When I planned my trip to Assam I had no idea what it would be, as it is the first time I was travelling to Northeast India. These seven states have always lured me to my heart for exploration to the core and when I got a chance to take a bike ride trip for 10 days I was super excited and on my toes. I’m sure this small travel blog will give you a hands full information and my experience about the pilgrim and religious life of Assam.
Let’s get started with an overview
The seven states of India’s northeast (NE) are dotingly called Seven Sisters, and Assam is the eldest of these. Why they are called with this name is very simple to understand but for this one has to go back in time to know. A quick one for you – The Four of today’s independent States―Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram were a part of the undivided Assam till 1972. Apparently, the present day Assam continues to be the doorway to the North East.
The international airport and the main railway station in Guwahati is the key point for all the nearby destinations and flights to take nationally and internationally. These seven states are amazing in their own way and one can really find one’s soul in peace when in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and others. The entire region has unmatched natural beauty and mystical aura. There is too much to write on these states thus, I’m starting with religious travel blog first.
Quick Facts of Assam
Nearest Airport: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport
Currency: Indian Rupee
Languages: Assamese and Bodo
Best Time to Visit Assam: November to May
Festivals: Rongali Bihu, Kangali Bihu, Bhogali Bihu
Assam’s mystic aura will take your religious quotient to another level as there are numerous Hindu temples in Assam. It hosts some of the oldest in our history that includes one Shakti Peeth – Kamakhya Temple, Kedar in Hajo, Umananda and many more.
It is the holiest temple of the Hindus and is one of the oldest Shakti Peeth out of 51 of Goddess Durga. This temple is not only known for a pilgrim but it has a mythological and mystery attached to it. You can read more about it in my dedicated blog on this temple soon. It is on the top of the Nilachal Hills, where a huge number of devotees come during the Manasha puja and Ambubachi. There are other temples surrounding the main temple which are dedicated to many other goddesses and deities, which are called as Dasa Mahavidya. Kamakhya Devi is respected as the ‘Bleeding Goddess’ and because of it alleged that the goddess ‘menstruates’ during this period. If you are a traveller then try to visit on working days as weekends are decked up with locals.
Another distinguished temple in the city is the Nabagraha which signifies the temple of nine planets. The temple of nine celestial bodies is located on a hill named Chitrachal in the southeastern part of the city of Guwahati. The most important celestial boy is the sun and there are 9 phallic emblems of Lord Shiva. Each of these represents different colour and arrayed in a different coloured cloth – they are Surya, Chandra, Mangala, Budha, Brihaspati, Shukra, Shani, Rahu and Ketu.
Due to this the temple is also a research centre of both astrology and astronomy. The tower of the temple is now a bigger one as it was destroyed in the earthquake, but, later it was resurrected. Noticing the inner part of the temple – the Garbhagriha survived the earthquake, while the upper portion was rebuilt.
The Umananda Temple located at the centre of the Brahmaputra River, you have to take a ferry to visit this temple. It is a peaceful and tranquil place to be. The view from the ferry and the river is mesmerising.
Hindus come in large numbers to visit this temple of Lord Shiva. On the occasion of Maha Shivratri, there is a grand celebration. A huge number of people observe fast and offer their prayers on this holy day.
Mahamaya Dham Temple
The Mahamaya Temple is another prime religious temple of Hindus. It is located in western Assam. There are a group of temples as well dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that if one ties a tiny bell on a banyan tree here then the wishes come true. It is one of the greatest Shakti Peethas for Hindu pilgrims ‘Parvatjowar’ the local Devotees like – Kacharies, Koches and Naths worship Goddess Mahamaya. She is a beautiful goddess deity, do visit this place.
This place is full of magic, trust me, it has one huge mosque called as Powa-Mecca, it has a church, a Gurudwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and Hindu temples or Lord Shiva and Ganesh in the area surrounding. This place is like an Enshrined religious harmony with the amalgamation of Hindu, Muslims and Buddhists worshipping places. It is a small town on the banks of Brahmaputra river, just 24 km from Guwahati. The Hayagriva Madhava Mandir, Powa-Mecca, Ganesh temple, Kedar temple. All these sites are under the Archeological survey of India and fall under world heritage sites.
There are many other historic and heritage pilgrim temples in Assam like few in Tezpur, Shivsagar, Majuli island and others. But these are the most prominent ones. If you need more details about these temples and their history contact me will try to share some more info. Also, if you wish to read more about travel blogs click here. For now, if you are planning to visit Assam, then put these in your itinerary. You will be awe-struck with the beauty and peace for self-exploration.