TEMPLES of GUWAHATI

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1. Kamakhya Mandir. It is considered to be one of the sacred pithas in Hindu & Buddhist literature. While the female deity is worshipped in various iconic representations & names here it is the yoni or the female genital i.e. worshipped being a symbol of the creative principle. Ambubachi Mela is said to be the world’s largest spiritual gathering for the worship of the Mother Goddess, was held from 22-26th June 2017.

2. Since Kamakhya Mandir covered separately this album focuses on other temples in Guwahati. Let us start with Basistha Temple. Built in the 18th century this is supposed to be the home of sage Vasishtha.

3. The temple stands on the banks of mountain streams that flow in from Meghalaya (see centre of pic). Huge tree on right has significance. Temple on right ordinary structure. The cave in which Rishi Vasishtha is said to have meditated is 5 kms from here.

4. River Basistha, basically water flowing down from the stream. This temple is about 35 years old. Temple is at one end of Guwahati yet quite easy to reach. Took a bus and then auto. Better to go early morning less traffic.

5. Shops selling flowers, garland, agarbattis. Caught this Assamese lady with sun’s rays falling on her face. Next see Navagraha temple.

6. This temple is at another end of Guwahati and on top of Chitrasal hill. It is devoted to nine planets of the solar system. Each of the nine Shivalingas, representing the 9 celestial bodies is covered with a coloured garment symbolic of each celestial body with the one in the centre symbolising the Sun.

7. Side view of temple. Reached about 12 ish. That time the entire temple was dark with only diyas for light. The pujas were going on that time. Wish someone could explain to me how it worked. Took an auto from close to the Guwahati High Court to temple. It is some ascent.

8. Temple front view. Monkeys and monkeys all around. In early years this place was a great centre of the study of astronomy & astrology. Temple was built by Ahom king Rajeshwar Ringha in the late 18th century. Read Worshipping the Navagrahas https://www.esamskriti.com/e/Culture/Indian-Culture/Worshipping-the-NAVAGRAHAS--1.aspx

9. Enroute to Navagraha Mandir & at base of hill is cemetery of World War 2 heroes. It is the only of 7 war cemeteries that is of Japanese soldiers.

10. View of cemetery. There are buildings all around and even whilst going up to Chitrachal hill. One gets a great view of the Brahmaputra from top of hill. It is safe too living on a hill just in case river floods.

11. This is the Ugratara Temple near Uzan bazaar. A prominent centre of Shakti cults stands on the northern bank of Jurpukhuri. Maa Ugratara mandir is where Sati’s navel fell after Vishnu dismembered her body. Note there is no idol or image but a small pit filled with water is considered as the goddess.

12. Back side of Ugratara mandir is this huge water body. Homes on 2 sides, temple on one side and road on the fourth. Hindus places of worship are invariably on a river bank or and have a huge temple pond like this one – seen commonly in South India.

13. Minutes before the temple and close to Uzan bazaar saw this typically Assamese home. Sloping roof, simple and clean. Loved it. During my Assam travels found high levels of cleanliness.

14. In the Brahmputra stands the brave Assamese General, Lachit Borphukan who in 1671 defeated the Mughals in the Battle of Saraighat.

15. Umananda Mandir is on Peacock island in the Brahmaputra. It was made by an Ahom king between 1681 and 1696, who was a devout Saivite. Missed visiting Bhimashankar-the 6th Jyotirlinga. It is located in Dakini Pahar hills. Best time to visit 2 to 3 pm. Sukreshwar Devalaya made by Ahom King Pramatta Singha in 1744. Huge linga is one of the most sacred spirituals spot of the state.

16. View of Pea-cock island. U see Kachari ghat below. It is a fun boat ride as well. Evening get a great sunset view from this point. On outskirts of city at Betkuchi is Balaji Mandir. Missed visiting Doul Govinda temple. It is on foothills of Chandrabharathi hill, temple devoted to Sri Krishna.

17. Close up of island. There is a flight of steps not too many. Lots of shops close to temple. Again very clean.

18. Entrance to temple. U see front portion of temple. U walk into an open hall and then walk down about 12 steps for darshan. There is no idol but simply a hole in the altar where the Lingam would normally be placed. Please correct me if wrong. Ditto in Sivadol Sivasagar. Album Temples of Sivasagar https://www.esamskriti.com/a/Assam/Temples-of-SIVASAGAR-Assam.aspx

19. These pics not covered in the Kamakhya album. Artist view of Nilachal hill. In all temples that I visited in Assam rarely saw an idol, they have a different way of worshipping.

20. This water tank is part of Kamakhya temple, reminded me of the ones in Tamil Nadu though they are much bigger. Too much construction activity observed when I visited in November 2018 as compared to what I saw in 2013 visit.

21. Devotees tying thread round the tree i.e. part of the Kamakhya temple complex. Temple is very clean.

22. There is a small museum in temple complex where artefacts found in temple are kept. Nilachal hill has many other temples ie Kali, Tara, Bhubaneswari, Bagala, Bhairavi, Doomavati, Matangi & Kamala amongst others.

23. These sculptures were part of the temple.

24. Mythical animal also seen in the temples of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Captions info also taken from Assam Tourism booklet titled Ambubachi Mela – Festival of Fertility. To see album Kamakhya Temple https://www.esamskriti.com/a/Assam/Kamakhya-Temple.aspx