Why in News?                                                                                                        

Providing world-class amenities to people visiting pilgrimage sites has been a key focus area of the Prime Minister. In yet another step in this endeavour, one of the key projects for which the foundation stone was laid by the Prime Minister includes Maa Kamakhya Divya Pariyojana (Maa Kamakhya Access Corridor), which has been sanctioned under the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region (PM-DevINE) scheme. It will provide world-class amenities to pilgrims visiting the Kamakhya temple.

What is Maa Kamakhya Temple?

  • It is situated on Nilachal Hill and adjoining the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati.
  • It is one of the most revered centres of Tantric practices.
  • It is regarded as one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India.
  • Temple Architecture: It had been modelled out of a combination of two different styles namely, the traditional nagara or North Indian and Saracenic or Mughal style of architecture.
  • This unusual combination has been named the Nilachala Style of Architecture. This is the only temple of Assam having a fully developed ground plan.
  • It consists of five chambers, garbhagriha or sanctuary, antarala or vestibule, Jagan Mohan or principal chamber, bhogmandir or ritual chamber and natmandir or opera hall for performing traditional dance and music associated with sukti temples.
  • It is interesting to note that the superstructure of each of the above chambers exhibits different architectural features.
  • While the main temple contains a modified Saracenic dome, the antarala carries a two-roofed design, the bhogmandir (also called pancharatna) with five domes similar in appearance to the main temple and the natmandir having a shell-roof with apsidal end similar to some of the impermanent namghars or prayer halls found in Assam.
  • Ambubachi Mela is one of the major festivals of this temple. The festival is held every year to commemorate the yearly menstruation of Goddess Kamakhya.