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kamakhya mandir
photo.subha.peperonity.net

KAMAKHYA TEMPLE AND TANTRIKISM:

THE TEMPLE ATOP THE HILL

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--|| K A M A K H Y A - T E M P L E
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The Kamakhya Temple, which is situated high aloft a hill called Neelachal Parbat or Kamagiri in the city of Guwahati is one of its several religious landmarks, which speaks volumes about the rich historical treasure over which the state of Assam is seated. This sacred temple in the heart of the capital city of Assam holds more than it meets the eye of the onlooker. The Kamakhya Temple had been built in reverence to Goddess Kamakhya or Sati, who was one of the numerous incarnations of Goddess Durga or Goddess Shakti.


The Kalika Purana, an ancient work in Sanskrit describes Kamakhya as the yielder of all desires, the young bride of Shiva, and the giver of salvation.Shakti is known as Kamakhya. The Kamakhya Temple is one of the most important pilgrimage of Hindu and one of the holiest SHAKTI temple, is situated on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati city in Assam, India. Nilachal Hills housed a complex of temples dedicated to different forms of Shakti, or Mother Goddess as the "Dasa Mahavidya" (ten different forms of Shakti) that includes temples of Bhuvaneshvari, Bagalamukhi, Chinnamasta, Tripura Sundari among other temples.
In 1995 I went to Kamakhya again, this time I was accompanied by the great Kuldip Singh, Utpal Brahma, and PPD. Together we explored the area, walked up to Bhubaneshwar(a temple on the same hill but at a higher altitude), took snaps of Brahmaputra Valley from the peak of the kamakhya hill. Its beauty, its exquisiteness appeals me so much.... I want to go there again, now with my camera, Last time I visited the place I was rookie then, but now after so much water have flown through the Brahmaputra, and I also grew up, I am planning to visit Umananda, Nabagrah in a different way!
kamakhya mandir

THE KAMAKHYA TEMPLE, GUWAHATI, ASSAM: "The temple symbolizes the 'fusion of faiths & practices' of Aryan as well as non-aryan elements". The different names associated with the goddess are names of local Aryan and non-Aryan goddesses. The Yogini Tantra mentions that the religion of the Yogini Pitha is of Kirata origin (non-Aryan influence). There existed a tradition among the priests established by Naranarayana that the Garos, a matrilineal people, offered worship at the Kamakhya site by sacrificing pigs. The goddess is worshiped according to both the Vamachara (Left-Hand Path) as well as the Dakshinachara (Right-Hand Path) modes of worship. Offerings to the goddess are usually flowers, but might include animal sacrifices. In general female animals are exempt from sacrifice, a rule that is relaxed during mass sacrifices. (in the fig: people are worshipping the idol)

picture by fantafabulous
kamakhya mandir

According to the Kalika Purana, Kamakhya Temple denotes the spot where Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her amour with Shiva, and it was also the place where her yoni fell after Shiva danced with the corpse of Sati. This is not corroborated in the Devi Bhagavata, which lists 108 places associated with Sati's body, though Kamakhya finds a mention in a supplementary list. The Yogini Tantra, a latter work, ignores the origin of Kamakhya given in Kalika Purana and associates Kamakhya with the goddess Kali and emphasizes the creative symbolism of the yoni. The legend is that at the start of ambabuchi the entrance of the temple automatically closes, and it again reopens at the end of ambabuchi. i think most of the people of North East heard about this during childhood, I remember I was told by my mother. I went to kamakhya for the first time in 1985 with my family members. I was a boy of 8 years at that time. I was amazed to see the giant rocks around the kamakhya temple. The trip was so fantastic that I would never forget its memory.

picture by fantafabulous
kamakhya mandir

Once upon a time Kamakhya Temple was the place of Tantrikism and Black Magic. It was a place where Animal sacrifices were practised. LEGEND says that this temple was built by a powerful king of the ancient kamrupa Narakasur of Naraka Dynasty. The current temple structure was constructed in 1565 by the great Koch General Chilarai of the Koch dynasty in the style of medieval temples. The form of the earlier structure, destroyed by the Kala Pahar, is unknown. The current structure has a beehive-like shikhara with delightful sculptured panels and images of Ganesha and other Hindu gods and goddesses on the outside. The temple consists of three major chambers. The western chamber is large and rectangular and is not used by the general pilgrims for worship. The middle chamber is a square, with a small idol of the Goddess, a later addition. The walls of this chamber contain sculpted images of Naranarayana, related inscriptions and other gods. The middle chamber leads to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in the form of a cave, which consists of no image but a natural underground spring that flows through a yoni-shaped cleft in the bedrock. During the Ambuvaci festival each summer,the menstruation of the Goddess Kamakhya is celebrated. During this time, the water in the main shrine runs red with iron oxide resembling menstrual fluid. It is likely that this is an ancient Khasi sacrificial site, and worshiping here still includes sacrifices. Devotees come every morning with goats to offer to Shakti.

picture by fantafabulous
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