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The glory of Ambubachi Mela

Ambubachi Mela

The aesthetic city of Guwahati which is the erstwhile capital of the Assam state is fondly tagged as the ‘Light of East’. The region is not only applauded for its vast landscape and enthralling terrain, but also for its rich religious background. A visit to the city of Guwahati is certainly incomplete if one does not visit the renowned Kamakhya Temple.

The Kamakhya temple is situated on the Nilachal Hill and is celebrated as the temple belonging to the Goddess Shakti. This is the oldest center for the worship of Goddess Shakti. Due to this reason, the temple has become a hub for Tantrik Hinduism. The temple is of prime significance as according to the various mythological readings, the female genitalia i.e Yoni of Sati after her death fell at this place when her corpse was carried all over by Lord Shiva (her husband). Lord Shiva was so agitated due to the sudden death of Sati that he turned the hill in shades of blue and hence hill was named as Nilachal hill.

The most significant mela which is celebrated in the premises of the Kamkhya Temple is ‘Ambubachi Mela’, also called ‘Ambubasi festival’ which goes on for four days. This is a yearly mela which is celebrated during the season of monsoon, mostly during the mid of the month of June. When this Mela is in full swing the pious river Brahmaputra is also in its full spate.

The festival has the Tantric cult in its essence. It is known that the Goddess Kamkhya or Goddess Shakti goes through the menstrual phase during the days when the mela is celebrated and hence the temple is closed for the pilgrims for a period of three days. Those three days are said to be the menstruation period of the Goddess Kamkhya. After the span of three days passes away the Goddess is made to bath and various rituals are performed for hours to make sure that the Goddess retrieves her piousness. The festival is named as the festival of Tantric fertility or Ameti.
The temple is opened for the people on the fourth day. On this day the Pandas as well as Sanyasins from the various parts of the country assemble in and around the temple. There is a chaos like situation at the temple on the fourth day due to the flood of people who visit the temple. The reason for such a mad rush is the Prasad which is distributed when the temple is reopened. The prasad is in two forms, which include Angabastra and Angodak. However, this is not like the usual prasads which are received from the other temple. Here tiny pieces of cloths moistened with the fluid which Goddess Kamkhya has released during the three day menstruation period are served in the form of Prasad. This prasad is regarded as utterly powerful and auspicious.

This is the high time when some of the renowned Tantric Babas make their exclusive appearances who remains in solitude round the year. In this festival, one can also witness the various Babas showcasing the charm of the psychic powers they have gained during the lifetime.

The festival certainly has a charm of its own.


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