Kamakhya temple is one of the famous temple known as kamrup. It is situated in Guwahati. This famous temple is also known for the bleeding goddess. The location of the temple is on the Nilachal hill which is approximately 8 Kms from the railway station. It is dedicated to a form of Goddess Shakti known as Tantric Devi.
Dhumavati, Bhuvaneshwari, Matangi, Tara, Bagola, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Tripura Sundari and Kamala are the different forms of Goddess Kali, which are also there in the temple compound; apart from the main statue of the menstruating Goddess.
The Kamakhaya temple is known for the woman’s strength and natural physiology of woman. The goddess is called as the bleeding or menstruating Goddess, as in the month of June (Ashadha), Devi starts bleeding automatically. The proof of this bleeding is that the water of the underground spring below the Garbagraha turns red which is vulva shaped stone. This menstruation process last for 3 days and this temple gets closed and no one is been allowed to visit the temple for those 3 days of menstruation, and on the 4th day, there is a big celebration in the temple. It means that the Goddess is not allowed to worship, for those 3 bleeding days. The bhaktas are allowed to dip their handkerchiefs in the ‘red’ water of the spring that oozes out from the Garbhagriha through a narrow stream. Bhaktas keep those red handkerchiefs with them as a blessing of Goddess.
There is no scientific reason behind the red colour of the springs water (blood). Many people have a belief that this red colour of the water is due to vermillion which is poured into the water by the priest of the temple. So, yet now there is no evidence of the menstruation of the Goddess but still, it is seen with great respect by worshippers of the Goddess.
On this occasion, a grand festival is celebrated in the temple named as Ambhuwasi.
The temple of Kamkahya has an interesting story behind its origin. It is one of the 108 Shakti Peeths. The story is like that, once Sati fought with her husband Lord Shiva to attend the Yagna at her father’s place. God Shiva disapproved her, but then also Sati attended the universal Yagna organised by her father Dakshya. God Shiva was not invited and was abused by Daksha. God Shiva was unable to bear insult, and Sati committed suicide. When Shiva came to know about this he went insane with rage. He placed Sati’s dead body on his shoulders and started doing Tandav i.e. the dance of destruction.
To calm down the rage of God Shiva, Vishnu cut the dead body with his Chakra. Shakti Peethas are the places where body parts of the Devi Sati where felled. Kamakhya temple is a temple where Sati’s womb and vagina fell.
The Name ‘Kamakhya’
Once the Kamadeva, also known as the God of love lost his virility due to a curse. He freed from the curse when he sought out the Shakti’s genitals and womb. So, Kamakhya Devi was placed here, because it is the place where ‘love’ gained his strength. According to some of the mythical tales, the romantic experience of Devi Sati and Lord Shiva was happened here. The temple was named Kamakhya because the Sanskrit meaning of making love is ‘Kama’.
Sadhna and Pooja of Kamakhya Devi
On Navratri, Devi Sadhna and Pooja are carried out for all the nine days. Animals like gourd, fish, goats, pigeons, buffaloes, pumpkins etc. have to sacrifice during the Kamakhya Devi pooja. Due to some of the ancient time tradition of the pooja, floor made human model also has to sacrifice.
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Kamakhya Temple‘s Time Table
Daily timings of the temple are 8 am for devotees (except the 3 days of menstruation during the month of June). The doors are closed at 1 pm for offering cooked food to Devi, which is distributed to devotees as a blessing. And after that Prasada is offered to devotees, again doors are opened at 2.30 pm and evening Aarti time is 5.30 pm and after that doors are closed for the night.
Pujas at Kamakhya temple
Apart from the daily routine pooja, special poojas are also held yearly in the temple. These are Durga Puja, Pohan Biya, Durgadeul, Vasanti puja, Madandeul, Ambuwasi and Manasa puja.
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Durga puja is celebrated during Navratri in the month of October. Before Navratri temple is cleaned and decorated with banana stems, flowers and other decorative items. The important significance of temple is that the Puja is celebrated without any idol of goddess. On Asthmi i.e. 8th day of Navratri animal sacrifice is performed. A buffalo is sacrifice to goddess Kamakhya to please her.
It is an annual Hindu mela held at Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, Assam. It is a fertility festival. It is believed that the goddess goes under menstrual period and the temple remains closed for 3 days and then opens with festival on 4th day.
A symbolic marriage between Lord Kamesvara and Kamesvari takes place during the month of Pusa.
Durgadeul is observed, during the Phalguna month.
This puja happens in the Chaitra month.
This deul is observed during the month of Chaitra, where Lord Kamadeva and Kamesvara are offered with special puja.
Manasa Puja is observed with Sankranti or Shravana and continues up to the second day of Bhadra.
How to Reach
Guwahati Airport is nearest airport to a Kamakhya temple. The temple is located 20 kms from airport. Guwahati airport connects regular flights from New Delhi, Kolkata , Mumbai, Chennai and other Indian cities.
The nearest railway station is Kamakhya railway junction, trains are frequent as it is second biggest railway station in India.
Buses available from Guwahati to Dispur. Buses will directly take you the temple.
Climate and weather
The best time to visit the temple is from October to March i.e. winters.
Temperature: Approx. 19 degree Celsius – 26 degree Celsius
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Other temples on Nilachal Hill
The temples of Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Tara and Ghantakarna are also present in the Ninanchal Hill.