Kamakhya Temple is a temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya, also known as Kamrup Kamakhya Temple. Situated at the top of the Nilachal Hills, it is considered one of the 51 Shakti Pithas in India. There are also some of the Shakti Peethas that are located outside India which are important according to the ancient Hindu Texts.
In Assam, Kamakhya Temple is situated at the top of the Nilachal Hills in the western part of Guwahati City. The Kamakhya Temple is the temple complex's main temple. The temple complex also has many individual temples.
There are ten forms of Goddess Shakti, i.e. Bhuvaneshwari, Dhumavati, Kali, Tara, Kamalatmika, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, and Sodashi and all the Goddess have their own dedicated time in the main temple complex. These temples are located in different areas of the temple complex on the Nilachal Hills. The main temple complex consists of temples of Tripurasundari, Kamala, and Matangi only.
GODDESS KAMAKHYA IS OF KIRATA ORIGIN
Goddess Kamakhya is of Kirata origin. Goddess Kamakhya is of Kirata origin, and traditional accounts from Kalika Puran and Yogini Tantra record the fact. The age-long tradition of sacrifices continues today as devotees come every morning to offer animals and birds to the Goddess.
ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE TEMPLE
According to some religious texts, Kamadeva, who with the guidance of a heavenly architect Lord Vishwakarma built the first Kamakhya temple with stones. A natural disaster dismantled the upper portion of the temple. It is said that the present-day temple doesn't match the design of the original temple. The original temple was covered by statues and carvings of 60 Yoginis and 18 Bhairavis. The temple still has some of those statues today.
The present temple structure is a mixture of creativity and imaginations of different rulers and kings from different periods. You can find that the temple has different architectural designs that come from different dynasties that ruled the city of Kamarupa ( present-day Guwahati).
King Naraka was the ruler of Pragjytotishpura ( also known as Kamarupa ) (also known as present-day Guwahati). The history of the temple also relates to the legend of him in creating the temple. Kalika Purana and Yoginitantra talk about the legend of King Naraka.
According to Kalika Purana, King Naraka wished to get wedded to Goddess Kamakhya. Goddess Kamakhya accepted Naraka's wish to marry him but under a specific condition. The condition was that King Naraka has to construct a temple for her on the top of Nilachal Mountain and a stairway leading up to it within a single night. King Naraka almost completed the task when Goddess took the form of a cock to crow, indicating daybreak. This made Naraka angry, and he killed the cock in a place which is now known as Kukurakata situated in Darrang District.
BLACK MAGIC AND TANTRIC PRACTICES
The Kamakhya Temple is well known for the rituals and the black magic practised here for years. To eliminate and restrict black magic, the priests or the tantric of the temple conducts some special puja. These pujas are also performed by the aghoris who reside inside the temple. People suffering from such black magic and tantric issues often find some sigh of relief from the rituals performed in this puja.
There are also some Pujas conducted by tantric present in the temple premise. Along with black magic, this puja also eliminates negative spirits and ghosts. Kamakhya Temple is the place where people suffering from this kind of problem usually visit to find a permanent solution to their problem. The temple is visited by the local as well as people from all over India.
LORD SHIVA MEETING SATI
It is mentioned in Kalika Purana that Lord Shiva secretly met his wife Goddess Sati at this temple. It is said that when Lord Shiva was dancing with Goddess Sati's body in rage, Lord Vishnu dismembered Goddess Sati's body with his Sudarshan Chakra. The temple is built at the exact spot where Goddess Sati's yoni (womb) fell after Lord Vishnu destroyed her body.
Sati was Lord Shiva's wife and King Daksha's daughter. Daksha felt that his daughter's choice of marrying Lord Shiva was a wrong choice, and he was unhappy with that. For all the deities, King Daksha once performed a yajna. He willingly did not invite Lord Shiva to the yajna. Goddess Sati threw herself onto the fire when she felt this as an insult to her husband, Lord Shiva. This made the sacrifice impure. As soon as Goddess Sati threw herself onto the fire, she left her human body and was immediately reborn as Goddess Parvati.
When Lord Shiva came to know about the news of Sati's death, he was in grief and full of rage. He put Sati's body on his shoulders and began doing his dance of destruction called Tandav. Other gods approached Lord Vishnu when they were afraid of Lord Shiva's wrath and for his help to calm Lord Shiva down. Lord Vishnu then sent his Sudarshan Chakra to destroy the corpse of Goddess Sati with an intention to calm down Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva stopped his Tandav when Sudarshan Chakra destroyed Sati's body into pieces, and he realized he isn't carrying Goddess Sati's body anymore.
THE BLEEDING GODDESS
Goddess Kamakhya is also popularly known as the bleeding Goddess. As mentioned above, the Goddess Sati's womb is present in the Garvagriha or the sanctum of the temple. Goddess Kamakhya bleeds or mensurates in June. The Brahmaputra River near the Nilachal Hills turns red in the same month of June. The main temple remains closed for three days, and when the temple reopens, the devotees can have the holy water distributed by the priests and the temple authorities.
To date, no one has found any scientific proof that the blood of Goddess Kamakhya turns the nearby Brahmaputra river red. No one knows if it is a rumour, but some people believe that to make the water red, the priest present inside the main temple pours vermilion on the water.
Mensuration is also known as a woman's power of giving birth so to celebrate the power of every woman Ambubachi Mela is celebrated every year in this temple during the month of June.
CURSE OF KAMAKHYA
This story of the curse of Goddess Kamakhya is one of the most famous legends related to Kamakhya Temple. This involves Koch King Naranarayana and his brother and general of his army Chilarai.
Koch King Naranarayana was behind the reconstruction of the temple after Mughal general Kalapahar destroyed it. But ironically, the Koch King's descendants who rebuilt the temple could never visit the temple ever again.
King Naranarayan once granted a piece of land to a priest named Kendukalai. Kendukalai was the main priest of the temple who used to perform the daily puja at the temple. It was believed that Goddess herself used to dance inside the temple when the priest performed the puja with his eyes closed. When the King came to know about this, he asked the priest to enable him to get the auspicious glimpse of the Goddess, to which the priest disagreed at the beginning. The King then bribed the priest with jewels. Kendukalai later agreed to the King's wish.
Later, when the Goddess Kamakhya came to know about it, she turned Kendukalai into stone and cursed King Naranarayan and his brother Chilarai. Goddess Kamakhya also warned the King of having dreadful consequences if he or any of his family members visited the temple. Goddess Kamakhya further warned that his whole family would perish even if they have any sight of the Nilachal hills.
- Kamakhya Temple is located at the top of the Nilachal Hills in Guwahati, Assam.
- According to some legends, the first temple was built by Kamdeva which was destroyed in a natural catastrophe.
- Again some legends say that King Naraka again built the temple at the wish of Goddess Kamakhya.
- The temple was destroyed by the Mughal general Kalapahar.
- The main temple was again reconstructed by King Naranarayna and his brother Chilarai of the Koch Dynasty.
- The whole temple complex has ten different individual temples along with the main temple of Goddess Kamakhya.
- Those ten individual temples are dedicated to the ten forms of Goddess Shakti.
- The temple is built at the exact spot where the womb or the yoni of Goddess Sati fell when Lord Vishnu's Sudarshan chakra destroyed the body into pieces.
- Goddess Kamakhya cursed King Naranarayan and his brother Chilarai of the Koch Dynasty.
- The Goddess further warned that the Kings' whole family will perish if any family member ever set foot in the Nilachal Hills.
- Kamakhya Temple remains close for three days when Goddess Kamakhya mensurates. The festival is celebrated as Ambubachi Mela