A peek into the age-old myths will reveal the real strength of women though nowadays they are portrayed as the weaker gender. One such myth is the Kamakhya Devi temple situated atop the awesome Nilachal hills in the western region of Guwahati in Assam.
Mohanlal, one of India’s finest actors, recently went on a pilgrimage to the revered tantric shrine of Kamakhya and had shared his incredible spiritual experience of paying obeisance at this popular place of worship on the social media. Everything fell into place, says the gifted actor about his holy expedition to the Kamakhya Devi Temple.
Mohanlal’s Facebook post
The superstar says that he came to know about ‘tantra’, which could be defined as a life-embracing philosophy, from his uncle Gopinathan Nair. “Kamakhya is the cradle of India’s ‘tantra’ tradition. Whatever I mention about ‘tantra’ could be akin to a child crying in a crib,” he adds. In his Facebook post, the actor gives a detail account of the hallmarks of the Kamakhya Devi Temple, which has the symbolic ‘yoni’ as the primary worship. “Yoni refers to the point of origin, the place from where we all emerge. We have a natural urge embedded in us to return to the source of origin and that’s the primary reason why I am here at the temple,” Mohanlal says in his post. The talented actor also mentions about the region’s myth and history. “Ahom dynasty ruled the region for close to 600 years but I don’t remember studying in school about the Ahom kings who gave a stiff resistance to the Mughal-British rule. Learning in detail more about the Northeast Indian states, including Assam, will definitely help in national integration,” he notes.
The history of Kamakhya temple is older than that of the Ahom dynasty. There is mention of Kamakhya in the stories relating to Narakasura, the asura king, in the scared writings of puranas. Kamakhya is termed Kali with demonic impression in ‘Kalika Purana’. “The Kadampuzha temple in Kerala too has a Kali with demonic mien and there also, in a way, the idol is yoni,” he adds.
Pandit Nayan Jyothi Sharma, who guided the superstar through the temple, told Mohanlal that the Kamakhya temple is as old as the Dwapara yuga. The historians had been able to trace the origins of the temple to the 7th century. “Definitely, the yoni worship is as old as the mankind’s history and the temple welcomes everyone irrespective of religion and caste,” the ace actor notes.
After visiting the temple, Mohanlal, along with his friend R Ramananthan, went to an isle in Brahmaputra. “I only have prayers that I get opportunities to visit other wondrous places in India,” he signs off.
Temple replete with rituals
Kamakhya is a temple that observes many rituals. The famous ‘Ambubachi Mela’ is conducted during the menstruation days of the goddess and pilgrims from around the world come to the temple seeking the blessings of the ‘devi’. It is believed that the Brahmaputra River that flows near the shrine turns red during the ‘mela’. A small spring flowing through the temple also turns red and pilgrims throng the shrine to receive this water as ‘prasad’.
The shrine will be out of bounds to the devotees in the first three days of the festival, though the temple premises will have a festival mood. The temple will be reopened on the fourth day and poojas will be conducted and the pilgrims will get a red cloth as ‘prasad’.
How to reach
The temple is 6km away from the Guwahati railway station and 20km from the Guwahati airport. One can also easily hail a taxi to reach the shrine from Guwahati.