Kamrup kamakhya mela – the festival of menstruating goddess

India is a land of mysterious religious places with uncountable temples rich in amazing architectural beauty. In Guwahati, Assam, kamakhya mela is known as one of the biggest religious festivals where pilgrims visit from every corner of our country India whereas some of them come across the world too. Thousands of devotees and Sadhu-sanyasis gather in the temple premises and its surrounding areas of river Brahmaputra to become a witness of the bleeding goddess of kamrup kamakhya mandir. The goddess here is a form of shakti – one of the most important sati pithas of the total 51.

The history of Sati pithas:

The original kamrup kamakhya history is really interesting. According to the Hindu mythology, once Daksha – father of Sati (Goddess Shakti) organized a grand yagna and invited her daughter but didn’t call upon her husband – Lord Shiva. When Sati wished to attend the yagna, Shiva refused but Sati insisted and both of them came over to attend the yagna.

Daksha insulted Shiva which made sati extremely angry and she jumped into the holy fire of the grand yagna and killed herself.

Shiva became insane with rage. He carried the dead body on his shoulder and did tandava nritya – the dance of destruction. Lord Vishnu tried to stop the destruction and he cut the body of sati into 108 parts with his “sudarshan chakra”. These 108 body parts got scattered in different areas on Earth.

Guwahati kamakhya mandir is believed as the place where sati’s vagina and womb fell down. So, this temple set up at the place and is considered as the symbol of women strength and fertility.

This is why devotees celebrate the menstruation cycle of kamrup kamakhya devi.

The Mystery of bleeding kamakhaya devi:

As we have said, kamrup kamakhya temple is known as the sign of women’s natural strength, celebrating menstruation cycle of Goddess becomes the most famous festival in Assam. In the middle of June, according to the Assamese month Ahaar, kamakhaya devi gets her annual menstrual cycle automatically.

The underground spring water below the yoni-shaped stone in the garbhagriha turns red automatically. Red water comes out from the garbhagriha through a slim path. This process ends after three days and the period is called “Ambubachi”. The temple door is closed for three days. Priests don’t allow anyone to worship kamrup kamakhya devi because devi remains unclean.

Pieces of blood-stained clothes are then distributed among the devotees. The devotees are only allowed to collect these cloths or they can dip their own in the “blood-red” spring water. Pilgrimages keep these “blood-red” holy pieces of clothes with them as these are believed to the offerings of good luck.

Ambubachi Mela:

On this mysterious bleeding occasion, a grand mela is held in the kamuk kamakhya mandir known as kamakhya mela. On the fourth day at the ending occasion of devi’s menstruation, the door opens for the devotees and the festival gets started.

This is indeed a grand religious festival. You will get to see lakhs of sadhus and tantriks and their mysterious behaviors who come across the country. Some of them travel barefooted for miles to attend this holy festival. 

Sakti is the major idol of tantriks which means tantriks travel here for miles to achieve kamrup kamakhya devi’s blessings. Some of the sadhus gather here to showcase their mysterious holy power. Lots of common people also join the festival to get devi’s blessings and to witness these mysterious sanyasis’ powers too.

Is there any scientific significance of Devi’s menstruation?

Well, no scientific proof is there regarding the red water of the main mandir’s underground spring whether it is blood or not. Many scientists believe that the red water is due to the vermillion or iron oxide mixed in the spring water. Sometimes, it is believed that the priests in the temple mix vermillion in the water.

Whether it is actually blood or not, people believe it as the holy power of kamakhya devi and that pushes every scientific proof aside. The only holy power of “Shakti” remains constant here. 


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