Some say that if you plan also you cannot reach Kamakhya Temple without the consent of Goddess Kamakhya. Kamakhya is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindu faith, it was built to signify and honor the Goddess Kamakhya.
If you ever end up within the Guwahati, the Kamakhya temple is worth a visit. Here’s everything you need to know before Kamakhya temple visit.
Representing the feminine power of ‘Shakti’ and celebrating a woman’s ability to conceive, this temple doesn’t have an idol of Kamakhya to worship but a yoni (vagina) in main temple. According to legend it marks the site where Sati’s womb and vagina fell.
According to the Hindu mythology, Sati (Lord Shiva’s wife) set herself on fire to take revenge the insulting conduct of her father towards her husband. When Lord Shiva came to find out that Sati killed herself to keep his honor, he was filled with fury. An enraged Shiva undertook a tour of the complete universe carrying the dead body of Sati. It was during this tour that numerous body components of Sati fell at totally different places. Hindus believe that it had been at the temple site of Kamakhya Devi wherever the vagina and womb of Sati fell down.
It’s the oldest of the fifty one Shakti Pithas that also stands these days and sees thousands of tourists, visitors and spiritual pilgrims each year. Situated on the Nilachal Hill in western a part of Guwahati town in Assam, India. It is a vibrant pilgrimage destination for Hindus and particularly for Buddhism worshipers.
This is my fourth visit to Kamakhya Temple. Every time I explore Kamakhya in a different and new way. I always think it’s interesting to be exposed to new cultures and traditions. The garbhagriha or sanctum is small, dark and reached by narrow steep stone steps. Inside the cave there is a sheet of stone that slopes downwards from both sides meeting in a yoni-like depression some 10 inches deep. This hollow is constantly filled with water from an underground perpetual spring. It is the vulva-shaped depression that is worshiped as the goddess Kamakhya herself and considered as most significant pitha or abode of the Devi. That with the fire, incense and chanting, I felt overwhelmed with an inner energy and from where I get it I do not know.
Guwahati is the gateway to the North East of India, so you’ll most likely be landing into the international airport there. You can reach Guwahati/Kamakhya by train also. Guwahati city spread across a wide area. As it’s based 7km out on the west side of the city don’t underestimate the time it takes to reach. It can be really congested with traffic at peak times.
The Assam State Transportation Corporation links are amazing in the city. There is bus service that runs back and forth to the temple from the main bus stand at Paltan Bazaar. Bus fares are from 130 to 150 rupees one way. I found ola/uber is most cost effective one. They charge Rs. 150-170 for full booking from Guwahati station to Temple oneway.
Under Dharmajyoti schemes of Assam government, pilgrims who are 60 years and more receive a concessional fare of 50% off on transportation! For more details click below link-
As you wind your way up the Nilachal hill to the temple, you’ll come across spectacular views of Guwahati. Situated at 562ft height, it definitely holds an air of mystery about the place. I would particularly suggest obtaining a taxi up the Hill because it is also a touch of a mission to climb, especially with the humidity!
In my last visit we decided to visit the temple early morning to avoid the crowds. In the peak season of winter, the sun sets at around 3.45pm and by 4pm, you’re in complete darkness! So, if you would like to go to the temple in daylight I’d say go any time before 3 pm. There are numerous viewpoints a little bit down the hill if you wanted to take in the views of the Guwahati.
Now for your information for your Kamakhya temple visit –
Kamakhya temple darshan booking is available at the counter within the temple compound. Counter opens at 7 AM in the morning. For Kamakhya temple darshan tickets, there are 2 types of entry –
- General Queue Entry- Free of Cost
2) VIP Darshan Queue Entry- Rs.501 per person
3) For Defense personnel – Rs.50 per person
- Kamakhya temple Darshan or Aarati Timings –
|Darshan Aarati||Darshan Timings|
|Snana of the Pithasthana(bath of sanctum)||5:30 AM|
|Nitya Puja(daily puja)||6:00 AM|
|Temple Door Open for Devotees||8:00 AM|
|Temple Door closed for Kamakhya Temple Offerings||1:00 PM|
|Temple door reopens for the devotees||2:30 PM|
|Aarati of Goddess followed by closing of the temple door for the night||5:30 PM|
- Kamakhya Temple Address – Kamakhya, Guwahati, Assam 781010
- Kamakhya Temple Enquiry Phone Number – 0361-2734655
I found the mythology behind Kamakhya temple really interesting. The Kalika Purana, an ancient manuscripts in Sanskrit describes Kamakhya as the young bride of Shiva, and the giver of salvation. Shakti is known as Kamakhya. Symbolic to the current is a terribly special type of Sindoor, available here, made from rock and called Kamakhya Sindoor, which is believed to be a blessing granted by Kamakhya Devi herself, to the wearer. Tantra is basic to worship, in the grounds of this ancient temple of mother goddess Kamakhya.
According to the Kalika Purana, Kamakhya Temple denotes the spot where Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her affair with Shiva, and it was also the place where her yoni (genital) fell after Shiva danced with the dead body of Sati. It mentions Kamakhya mutually of 4 primary Shakti peethas: the others 3 being the Vimala Temple inside the Jagannath Temple complex in Puri, Tara Tarini Sthana Khanda (Breasts), near Brahmapur, Odisha, and Dakhina Kalika in Kalighat, Kolkata, in West Bengal, originated from the limbs of the Corpse of Mata Sati. This is not validated in the Devi Bhagavata, which lists 108 places associated with Sati’s body, though Kamakhya finds a mention in a supplementary list.
Kamarup is a very important Shakti Peeta and this palce is one of the primary temples of worship for the Tantrics. It is doubtless that this can be associate ancient Khasi people sacrificing site, and worshiping here still includes sacrifices. Devotees come every morning with goats to offer to Shakti (Ref: http://www.durga-puja.org/kamakhya-temple.html )
Being the center for Tantra worship this temple attracts thousands of tantra devotees in an annual festival called the Ambubachi Mela. Another annual celebration is the Manasha Puja. Durga Puja is additionally celebrated annually at Kamakhya throughout Navaratri in the season. This five-day festival attracts several thousand visitors.
The current structural temple, designed and restored repeatedly within the period 8th-17th century, gave rise to a hybrid indigenous style that’s typically known as the Nilachal type: a temple with a hemispherical dome on a cruciform base (Ref: wikipedia.org). The temple consists of four chambers: garbhagriha and three mandapas locally called kalanta, pancharatna and natamandira aligned from east to west.
The garbhagriha panels have delightful sculptured Ganesha and other Hindu gods and goddesses. Though the lower portion is of stone, the top in the shape of a polygonal beehive-like dome is made of brick, which is characteristic of temples in Kamrup.
The temple consists of three additional chambers. The first to the west is the kalanta, a square chamber of type atchala (similar to the 1659 Radha-Vinod Temple of Bishnupur) (Ref:http://www.asikolkata.in/bankura.aspx#RadhaVinod ).
The entrance to the temple is usually via its northern door that is of Ahom type dochala.
The pancharatna to the west of kalanta is large and rectangular with a flat roof and five smaller shikharas of the same style as the main shikhara. The middle shikhara is slightly larger than the opposite four. The natamandira extends to the west of the pancharatna with a niche finish and ridged roof of the Ranghar kind Ahom style.
The first study from inscriptions tell about Kamakhya is found in the 9th-century Tezpur plates of Vanamalavarmadeva of the Mlechchha dynasty. (Ref: Shin, Jae-Eun (2010). “Yoni, Yoginis and Mahavidyas : feminine Divinities from Early Medieval Kamarupa to Medieval koch Behar”. Studies in History. 26 (1): 1–29.). It is often safely assumed that the earliest temple was created throughout the Mlechchha family.
There is a belief that the temple was destroyed by Kalapahar, a general of Sulaiman Khurrani (1566–1572). Since the date of reconstruction (1565) precedes the possible date of destruction, and since Kalapahar is not known to have ventured so far to the east, it is now believed that the temple was destroyed not by Kalapahar but during Hussein Shah’s invasion of the Kamata kingdom (1498). Ref:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamakhya_Temple#CITEREFNath1989
The ruins of the temple was aforementioned to own been discovered by Vishwasingha (1515–1540), the founder of the Koch dynasty, who revived worship at the site; but it was during the reign of his son, Nara Narayan(1540–1587), that the temple reconstruction was completed in 1565. The reconstruction used material from the initial temples that was lying scattered concerning, some of which still exists today.
Ambubachi Mela, is held annually during monsoon in the Kamakhya Devi Temple at Guwahati, Assam. In 2013, the start date of Ambubachi Mela is June 22nd and also the competition ends on June 26. The Ambubachi festival is closely associated with the Buddhism cult and is additionally called Kamkhya Devi Puja. It is believed that immortal Kamakhya goes through her cycle throughout lately and thus the temple remains closed for 3 days. Ambubachi Mela is also known as Ameti or Tantric fertility festival and is a four-day mela (fair).
Along with darshan of Devi Kamakhya,here one can learn about history of this place by visiting Adi Shankaracharya Mandir and nearby museum.
The museum building appears like a small shrine with glass walls and it is two storyed. Various metallic and wooden artefacts that were unearthed during Many excavations that were conducted here at different periods are displayed.
Though you can visit the site of your own but Pandas (priests) disturb a lot. I have a belief on God and one question also; do we really need agents to communicate with God who is divine & supernatural force?
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