Kamakhya Temple

Posted on by KNBT

Kamakhya Temple situated on a hill called Neelachal Parbat or Kamgiri in the city of Guwahati in Assam. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kamakhya or Sati(wife of Lord Shiva) and is among one of the oldest 51 Shakti Pithas. It was rebuilt by King Nara Narayana of Cooch Behar in 1665 after it got destructed in various invasions by the foreigners. Temple Complex consists of seven oval spires with each topped by three golden pitchers and various individual temples dedicated to 10 Mahavidyas of Saktism including Kali, Tara, Sodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamalatmika.

The entrance of the temple spirals down to a curvy path of some distance, which especially links the main road to the temple. Some of the sculptured panels of the temple carry depictions of Gods and Goddesses of Hindu mythology carved in a delightful pattern. It is very common to find monkeys, tortoises and pigeons on the entire temple complex who have made it their home, temple priests and devotees feed them regularly.

The temple is situated a few kilometres from the Guwahati Railway station and is open for visitors throughout the year. It is a perfect place to find peace and devote some time praying to Goddess Kamakhya. It is an important pilgrimage for the Hindus of not only Assam but throughout India and especially for the Tantric Worshippers.

Legends

The legends attached to the history of this temple goes back to the mythological age. According to Kalika Purana, Kamakhya Temple denotes the spot where Sati used to make secret love with Lord Shiva. It is also believed that it is the place where Sati the wife of Lord Shiva (Hindu mythology God) took her life at a ‘Yagna’ ceremony that had been organised by her father Daksha because she could not bear the insults of her husband, Lord Shiva by her father.

On hearing the news of his wife’s death, Lord Shiva, the destroyer of all that was evil flew into a rage and punished Daksha by replacing his head with that of a goat. Lord Shiva felt miserable and went furious holding up the corpse of his beloved wife Sati and performed the ‘Tandava’ the dance of destruction. Lord Shiva became so furious that it took several Gods to pacify him and calm down his anger. While doing so, Sati’s corpse accidentally got cut into 51 parts by the ‘chakra’ in the hands of Lord Vishnu. Her body parts felt in different places and marked various Shakti Pithas being formed there. Her female genitalia or ‘Yoni’ fell on the spot where the Kamakhya temple stands today, forming one of the many Shakti Pithas.

Another legend, Yogini Tantra ignores the origin of Kamakhya given in Kalika Purana and associates Kamakhya with the Goddess Kali and emphasizes the creative symbolism of the Yoni.

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