Kamkhya Temple

Kamakhya Temple

Kamakhya Temple, dedicated to goddess Kamakhya incarnation of Sati, is central to Assamese identity. It is the most venerated of the fifty-one shakti pithas (sacred lands) in India for Tantric worshippers. It was under the banner of Goods Kamakhya, the most dominating deity in Assam, that the first empire in early Assam was built. The Kalika Purana and Yogini Tantra point to the remote antiquity of the worship of the goddess Kamakhya and this great shrine of tantric Shaktism finds mention in the inscription of the Allahabad Pillar of Samudragupta. Consecrated to Shakti, the temple has an area for animal sacrifice where people queue down the temple steps with pigeons, goats and buffaloes. The ritual of animal sacrifice has been practice to sacrifice a goat here every day. The sacrifices are seen as offerings made to the Mother Goddess and is considered to be an important aspect of her worship. Though it is difficult to explain why goats and buffaloes are generally preferred for the worship, it is probable that since these animals are nor considered as sacred as the cow they are preferred for the sacrificial ritual. Although the Kalika Purana and the Yogini Tantra both suggest the prevalence of human sacrifice to the Goddess, no such sacrifice is recorded, except the sacrifice performed by the Ahom King, Pratap Singha, when following his capture, the thunder of Hajo was sacrificed to the Goddess Kamakhya at his bidding.

Durga Puja, locally known as Pakhuva Puja, is celebrated at Kamakhya for a period of fifteen days, beginning from Krishna Navami continuing still Shukla Navami. The performance of puja here is performed in the main pitha of the temple, Kamakhya is the main temple in a complex of individual temples decicated to the ten Mahavidyas: Tara, Shodashi Bhuvaneswari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Matangi and Kamala. Among these Tripursundari, Matangi and Kamala reside in the main temple whereas the other seven reside outside. The road leading to Bhubaneswari Temple offers a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.

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