The ancient mysterious temple of Kamakhya Devi in Assam
An ancient mysterious temple where every year, in the month of June, the Devi menstruates and the devotees collect blood-soaked rags!For 3 days, the temple remains closed, on the fourth day, the menstrual blood of the Devi is offered as prasad to the faithful.
Next month, thousands of devotees will collect in the ancient mysterious temple of Kamakhya Devi in Assam. They will gather here to collect menstrual blood soaked pieces of cloth as prasad.
Where is Kamakhya Devi Temple?
This temple is located in the western part of Gauhati, capital of Assam. To reach Gauhati, you can take a flight or a train from any major cities of India.
This temple is atop a hill, called Neelachal Hill by the local Assamese people.
There is an interesting story behind this ancient mysterious temple.
If you want to book your accommodation in Gauhati, please click this Government of Assam link.
History of Kamakhya Devi Temple
We all know that Devi Sati was the wife of Lord Shiva.
One day, she got to know that her parents were organizing a party in their house. She wasn’t invited though to this party and nor was her husband. Her parents were dead against her marriage to Shiva, who according to them, belonged to an inferior class. Sati had married Shiva against her parents’ wishes.
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Sati went to Shiva and asked for His permission to go and attend that function.
‘No point in going to that event, O Devi,’ Shiva said,’ because we have not been invited. However, if you really want to go to your parents, I won’t stop you.’
Nevertheless, Sati decided to go to her parents’ house. Shiva did not object. He knew what was coming.
When the daughter reached her parents’ house, she found them cold and uninviting. Sati immediately sensed that her parents did not like her presence in their house.
A few days later, there was a party in the house. Every other Devata was invited but not Shiva. She felt insulted, very insulted. Sati was burning from inside but nobody knew.
When the Yagna fire was lit up, the purohits started pouring ghee in it. With the passage of time, the fire became bigger in size and the Yagya Kunda was now like the crater of a volcano.
Meanwhile, Sati was watching all this and she was feeling embarrassed that her parents were avoiding her. The words of Shiva were echoing in her ears.
When the fire reached the ceiling of the room, Sati took a terrible decision.
She jumped in the pyre, determined to immolate herself. Within minutes, her body was charred. Some guests rushed to the pyre and took her out hoping to save Sati.
But she was no more. Anger and insult had taken away her life.
Within minutes, Shiva, the Lord of Death, had come to know about the tragic death of His consort. He was now blazing with anger.
Picking up the body of Sati in His arms, Shiva began the Tandava Dance, the dance of death.
For people who do not know what this dance means, Tandava signifies the beginning of the destruction of the Universe.
The assembled guests were now greatly worried watching Shiva doing Tandava. Vishnu, the Lord of Preservation, was especially worried because all the righteous people might die because of Shiva’s anger. And it was Vishnu’s duty to protect them from harm.
So, Vishnu picked up his chakra ( discus) and flung it at Sati’s dead body. He hoped that Shiva would calm down upon seeing His dead wife’s body disappear. And disappear it did.
The chakra of Vishnu cut up Sati’s body into many pieces, each piece falling on some specific part of the earth.
Her yoni or vagina fell on the Neelachal Hill in Gauhati and over the years, this place became a sacred place for all the devotees of Kamakhya, another name of Sati. That is why you see this temple here.
People say that this ancient mysterious temple has stood here for thousands of years. It was broken in the 17th century by Muslims but within a few months, this temple came back to life after being restored by a Hindu king.
Meaning of Kamakhya
The word, ‘Kamakhya’ means ‘Renowned Goddess of Love’. I think that this temple signifies the importance of love. Sati loved Shiva so much that She burnt herself to death, unable to watch his humiliation. It is this love that is worshipped by millions of Hindus in this ancient mysterious temple.
Here is an interesting article on the meaning of Kamakhya. Please click here.
In Hindu thought, Sati/ Shakti and Shiva complement each other. Both have arisen from the primordial energy or Adi Shakti. But this is not the final thought. Many people have different interpretations.
I also believe that this temple celebrates the concept of menstruation. Many people associate this biological process as impure, particularly the women. My guess is that the Kamakhya temple looks at menstruation as a natural process and no woman should be ashamed of it.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I come to the end of this story about the ancient mysterious temple of Kamakhya Devi. I hope you liked it.
By the way, I also conduct heritage and history walks in Delhi and the surrounding places. If you want me to take you around and share interesting stories about the city, please call me at 9810840763.