Ambubachi Mela is one of the most significant festivals in Assam, which is organised every year at the consecrated Temple of Goddess Kamakhya in Guwahati. If you are planning to be a part of this religious festival in Guwahati, here’s what you need to know about Ambubachi Mela:
Significance of the Festival:
As per Hindu myths, Kamakhya Temple is reckoned as one of the 52 Shakti peethas of Goddess Shakti. Ambubachi Mela is an annual festival celebrated here in the month of June. This year (2017) the date of popular Ambubachi Mela is from June 22 to June 25. Every year numerous Hindu pilgrims reach atop the Ninanchal hill where the famous temple of Devi Kamakhya is situated.
It is believed that during this period of time Devi Kamakhya passes through her annual cycle of menstruation, and the doors of the shrine remains closed for first three days. All worships and religious practices are stopped here during the Ambubachi Mela. Devotees are allowed to enter the temple and do worship from the fourth day after Goddess Kamakhya is bathed and other rituals are also performed completely.
People here believe that on the occasion of Ambubachi, mother needs rest. Everyday worshipers visit here seeking her blessings. So during these three days devotees serve Maa Kamakhya instead of asking anything to her.
The Footfalls at Kamakhya Temple:
During Ambubachi Mela, Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati gets packed by numerous pilgrims who travel here from all round the country. A large number of monks, black clad Aghoras, Sadhvis, Khade-babas, folk minstrel and foreigners can be spotted here during Ambubachi Mela. Footfalls of devotees amidst various colourful stalls and religious hymns turn the ambience here absolutely pious and heavenly. This is one of the unique festivals in India, which pulls ample of tourists and devotees to seek blessings of Goddess Kamakhya.
Being associated with the religious group Tantric Shakti in eastern parts of the country, Ambubachi Fair is also popular as the Tantric Fertility Festival or Ameti. During these for days, you can also observe several Tantric Babas at Guwahati’s Kamakhya Temple. It is said that those Tantric Babas remain isolated throughout the year and make their public appearance only during Ambubachi festival. Sometimes most of them can be spotted even exhibiting their psychic powers like walking upside down, standing on one foot for hours and much more activities. Many devotees even stay on fast during Ambubachi Fair and engage themselves into meditation by chanting Devi’s Pranami Mantras. In this way, you can also be a part of this popular festival in Assam and observe Ambubachi and the divine form of Mother Earth.
If you happen to be in Kamakhya Temple during Ambubachi Mela, you can witness the unique forms of Prasad here. Basically, Prasad includes fruits, peda, Kamakhya Jal (water), milk and Siddh Sindoor. However, tow most significant forms of Prasad here are Angabastra and Angodak. Angabastra is the piece of red cloth, which is used to cover the external genitals or vulva during the cyclic menstruation. Angodak on the other hand is the liquid part of the body, which is the sacred water from the spring. Devotees get the holy Prasad distributed on the fourth day after the main doors of the temple are opened.
It is said that during these days of menstrual cycle, plenty of devotees don’t worship and cook at home and most of them live their days on fruit diet. The local inhabitants of Assam abstain themselves from farming activities and don’t pay visit to any temple and Naamghar during these days.
Before you make it to Kamakhya Temple during Ambubachi Mela, it is essential for you to keep a tab on the important timings at the temple:
|Venue||Nilanchal Hill, District Kamrup, Kamakhya Temple, Assam-781010|
|Ambubachi Mela Duration||22 June 2017 (Thursday) to 25 June 2017 (Sunday)|
|Closing date of temple doors||22 June 2017|
|Temple doors reopen||25 June 2017|
|Darshan Day||25 to 26 June 2017|
|Darshan Timing||5:30 AM to 10 PM|
How to go:
Kamakhya Temple is visited my ample of Hindu worshipers all round the calendar. However, during Ambubachi Mela a large number of visitors gather here from various parts of the country. People residing out of Assam may reach here through any of the following means of transport:
By Air: For air travellers, the nearest airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, which is located nearly 18Kms from Kamakhya Temple. This airport is well-connected to various Indian destinations like New Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra and Chennai. From airport, one may hire a cab or get into a bus to travel further.
By Train: The nearest railhead is Guwahati Railway Station, which is located nearly 6Kms from Kamakhya Temple. Alternatively, travellers may also deboard at Kamakhya Station from where the temple is nearly 15 minutes driving distance. From these railway stations various private and public transports can be availed to reach Kamakhya Temple.
By Road: Guwahati is well accessible by road. Presence of good road network connects Guwahati to some its neighbouring cities like Shillong, Silchar, Tezpur, Jorhat, Tripura, Mizorom etc. Number of state transports and private vehicles are there to reach Guwahati conveniently. Once you enter the city, auto-rickshaws, city buses and cab can also be hired to reach Kamakhya Temple. Plenty of devotees are also there who make this distance from Nilachal hill to the Kamakhya Temple by foot. Several rock-cut stairs are provided there to scale atop the temple.
Places to stay:
Plenty of devotees prefer staying in the temple complex paying their great reverence to Mother Kamakhya. However, travellers who reach Guwahati well before the spectacular festival mostly prefer staying in hotels. Guwahati is laid out with many budget and luxury hotels. Depending upon the type of hotel and amenities one avails, the charges of hotels in Guwahati will range from INR 650 to INR7000 and more. However, during festival season the charges comparatively climb up.
Here’s is the list of few comfy and pleasant staying options for you in Guwahati:
#Radisson Blu Hotel Guwahati
National Highway 37, Gotanagar,
Guwahati, Assam 781033
S.S. Road, Lakhtokia
Guwahati India 781001
#Hotel Prag Continental
M.L.N Road, Pan Bazaar
Guwahati, India 781001
#Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok
M G Road, Opposite High Court,
Guwahati, Assam 781001
Rajgarh Rd, Rajgarh, Near Bylane No. 7,
Guwahati, Assam 781003