Dr A Pranesh

1 Kamakya Temple

Kamakya temple at Guwahati is a unique temple by itself. It is located on a hillock called Nilachal hill, on the southern bank of river Brahmaputra. Kamakya temple is on peak of the hill, which hosts three of the ten deities of Dasha Mahavidya.

2 Dome of the Temple      Carvings on the wall 

The main Kamakya temple has three chambers. The western chamber is large and rectangular and has the deity Kamala, the middle chamber is a square and has the deity of Matangi, all the worship is done to this deity only. The last chamber garbha griha without any deity but only with water is a triangular opening in the rock. It symbolizes yoni. It is to be noted that the yoni of Mata Sati had fallen here. She is also called Shodashi/ Tripurasundari.

Perhaps only at Kamakya, all the Dasha Mahavidya deities enjoy independent temples for themselves located in one place. At rest of the places, we find one or two temples of Dasha Mahavidyas. In many temples of Durga, Dasha Mahavidyas are painted on the walls of temple. At west Bengal, Tara has a temple in cremation grounds. In south India, we find temples of Tripurasundari, Rajarajeshwari, Lakshmi etc. Only at Kamakya temple, Guwahati we can find all ten Dasha Mahavidya temples. Peculiarly all these temples are located in caves and are in Pindi form.

The main Kamakya temple has three of the Dasha Mahavidyas- Kamala, Matangi and Shodashi. The remaining five out of seven temples of Dasha Mahavidyas are in close vicinity of main Kamakya temple. But they are quite inconspicuous, as there are no proper boards or a map to show their location. One should specifically ask the priests about the locations, so that they can visit those temples.

Way to Dhumavati and Bhairavi temple

After entering the main Kamakya temple, on the left of main sanctum, there is a small shrine for Sheethala devi, and at her back, on a small platform, coconuts are broken. Just left to that spot, there is a small opening, which leads to steps. Descending around 15 to 20 steps, we find the temple of Dhumavati.

5. Dhumavati temple     6. Entrance - Dhumavati temple

Dhumavathi, whose nature is smoke, is depicted as black, ugly and fierce. She is not known outside Tantric cult. She is depicted as old, black and ugly widow on a crow. Although she is known for dejection, desperation and death, she actually grants the wishes of renunciation and true knowledge of world.

Continuing further down in a very serene place we find the temple of Tripura Bhairavi located in front of a small pond.

7 Tripura Bhairavi temple 8 Entrance

Bhairavi or Tripura Bhairavi, is a multifaceted goddess, having benign and terrible form. She is believed to be creator, maintainer and destroyer. She is the kundalini Shakti and also the feminine aspect in Ardhanarishwara. Bhairavi in her younger form known as Baala, a beautiful virgin and in her older form is known as Tripurasundari, who bestows all wishes.

   9  Maa Tara temple     10 Maa Tara

The temple of Tara is on the left side enroute to Kamakya main temple. Maa Tara also has both benign and terrible form. The benign form is considered as the power of speech or Saraswati. She is believed to tide people over samsara sagara. She is also worshipped in Buddhism and Jainism. In her terrible form known as Ugra Tara, she resembles Kali.

Walking back on the same road from main Kamakya temple, to the left, after Maa Tara temple, we can find Maa Kali temple easily.

11. Maa Kali temple          12 Entrance of Kali temple 

Kali is adi or primary Mahavidya and all the other Mahavidyas have eminated from her. She is also known as Kala or eternal time, throughout everyone’s life. In her benign form known as Dakshina Kali, she bestows all wishes. In her terrible form, she is the destroyer of everything. She destroys only to create a new life.

Walking further down the road, we can see a board- free prasad distribution center. Going through that door, we will find a name plate showing Chinnamasta and Kameshwara temple.

13 Chinnamasta temple14 Entrance - Chinnamasta temple

Maa Chinnamasta or Prachanda Chandika is perhaps the most terrible and ghastly depiction of Mahavidya. She is depicted to be holding her own severed head with three streams of blood gushing out of severed neck. One stream of blood flowing into her mouth of severed head. Remaining two streams flow into the mouth of two deities standing on either side. She signifies discarding all egos and identities on the road to spirituality.

After returning from Chinnamasta temple, we will come to a small car parking area, and also steps for an over bridge. From that point, one has to take right turn and walk for about 500 meters to reach Bagalamukhi temple.

16 Bagalamukhi temple 15  Bagalamukhi temple entrance

Bagalamukhi is not known outside Dasha Mahavidya cult. She is considered as a stopping force. She is also known as Sthambhini, as she has powers to immobilize and transfix the opponents. She is known for stopping speech of the opponent. She is also called Pitambari devi as she wears yellow attire.

Further uphill for about 3 kms on a motor able road, we will find the temple of Bhuvaneshwari.

17 Entrance- Bhuvaneshwari temple18 Brahmaputra from Bhuvaneshwari temple

Bhuvaneshwari is fondly called Bhuvaneshi. Bhuvana not only include earth but also space. She is also considered as Mahamaya. As space Bhuvaneshwari co-ordinates with the dimension of time represented by Kali. It is to be deduced that Kali creates events in time and Bhuvaneshwari creates objects in space.

A visit to Kamakya temple at Guwahati, Assam, will provide an opportunity to visit all the Dasha Mahavidya temples around Kamakya.

Jai Maa Kamakya