Kamakhya temple is a famous pilgrimage situated at Guwahati, Assam India. The temple is located on the Nilachal hill in Guwahati at about 8 kms from the railway station.
The Kamakhya temple is dedicated to the tantric goddesses. Apart from the deity Kamakhya Devi, compound of the temple houses 10 other avatars of Kali namely Dhumavati, Matangi, Bagola, Tara, Kamala, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Bhuvaneshwari and Tripuara Sundari. There is no statue, idol or image of Devi in the temple, but in the corner of the cave in the temple, there is sculptured image of the yoni or Vagina of the goddess, which is the object of worship and reverence.
Goddess sculpture in the Kamakhya temple.
The temple of Kamakhya has a very interesting story of its origin. It is one of the 108 Shakti peeths. The story of the Shakti peeths goes like this; once Sati fought with her husband Shiva to attend her father's great yagna. Despite her husband Lord Shiva’s disapproval, Sati had gone to attend the universal ‘yajna’ organised by her father Daksha. Shiva was not invited, and was also abused by Daksha. Unable to bear the insult, Sati committed suicide. When Shiva came to know that his beloved wife had committed suicide, he went insane with rage. He placed Sati's dead body on his shoulders and did the tandav or dance of destruction.
To calm him down, Vishnu cut the dead body with his chakra. The 108 places where Sati's body parts fell are called Shakti peeths. Kamakhya temple is special because Sati's womb and vagina fell here.
The Name 'Kamakhya':
The God of love, Kamadeva had lost his virility due to a curse. He sought out the Shakti's womb and genitals and was freed from the curse. This is where 'love' gained his potency and thus, the deity 'Kamakhya' devi was installed and worshipped here. Some people also believe that the Kamakhya temple is a place where Shiva and devi Sati had their romantic encounters. As the Sanskrit word for lovemaking is 'kama', the place was named Kamakhya.
The Temple :
Although little is known about the early history of the temple, the first reference to the place has been traced back to the Allahabad inscriptions of Emperor Samudragupta. The present temple was built in 1665 by King Naranarayan of Cooch Behar. The main temple has seven oval spires, each topped by three golden pitchers.
Pilgrims have to queue up at the entrance porch from where they move slowly into the semi – dark sanctum sanctorum. Images of gods and goddesses of Hindu pantheon are carved on the walls. The image of the Goddess alongwith other deities is kept on a throne. Pilgrims follow the narrow alley behind the throne to enter the sanctum sanctorum. Inside, a short flight of stairs will take you to a small subterranean pool. Pilgrims squat by the water’s edge and offer their ‘puja’ (worship). From here they can see the symbolic organ that remains covered with a red cloth.
On an ordinary day, the temple remains open from 8 am till sunset, with a couple of hours break after 1.30 pm.
The Bleeding Goddess:
Kamakhya devi is famous as the bleeding goddess. The mythical womb and vagina of Shakti are supposedly installed in the 'Garvagriha' or sanctum of the temple. In the month of Ashaad (June), the goddess bleeds or menstruates. At this time, the Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya turns red. The temple then remains closed for 3 days and holy water is distributed among the devotees of Kamakhya devi. There is no scientific proof that the blood actually turns the river red. Some people say that the priests pour vermilion into the waters. But symbolically, menstruation is the symbol of a woman's creativity and power to give birth. So, the deity and temple of Kamakhya celebrates this 'shakti' or power within every woman.
This picture is not of the main temple is Assam as probably photography is not allowed within the main temple. This is the Kamakhya Yoni worshipped at the Kamakhya Temple in Devipuram, Andhra Pradesh.
This is a picture of a family of Mother worshippers in the Kamakhya Temple at Devipuram, Andhra Pradesh
Kamakhya Yoni Tantra
The temple remains closed for three days thereafter and on the fourth day its doors are re-opened to pilgrims with much fanfare.
Here Is The Video Of Kamakhya Temple:
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