In Hindu mythology, the elegant temple of Goddess Kamakhya holds a significant place of honour. The Nilachal Hills, in the western portion of Guwahati City, Assam, India, provide the setting for this temple. It is a Sakti temple devoted to the Goddess Kamakhya, whose name it takes. For Kamakhya, the oldest among the 51 Shakti Pithas, see below. Tripura Sundari, Kali, Tara, Dhumavati, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, and Kamalatmika are the ten Mahavidyas of Saktism honoured in the Kamakhya temple, which houses ten individual shrines. The main temple was occupied by Tripurasundari, Matangi, and Kamala. Kamakhya Devi history, bleeding stories, and its significance in Hindu mythology focus on this blog, which has been created for this purpose.
The bleeding Goddess, Kamakhya Devi, is a well-known deity in Hinduism. Shakti’s fabled womb and vagina are said to be housed in the temple’s sanctum, known as the ‘Gavagriha.’ The Goddess bleeds or menstruates during the month of Ashaad, which is June. During this period, the Brahmaputra River likewise changes colour and turns crimson. For three days, the temple is closed, and the holy water is given out to Kamakhya Devi’s worshippers as prasad.
No scientific evidence has been found to support this claim, however. Some people believe that the priests add vermilion to the water as a purification ritual. Tantric grovelers, as well as Hindu pilgrims, flock to the temple. The Kamakhya temple’s most famous mela is Ambubachi.
Kamakhya temple’s renowned Ambubachi Mela
According to legend, Mother Kamakhya, a deity revered in the Ambubachi Mela, is purportedly going through her menstrual cycle.
In Guwahati, Assam, the Kamakhya Temple attracts thousands of pilgrims each year for the annual Hindu mela hosted at the temple. When it comes to the yearly mela, it is generally always during the month of Ahaar in the Assamese calendar. Kamakhya’s annual menstruation cycle is symbolised by the event. According to the worshippers of her temple, Mother Shakti Devi Kamakhya goes through her annual menstrual cycle during this time. According to Hindu legend, devotees at the mela are granted entrance to Mother Earth’s “menses” during the monsoon rains, allowing them to access her supreme power.
It lasts for three days. Goddesses are believed to be menstruating during these three days of silence. Hence the temple is shut down for the duration. Devotees also refrain from cooking, gardening, performing puja, or engaging in other religious practices throughout these three days.
There is, however, no statue of the presiding deity. Yoni statues depicting the deity of Mother Kamakhya are placed on top of natural springs. A series of rituals are carried out after the three days of Ambubachi to ensure the purity of Devi Kamakhya. Praise is given out later when the temple’s doors are opened. A limited number of devotees are granted entry to the temple on the fourth day of the festival to worship Devi Kamakhya.
Ambubachi’s prasad enjoys a special place in the hearts of worshippers. Angodak and Angabastra are the two forms in which it is available. Angodak’s literal meaning is “spring water,” which refers to the body’s natural moisture reservoir. Angabastra is indeed a type of cloth that covers the body, such as, for example, a piece of red cloth used to cover a sculpted yoni during the menstrual cycle.
We’ve already covered a lot of ground about the goddess’ menstrual cycle, and the devotional practises of Indian devotees to Devi Kamakhya. Oddly, India also has numerous taboos associated with menstruation. The societal absurdity of treating menstruation as a taboo is exposed when you note that there aren’t many temples in India that honour, celebrate, and elevate menstruation as a symbol of great power.
It is still considered taboo to get your period in India. Socio-cultural life is impeded as a result, and women are especially affected. Daily, a woman has to contend with a plethora of restrictions. Women are prohibited from participating in religious observances such as offering prayers or touching holy objects. It is taboo to openly discuss one’s menstrual cycle because it is considered an embarrassment. Rather, menstruation is a symbol that reveals that women have the power to create and give birth, and it should be honoured. This is incorrect. There are several theories on why this power or “shakti” in every woman is celebrated in Kamakhya and its temple.
Folk story of Kamakhya Temple handed down from generation to generation
Intriguing lore surrounds the construction of the Kamakhya temple. My guess is that most of us have heard the tale from our grandparents at some point. If you don’t have a grandmother, this blog can serve as your storyteller for the time being. When it comes to the origin of the Kamakhya temple, Lord Shiva and Goddess Sati play a significant role.
Daksa of Sati is said to have offered to make peace with the gods once, according to tradition. No invitations were extended to Sati and Shiva because Sati’s father, Daksa, did not regard them as devout Hindus. When Sati and her husband fought, she ignored him and went to the yajna. Daksa’s harshness was on display, and he ridiculed his own daughter in front of everyone. As if it wasn’t bad enough, Daksa also criticised Shiva. Sati couldn’t take it any longer. To escape the grief and humiliation she felt from her father, she leapt into the yajna’s blazing flames.
As a result, when Lord Shiva learned of the incident, his rage beyond all boundaries. She had been burned beyond recognition, and her husband was overcome with grief. Starting with the dance of destruction, known as “Tandava,” he began to ravage the planet.
Other gods were frightened by Lord Shiva’s power. They realised that if it went on for a long time, the entire world would be destroyed. Lord Vishnu came up with a remedy after assessing the problem. To soothe the angry deity, he unleashed his chakra, which dismembered the body of Monther Sati. According to legend, Sati’s body was scattered over the land in 108 parts. Shakti Peeths are the names given to the sites.
Legend has it that when Lord Vishnu’s ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ pierced the body of Mother Sati, the vagina of Sati fell in Pragjyotishpur, presently known as Assam. The result of which was a temple dedicated to Devi Kamakhya.
For three days during Ambubachi, Mother Sati’s vagina has fallen to the ground, causing her to have her period. Deviants think that just like women go through their menstrual cycle, the Goddess does as well. Thus, during those three days, the temple’s doors were shut. Despite this, the devotion of the devotees increases during this period. It’s a celebration that attracts people from all around the world, making it even more special.
Kamakhya’s name is derived from the Hindu deity Kamadeva, the God of love. Shakti’s womb and genitals were sought after by God after being cursed with a lack of masculinity. In honour of Shakti and her abilities to calm Kamadeva down, the Kamakhya temple was built in her honour. Until today, Kamakhya Devi is revered as a deity in India.
What the Historians have to say about the Kamakhya Temple
Experts have identified evidence in numerous research suggesting that the Kamakhya temple is an ancient place of sacrifice for tribal deities Kameikha, Khasi and Garo ancestors mother.
According to the Kalika Puran, she’s supposed to be of Kirata origin, which was written in the 10th century, as well as the Yogini Tantra. Kamakhya’s reverence also made it possible for the Kamrup dynasty to be established.
We presume that the Varman (350-650 AD) and Chinese traveller Xuanzang (c. 7th century AD) disregarded the Kamakhya in India. Until the Kirata period, people began to devote themselves to the temple. According to Tezpur plates of Mlechchha Vanamalavarmadeva, who ruled the Mlechcha dynasty in the 9th century, the first mention of Kamakhya may be found.
An 8th to 9th-century temple based on archaeological evidence indicates a Mlechchha dynasty structure, suggesting that the earliest temple was built. For example, let’s examine the bandhana and plinth mouldings. We might conclude that the original temple was of the Nagara type.
It is also worth noting that all of the Palas of Kamarupa rulers, such as Indra Pala and Dharma Pala, were adherents of the Tantrik faith. The Tantric centre of Kamakhya flourished during this period as well.
At this period, composing Kalika Purana came later, about the 10th century. Kamakhya quickly rose to prominence as a hotbed of Tantrik mysticism and the practice of human sacrifice. Additionally, Vajrayana Buddhism, sometimes known as “Sahajia cult” and often referred to as “mystic Buddhism,” made Kamakhya prominent. According to Tibetan chronicles, Kamarupa was home to some of Tibet’s most renowned Buddhist teachers in the 10 and eleventh centuries.
Kamakhya Temple may have been destroyed by Sulaiman Karrani’s commander Kalapahar (1566–1572), according to certain accounts. As far as we know, it was probably rebuilt in the year 1565. No evidence has been found to indicate that Kalapahar was responsible for the temple’s destruction in Hussein Shah’s invasion of the Kamata kingdom (1498).
During the reign of Vishwasingha (1525-1540), the temple’s ruins were unearthed. The Koch dynasty was founded by him, and he revived worship at the place. While his son, Nara Narayan (1540-1587), reigned from 1540 to 1587, the temple was rebuilt in 1565. Chilarai is credited with overseeing the construction of the main temple, according to historical records. When the old temples were demolished and their materials scattered, they were reassembled using those remnants to rebuild the present structure. Attempts to restore the stone Shikhara Meghamukdam were made twice, but both were unsuccessful. The current dome was built using a Koch artisan tool and brick masonry. Craftsmen and architects versed with the Islamic architecture of Bengal built the dome. Additional angashikharas were built around the dome, which became bulbous and hemispherical. On its own merits, Meghamukdam’s Shikhara over a Ratha basis became popular with the Ahoms, who adopted it as their own. Later, it was given the name Nilachal-type.
This tower was built over by Ahom kings, according to the Banerji (1925) sources. It took great care to conserve the ruins of the ancient Koch temple. However, by 1658, the Ahoms had defeated the Kamrup. In 1681, after the Battle of Italhuli, the Ahoms relinquished sovereignty of the shrine to their successors. Even if the kings were advocates of Shaivita or Shakta, the temple was always maintained and rebuilt by the kings themselves.
An established mahant of the Shakta order, Krishnaram Bhattacharyya, was invited by Rudra Singha (1696-1714). Nadia district’s Krishnaram Bhattacharyya lived in Malipota, not far from Santipur. In his vow, he vowed to look after the Kamakhya temple. His son, Siba Singha (1714-1744), took the throne and fulfilled his father’s pledge, becoming the king. Mahant and Parbatiya Gosains lived on top of the Nilachal mountain. Assamese Kamakhya priests and current Saktas follow the Parbatiya Gosains or the Nati and Na Gosains.
Where is Kamakhya Temple Located?
In Guwahati, the Kamakhya temple is located on the Nilachal hill in Kamakhya.
PO Box 781010,
Guwahati, ASSAM (IN),
Post Office KAMAKHYA (SUBOFFICE),
KAMAKHYA TEMPLE MAIN RD
KAMRUP, ASSAM, IN
What is the best way to get to Kamakhya Temple from Delhi?
All modes of transportation are available to get to Kamakhya Temple.
Ways of transportation
The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati is the nearest airport to the Kamakhya Temple. The airport is 20 kilometres from the site of the holiest of holies. With its official name of Borjhar Airport, Guwahati’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport connects the state capital with numerous other Indian cities like New Delhi.
If you’re planning on visiting Kamakhya, you’ll be glad to know that it has its own railway station. However, due to its proximity to India’s main towns, the Guwahati Railway Station is the finest place to disembark. It is the largest railhead in North-eastern India, with the greatest trains coming from other Indian cities and towns stopping here. It is possible to take a bus, a cab or an auto to get to the temple from the Guwahati railway station, where you can have darshan.
Kamakhya Temple and Guwahati Railway Station are around 8 kilometres apart. The temple is about a 20- to 25-minute walk from the train station. This time may be affected by traffic, so be prepared for a wide range of results. You can depart the train station and go across the footbridge. Many auto-rickshaws, buses, and metered taxis may be found with only a short stroll. If you take a shared auto-rickshaw, you may expect to pay about 15 rupees per passenger. The Assam Tourism Department operates buses between Kamakhya Temple and the Railway Station. To get to the temple, you can get off the train at Kamakhya Railway Station and rent a taxi. After you’ve checked into a hotel, you can make your way to the temple to receive darshan.
The temple of mother Kamakhya, Nilachal Hill, is located on top of a hill like most of the Devi temples. The shrine can be reached by walking up a steep slope. It’s also possible to ascend the Nilachal Hill by a rock-cut staircase at its foot. Elderly persons can take a palanquin to the sacred Kamakhya Temple with the assistance of porters. On top of that, they don’t charge you anything for it.
We sincerely hope that the intriguing details about Devi Kamakhya Temple piqued your interest and compelled you to pay a visit. You may get all the information you need about Kamakhya Devi’s history, bleeding history, location, and how to get there on this blog. There’s a good chance this blog has shed some light on the realities of menstruation and the significance of honouring Devi Kamakhya. So, if the history of the Kamakhya temple piqued your interest, make sure to visit and explore the sacred location to experience divine relief.
Comment below if you feel that we have left out some facts about Kamakhya Temple. Its bloody history is always welcome and appreciated. In return, we will be grateful for your efforts in giving accurate information.
Fun facts about the Kamakhya Temple