Kamakhya Temple

One of the Shakti Peeths of India, the Kamakhya Temple is the most important temple and pilgrimage destinations in Assam. The Kamakhya Temple is situated atop the Nilachal Hills in the western part of Guwahati in Assam. The presiding deity in the temple is Goddess Kamakhya and her other forms as the Tripura Sundari, Kamala and Matangi. Temples of Bhubaneshwari, Chinnamasta, Bagalamukhi, Kali, Dhumavati,  Bhairabi and Tara are situated at the vicinity of the Kamakhya temple. Hindu and Tantric rituals are performed here in the Kamakhya temple.

The mighty Brahmaputra river flows through the northern banks of the temple. In the vicinity of the temple there are many other temples of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and other Mother Goddess incarnations. Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the country and abroad throng the temple to offer their prayers to Goddess Kamakhya.

Kamakhya Devi Temple

Kamakhya Temple Legend

Different legends are associated with the Kamakhya temple. The “Kalika Purana” says that the Kamakhya temple is one of the places where Goddess Sati used to retire in secret to satisfy her amour with Lord Shiva. The temple is also believed to be the place where the “Yoni” of Goddess Sati fell when her corpse was cut by Lord Vishnu. It is said that Sati immolated herself after Daksha insulted Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva thereafter on fury took the corpse of Sati and performed the Tandava dance (dance of destruction). Seeing this Lord Vishnu cut the corpse of Sita with the Sudarshan Chakra. Doing this, the body fell in different parts of the earth. The place where the uterus fell was not known initially and so the Kamadev, the God of Love, set out in search for it in order to get rid of a curse on him. Kamadev found it on the Nilachal hills and then built a temple and prayed the Goddess. Kamadev latter regained his body here and so this place came to be named as ‘Kamrupa’ and the presiding deity ‘Kamakhya’ is the one worshipped by Kamadev.

However, the “Devi Bhagavata” does not support this view. It lists 108 places associated with Sati’s body. And Kamakhya finds its name in the supplementary list.

The “Yogini Tantra” ignored Kalika Purana’s concept of the origin of Kamakhya temple. According to the “Yogini Tantra” the Kamakhya temple is associated with Goddess Kali and it emphasized the creative symbol of the “Yoni”.

According to another legend, demon king Narakasura fell in love with the Goddess and wanted to marry her. However, the Goddess refused to the proposal and forwarded a condition that if the demon built the temple in one night then she would marry him. However the Goddess could not marry a demon and so she played a trick on him in avoid the marriage. As the temple was nearly finished, the Goddess created a cock which crowed indicating dawn when it wasn’t actually dawn. Narakasura eventually couldn’t marry the Goddess as per the condition. This is the same temple built by Narakasura for the Goddess.

Structure of Kamakhya Temple

Kamakhya Devi Temple WallsThe Kamakhya temple dates back to the first millennium during the time of Kamarupa. The Allahabad rock inscriptions of Samudragupta mention the existence of the temple. King Naranarayan of Cooch Behar rebuilt the temple in 1665 after invaders destructed it. There are seven oval spires in the temple each topped by three golden pitchers. The entrance spirals down to a curvy path which ultimately connects to the main temple. Carved images of Gods and Goddesses could be seen on the structures.

Chilarai of Koch Dynasty constructed the present temple structure in 1565. There are three major chambers in the temple. The middle chamber is a square with a small idol of Goddess Kamakhya which was a later addition to the temple. The middle chamber leads to a sanctum sanctorum in the form of a cave. The western large chamber is rectangular and is not used by general public for worship. In the inside walls there are carved inscriptions of Naranarayana and other related inscriptions.

There is no idol here in the temple but only an underground spring which breaks out from a fissure in a large rock symbolizing the “Yoni”. The Ambubachi festival is held every year in the temple celebrating the the menstruation of the Goddess when the water of the spring turns red with iron oxide resembling menstrual fluid. Although like the other Hindu temples the temple is aligned facing east but rituals and worship is done facing north.

The Kamakhya temple has a bee-hive like shikhara. On the walls of the temple there are sculptured images of Chamundeswari, Ganes and other dancing features. For its development the temple was renovated and rebuilt many times. In 1658 Ahom King Jayadhvaj Singha and latter other Ahom kings also renovated the temple. King Rudra Singha and his son Siba Singha are also known to have taken care of the temple during their lifetime.

Worship Method in Kamakhya Temple

In the Kamakhya temple both Hindu and Tantric rituals are practiced as they symbolize the fusion of ‘faith and practices’ of Aryan and non-Aryan elements in Assam. According to the “Yogini Tantra” the religion of the Yogini Pitha is of Kirata origin. Banikanta Kakati, a renowned literature figure of Assam, said that there was earlier a tradition of offering worship to the Kamakhya by sacrificing pigs.

The Kamakhya Goddess is worshipped according to both the Vamachara (left-hand path) and the Dakshinachara (right-hand path) worship modes. The offerings to the Goddess mostly include flowers and sometimes it might also include sacrifices of animals. Generally female animals are exempt from sacrifice.

Festivals and Puja in Kamakhya Temple

Ambubachi MelaDaily puja is offered to Goddess Kamakhya. Apart from that different pujas are offered to Goddess Kamakhya round the year. Among the most important festival celebrated in the Kamakhya temple is the Ambubachi festival which is held every year during Monsoon to celebrate the annual menstruation of Goddess Kamakhya. Also known as Kamkhya Devi Puja the Ambubachi festival is related to the Tantric cult. During this time “melas” or fairs are organized. Also known as Ameti or Tantric fertility festival the Ambubachi Mela is a four-day mela (fair).  It is believed that the Goddess goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this time. During this time, the temple remains closed for three days and reopens on the fourth day. Puja is performed and then “Prasad” is distributed. The Prasad is distributed in two forms: Angodak (the water from the spring) and Angabastra (the piece of the red cloth used to cover the stone yoni during the days of menstruation). Pandas and Sanyasins from all over the country gather here during the time of the Ambubachi Mela.

Durga Puja is another most important puja celebrated in the Kamakhya temple. Goddess Durga is worshipped for sixteen days in “Asvina” month in the temple. The other pujas celebrated are Durgadeul, Pohan Bia,Vasanti Puja, Manasa Puja and Madandeul.

Important Information on Kamakhya Temple

  • Snana or bathing of the Pithasthana at 5:30 AM
  • Nitya puja at 6:00 AM    
  • Temple door open for devotees at 8:00 AM
  • Temple door closed for offerings to the goddess at 1:00 PM
  • Temple door reopens for the devotees at 2:30 PM    
  • Aarati of Goddess after which temple door closes for the night at 5:30 PM


You can contact on the following address and number for any information on the temple:

Official Address of Kamakhya Debutter Board
Kamakhya Temple Complex,
Kamakhya, Guwahati - 781010, Assam.
Phone : 91-0361-2734624, 91-0361-2734654
E-Mail: [email protected]
Office Timing: 8 AM to 5.30 PM)

Where to Stay in Kamakhya Temple

There is no full-fledged hotel facility in the temple premises. Lodging and food facility is offered by the local people to the devotees with minimum charges. There are rooms with proper sanitation facility available for rent to the devotees for limited period of time.

How to Reach Kamakhya temple

The Kamakhya temple is easily accessible as it is situated at the center of the Guwahati city.

By Air: Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is the nearest airport to the Kamakhya temple. The temple is about 20 km from the airport.

By Rail: The Kamakhya temple is about 6 km from the Guwahati railway station. There is also the Kamakhya station where one can drop down. 

By Road: Regular buses, taxis and cabs run from the city to the Kamakhya temple. From the airport as well as from the railway station cars and taxis are available for the temple.

Hotels near Kamakhya Temple

Hotel Dynasty
Location: SS Road, Lakhtokia Guwahati - 781 001, Assam
Phone: 91 361 2516021, 7120055
Fax: 91 361 2514112
E -mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Website: www.dynastyhotel.in

Hotel Nandan
Location: Paltan Bazar, Guwahati- 781 008
Phone: 91 97060 98845, (0361) 2739811, 2540855
Tele Fax: 91-361-2739731
e-mail : [email protected] , [email protected]

Hotel Atithi
Location: 7, A.K. Azad Road (Opp. Nepali Mandir) Paltan Bazar, Guwahati-781008
e-mail:[email protected]
Telefax: 91-361-2732111, 2732666
website: atithihotel.in

Hotel Kiranshree Portico
Location: Paltan Bazar, Guwahati- 8
Phone: 91 - 361 - 2735300-10
Fax: 91 - 361 - 2735311
E-mail: [email protected]

Hotel Rituraj
Location: Kedar Road, Guwahati- 781001
Fax: 91 361 2732205
Phone: 9401453960, 91 361 2732202, 2732201, 2732203
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Website: www.hotelrituraj.com

Vishwaratna Hotel
Location: A. T. Road, Guwahati- 781 001
Phone: 91 - 361 - 2607712 - 15 (Five Lines), 91 9954190005 (m)
Fax : 91 - 361 - 2607716
Email : [email protected]
[email protected]
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