Stunning temples, sacred locations, amazing landscapes, and mystic tales are a huge part of India and its vibrant history. The ancient Indians were ahead of their time in science, art, and their beliefs as well. The existing temples and their architecture convey an instance of India's common beliefs in ancient times. The things which are considered taboo in most parts of India in today's time are simply addressed in some ancient texts and temples. The most suitable and unique example for this is the Kamakhya Temple of Menstruating Goddess in Assam.

The Kamakhya Temple gives a contrary belief from most of the Indian societies in today's time which seizes the menstruation process as a taboo. People discuss a lot about how menstruation is a huge taboo in our nation, but here is something that will change multiple perceptions about the distinct beliefs of ancient and modern India.

The sacred temple of Kamakhya is situated in the heart of Assam, the beautiful hill of Neelachal Parbat or Kamagiri in the city of Guwahati, Assam. What makes Kamakhya Temple different than all other temples is that it has no sculpture to worship, merely a yoni or vagina. And surprisingly, a natural spring in Assam keeps the stone moist all the time. This temple celebrates the power of the feminine aspect of nature, which began the inception of the entire universe. The kamakhya temple had been built in respect to Goddess Kamakhya or Sati, the avatar of Shakti, which is considered as the energy which belongs to the sphere of the female aspect of Creation or Prakriti.

Kamakhya Temple Guwahati

According to the local legends, Sati took her life after her husband Lord Shiva was bitterly insulted by her father. On hearing the news of his wife's death, Shiva, the destroyer of all, punished Sati's father. Broken with grief and blind fury, Shiva picked up the remains of his beloved wife Sati with a ton of misery and outrage, which was similarly weakening the universe. To end the struggle of Shiva, Lord Vishnu slashed the remains of Sati's body into 51 parts, and Sati's female genitalia or yoni fell on the spot where the Kamakhya Temple stands today, forming one of the many ‘Shakti-Peethas’ adorning the rest of Sati's body parts. Much later in 1665, King Nara Narayan of Cooch Bihar, rebuilt the temple after it had suffered destruction by foreign invaders, and it overcame from the devastation of time.

The architecture of the Kamakhya Temple has seven oval spires, and some of the panels of the temple carry the depictions of multiple Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Different birds and animals have made the temple their home. The remarkable and peaceful ambiance of the temple combine to calm the spirits of its visitors and take their minds to enter the inner salvation from Shakti, and this is one of the very reasons that people come here for.

The menstruating goddess of Kamakhya temple also celebrates an annual fertility festival named ‘Ambubachi Mahayog’ in which the goddess is said to be going through her yearly menstrual cycle. The Kamakhya temple remains closed for three days and opens up with incredible celebrations on day 4. This large-scale celebration was cancelled this year due to COVID 19 restrictions. It is also believed that the river Brahmaputra turns red during this period. But whether it is blood or vermillion or kumkum put by Pandits in ceremonies, is still unanswered. This is what implies the temple about the bleeding and the temple remains shut.

When maximum people consider the menstruation cycle as a taboo in our country, the temple of the Menstruation Goddess is setting an example since ancient times. But the biggest irony is that women in menstruation are not allowed to enter the temple, which prays and adorns a bleeding goddess. Ironically, people visit this temple and some even claim that it is one the most brilliant sacred places in India, but discussions still turn into silence when the bleeding women strive to enter the temple and openly talk about menstruation.

The Kamakhya Temple which stands against today's beliefs and stereotypes is moreover surrounded by scenic beauty, and it is situated a few kilometers away from the Guwahati Railway Station and is now open for visitors after an extended lockdown. It has opened its gate from the first Sunday after the announcement of Unlock 5 on 1st October 2020, for its pilgrims except for the central sanctum part. With all its incredible beliefs, enigmatic aura, and picture-perfect surroundings, the Kamakhya Temple is one of the most stunning places, not only in Assam but also in entire India.



( / / / / / Wikipedia)