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10 Facts That Make Assam's Ambubachi Mela One of the Biggest Fares of India

Akangkhya Kashyap
Intern, Bordoisila

26th June, 2016

It is very unlikely to find anyone in Assam or India who hasn’t heard of the Kamakhya Temple. Situated atop the lush green Nilachal hill in Guwahati, Assam, Maa Kamakhya temple is one of the 51 shakti peeths of Hindu mythology scattered over various locations across Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan and India. Kamakhya temple of Assam is one that is upheld by every Indian with reverence and faith.

The deity Kamakhya is described as the goddess of desire, the source of all things, the giver of blessings, mother of the universe, goddess of fertility, and destroyer of illusion. The Ambubachi Mela at Kamakhya temple can be rightly described as the Mahakumbh of East. The colour and uniqueness of this fare stands apart from other fares of the country. Let us waste no time and look upon some of the facts about the great Ambubachi Mela that is celebrated every year.

1.Its celebration and the reason behind.

It is believed that this is the period of annual menstruation of mother Earth. Therefore, for the first three days, the Kamakhya temple as well as all other temples remain closed. No holy book is read within these days and worshipping is prohibited.

2.Mythology / history have so much in store.

According to the Devipurana, Sati could not bear her husband, Shiva the Almighty being insulted by her father and so, committed suicide. When lord Shiva came to know about the sacrifice of Sati, he was heartbroken and angry. He started his Tandava holding Sati’s dead body on his shoulders. But, if he wouldn’t have been stopped he could’ve destroyed the whole earth and so, lord Vishnu with his Sudarshan chakra, cut down the body of Sati into 51 pieces which fell across different places of the world. Her womb fell in the Garbhagriha of today’s Kamakhya where the eternal burning flame is worshipped as the symbolic presence of the deity.

3.Ambubachi mela is obsessed with the colour Red.

Red denotes power. Red denotes energy. According to the Kalika Purana, each and every sand particle near the Kamakhya temple is a shakti peeth. The entire shakti shrine seems obsessed by the red color. It celebrates the strength of the female and the power of creation and production. Even on the fourth day when the doors reopen, devotees receive bits of red cloth which is also called Blood Cloth or Rakta Bastra.

4.Ambubachi draws thousands of bhakts from all over India.

The main attraction of the temple is the gathering of a huge number of Sadhus and Sadhvis who showcase exquisite forms of magical stunts and practice unnatural activities which are a must see in the Ambubachi Mela. Many of them are good story tellers. You will love their way of storytelling.

5.There is no discrimination.

The most surprising part of the Ambubachi Mela is the number of participating female sanyasis which is comparatively higher than what is observed in Indian temples usually. Unlike some temples in India, you'll hardly find any discrimination on the basis of class and caste here.

6.It is a hub for pilgrims, travelers as well as explorers.

While the believers pay their visits to the temple with utmost faith in the supreme powers of the deity, the travelers and explorers find it fascinating to explore the mystic spot. Also the beauty of the temple is exceptional and the greenery of the Nilachal adds pleasure to the eyes.

7.Ambubachi Mela is also known as Ameti or Tantric fertility festival.

This fair is closely associated with Tantric Shakti cult active in eastern parts of India, hence the name. Even some Tantric Babas make their public appearances only during these days of the fair. The rest of the year, they remain in seclusion.

8.Kamakhya is centered on surprising myths and mysticism.

In Kalika purana, she is described as the incarnation of Goddess Kali and the most significant deity of Tantric cult. The fair is an important center of Shakta sect of worship.

9.For pilgrims or visitors of Ambubachi mela, travelling in Guwahati is quite convenient.

The pride of Guwahati city lies in the low fares of public transport. At a very affordable price anyone from any corner of the city can visit the Kamakhya temple without burning a hole in the pocket. Located in the heart of Assam, Guwahati is well connected to other parts of the country by road, air and rails too.

10.The administration of the Kamakhya and its conduct is vested upon the Bordeuri Samaj.

The Bordeuri Samaj, families of priests, had been running the temple since time immemorial until 1998 when the Debuttar Board was formed as a result of disputes within individuals from the priests’ families and representatives of sections who didn’t traditionally have a role in running the temple. On July 7, 2015, the SC restored the traditional rights of the Bordeuri Samaj. Families of priests running the temple call themselves as Bordeuris, while families of the priests of subsidiary temples are known as Deuris.    

The Ambubachi Mela signifies the spirit of Shakti and highlights the importance of fertility, in all aspects of nature. It signifies female power above all.  

There is a lot of myth and belief covering Kamakhya and Ambubachi. Different Puranas tell us differently about Kamakhya. But what needs to be noted is the energy, the spirit every pilgrim, young or old possesses.  The pilgrimage as a whole tells us that if we hold onto a belief strongly, nothing seems a burden. When determination to seek the Almighty’s blessings is at its peak, you hardly feel the toil. All that people shall take back with themselves by the end of the fair will be peace and satisfaction.


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