Devi Kamakhya Mandir: One of the Oldest Shaktipeeths of Maa Sati
Kamakhya mandir is the main temple in a complex of individual temples dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas: Kali, Tara, Sodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala. Among these, Tripurasundari, Matangi and Kamala reside inside the main temple whereas the other seven reside in individual temples. It is an important pilgrimage destination for general Hindu and especially for Tantric worshipers.
The Kamakhya Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the mother Devi Kamakhya, one of the oldest shakti peeths.
While there are many unheard secrets about this temple, today we are going to tell you popular facts of this temple you should have known.
Kamakhya Temple, Assam is one among the 52 shakti peeths of India. Kamakhya Temple is situated at the top of Ninanchal Hill (800 feet above sea level) in the Western part of Guwahati city. There is no image of Shakti here. Within a corner of the cave in the temple, there is naturally sculptured image of the yoni of the goddess, which is the object of reverence. A natural spring keeps the stone moist. Other temples on the Ninanchal Hill include those of Tara, Bhairavi, Bhuvaneshwari and Ghantakarna.
This temple was almost destroyed in early 16th century by terrorist mughals and then rebuilt in the 17th century by Hindu king Nara Narayana of Cooch Bihar.
Kamakhya Temple and History
Structure of Kamakhya Temple
The current temple has a beehive-like Shikhara with delightful sculptured panels and images of Shree Ganesh and other Hindu Devi and Devtas on the outside.
The temple consists of three major chambers. The western chamber is large and rectangular and is not used by general pilgrims for worship. The middle chamber is a square with a small idol of the Devi, a later addition. The walls of this chamber contain sculpted images of Nara Narayana, related inscriptions and other Devtas.
The middle chamber leads to the sanctum of the temple in the form of a cave, which consists of no image, but a natural underground spring that flows through a yoni-shaped cleft in the bedrock.
Emergence of Kamakhya Temple
According to history of Bharat, Maa Sati married Bhagwan Shiv against the wish of her father, king Daksha. Once king Daksha was having a yagna, but he didn’t invite Sati and Shiv. Sati was very upset, but she still went to her father’s palace. When she reached there, her father insulted her and Shiv. Sati was unable to bear this disrespect towards Bhagwan Shiv, so she jumped in the yagna fire and killed herself.
When Bhagwan Shiv came to know about this, he got very angry. Enraged Shiv wondered while holding the dead body of Sati in his arms. He started the dance of destruction of the universe.
The Tandav Nritya soon started decimation of the Universe. Bhagwan Vishnu in order to save the universe, cut the body of Sati into pieces with his Sudarshan chakra. Body parts of Sati fell at different places and these places are known as shakti peeths.
In Kamakhya temple, yoni of the Goddess fell.
Stair case of the Kamakhya Temple
There was a demon Naraka who fell in love with Devi Kamakhya and wanted to marry her. Devi put a condition that if he would be able to build a staircase from the bottom of the Ninanchal Hill to the temple within one night, then she would surely marry him.
Naraka took it as a challenge and tried all with his might to do this mammoth task. He was almost about to accomplish the job when the Devi, panic-stricken as she was to see this, played a trick on him. She strangled a rooster and made it crow untimely to give the impression of dawn to Naraka. Duped by the trick, Naraka thought it was a futile job and left it half way through. Later he chased the rooster and killed it in a place which is now known as Kukurakata, situated in the district of Darrang. The incomplete staircase is known as Mekhelauja path.
Apart from the daily puja offered to the Devi, a number of special pujas are also held round the year in Kamakhya Temple. These pujas are Durga Puja, Pohan Biya, Durgadeul, Vasanti puja, Madandeul, Ambuvaci and Manasa puja.
Types of Puja in Kamakhya Temple
Durga Puja: This is celebrated annually during Navratri, in the month of September-October.
Ambuwasi Puja: This is a fertility festival. It is believed that the Devi goes under menstrual period and the temple remains closed for 3 days and then opened with great festivity on fourth day.
Pohan Biya: A symbolic marriage between Dev Kamesvara and Devi Kamesvari during the month of Pausa.
Durgadeul: During the month of Phalguna, Durgadeul is observed in Kamakhya.
Vasanti Puja: This puja is held at Kamakhya temple in the month of Chaitra.
Madandeul: This deul is observed during the month of Chaitra when Kamadeva and Kamesvara is offered special puja.
Manasa Puja: Manasa Puja is observed with Sankranti or Sravana and continues up to the second day of Bhadra.