Guwahati Featured

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Kamakhya Temple Kamakhya Temple

Guwahati
"The Light of the East" is the gateway to Assam and to the entire North East region. Straddling the banks of the Brahmaputra, this former capital of the Kamrup kings (when it was former Pragjyotishpur) is crowded, busy river-town and a major commercial hub for the region. Surrounded by paddy fields and ancient rain-forests, Guwahati is home to many temples that date back to Vedic and Puranic times.


Temples


The Kamakya Temple dominates the life of Guwahati, as much as does the great Brahmaputra River. One of the most revered shrines of the Hindu faith, the temple is located on Neelachal Hill.
The temple offers grand stand views of the Brahmaputra and its surroundings. The reigning deity here is Goddess Parvati (Sati). Legend has it that the body of Sati was dismembered and it is believed that of the pieces of her body which were scattered across the land, her yoni fell on Neelachal Hill.
The temple here is also called Yoni Pith and is said to be a tantric centre. The shrine finds mention in the inscription of King Samudragupta's pillar at Allahabad.
A rush of devotees throngs the temple during the Ambubashi Mela.   
Amongst some of the other holy places in Guwahati is the Basistha Ashram dating back to the time when the great saga Vashistha visited this spot on the confluence of the Sandhya, Lalita and Kanta streams, and set up his ashram here. The Nabagraha Temple on Chitranchal Hill, is an important centre for the study of astronomy and astrology. Located in Jorpukhuri, the Ugratara Temple is dedicated to an incarnation of Goddess Kali.
The Dirgheswari Temple is dedicated to an avatar of Goddess Durga. The Asvaklanta Temple offers superb views of the city against the Brahmaputra River.


Other Places to Visit     


A River Cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra is a wonderful opportunity to get a feel of this legendary river. Catch the ferry travelling between Sukreswar Ghat and North Guwahati or travel a little more stylish in one of the State Tourism-run vessels.
Top it off with a trip to Sualkuchi (an hour's drive away) to explore the dazzling world of Assam Silk.


Hajo
Situated at the north bank of the Brahmaputra, 32 km from Guwahati, Hajo is the meeting point of the Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu faiths. The Hayagrib Madhab Temple here is said to contain a relic of Buddha; one school of Buddhism believes that Lord Buddha attained Nirvana here. Numerous Bhutias congregate at the shrine in winter. An Iraqi price who became a preacher called Pir Giasuddin Aulia established a mosque in Hajo in the 12th century, while visiting the place to spread the word of the prophet.   
The mosque is often referred to as Poa Mecca - being fourth in the line of sanctity to the shrine at Mecca. Hajo's Bell-Metal work is renowned and you can buy some interesting artifacts made by the local craftsman.
The Madan Kamdev archaeological site has temples dating back to the 10th - 12th century. There's an ancient Vaishnav Monastery and shrine of Madhav Deva at Barpeta 137 km away. Bordowa 134 km is the birthplace of the Vaishnav reformer of Assam, Srimanta Sankardeva.Darranga, 100 km and close to the verdant Bhutan border is a delightful location of the famous Bhutia Fair in winter. The drive takes you along vast tracks of tea gardens. Bhairabkunda, 137 km, on the border of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, is a popular picnic spot.

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1 comment

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