Basistha or Vasistha Temple is located in Beltola , at the outskirts of the Guwahati city atop the Sandhyachal hill. It is located near Garbhanga Reserve Forest which is populated by elephants and is also a proposed butterfly reserve.
The temple was constructed by Ahom king Rajeshwar Singha in 1751-1769. The king also gifted 835 bighas of land to the ashram to built this temple.The temple is situated on the Vasistha ashram, the abode of saint Basistha.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple stands on the bank of mountain streams which originates from the hills of Meghalaya which in turn becomes river Basistha and Bharalu that flows through the city.
History of Basistha Temple
The Kalika Purana has described the Basistha Temple as one of the seven Shaktipeeths. The history of the Ashram dates back to the Vedic age. The ashram was founded by the great saint Vasistha. Legends say that once saint Vasistha went to Kamarupa to worship goddess Kamakhya.
When king Naraka stopped him from doing so, Vasistha cursed him. Vasistha built a hermitage at Sandhyachal and led his life meditating on Shiva. Vasistha muni is credited with writing the Vasistha Ramayana. Vasistha muni had created the ashram and is said to have died here. The grave of Saint Vasistha is seen here.
Some of the important highlights of the Temple are:
- Basistha temple attracts pilgrims for the immense beauty. There is temple in the ashram as well. There are wells within the temple which is Shiva-shakti peeth. The shakti peeth is also known as tara peet. Siva linga of Mangaleshwar is hidden in the wells which is not visible.
- There is a cave 5 km inside the ashram where Basistha muni meditated.
- Sandhya, Lalita and Kanta, the mountain tributaries flow near the ashram. The meeting point of the rivulets is called Amrutha kunda. Vasistha muni used to meditate (trisandhya) in the place.
- Pilgrims visit the ashram for holy dip in the Vasistha kunda. The Vasistha kunda is downstream the Vasistha Ganga, created by the saint.
- About 200 km from the Vasistha kunda is the temple of Arundhati mata, wife of the Vasistha saint.
- One can also find the grave of Basistha muni who breathed his last here.
- The ashram is surrounded by forests all around. The place is flocked by a large number of tourists as it is also a picnic spot.
- There is also waterfall in the area which is the major attraction of the Basistha temple.
How to reach Basistha Temple
Paltanbazar Bus Stop is located nearby the Paltan Bazar Railway Station and one can avail the City Bus No.1 from paltan bazaar to visit the temple.
One can also hire a taxi to reach the temple & also auto services are easily accessible.
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