end of it.

II. Durga Puja is celebrated at the temple every year in the months of September and October. It is a five day affair.

III. Mansa Puja is organized on the day on which Shravana Sankranti begins. It is a three day fest which is held at the Natmandir of the Kamakhya temple. During this period, all women devotees perform a religious dance form called deodhani nritya in groups.The term “Deodhani” has been derived by combining two words- Deo (God) and Dhani (Woman).This dance form is performed in honour of the Goddess of snake – Manasa.

IV. Removal of Black magic– The presence of ten mahavidyas at the premises removes the effect of bad spirits and black magic on an individual.

V. Vashikaran Puja– It helps the people to control the mind of the other person and lead him or her to think and behave as per their desires.

VI. Puja to cure infertility– The Goddess blesses the couples to conceive a child.

VII. Navagraha Puja– This involves removal of ill effects of the planets on the life of an individual.

What to wear ?

The dress code over there is formal. Although ethnic clothing is not mandatory, it is desirable to wear those outfits which ensure that your shoulders and legs are covered.

Magnificent Architecture

The architectural style of the temple is based upon the combination of Nagara ( North Indian ) and Saracenic ( Mughal ) style . It has one garbhagriha and three mandapas. The Shikhars of the temple is made up of stones.

The main entrance of the shrine is a visual treat for all the visitors due to amazing carvings over its surface.

Dad standing in front of the Amazing Carvings on the Walls of Kamakhya Temple (Credits-

The premises is divided into four chambered sanctum sanctorum and three mandapas.

Types of Chambers at Kamakhya Temple

While the Main temple has a saracenic dome, the Antarala consists of two roofed designs. On the other hand, the Bhogmandir has five domes and Natmandir possess shell roofs which are a significant feature of majority of prayer halls of Assam.

A popular point for Photography at Kamakhya Temple (Credits-

Different Kinds of Entry at the Temple

The entry to the Kamakhya temple is of the following types-

1) General Entry- It is a free of cost way to get the Darshan . However, it consists of longer queues and therefore the waiting time is also longer.

2) Special Entry- It is available for people from police or defence forces. Moreover, civilians can also enter through this after buying a ticket worth Rs.101.

3) Direct Entry- It is also referred to as VIP entry. The devotees have to pay a sum of Rs . 501 to get the tickets for this entry. The queue is comparatively shorter in this entry.

4) There is an exclusive entry only for the V.I.P’s.

Together at Kamakhya Temple (Credits –

The Daily Routine

Following are the daily activities at the temple-

  • Snana of the Pithasthana at 5.30 am
  • Nitya Puja at 6.00 am
  • Opening of the temple for the devotees at 8.00 am
  • Temple is closed at 1.00 PM for offering a meal to the Goddess which is followed by distribution of Prasad to all the visitors. The main deity of the temple is offered non vegetarian food a Bhog in the afternoon at 1.00 PM. Thereafter, the temple remains closed for 1.5 hours.
  • Reopening of the temple at 2.30 PM
  • Evening Aarti of the Goddess at 5.30 PM
  • The temple is closed after the Aarti

A Much Needed Acquaintance with the Shebaits

The priests of the north eastern temple are called the Shebaits. They are further classified into Brahmin and Non-Brahmin Shebaits.

The Brahmin Shebaits are classified into three types. Each of them have a distinct role to perform.

The first type is of Brahmin Sherbaits are Bardeuries who are the principal priests who are responsible for performing the Pooja of the Goddess as per the traditional norms of the temple.

The second category is Chandipathak who have been bestowed with the rights of reciting Chandi during Durga Puja . Chandi is a text describing the glory of the Goddess.

The Supakar is the third category which is involved in the preparation of the Bhog (Cooked Rice) in the temple.

The Non-Brahmin Shebaits are divided into the following categories –

  • Athparia- They help the priest by maintaining the cleanliness of the premises.
  • Balikata- ‘Bali’ or animal sacrifice is conducted by them.
  • Duari- They are responsible for gatekeeping of the temple.
  • Bharalkanth- They are the in charge of the bhandar.
  • Bharali- The accounts of the temple and the expenses are monitored by them.
  • Sonari- Sonari is the goldsmith who refurbished and polished the ornaments of the temple.
  • Tamuli- Betel leaf or tamul-pan is an important part of the Naivedya offered at the temple. It is supplied by them.
  • Bhog Paneri / Snan Paneri- The water utilised for preparation of Bhog and cleaning the pithasthan of the Goddess is sourced from them.
  • Khetania- They have been allocated the responsibility of driving away the crows during Pooja and cooking of Bhoga.
  • Gayan, Beyan- They are involved in singing and dancing when special events are organized at the temple.
  • Dandadhara- They hold the Danda during the procession time in Durga Pooja which illustrates the royal insignia.
  • Jagmukti- The place where Bali is performed is cleaned up by them.
  • Dadharua- The Dadharuas sharpen the knives which are used in animal sacrifice.

The Magical Vermillion

Kamakhya Sindoor is referred to as Kamiya Sindoor. The distinguishing feature of this vermillion is its crystallized form. Negative energy is removed with the help of this vermillion.It is distributed amongst all the devotees only at the end of the annual Ambubachi Mela. The devotees collectively believe that this Sindoor enables them to receive the blessings of the Goddess in order to fulfil all their desires.

It also helps in warding off the ill effects of the evil eye and black magic over the life of an individual. The usage of this Sindoor alleviates all the troubles related to relationship, finance and paranormal beings in one’s life.

Mom and Dad seeking the blessings from the Divine Goddess ( Credits-

Connectivity to the Temple

Kamakhya Bus stop is present at a distance of 3.1 Km. The Kamakhya railway station is at 5.4 km distance from the temple. The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is 18.7 Km away from the Kamakhya Devi temple.

Hope you all have been familiarized with the enriching aspects about a temple which needs no introduction at least within the Hindu community. The next time you all visit Assam, remember to get engrossed in the sacred atmosphere of the Kamakhya temple and be assured that a memorable experience awaits you over there!!

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