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Rules for entry into Kamakhya Temple during COVID-19 pandemic

Kamakhya Temple would re-open for devotees on September 24th, 2020 after a gap of nearly 6 months. The Kamrup district administration has allowed Kamakhya temple authorities to re-open the temple amid severe restrictions and limitations.

The temple was closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As per records, the temple was closed for devotees for the first time in last 400 years. In 16th century, it was closed for renovatation by Koch Dynasty. On usual days, the footfall is up to 2000 devotees per day, while during festivals, it rises to up to 2 lakhs devotees/day.

A standard operating procedure (SOP) for running the temple amid the pandemic has been released. According to the SOP, the temple authorities have to issue online passes to the devotees with time stamps so that there are no more than 100 people inside the premises at a single time. The devotees will be allowed to stay inside only for 15 minutes.

Below are the rules as part of SOP, according to the website Guwahati Plus.

1. Maximum 500 devotees will be allowed per day to enter into the Temple Complex for Temple Parikrama. 


2. Kamakhya Temple Management Committee will arrange online passes for the devotees on the basis of the applications of devotees. Person more than 65 years and below 10 years will not be allowed to visit Kamakhya Temple and Temple Management Committee will ensure this strictly at the time of the issue of online passes. 


3. Kamakhya Temple Authorities will arrange the system for the receipt of online applications and the issue of online passes to the devotees. For the purpose, they will engage skilled operators at their own cost.


4. The online passes will be issued on a time slot basis so that gathering may be controlled at the temple premises at a time. For the purpose the temple authority will issue maximum of 100 online passes per hour for the devotees and devotees will be allowed to stay for maximum 15 minutes at the temple premises. 


5. When online applications are received by the temple management committee, they will insist on a medical certificate showing COVID-19 Negative result that was issued during the last 3 days. 


6. For payment of operators and the online system, they can charge a minimum amount from the devotees if they desire so. 


7. Police Authority will check the online passes at the entry point at Kamakhya Nursery (lower Kamakhya) and will allow the devotees to proceed towards the main Temple. 


8. On the basis of the urgency, District Administration and Kamakhya Temple Management Committee will issue additional passes to some other persons including VIPs, and Police Authority will accept the passes so issued. 


9. A medical team will be arranged for the devotees and other persons at the entry point at Kamakhya Nursery to test the devotees who have availed online passes and after the detection of negative results devotees will be allowed to proceed to the main temple premises. However, devotees who can furnish test result that has been carried out during the last three days will not be tested at the medical booth at the entry point.


10. Kamakhya Temple authority will arrange a holding area near the main temple premises and will gather the devotees there and then allow the devotees to enter the main temple on small batches. 


11. Kamakhya Temple authority will arrange sanitization of the holding area regularly. 


12. At the time of entry to the main temple devotees have to sanitize their hands with sanitizer and will be checked with thermal scanner and then only will be allowed to enter into the temple. Temple Management Authority will arrange sufficient amount of sanitizer and thermal scanner for the purpose.


13. The shopkeepers from whom puja materials will be purchased by the devotees will keep their hands sanitized frequently. 


14. Another holding area for the devotees will be developed by the Kamakhya Temple management authority at the entry point near Kamakhya Nursery so that devotees can be allowed to proceed to the main temple as per time slot allowed to them. 


15. Kamakhya Temple Management Committee will arrange stalls at the entry point near Kamakhya Nursery for police and medical teams. 


16. Vehicles taken by the devotees on their own will be allowed to travel up to the parking place near the temple. However, the commercial vehicles plying between entry point and the main temple will be regulated by the police authority as per requirements.


17. No homestays will be allowed at the houses in and around the temple premises for the time being.

Durga Puja and Navarati 2016 at Kamakhya Temple

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.

Security

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

Prasad

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

Darshan Timings

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.

Ambubachi Puja and Mela 2015 at Kamakhya Temple

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.

2014 Ambubachi Puja and Mela at 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 At Kamakhya Temple

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.

Prashanti Lodge

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.

Photo Gallery

* The Rates are subject to change and are based on information collected in October 2013.

Accommodation near Kamakhya Temple

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.

 

Budget Hotels near Kamakhya Temple

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
Phone:+99859984242,9207000457,9854370661

3. Kamakhya Debutter Guest House
Left to the Kamakhya Temple
0361-2734660, 2734654

Click here to view more about Lodges near Kamakhya Temple

Cheap Hotels 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.