Dates (Updated) : 22nd June - 26th June 2020
The Ambubachi Mela is a grand gathering in and around the Maa Kamakhya Devi temple situated at Nilachal Hill in the city of Guwahati in the north-east Indian state of Assam. Occurring in the month of Asaadh of the traditional Hindu calendar, the Ambubachi Mela is a four-day celebration, which often falls in June. A prime festivity of the Shakti traditional, the Mela witnesses a torrent of Sanyasis during the festive days at the Kamakhya Devi temple, performing strict ascetic modes of devotion. Primarily, the festival is aimed at honouring the fertile richness of mother earth. The idea is celebrated as the annual menstrual cycle of Kamakhya Devi at the Kamakhya Temple during these four days, known as the Ambubachi Mela.
The Ambubachi Mela is one of the most important festivals of the Shakti tradition, and also that of the state of Assam. The festival is attended by devotees, Sanyasis, and travellers in large numbers. The Mela is a lively location, carrying a scenic view of celebrations carried out by ascetics, making it a large and significant gathering of people for a fantastic purpose.
The Ambubachi Mela is celebrated in and around the Kamakhya Devi temple, situated on the Nilachal Hill of the northeast Indian state of Assam. The Nilachal Hill – literally, Blue Spread Hill – is located at an approximate distance of 7 kilometres from Guwahati, the capital city of the state. The Nilachal is considered to be a historically significant location since it was once a sacrificial venue of the ‘Khasi’ tribe. Various significant temples, including that of Shiva and ten Mahavidyas, are located on the hill. The Kamakhya Devi temple is the most revered of the temples located on the Nilachal hill.
The nearest railway station from the Kamakhya temple is the Kamakhya Junction railway station, located in the city of Guwahati, which is located at an approximate distance of 12 kilometres from the temple.
The nearest airport from the Kamakhya temple is the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, which is located at an approximate distance of 20 kilometres from the temple.
According to the Devipurana, Shiva’s wife Sati chose Shiva as her life partner without her father’s permission. This led to her father insulting Shiva in front of her. Infuriated by Shiva’s insult by her father, Sati sacrificed herself. Shiva took Sati’s corpse on his shoulder and began to perform tandav, his dance of destruction. Lord Vishnu realised that if Shiva’s dance were not stopped, it would lead to the damage of the whole world, and thus he took his Sudarshan Chakra and split Sati’s body into fifty-one parts. These fifty-one parts of Sati’s body fell on fifty-one different locations on earth, and each of these locations is where a Shakti peeth stands today. The reproductive part of Sati’s body landed on the earth precisely at the place where the 'Garbhagriha' of the Kamakhya Devi temple is situated.
There are various other legends associated with the Kamakhya deity. She is considered as an incarnation of goddess Kali as well, according to the Kalika Purana. Moreover, Kamakhya Devi is considered as belonging to the incarnation of ten Mahavidyas and is regarded as a unity of the first three of them.
Kamakhya Devi is the most important deity of the Tantric tradition of the region and is worshipped by the followers of the Tantric cults with much enthusiasm during the Ambubachi Mela.
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