Ambubachi Mela A Celebration Of The Mother Cult In Assam

In the month of June, Ambubachi Mela is a famous annual festival that takes places in Kamakhya temple of Assam
A devotee at Ambubachi Mela,Guwahati. Photo Credit Priangshu Photography /
A devotee at Ambubachi Mela,Guwahati. Photo Credit Priangshu Photography /

The worship of Kamakhya dates back centuries, and her temple has become a focal point for devotees seeking blessings, spiritual enlightenment, and fulfilment of desires. Among many Kamakhya temples, the Assam temple is the most famous one. Perched on Nilachal Hill in the city of Guwahati, the Kamakhya Temple stands as a revered destination for devotees. This ancient temple is dedicated to the mighty goddess Kamakhya, also known as Kamrup Kamakhya or Kamakhya Devi, who holds a prominent place in Hindu mythology and worship. This is also the temple where Ambubachi Mela is celebrated in the month of June.

What is Ambubachi Mela
"Ambubachi" literally translates to "spoken with water," indicating the association of rains during this month that make the earth fertile and conducive to procreation. As part of the rituals, daily worship is suspended, and certain activities related to agriculture, such as digging, ploughing, sowing, and transplanting crops, are forbidden. Widows, Brahmacharis, and Brahmins abstain from consuming cooked food during these days as well. On the fourth day, the Ambubachi period concludes, and the temple premises witness the washing, cleaning, and purification of household items, utensils, and clothes using sacred waters. Following these cleansing rituals, the worship of Goddess Kamakhya begins, and entry to the shrine is considered highly auspicious thereafter.

The Ambubachi Mela revolves around the concept of austerities and Shakti rites. The festival is a celebration of the mother cult, worshipping the divine feminine energy known as Shakti, with Kamakhya being the embodiment of this powerful force. The highlight of the event is the period of Ambubachi, which lasts from the seventh to the tenth day of the Hindu month of "Asadha." During this time, the doors of the Kamakhya shrine are closed to the public. According to beliefs, this is when Goddess Kamakhya goes through her annual menstrual cycle.

The Kamakhya Temple itself is renowned as a significant centre of Tantrik worship. Within its premises, a society of Tantriks practices its secretive rituals, including the important Rajaewari pooja. These rituals are accessible only to initiates, with no public displays of the cult's practices. Visitors may occasionally catch a glimpse of individuals dressed in peculiar attire, deeply engrossed in their spiritual pursuits.

Getting There
By Air Fly to Guwahati Airport (GAU) and then take a taxi or public transportation for a 45-minute journey to the temple.
By Train Reach Guwahati Junction and hire a taxi or take a local auto-rickshaw for a 20-30 minute ride to the temple.
By Road Access Guwahati through well-connected roadways and then take a taxi or local transportation for the final leg to Kamakhya Temple.

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