Maa Kamakhya Temple Timings & VIP Darshan Guide

Maa Kamakhya Temple – A Complete Guide

Feb 15th, 2024
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Maa Kamakhya Temple, located in Guwahati, Assam, is one of the most important and revered Hindu shrines in India. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya, a manifestation of the Mother Goddess or Shakti. Kamakhya Devi is considered one of the most powerful and significant goddesses in Hinduism. 
The temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths, where it is believed that the reproductive organ or Yoni of Goddess Sati fell when Lord Shiva was carrying her body, mourning her death.

The History - Who built Kamakhya Temple?
Maa Kamakhya temple was built in the eighth century and was rebuilt several times by different kings of the Ahom and Koch dynasties until the 17th century. The first epigraphic notice of Kamakhya is found in the 9th-century Tezpur plates of Vanamalavarmadeva of the Mlechchha dynasty. There is enough archaeological evidence of a massive 8th-9th century temple. There is a tradition that the temple was destroyed by Kalapahar, a general of Sulaiman Karrani (1566–1572), though the latest historical findings favor instead an earlier destruction during Hussein Shah’s invasion of the Kamata kingdom(1498) then under Nilambar. The ruins of the temple was said to have been discovered by Vishwasingha, the founder of the Koch dynasty, who revived worship at the site; but it was during the reign of his son, Naranarayan, that the temple reconstruction was completed in 1565. The reconstruction used material from the original temples that was lying scattered about. Banerji (1925) records that this structure was further built over by the rulers of the Ahom kingdom. Many other structures are yet later additions.

Significance of Kamakhya Temple:
It’s significance lies in several aspects, making it a focal point for religious, cultural, and historical importance. Devotees at the temple worship the Yoni (vulva) of Goddess Sati rather than an idol. According to mythology, Goddess Sati once went to her father's house to participate in an auspicious ceremony, but her father Daksha insulted and spoke ill of Lord Shiva. The Goddess, unable to bear the insult, immolated herself. Lord Shiva was so enraged by this that he took the mortal remains of the goddess and began performing Tandav; during this time, wherever the parts of the Goddess's body fell became known as Shakti Peethas. Maa Kamakhya Temple is one such Shaktipeeth where the genitals of the goddess fell.
Maa Kamakhya Temple is a significant pilgrimage destination and pilgrims visit the temple seeking blessings, spiritual fulfillment, and to participate in rituals that are believed to bring prosperity and well-being. Kanya Poojan and Bhandara are performed here to grant the wishes. In addition, animals are sacrificed here. After Kali and Tripura Sundari Devi, Kamakhya Mata is the most important Tantrik Devi. Kamakhya Devi is revered as Bhagwan Shiva's new bride, the one who accepts liberation and fulfils all desires. Every devotee who comes to the temple grounds with a wish is granted. An idol of the mata can be found in a temple adjacent to this one. It is known as the Kamadeva Temple. It is also believed that the tantriks in this area are capable of repelling evil forces. Many people come to Kamakhya to fulfil their desires for marriage, children, wealth, and other things.

Visiting Kamakhya Temple:

Travelers planning on visiting the temple should make an early start and try to reach the spot by 5 am to beat the milling crowds. There are various modes of transport available to reach the hillock - including bus, auto rickshaw, shared van, reserved cabs and Uber rides that drop you right at the starting point of the temple stairs. It takes about a 45 minute ride, one way from Guwahati city center to reach the location depending on traffic conditions.
One then has to walk uphill through a narrow winding staircase leading to the temple ground, packed on either side with teeming makeshift stores spilling onto the streets; selling everything from flowers, sweets, incense sticks, butter lamps, souvenirs and toys. The same also doubles up as a place one can keep their shoes and slippers safely while they go about the complex process of being let in for prayers offerings inside. Footwear as well as plastic bottles are prohibited inside the temple complex.  

There are two different lines to enter Kamakhya Temple. One is the general line and the other is the VIP line. The VIP ticket counter opens at 7 am and only four hundred VIP tickets are issued per day but the queue for the tickets start quite early. People start queueing from 5.30 am itself. The movement is slow, so one should be patient and be prepared for a longer wait but the process is well organised and swift. Devotees are taken in batches from both lines to the inner sanctum sanctorum where they can present offerings to the Mother Goddess. It is a common practice to free pigeons and goats at the temple and break a whole coconut at the altar to make a wish.

The temple is also associated with tantric practices, and it is a major center. Tantricism involves the worship of divine feminine energy, and Kamakhya is particularly revered in this tradition. As a result, it attracts devotees, ascetics, and practitioners of Tantra from various parts of India.

The temple has a rich historical background, with records indicating its existence for many centuries. It is an architectural marvel and a symbol of Assamese culture.
The first thing that catches one’s eye is its unique structure that is characterized by the beehive-shaped dome, also known as Garbhagriha. Perched on flat ground at the top of the stairs, the facade of the temple, unlike other temples in India, is neither grand nor ostentatious. The dome is made up of brick work, which is characteristic of temples in Kamrup. The lower portion is made of stone with intricate sculptures of Ganesha and other Hindu gods and goddesses.

Ambubachi Mela:

One of the most important celebrations at Maa Kamakhya Temple is the Ambubachi Mela. Every year during the Ambubachi Mela, the water of the nearby Brahmaputra river turns red for three days. Maa Kamakhya's menstruation causes the water to turn red. The temple remains closed for three days during this period(usually from June 22nd to June 26th). After three days, a large crowd of devotees throngs the temple for darshan. When it reopens, devotees consider the waters of the Brahmaputra River, having turned red; near the temple, to be sacred. In contrast to other Shakti Peethas, a red coloured wet cloth is served as prasad at the Kamakhya Devi temple. A white cloth is said to be spread inside the temple when the mata is menstruating for three days. When the temple doors are opened after three days, the cloth is soaked in red colour from the raj of the mata. This cloth is called Ambubachi cloth. This is given to the devotees as prasad.  Pilgrims from all over the country visit Maa Kamakhya Temple during this festival.

Kamakhya Temple Details:
General Entry Free, VIP Darshan INR 500/-, Defence Personnel INR 50/-
The Kamakhya temple timings for all days of the week are between 05:30 am to 01:00 pm (morning) and then again from 02:30 pm to 05:30 pm (afternoon)

Where is Kamakhya Temple Located?
The Kamakhya temple is located at a distance of 7 km from Guwahati, on the Nilachal Hills. 

How to Reach Kamakhya Temple:
By Air:
The closest airport to Kamakhya temple is Guwahati International Airport. The temple is nearly 20 kilometres from the airport, and the quickest way to get there is via NH17 and Assam Trunk Road. To get to the temple, take a local bus or hire a taxi from the airport.
By Road:
National and state highways in the country's northeast are well maintained and run alongside farms, villages, and lush green landscapes worth photographing. If you enjoy road trips, you can drive to Guwahati or reserve a seat on a tourist bus.
By Train:
Guwahati and Kamakhya railway stations are the two closest railheads to the temple. After disembarking from the train, you can take a local taxi or bus to your destination. The distance is about 7 kms from the station.

Guests can also go for an interesting Kamakhya Guided Walk experience where a local guide/expert takes you for a walk in the Kamakhya Devalaya and Nilachal Hills. The walk is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours and starts at 7 am and 2 pm (two batches).

Visiting the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati during your Northeast India tour is an enriching and spiritually rewarding experience. As a sacred site deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and fertility rituals, Kamakhya Temple captivates visitors with its mystique and devotion. OurGuest's well-planned tour ensures seamless exploration of not only this revered shrine but also the region's captivating natural beauty, diverse culture, and warm hospitality. Embrace the tranquility and profound spiritual energy of Kamakhya Temple while embarking on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting Northeastern part of India.

Nearby attractions​​​​​​​-

Umananda Temple (Peacock Island): A short boat ride across the Brahmaputra River takes you to Umananda Temple, also known as Peacock Island. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva sits amidst lush greenery and is known for its population of golden langur monkeys. For a aerial view of the temple island you can also take a quick ride on the gondola that goes across the Brahmaputra River.

Assam State Museum: Delve into Assam's rich history and culture at the Assam State Museum. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, including sculptures, paintings, textiles, and bronzes, showcasing the state's artistic heritage of Assam.

Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden: If you're traveling with family or nature enthusiasts, a visit to the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden is a great choice. The Zoo has a vast area and is very green. You can see the famous one-horned rhinos, elephants, tigers, and a variety of other animals while exploring the serene botanical gardens. Note that plastic is banned in the area , including packaged drinking water bottles.

Written By 

Karma Thutop Chechutharpa: Bridging Cultures Through Travel
Karma, a seasoned traveler with a deep love for Sikkim's rural charm, returned home in 2017. Co-founding OurGuest, he leverages his experiences across India, Nepal, and Bhutan to curate authentic travel journeys. Beyond adventure, Karma champions rural tourism. Through OurGuest's stories, he empowers local homestays and fulfills his childhood dream of becoming a writer, all while sharing the magic of Northeast India.

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