Located atop the Nilachal Hill at a distance of 10 kilometers from the Guwahati Railway Station, Kamakhya Temple is the main temple, in the complex of individual temples dedicated to different forms of the mother goddess. Constructed in 1565 by Chilarai of the Koch dynasty, the original form of the structure destroyed by ‘Kala Pahar’ is however unknown. With a beehive like spire-top, delightful panels with images of Ganesha and other Hindu gods and goddesses adorn the outside walls. Consisting of three major chambers, the middle chamber leads to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple which is in form of a cave merely consisting of a ‘yoni-shaped’ cleft in the bedrock. One of the most revered tantric shrines of Shakti worship in India and the world, animal sacrifice is a common practice here to appease the goddess.
An important pilgrimage center for the general Hindu and tantric worshippers, the present form of Kamakhya Temple was restructured in 1665 by King Nar Narayan of Cooch Behar. During September-October every year, on the occasion of Navratri, a three day festival, Kamakhya attracts thousands of pilgrims. During this fertility festival, it is contended that the goddess is undergoing her menstrual period and the temple remains closed for visitors. With devotees from far and near, great festivity is observed on the fourth day. ‘Ambubachi Mela’ and ‘Manasha Puja’ are the two main important festivities celebrated every year.
Guwahati, the capital city of Assam is also the most important destination of northeastern India and is conveniently accessible through the air, rail and road routes. Moreover, home to several varieties of hotels and accommodation options, there is enough room for accommodating all types of tourist budgets.