/ / / Kamakhya Temple: Everything You Need To Know About It.

Kamakhya Temple: Everything You Need To Know About It.

Kamakhya Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated mainly to Goddess Shakti. It’s among the earliest and strongest from the complete 51 Shakti Pithas present in India.

All these 51 Shakti Pithas are such sacred temples and places of worship that are dedicated to Goddess Shakti or Sati.

Read this complete article to know more about the Kamakhya Temple. There is so much to learn and keep a note of if you are traveling to this holy Hindu Temple.

Here in this post, we will discuss everything related to the Kamakhya Temple of Assam.

This article will surely guide you a lot. So, Keep Reading!!!

Kamakhya Temple
Kamakhya Temple

About Kamakhya Temple

Kamakhya Temple is one of the most popular and powerful temples dedicated to the goddess Kamakhya. It is also known as the Kamrup-Kamakhya temple or Kamakhya Devalaya.

This temple is one of the most important Shakti Peethas among the four major ones present in India.

As a whole, there is a total of 51 Shakti Peethas present in India. Mother Kamakhya Temple is the oldest and the most powerful among all other Shakti Peethas.

The Shakti Peethas are holy and sacred temples of Goddess Shakti which are considered as pilgrimage destinations according to Hindu mythology and traditions.

The Kamakhya Temple is dedicated to the 10 major forms of Goddess Shakti. These are Kali, Tara, Tripurasundari, Kamalatmika, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Matangi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, and Bagalamukhi.

Among these, only Tripurasundari, Matangi, and Kamalatmika reside inside the main temple. Whereas, the other seven forms reside nearby in their individual temples outside the primary main temple.

It is a very sacred place in North East India. You will really feel charming, pure, and fresh after visiting the temple of Maa Kamakhya.

It is strongly believed that the person who visits this temple once will be visiting it a minimum of three times in the very near future. It’s really due to the blessings of Goddess Kamakhya.

This temple is the center of Tantra worship and practices. It attracts tens of thousands of tantra devotees from all over the world in a yearly festival called the Ambubachi Mela.

Another very famous festival includes Manasha Puja.

Durga Puja is also celebrated very-well every year at Kamakhya Temple all throughout Navaratri. This five-day festival attracts thousands of people from all over the country.

This temple is located in a silent place and gives peace to our mind after visiting. It is indeed the best place to leave all your stress and enjoy the great divine of worship.

Kamakhya Temple
Kamakhya Temple

Location

Where is the Kamakhya Temple located?

The Kamakhya Temple is located on the Nilachal Hills at the Kamakhya region of Guwahati, Assam- India. It is located just 8 km away from the Guwahati main town. The nearest railway station is Kamakhya Junction which is only 4.2 km away from the Kamakhya Temple.

The location of the temple is just excellent. If one wishes to reach the temple, then it is sometimes a tiresome uphill walk.

Never the less, think it like a trek on the beautiful hill going to the temple. You can also explore the other smaller temples of the deity and other primary temples nearby.


How To Reach the Kamakhya Temple?

To reach Kamakhya Temple:

#1. Nearest Railway Station: Kamakhya Junction Railway Station is the nearest railway station located at Pandu, Guwahati, Assam. It is only 4.2 km away from the temple.

#2. Nearest Airport: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport, also known as Guwahati Airport is the nearest airport. It is about 15 km away from the temple.

#3. Nearest Bus Stop: Paltan Bazar bus stop is the nearest one. It is about 8.3 km away from the temple.

The very best approach to reach the Kamakhya Temple is either by hiring a taxi or a cab.

The temple can be easily reached from the Guwahati Airport, Railway Station, and Bus Terminals, which is well connected to all significant locations across India.

How to reach the temple?

  1. You will easily get a car, auto-rikshaw, or a taxi standing outside the airport, bus stand, or railway station.
  2. Hire one. It will directly take you near the hillside of the Kamakhya Temple.
  3. The car/cab will go via. Assam Trunk (A.T.) Road to Kamakhya Mandir Road to reach the hillside.
  4. After you reach the temple site, there are just two well-preserved staircases in the base of the mountain which you can use to reach the temple uphill.

structures and inscriptions in the walls outside of the temple
See the various structures and inscriptions in the walls outside of the temple

The architecture of Kamamkhya Temple

Kamakhya Temple was constructed and renovated several times between the 7th to 17th-century era.

Earlier structures of this temple, dating to the 8th century, were ruined. It was again reconstructed in the 1660s as dictated by King Nara Narayana, together with 18th-century additions and architectural styles.

You can see so many ornamentation floral designs and sculptures inscribes on the backside of the temple. On the walls of the temple, there are so many carved sculptures of various gods and goddesses.

The present arrangement and style of the Kamakhya temple follow the Nilachali type architecture. Nilachal type is a type of architecture using a hemispherical dome along with a cruciform shaped foundation.

In very simple words, the Nilachal style architecture represents a cruciform base that is topped with a hemispherical dome. You can easily see this in the temple’s architecture.


The temple contains four chambers aligning from east to west:

  1. Garbhagriha
  2. Calanta
  3. Pancharatna
  4. Natamandir

#1. Garbhagriha

The Garbhgriha or even the primary sanctum rests on a foundation that has a variety of submerged panels adorned with all the sculptures of Ganesha and other Hindu deities.

The lower portions of this Garbhagriha are made from the rock while the zenith is in the form of an octagon and is made from bricks.

The Garbhariha is located below ground level and could be reached by means of a collection of stone-cut steps.

A rock-cut structure in the shape of a yoni (female genital) that’s found here and worshipped as the goddess Kamakhya.

This place is filled with water flowing from the underground springs.

This is the overall structure of the Garbhagriha inside this temple.

#2. Calanta

Towards the west of the Kamakhya temple is located the Calanta, which is a square-shaped chamber.

You can enter here via. the northern side entrance door, that follows the Ahom style architecture.

Here you can witness a small movable idol of the Goddess Kamakhya.

The walls of the chamber comprise of sculpted pictures of Naranarayana, and various other inscriptions along with other gods.

You will find the sculpture of Natraj on the wall of Calanta chamber along with the sculpture of Goddess Mahakali.

It leads to the Garbhagriha located below the ground level through the descending stone-cut steps.

#3. Pancharatna

Pancharatna is a big rectangular structure located to the west of this Calanta.

It is a very large and rectangular shaped structure with a flat roof and five smaller spires like the rising towers of the same style as the main spire.

The middle spire is slightly bigger than the other four.

#4. Natamandir

Natamandir is the last structure of the temple located towards the west of the Pancharatna. It follows the apsidal end and ridged roof of the Ranghar type Ahom style architecture.

You can witness various inscriptions and structures on the walls of the Natamandir chamber.


There are three entrance gates:

#1. North Gate or Gate no. 1

To enter the temple one has to wash their feet in the tank placed in front of the North gate (Gate no. 1). Then one can go to the Lord Ganesh temple and then enter into the temple.

#2. Gate no. 2

For goddess Kamakhya’s ‘Mukh Darshan’ that is to see Goddess from a distance then, one can enter from Gate no 2.

#3. Gate no. 3

If you have VIP passes to enter into the temple then, you can get a direct entry to the temple via. Gate no 3.


History of Kamakhya Temple

The history of the Kamakhya Temple dates back to the ancient Hindu mythology.

Goddess Sati was the wife of Lord Shiva who is also known as Mahadeva. Shiva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism.

Sati’s father the ancient God-king Raja Daksha wasn’t happy with their marriage.

One such circumstance was seen when King Daksha ran a yajna (offering in Hinduism to any ritual done in front of sacred fire) but didn’t call Lord Shiva, Sati’s husband.

After knowing this, Sati got angry with her father and reached there.

She and her husband were insulted by her father thereafter by her father.

She didn’t tolerate the insult done towards her husband Lord Shiva. Insult to her husband was not endured by her and as a result, she jumped into the Yajan’s sacred fire knowing that this would make the sacrifice impure.

After jumping into the fire she died. And, as Sati was a very powerful mother goddess so, instantly she left her body to be reborn as the goddess Parvati.

Lord Shiva reached thereafter knowing her wife was dead. He was stricken with grief and rage at the loss of his wife.

He became very angry and took the dead body of Sati along with him.

He began doing the Rudra Tandava while carrying away the entire body of Sati on his back. He solemnly promised to do the mad Tandava until and unless the body is fully rotten.

According to Hindu mythology, Rudra Tandava depicts the violent dance done in rage and anger by Lord Shiva. This violent dance has the power to destroy the whole universe.

Knowing about the fact, everyone got afraid of it. They soon approached Lord Vishnu the savior to get rid of such a cause.

As a result, Lord Vishnu attacked the body of Sati with Sudarshan Chakra to prevent him from dancing further. Resultantly, Sati’s body was cut into 51 parts and fell from place to place.

Those places where the 51 cut pieces of the body fell are called Shakti Peethas and are dedicated to temples of various forms of the powerful goddesses Shakti.

Sati’s uterus and vagina dropped on the Kamarupa area on the Nilachal mountain where later on the Kamakhya Temple was constructed.

The temple was renovated and reconstructed by King Nara Narayana of the Koch Dynasty in the 17th century in this location. It’s assumed to have been completed in the year 1565 A.D.

Later on, the Koch structure was further built over and renovated by the rulers of the Ahom kingdom.

Shiva Carrying Sati's dead body on his Trident
Shiva carrying Sati’s dead body on his Trident [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What to see in Kamakhya Temple?

  1. Witness Goddess Kamakhya, one of the most powerful forms of Mother Shakti. Take her blessings and pray your wishes. It will surely be fulfilled.
  2. Visit the Garbhgriha the main location of the temple situated at the lower part of the temple just about 20 feet underground. There you can witness a rock-cut structure in the shape of a yoni (female genital). This genital is worshipped as the goddess Kamakhya. That’s the genital of goddess Sati.
  3. Drive into the ancient art and craft. Witness the older sculptures, statues, and various inscriptions of the many Gods and Goddesses that are inscribed on the inside and the outside walls of the Temple.
  4. Visit the 10 major forms of Goddess Shakti here in the Temple. You can witness Goddess Tripurasundari, Matangi, and Kamalatmika inside the main temple. While the other seven forms named Goddess Kali, Tara, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, and Bagalamukhi can be seen nearby in their individual temples outside of the primary main temple.
  5. She menstruates and bleeds during the month of June every year which is seen as the Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya starts turning red. During this time of the year, Ambubachi Mela is celebrated at the Kamakhya Temple.
  6. Other than the most popular Ambubachi Mela you can also experience various annual festivals and pujas like Durga Puja, Pohan Biya, Durgadoul, Vasanti Puja, Madandoul, and Manasa Puja.
  7. You can witness many Aghori Tantriks, Tantrik worshipers, and various other people who come here to do their tantra sadhana to please various Gods and Goddesses. It is believed that, if anyone does tantra sadhana here then they can achieve their diety in a very short time.
  8. While stepping uphill on the Nilachal Hills towards the Kamakhya Devi Temple you can have the aerial view of the massive Guwahati city. This really feels so awesome to have such a sight from the above hillside.
Outside the walls of devi Kamakhya temple

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Kamakhya Temple is at early morning around 6 am or late evenings after 3 pm to get rid of the excessive crowd. Avoid visiting at weekends and during the holidays as the crowd will be very high during these times. You can also plan to visit during the very best months of the year i.e. between October-March.

  • It’s always the best time to visit at 6 am in the early morning. You will be able to do the darshan before 9-10 am.
  • The other best time to visit is after 3 pm. The crowd remains comparatively thinner at this time of the day.
  • Visit before 5.30 pm in the evening if you want to participate in the evening prayers.
  • Visit during the month of September-October, you can see Durga Puja.
  • Ambubachi Mela which is around monsoon(June-July) is another best time to visit the temple. The only problem is that you cannot get the darshan during the first 3 days. There will be an unbelievably excessive crowd during this festival when the temple reopens on the 4th day.
  • During the Manasha Puja festival in August month, the temple remains open at night. Although, the Garbhagriha remains closed at night time.
  • Visit during December-January to witness Pohan Puja.
  • Visit during March-April to witness Vasanti Puja and Madandoul Puja.
  • Skip visiting during the weekends and holidays to avoid the excessive rush and crowd.
  • The temple remains open every day throughout the year. You can also visit the temple any other month of the year. At that time if you follow the above-mentioned points you can easily get the darshan of Kamakhya Devi Mata.

Kamakhya Temple Timings

TimeActivity
5:30 amWashing of the Pithasthan
6:00 amDaily Morning Puja
8:00 amTemple door open for the devotees.
1:00 pmThe temple door is closed.
1:00 pmCooked food is offered to the goddess. And later on, distributed among the devotees.
2:30 pmTemple door again reopens for the devotees.
5:30 pmThe Temple door is closed for the night.
7:30 pmEvening prayers and aarti of the Goddess starts.

QUICK NOTE: The timings shown above are the normal days timing. If you visit here during the sepecial festivals time like the Ambubachi Mela, Durga Puja, etc. the timings will vary based on the occassion.

Kindly Make sure that you recheck the timings during the festival season.


Festivals of the Kamakhya Temple

MonthFestival
JanuaryMakar Sankranti, Ratanti Kali Puja
January/FebruaryGanesh Puja, Saraswati Puja
February/MarchMaha Shiva Ratri, Holi Utsav
March/AprilShiva Doul, Durga Doul, Basanti Puja, Raj-Rajaswari Puja
AprilManasha Devi Puthi Opening Ceremony, Chaitra Sankarnti, Bohag Bihu celebrations
MayGrammya Devata Puja
JuneSatha Brata, Ambubachi Mela
JulyDaksinayan Sankranti, Dakshina Kali Devi Puja
AugustManasha Devi Puja and Debaddhani Festival, Lalita Saptami and Puja of Sri Sri Latitakanta Devi, Joyadurga Devi Puja
August/SeptemberJanmashtami, Pitri Tarpan
SeptemberManasha Devi Puthi Closing Ceremony, Biswakarma Puja
September/OctoberNabamyadi Kalparambha, Durga Puja Festival
OctoberLakshmi Devi Puja
NovemberKartik Puja
November/DecemberDhannya Sedan, Navanna
December/JanuaryPohan Puja (Marriage day of Devi Kamakahya)

Most popular festivals of the Kamakhya Temple:

#1. Ambubachi Mela

The Ambubachi Mela is a very famous festival of the Kamkhya Temple. It is celebrated every year during the monsoon season in the month of June.

This festival is associated with various Tantrik rituals and beliefs. It’s thought that the presiding goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya goes through her yearly cycle of menstruation in this time period which is during this festival time every year.

The doorways of the Kamakhya Temple stay closed for about three days. No daily worships and other spiritual performances are done during these three days.

After the conclusion of the 3 days time period, the doorways of the Kamakhya Temple are reopened.

This ritual is famous amongst the Tantrik culture. The Ambubachi Mela starts in the Kamakhya Temple, after being shut for the previous three days.

Millions of tourists visit the temple during this Ambubachi festival time of the year. The temple remains unbelievably overcrowded during this festival.

Sadhus gathered at the Kamakhya Temple during the Ambubachi Mela
Sadhus gathered at the Kamakhya Temple during the Ambubachi Mela
Vikramjit Kakati [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

#2. Manasa Puja

Manasha Puja is celebrated during the month of August every year in Kamakhya Temple. With the beginning of the Sravana Sankranti (during August month), Manasa Puja is ritually observed for three days here.

This festival is also known as Deodhani or Devadhwani Mela by the locals.

Manasa Puja is done to worship Goddess Manasa who is the goddess of snakes. She is the daughter of Shiva and his wife, Parvati. Sati was reborn as Parvati.

This puja is mainly done for the prevention and cure of snakebites and also for the fertility and prosperity of the people and family.

This puja is mainly performed at Natmandir (the middle part of the temple) of Kamakhya Temple.

Deodhani Nritya is a ritualistic dance form that is performed during the Manasha Puja in the temple. It is performed by the people who are believed to represent the spiritual power of a god or goddess.

Thousands of people visit the temple during this festival to witness Goddess Manasa, Kamkhaya, and to view the holy Deodhani dance form.

Manasa Puja at Kamakhya Temple
Manasa Puja at Kamakhya Temple
Image Source

#3. Durga Puja

Durga Puja is celebrated every year in Kamakhaya Temple during the autumn season in the months of September/October.

It is an important festival of the temple and the entire area is observed in a joyous mood.

Durga Puja is done for delivering prayers and to pay homage to the Hindu goddess, Durga. Durga is also known to be a complete incarnation of Goddess Parvati.

Durga puja coincides with Navaratri and runs till Dussehra celebrations and continuously runs for about 5 days. It is observed by other traditions of Hindu in the temple.

The puja is done in a particular way following various rituals and practices such as Mahasnan with Panchagarva, Bali, and sacrificing of buffaloes, goats, pigeons, fishes, gourds, pumpkins, and sugarcanes.

Durga Puja at Kamakhya Temple
Durga Puja at Kamakhya Temple
Image Source

#4. Kumari Puja

Kumari Puja is a very important puja performed in the Kamakhya Temple. This puja is a very integral part of almost all the other the major pujas performed here in the temple.

This puja is purely Tantrik in origin.

Kumari Puja means worshiping the virgin girls. Celebrating the virginity, young girls are worshipped here as part of the various ancient rituals and customs.

The story dated back according to Hindu mythology. When Kolasur had occupied the heaven and the earth and tried to rule all over it. Then, the helpless deities approached Mahakali to save them.

Responding to their request, she was reborn and later in the kind of a maiden she killed Kolasur.

In this puja, a virgin girl (Kumari) is viewed as a reflection of the Goddess Kamakhya who looks superbly adorned with a fresh red sari, garlands, sindur, jewelry, perfumes, etc.

Kumari puja is thought to give many blessings on worshippers. It’s thought to eliminate all risks.

This Puja can be mainly seen if you visit the temple during the Durga Puja time of the year.

The worship of young virgin girls called the Kumari Puja finishes on the Navami day of Durga Puja. Nine Kumari’s are considered to be the kind of goddess and can be worshipped.

Kumari Puja at Kamakhya Temple
Kumari Puja at Kamakhya Temple
Image Source

Mysteries & Facts About Kamakhya Temple

  1. It is one of the most popular, powerful, and the oldest Shakti Peeth temple in the world.
  2. It is located at about 243 meters above the sea level i.e. in the Nilachal Hills.
  3. When Lord Vishu cut the body of Shakti with Sudarshan Chakra then, the yoni (vagina) fell at a place where the present-day Kamakhya Temple is.
  4. In the Kamakhya Temple, people worship the yoni (vagina) of goddess Shakti as Maa Kamakhya.
  5. It is believed that goddess Kamakhya menstruates during the June month of the year i.e. during the first 3 days of the Ambubachi festival time.
  6. Goddess menstruates and bleeds during the month of June every year which is seen as the Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya starts turning red.
  7. Kamakhya temple is a cluster of temples which includes the temples of Tripurasundari, Matangi, Kamalatmika, Kali, Tara, Tripurasundari, Kamalatmika, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Matangi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, and Bagalamukhi.
  8. The present-day temple was built by King Nara Narayana in the year 1565.
  9. This place is very famous for black magic and Tantrik related rituals for decades.
  10. Some Sadhus and Aghoris who resides inside the temple can remove and cure people of the effect of black magic. They are also believed to remove dark spirits and ghosts from someone’s body and soul.
  11. You can witness the sacrifice of goats, buffalos, ducks, pigeons, fishes, etc. in the form of offerings to goddess Kamakhya.
  12. The temple is also known for the Vashikaran tantra. Vashikaran tantra is a form of magic and rituals practiced by Tantriks who attract one person with the other.
Kamakhya Temple Devi Picture
Kamakhya Temple Devi picture

Points to remember before visiting Kamakhya Temple

  1. It’s a good religious place. The best practice is to avoid public transports like buses due to pick-pockets. Book a taxi if you are going to the temple.
  2. If you can afford then try to take VIP passes. This will cost you from Rs. 250 to about Rs. 1000 based on the day you are visiting. You will get to enter the temple within 25-30 minutes with VIP passes.
  3. VIP passes are very limited. Reach early at 6:00 am and get one for yourself.
  4. If you do not take VIP passes, you can also wait in the normal queue which is really too long. This could even take hours together to get inside the temple.
  5. Wear formal clothing before visiting the temple. Girls should wear dresses covering their shoulders and legs. This dress code is a must as it is a very religious place.
  6. The official opening hours are from 5.30 am until 7:30 pm.
  7. For senior citizens and parents accompanying minors below 3 years of age, direct entry through the VIP gate on request is possible.

#1. When is the temple closed?

At around 5:30 pm in the late evening, the Temple door is closed for the night. You cannot enter the temple after that time.

#2. What is special about the temple?

The Kamakhya Temple is one of the strongest and the most powerful Shakti Peethas in the world. The yoni (vagina) of goddess Shakti is worshipped here.

#3. Why is the temple so famous?

This temple is so famous because the goddess Sati that is worshipped here is also known as the bleeding goddess. It is believed that a part of the temple called ‘Garvagriha’ has a mythical womb and vagina of goddess Shakti.

She is so-called as the bleeding goddess because it is believed that she menstruates and bleeds during the month of June every year which is seen as the Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya starts turning red.

#4. At what time the temple opens?

The temple usually opens for the devotees at around 8:00 am in the morning.

Although, if you have VIP passes you can enter the temple at around early 7:00 am and do the puja, mukh darshan, etc. before the normal queue.

#5. Is mobile allowed inside the temple?

Yes, mobile phones are allowed inside the temple. But, you cannot call and take pictures inside the temple. It’s strictly prohibited to do photography and make phone calls inside.

#6. How many steps are there to reach the temple?

You need to climb 150 steps to get to the top of the Kamakhya Temple complex located at the top of the Nilachal Hills.

#7. What happens inside the temple?

Regular pujas, rituals, festivals, sacrifices, offerings, black magic practices like things happen inside the Kamakhya Temple complex.

#8. Are there any fees to enter the temple?

There are no fees to enter the Kamakhya temple if you want to be in the normal queue.

Although, if you want to take special entry then you must take VIP pass by paying anything between Rs. 250 to Rs. 1000. The VIP entry queue is not so long.

Anyways, if you want to donate anything inside the temple then it’s up to you.

#9. Can girls go to the Kamakhya temple during periods?

No! Menstruating women cannot enter the temple during their periods. This is the irony that the temple that worships the bleeding goddess doesn’t allow women on their periods.

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