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About The Kamakhya Temple

Context:

The Bhutan King began his maiden three-day tour to Assam with a visit to the famed Kamakhya Temple atop the Nilachal Hills in Guwahati.

Relevance:

GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Kamakhya Temple
  2. Ambubachi Mela

Kamakhya Temple:

  • Located on Nilachal Hill, adjacent to the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati, Assam.
  • A prominent center for Tantric practices, it is considered one of the oldest among India’s 51 Shakti Peethas.
Temple Architecture:
  • Uniquely designed with a combination of two architectural styles, the traditional Nagara (North Indian) and Saracenic (Mughal) styles, known as the Nilachala Style of Architecture.
  • The only temple in Assam with a fully developed ground plan, comprising five chambers: the garbhagriha (sanctuary), antarala (vestibule), Jagan Mohan (principal chamber), bhogmandir (ritual chamber), and natmandir (opera hall for traditional dance and music).
  • Each chamber features distinct architectural elements, such as a modified Saracenic dome in the main temple, a two-roofed design in the antarala, five domes in the bhogmandir, and a shell-roof with an apsidal end in the natmandir.

Ambubachi Mela:

Ambubachi Mela is an annual Hindu fair held at the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam. Here are some details about Ambubachi Mela and the Kamakhya Temple:

  • Location: It takes place at the Kamakhya Temple, situated on Nilachal Hill in Guwahati, Assam, India.
  • Timing: The fair is celebrated during the monsoon season, specifically in the Assamese month of Ahaar, which falls around the middle of June.
  • Occasion: Ambubachi Mela is the celebration of the yearly menstruation course of goddess Maa Kamakhya. It is believed that during this time, the goddess undergoes her menstrual cycle, and the temple remains closed for three days.
  • Other names: The fair is also known as Ameti or Tantric fertility festival, as it is closely associated with the Tantric Shakti cult prevalent in eastern parts of India.

-Source: The Hindu


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