Kamakhya Temple is a temple that is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya which is 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.
In Assam, Kamakhya Temple is situated at the top of the Nilachal Hills which is in the western part of Guwahati City. . The Kamakhya Temple is the main temple in the temple complex. The temple complex also has many individual temples.
There are 10 forms of Goddess Shakti i.e. Bhuvaneshwari, Dhumavati, Kali, Tara, Kamalatmika, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Matangi, Bagalamukhi, and Tripura Sundari 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.
Interesting Facts About Kamakhya Temple
Ancient History of the Temple
According to some religious texts, Kamadeva, 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 imagination 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) and the history of the temple also relates to his legend of him in the process of creation of 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 certain 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.
Kamakhya Temple is well known for Black Magic and Tantric Practices
The Kamakhya Temple is well known for the rituals and the black magic practiced here for years. To eliminate and restrict black magic, the priests or the tantric of the temple conduct 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 tantrics 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.
Legend of Demon King Naraka
Demon King Naraka was the son of Bhudevi and his father was Hiranyaksha. He was the ruler of Kamrup-Pragjyotishpur. He founded the Bhauma Dynasty of Pragjyotishpur. During his time he became the Guardian of the Temple.
When he used to visit the temple, he met a beautiful woman in the temple. That woman was Goddess Kamakhya herself. When Naraka came to know that the woman he was in loved with is the Goddess of the temple, Naraka decided to marry the Goddess. King Naraka asked Goddess Kamakhya to marry him but Goddess Kamakhya wasn’t ready for the marriage as a Goddess can never marry a Demon King. Goddess Kamakhya refused but King Naraka was stubborn and made his decision to marry Goddess Kamakhya.
Goddess Kamakhya then came up with an idea to assign Naraka with an impossible task as a condition to which Naraka has to meet in order to get married to Goddess Kamakhya. The Goddess kept a condition that if Naraka could build a staircase from the bottom of the Nilachal Hills to the temple within one night then only she will marry him.
Naraka gathered his army and started building the stairs to reach the temple at the top of Nilachal Hills. His army worked with full potential and almost reached halfway towards the temple. Seeing this Goddess Kamakhya decided to stop their work because in case they managed to construct stairs up to the temple, then she had to marry Naraka.
Goddess Kamakhya created a bird and that crowed which indicated the dawn. This meant that it was morning already and according to the condition King Naraka failed to construct stairs from the bottom of the Nilachal Hills to the top.
King Naraka became furious and left the construction work in between and chased the bird and killed it. The place where King Naraka killed the bird is now known as Kukura Kata located in Darrang District of Assam. The place where he left the incomplete work on the construction of the staircase is known as Mekheluja Path which is now in Guwahati City. King Naraka was later killed by Lord Krishna with his Sudarshan Chakra.
The incomplete stairs are still visible to this date and people who are familiar with this legend often visit the place to see the incomplete stairs.
King Naraka’s legend related the Kamakhya Temple was about the creation of the staircase to reach the temple from the bottom to the top of the hill. The main temple was built by Kamadeva.
Kamakhya Temple was the spot where Lord Shiva used to meet Goddess 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 her body was destroyed by Lord Vishnu.
Sati was Lord Shiva’s wife and King Daksha’s daughter. Daksha felt that his daughter’s choice of marrying Lord Shiva was wrong, 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 the wrath of Lord Shiva and for his help to calm Lord Shiva down. Lord Vishnu then sent his Sudarshan Chakra to destroy the corpse of Goddess Sati 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.
Maa Kamakhya is also known as The Bleeding Goddess
Goddess Kamakhya is also popularly known as the bleeding goddess. As mentioned above, the womb of the Goddess Sati 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 3 days and when the temple reopens, the devotees can have the holy water which is 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 rumor, but some people actually 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 June.
Curse of Goddess Kamakhya
This story of the curse of Goddess Kamakhya is one of the most famous legends related to the 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 descendants of the Koch King 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 will perish even if they have any sight of the Nilachal hills.
The whole story of Kamakhya Temple in Brief:
Kamakhya Temple is located at the top of the Nilachal Hills in Guwahati, Assam.
According to some legends, the very first temple was built by Kamdeva which was destroyed in a natural catastrophe.
Again some legends say that the temple was again built by King Naraka 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 10 different individual temples along with the main temple of Goddess Kamakhya.
Those 10 individual temples are dedicated to the 10 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 member of the family ever set foot in the Nilachal Hills.
Kamakhya Temple remains close for 3 days when Goddess Kamakhya mensurates. The festival is celebrated as Ambubachi Mela.
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