Kamakhya Temple has a long history of Durga Puja and Navaratri Celebration and it attracts millions of devotees during the 10 days of festival. This year, the celebration is more buoyant and fervous. I have been to the temple for several days was overwhelmed to witness the unprecedented decoration efforts made by the temple authorities. The entire temple has been covered in flowers. Glitters of Om and Maa has been displayed all across the temple and outside it. The entrance and the connecting roads have neon lights displaying several Gods and Goddesses. Never before, I had seen such a beautiful arrangement at Kamakhya Temple.
Due to recent nationwide security threats post-Uri Attacks, the security has been tightened across all temples across the country and therefore the administration has adopted several security measures at Kamakhya temple. Metal detectors are in place at all the gates, while all incoming baggage are fully scrutinized. Additional security check points can been see on the roads approaching the temple. The entire Temple and area outside it is under constant surveillance of CCTV Cameras. Overall, as a devotee you would find it safe
Kamakhya temple offers free Prasad to all the devotees daily between 12:00 and 3 PM. The prasad includes Khichdi, Sabji, Kheer and Papad. There may be additional items on some days. The amount of Prasad is sufficient for a normal person’s lunch and therefore you needn’t go to any restaurant for the food.
The Prasad is offered at Shri Kameshwar temple, outside the main temple premises. Make sure you donate some amount to the donation box after having the prasad
The crowd during Navaratri is huge and therefore the waiting queue for Darshan might be long. On an average, it would take around 3 hours in queue for the Darshan inside the sanctum sanctorum (garbha griha) of the temple. During Saptami to Dashami, it would take around 5 hours on average.
People enqueue for darshan as early as 4 AM, while the inner temple doors open at 9 AM. The temple door again remains closed during 1:30 PM-3:00 PM.
There is provision of passes (costing Rs.500), which can reduce your darshan timings to less than 1 hour. These passes are however not issued on Asthami and Navami.
The annual Ambubachi Puja would be held at Kamakhya Temple from June 22 to June 26, 2015. Around 10 Lakh devotees from every corners of the country are expected to visit the temple on the occasion of Ambubachi Mela. Many foreigners from countries like Germany, United States are also expected to visit the Temple during the 4 day long Ambubachi Puja. Last year around eight lakh people, including many foreigners had visited the temple during the Puja.
District Administration (Kamrup Metropolitan Authority) is making adequate arrangements for the pilgrims and tourists visiting the temple during the Ambubachi Puja. It will set up 4 camps to provide shelter and accommodation to visitors in th the wake of huge rush. These camps are located at temple premises, near Kamakhya railway station, near Pandu river port and Sonaram High School field.
As per reports, around 16 ‘bhandaras’ would be providing food to devotees. The food at these bhandaras are provided free of cost, with a provision of voluntary monetary contribution.
The Administration has also engaged around 700 volunteers for making proper arrangements during the 4 day long Ambubachi Puja.
Tips to Pilgrims
Ambubachi Puja/Mela witnesses an unprecedented rush of visitors during the 4 days. The cost of various items, services near the Kamakhya Temple and on Nilachal Hill increased manifold due to this. According to our estimates the prices of rooms in hotels/lodges over the hilltop increases by more than 10 times during these 4 days.It is advised to the visitors to look for accommodation in the Guwahati City itself, rather than looking for the same near the Temple. You may also find a place in the Government organized camps.
For food, Langars provide good quality food. There are various eateries available on the hill top which provide good quality food.
For Transportation to and fro the temple, Government is arranging free bus rides. In case you are unable to avail the same, always look for Assam Tourism Department (ASTDC) Buses. These are cheap means of transport.
Shared trekker service is frequently available between Guwahati and Kamakhya Temple.
The Ambubachi Puja at Kamakhya Temple would be held from June 22 to June 26. A Mela is held every year during the period of Ambubachi Puja, during which lakhs of devotees gather at the temple. It is also known as Ambubasi festival.
The Ambubachi Puja marks the yearly menstruation course of mother Kamakhya. It is believed that during the monsoon rains the creative and nurturing power of the ‘menses’ of Mother Earth becomes accessible to devotees at this site during the mela.
The four day period is very auspicious for tantric cults, who observe tough penance to gain Siddhis at this time.
Every year lakhs of pilgrims, starting from Sadhus to householders, from all over India, come to Guwahati to observe this festival. These include Sannyasins, black clad Aghoras, the Khade-babas, the Baul or singing minstrels of West Bengal, intellectual and folk Tantriks, Sadhus and Sadhvis with long matted hair etc. Even foreigners from abroad come to seek blessings of mother Kamakhya.
Ambubachi Mela is held every year during June-July at Kamakhya Temple. Every year lakhs of pilgrims, from monks to common people from all corners of India, visit Kamakhya Temple during the 4 day Ambubachi Puja. For 2014 Ambubachi Puja click here.
These include Sannyasins, black clad Aghoras, the Khade-babas, the Baul or singing minstrels of West Bengal, intellectual and folk Tantriks, Sadhus and Sadhvis with long matted hair etc. Even foreigners from abroad come to seek blessings of mother Kamakhya.
Watch this video to know more about Ambubachi Puja.
Kamakhya Temple one of the Seven Wonders of India at present. View this video to know more about it
Prashanti Lodge or Lalita Kanta Yatri Niwas is located on Guwahati Kamakhya Road and is at a mere 10 minutes walking distance from the Main Temple at Kamakhya. It is operated by Assam Tourism Development Corporation.
Facilities: It has the most beautiful and picturesque surroundings among all the lodges at Kamakhya Dham. Rooms have attached lavatories. It also has a Restaurant and a fast food center.
Rates: Double Bed Room Rates start from Rs 500 per day.
Evening View from Balcony of Prashanti Lodge Kamakhya Guwahati
View of adjoining Hills from Prashanti Lodge Kamakhya Guwahati
Inside Room of Prashanti Lodge at Kamakhya Guwahati
* The Rates are subject to change and are based on information collected in October 2013.
The Accommodation at Nilachal Hills, where Kamakhya Temple is located, is available mainly in the form of Lodges, Guest Houses and Homestays with local priests. A Temple Run Guest House is also available.
Luxury Hotels are available down at Guwahati, which is well connected by regular Buses, Autorickshaws and Taxis.
A Tourist Home named Lalita Kanta Yatri Niwas is being operated by Assam Tourism Development Corporation. It offers good lodging as well as fooding facility.
Literally, there are no Budget Hotels on Nilachal Hills where Kamakhya Temple is located. The Accommodation is mainly in the form of Lodges, Guest Houses and Homestays arranged by local priests.
If you are seriously looking for Budget Hotels, you can search for one in Guwahati City.
Below are few Lodges near Kamakhya Temple
1. Nareshwar Chakreshwar Bhawan
On Guwahati-Kamakhya Road
Phone: 9707023140, 9864071990
2. Rani Bhawan
Near Bagala Mandir
Kamakhya Dham, Guwahati 781010
3. Kamakhya Debutter Guest House
Left to the Kamakhya Temple
Click here to view more about Lodges near Kamakhya Temple
There are no Hotels on Nilachal Hills on which Kamakhya Temple is located, however several hotels are available down at Guwahati.
Prashanti Lodge or Lalita Kanta Yatri Nivas (Tourist Home), is the only facility on Nilachal hill where you can enjoy the comfort of living in a Hotel. It offers double bed, triple bed rooms as well as a master suite.
However there are several lodges at Kamakhya Dham, where you get really good accommodation at cheap rates.Below are few of them.
As of March 2014, there are no Luxury Hotels on the Nilachal Hills on which Kamakhya Temple is located. All you can get there are lodges and rest houses.
However, tourists can avail luxury facilities by staying in the town of Guwahati.
Below are few luxury Hotels in the Guwahati. The list below is not exhaustive and you are advised to google out for more information about hotels in Guwahati.
- Hotel Nova, S.S. Road (Fancy Bazaar), ☎ +91 361 251 9465,. A decent mid-range choice, it is centrally located, reasonably clean and friendly, and has a good restaurant on site. Hot running water, TV with satellite connection, same-day laundry available. www.novahotel.in Rs 1190-1,790, A/C rooms Rs 1,570-2,170.
- Hotel Brindavan, Rs 500-3,500 . www.hotelbrindavan.com , phone 0361-2912222/23
- Hotel Rialto, (nearby Pan Bazaar). Rs 1,000-1,800
- Hotel mahalaxmi, Rs 850-1,850 . www.hotelmahalaxmi.com
- Hotel Dynasty, S.S. Road (Lakhotia), ☎ +91 361 251 6021, Centrally located, warm and comfortable, and the staff are friendly. Tandoor is one of the two in-house restaurants, and a good place to splurge on food in the city, with live music in the evenings. Rooms Rs 3400-5000, Suites Rs 8000-15,000.