|The Kamakhya Temple Guwahati , base made of hard stone. Alamy|
|The Kamakhya Temple GuwahatiGuwahati|
The Kamakhya Temple also Kamrup-Kamakhya temple dedicated to the goddess Kamakhya is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas. It is strongly believed to be an important pilgrimage center for those who have strong faith in Tantric worship, quite different from Vedic worship. Hinduism being a Vedic religion the Tantra aspects are not considered part of the orthodox Hindu/Vedic scriptures. This temple is on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati city.
The temple itself is a complex en composing individual temples dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas: Kali, Tara, Sodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamalatmika. Among these the idols of, Tripurasundari, Matangi and Kamala are housed in the main shrine and the remaining goddesses are in their respective shrines outside the main one.
|Kamakhya Temple.shikhara made of bricksn.wikipedia.org/|
The architectural style of this temple is referred to as the Nilachal type: a temple with a hemispherical dome on a cruciform base. The renovations done many times from the 8th to 17th century, gave rise to a hybrid indigenous style. The temple has four parts/chambers: garbhagriha (sanctum) and three mandapas (halls) locally called calanta, pancharatna and natamandira aligned from east to west. The adhisthana of the Kamakhya temple indicates that the original temple was of Nagara style.
The garbhagriha that has a pancharatha plan, rests on plinth moldings that are similar to the Surya Temple at Tezpur. Atop the plinths are dados built in the later period and are of the Khajuraho or the Central Indian type, consisting of sunken panels alternating with pilasters. The panels consist of various deities from the Hindu pantheon. The lower part of the structure is made of hard stone, whereas the shikhara ( top of tower) in the shape of a polygonal beehive-like dome is made of brick. This feature is common among the temples in Kamrup. Yet another feature is the incorporation of Bengal type of charchara as revealed by shikhara that is circled by a number of minaret inspired angashikharas. The Shikhara, angashikharas and other chambers, records point out, were built in the 16th century and in the later period.
Yet another odd features are the sunken cave-like garbagriha-below the ground level and the absence of an idol/ image in the sanctum. Instead, there is a piece of rock with a long narrow cut in the shape of a yoni (female genital). It can be accessed by narrow steep stone steps that slope downwards from both sides meeting in a yoni-like depression some 10 inches deep. This hollow space contains water and the source of water being an underground perennial spring. It is the vulva-shaped depression (Yoni) that is worshiped as the goddess Kamakhya herself and considered as the most important pitha (abode) of the Devi. The garbhaghrihas of the other temples in the Kamakhya complex are quite similar to this one.- a yoni-shaped stone, filled with water and below the ground level.
The entrance to the temple is through the northern door (Ahom type dochala). The calanta is a a square chamber of type atchala (similar to the 1659 Radha-Vinod Temple of Bishnupur. It leads into the garbhagriha via descending steps. The pancharatna is a large and rectangular structure with a flat roof and five smaller shikharas, quite similar to the main skhikara. The natamandira that extends to the west of the pancharatna has an apsidal end and ridged roof of the Ranghar type -Ahom style. The inscriptions are from the period of Rajeswar Singha (1759) and Gaurinath Singha (1782), suggesting construction of this structure during that time https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamakhya_Temple http://www.period.media/global /menstruatinggoddess //www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/celebrating-the-goddess-who-bleeds/article24234722.ece: