India is a land of diverse cultures and religious practices, with numerous festivals and melas celebrated throughout the year. One such significant event is the Ambubachi Mela, held at the Kamakhya Temple in Assam. This ancient and revered festival attracts devotees from all over the country, who gather to seek blessings and partake in the rituals associated with the goddess Kamakhya.

This year, the mela will take place between June 22 and June 26.

History of the Mela

The Ambubachi Mela has a long and fascinating history that dates back centuries. Hindu legends state that the Kamakhya Temple is the sacred abode of Goddess Kamakhya, one among the ten forms of Goddess Durga. The temple holds immense religious importance, especially for the Shakti sect of Hinduism. The origins of the Ambubachi Mela can be traced back to a mythical event mentioned in the Kalika Purana, an ancient scripture.

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It is believed that during the month of Asaad (June-July), the goddess Kamakhya undergoes her annual menstrual cycle or “Ambubachi,” symbolising the creative power of womanhood. The temple remains closed for three days during this period, and on the fourth day, the doors are reopened, signifying the goddess’s rejuvenation.

Significance of the Mela

The Ambubachi Mela holds great significance for devotees, who believe that during these three days, the goddess Kamakhya is in her most potent form. It is believed that the water of the Brahmaputra River, which flows near the temple, turns red during this period, symbolising the goddess’s menstrual flow. The devotees consider this event as a time of purification and seek the blessings of the goddess for fertility, prosperity, and spiritual growth.

Rituals Conducted During the Mela

During the Ambubachi Mela, the Kamakhya Temple witnesses a surge of devotees who come to participate in various rituals and seek the blessings of the goddess. Some of the important rituals conducted during the mela include:

Restricted Entry:

The temple remains closed for three days, symbolizing the goddess’s menstruation period. Devotees are not allowed inside the temple premises during this time.

Reopening of the Temple:

On the fourth day, the temple is reopened, and devotees gather in large numbers to witness this auspicious event. The doors are opened, and the goddess is bathed with holy water amidst chanting of mantras and prayers.

Offering of Prasad:

Devotees offer special offerings or prasad to the goddess, which typically includes rice, flowers, sweets, and betel leaves. It is believed that receiving this prasad brings blessings and good fortune.

Tantric Rituals:

The Kamakhya Temple is associated with tantric practices, and during the mela, tantric rituals are performed by sadhus and priests. These rituals are considered highly secretive and are conducted to invoke the divine energy of the goddess.

How to Reach the Mela

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The Ambubachi Mela attracts a large number of devotees from various parts of India and abroad. To reach the mela, one can travel to Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, which is well-connected by air, rail, and road. From Guwahati, the Kamakhya Temple is just a few kilometers away, and devotees can easily reach there by hiring a taxi or taking public transportation.

Kamakhya Temple and Assam’s Religious History

The Kamakhya Temple is not only a centre of religious significance but also a significant landmark in the religious history of Assam. The temple is believed to have been originally built by the Koch King, Naranarayan, in the 16th century. However, it underwent several renovations and reconstructions over the centuries, with the current structure dating back to the 17th century.

Assam, the northeastern state of India, has a rich religious history that encompasses various faiths and practices. The region has been a melting pot of Hinduism, Buddhism, and indigenous tribal religions. The Kamakhya Temple stands as a testament to this diversity and is revered by people from different religious backgrounds.

The state of Assam itself is known for its natural beauty, tea plantations, and unique cultural heritage. The Ambubachi Mela provides an opportunity for devotees to not only seek the blessings of the goddess but also immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

The Ambubachi Mela at the Kamakhya Temple is a significant religious event that holds deep spiritual meaning for devotees. It is a time of devotion, introspection, and seeking blessings from the powerful goddess Kamakhya. The rituals, history, and significance of this mela make it a truly unique and awe-inspiring experience. So, if you ever get a chance to be a part of the Ambubachi Mela, embrace the spiritual energy and immerse yourself in the divine atmosphere of Kamakhya Temple in Assam.

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