Saturday, April 25, 2009
Kamakhya Temple, assam
Name : Kamakhya Temple
Location : Kamakhya is located on a hill - Neelachala Parvat or Kamagiri near the city of Guwahati in Assam.
Legend 1: Once when Parvati's father King Daksha organised a yagna, he did not invite his daughter and son-in-law to participate in it. Parvati, who was angry at this treatment of her father, went to her father's place to ask the reason for it. Daksha insulted Parvati again by calling Shiva poor and wild. Being the ideal consort of Shiva, Parvati could not bear the fact that her husband was being insulted in front of the guests. She immediately jumped into the yagna fire out of shame and anger and killed herself. Knowing this, Lord Shiva, became very angry and came to Daksha's palace. On seeing the dead body of his wife, he was so enraged that, he lifted the body on his shoulder and started dancing the tandav (the dance of destruction). The dance continued for several days and the earth was on the brink of being destroyed.
Then, on the appeal of all the other gods and goddesses, Lord Vishnu with the help of his chakra, started cutting Goddess Parvati's body. It is said that the parts of Parvati's body fell at different parts of the country, which are all considered centers of power or Shakti peeth. The reproductive organ of Goddess Parvati is said to have fallen atop the Neelachal hill in Guwahati and that is where the Kamakhya temple stands now.
Legend 2 : Another legend says that the demon Narakasura fell in love with Goddess Kamakhya once and he wanted to marry her. But as a goddess cannot marry a demon or asura, Goddess Kamakhya played a trick to save herself. She laid a condition that she would marry him only if he builds a temple for her within one night. Narakasura agreed to it and almost finished building the temple overnight. This scared Goddess Kamakhya and before the final steps of the temple were completed, a cock was sent to cry cock-a-doodle-do to announce the arrival of the morning, before it was actually dawn. This made Narakasura very angry and he killed the cock on that spot. But according to the condition Narakasura couldn't marry Goddess Kamakhya after that. It is said that the present Kamakhya temple is the same that Narakasura had made for the Goddess.
Legend 3 : The supreme creative power of Bhrahma was challenged by Shakti, the mother Goddess, and that Bhrahma could thereafter create, only with the blessings of the Yoni, as the sole creative principle. After much penance, Bhrahma brought down a luminous body of light from heaven and placed it within the Yoni circle, which was created by the Goddess and placed at Kamarupa Kamakhya in Guwahati.
The Temple Structure : The Kamakhya Temple has a beehive like shikhara. Some of the sculptured panels seen here are of interest. There are images of Ganesha, Chamundeswari, dancing features etc. The temple is a natural cave with a spring. Down a flight of steps to the bowel of earth, is located a dark, mysterious chamber. Here, draped with a silk sari and covered with flowers, is kept the "matra yoni".
There is no image of Shakti here. Within a corner of a cave in the temple, there is a sculptured image of the Yoni of the Goddess, which is the object of reverence. A natural spring keeps the stone moist.
Temple description : This temple honour the Mother Goddess Kamakhya, the essence of female energy. It is one of the 108 Shakti Peethas of Goddess Durga. The temple is a natural cave with a spring. Down a flight of steps to the bowel of earth, is located a dark, mysterious chamber. Here, draped with a silk sari and covered with flowers, is kept the "matra yoni".
The Temple was rebuilt in 1665 after being destroyed by Muslim invaders, but its origins are much older than that. It was probably an ancient Khasi sacrificial site, sacrifices are still very much part of worshiping here. Group of devotees arrive each morning with goats to offer to Shakti.
1.Durga Puja is celebrated annually during Navaratri in the month of September-October. It is a three day festival attracting several visitors.
2.A unique festival observed here is the Ambubasi / Ambubachi (Ameti) fertility festival wherein it is believed that the Goddess (mother Earth) undergoes her menstrual period.