THE SACRED SHRINE KAMAKHYA
Assam the earliest period is recognized as a suitable place for Sakti worship centering round the Kamakhya temple. There are many legends and sroties related to the origin of Kamakya temple and the worship of the Goddess Kamakhya. The shrine of the Goddess Kamakhya is situated about three miles from present town of Guwahati and about fifty miles from the range of hills. The Kamakhya temple is situated on the Nilachala Hill. The shrine is a place of culmination of Saktism, Tantricism, Saivism, Tantric Buddism and Vaisnavism. Through the ages Kamakhya has remained the most celebrated centre of the Sakti cult in Assam. Instead of an image or iconic representation of the goddess, prayer is offered to a Yonimandala of stone.
Several literary works like the Kalika Purana, the Yogini Tantra give different accounts of the Aryan origin of Kamakhya. However Banikanta Kakati and Nirmal Prabha Bordoloi mention Kamakhya as a non-Aryan goddess. The temple was constructed by Koch king Biswa Singha during 1515-1540 A.D. The present temple was constructed on the earlier temple by Koch King Naranarayana with the help of his brother Chilarai in 1564. Kamakhya temple is associated with different religious cults like Tantricism, Saktism, Saivism, Buddhism and Vaisnavism etc.
As a Tantric Pitha, it is related with religious practices like animal scarifies, Kumari Puja, Yantra worship and several other Tantrik rites and rituals. Several religious rituals and festivals like Ambubachi, Devadhani, Durga Puja, Vasanti Puja, Kumari Puja, Punsavan ceremony etc. are observed in the temple Ambubachi is the most popular among these festivals.
Besides Kamkhya temple there are many other Sakti temples like Bhubaneswari temples, Chatrakara temple, Ugratara temple, Dirgheswari temple, Kali temple at Ajara, Kali temple at Baliluha, the Dipteswari temple, the Bhairabi temple, the Mahamaya temple, the Burhi Gosani temple, the Tamreswari temple etc.
The Bhubaneswari temple situated at the top of the Nilachala Hills. The worship of Bhubaneswari is of Tantric origin. The Chatrakara temple is situated in the Uzanbazar area at Guwahati. Yogini Tantra mention the temple is situated on an umbrella shaped hillock as a sacred place. The Ugratara temple is also situated in the Uzanbazar area. According to the Kalika Purana the naval of sati had fallen in this place when lord Siva, Sati’s husband, journeyed towards the east taking Sati’s dead body on his shoulder.
The temple of goddess Dirgheswari is situated at the Rangmahal area of North Guwahati. The mode of worship of the goddess is of Tantric origin.
The Kali temple at Ajara is located in the district of Nalbari. The image in the temple is known as Daksinakali. The kali temple at Baliluha is situated in the village of Baliluha of Nalbari district. Ahom king Siva Singha constructed the temple and donated land to the temple.
By the river side of Puthimari near Rangia in the Kamrup district there is a temple of goddess Dipteswari. It is interesting to note that water in the temple never runs insufficient and the image is seen on the surface of the water.
The Tamreswari temple, popularly known as the Dikkaravasini temple is situated at eighteen miles away from modern Sadia town in Tinsukia district. According to Hari Nath Sarma Doloi, the river Digaru flowing through Sadia, might have a sanskritized name Dikkara after which the goddess came to be known as Dikkaravasini.
There are various mythological and historical evidences written in literary works like the Kalika Purana, Yogini Tantra, and Assam Buranji of Gunabhiram Barua about the origin of Kamakhya. It is mentionable here that instead of an image or iconic representation of the goddess in the temple, prayer is offered to a Yonimandala made of stone. The Yoipitha and Yonimandala of Kamakhya temple are different froms each other. The Yonipitha is a vast tract of land in which the Yonimandala is...
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