When we talk of temples, we only associate it with the north and southern parts of India. However, lying in the north eastern corner of India is Assam, which houses amazing temples that are a must visit. They have acquired worldwide fame for their beautiful and grand architecture, customs and rituals, heritage and mythological association. These Assam temples are an epitome of Hindu culture and history that has the entire world spellbound.

1. Kamakhya Temple In Guwahati, Assam:

The Kamakhya temple is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Peeths situated in the Nilachal Hills of Guwahati, Assam. As per fables, Sati’s ‘Yoni’ or Vagina and womb fell in this particular area and both the parts represent the female power of procreation. Inside the Maa Kamakhya temple the goddess is present as an idol in the shape of a vagina with a small spring of water near it to keep it moist.The main temple is dedicated to mother goddess Kamakhya and the remaining individual ten temples are dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas. The temple built between 8th-17th century is said to be Nilachal styled with a hemispherical dome on a cruciform base. Worshipping in this temple includes goat sacrifices. The annual festivals of the temple attract several thousands of visitors.

Highlights:

  • Address: Kamakhya, Guwahati, Assam 781010
  • Timings: 8 am to 1 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Dress Code: Decent Attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How to Reach: Local mode of transport
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time to Visit: Durga Puja, Ambubachi Mela, Manasha
  • Other Attractions: Alfresco grand, Pobitora wildlife sanctuary

2. Da Parbatia Temple In Tezpur, Assam:

Da Parbatia temple located at Tezpur, Assam is in the form of the ruins of the door-frame of the temple. It is an iconoclastic representation of art and one of the oldest too in Assam. The temple is dedicated to the goddesses Yamuna and Ganga. This Assam famous temple is dated back to the 5th-6th centuries AD.

Highlights:

  • Address: Sonitpur district, Tezpur, Assam
  • Timings: 6 am to 9 pm
  • Dress Code: Decent Attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How to Reach: Local mode of transport
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year except rainy season
  • Other Attractions: Madhava Temple, Kamakhya Temple

3. Asvakranta Temple In Guwahati, Assam:

Asvakranta temple located in Guwahati, Assam is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is considered to be sacred by ‘yogini tantra’. The deity, Anantasayin Vishnu is a reclining position of Lord Vishnu on the body of a serpent. There’s also an idol of Lord Brahma sitting on a lotus emerging from the navel of Lord Vishnu. The temple complex includes other idols too.

Highlights:

  • Address: North Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam 781030, India
  • Timings: Morning after sunrise until noon and evening before 9 pm
  • Dress Code: No Dress Code
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How to Reach: Local mode of transport
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time to Visit: Between the months of November to May
  • Other Attractions: Foot prints of Lord Krishna, Kurmajanardana

4. Navagraha Temple In Guwahati, Assam:

This temple was built around 1752 AD and is located on the crest of a hill known as Chitrasal Hill (Navagraha hill) in Guwahati, Assam. The Navagraha temple in Assam contains nine phallic emblems of Lord Shiva covered with different coloured clothes which are sacred to the nine planetary Gods. A Shivaligam symbolizing the sun is present in the centre. Regular worship is done here.

Highlights:

  • Address: Chitrachal Hill, Guwahati, Assam
  • Timings: 4 am to 9 pm
  • Dress Code: Decent Attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
  • How to Reach: Local mode of transport
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
  • Other Attractions: Chitrachal hill

5. Maha Bhairav Temple in Tezpur, Assam:

The Maha Bhairav temple believed to be built by prehistoric monarch Bana was originally built between 8th-10th centuries AD. It is located in the town of Tezpur, Assam and has one of the largest stone-phallus or Shiva lingam in the world. The temple is thus dedicated to Lord Shiva and thousands of people visit the temple during the auspicious time of Shivaratri.

Highlights:

  • Address: Mahabhairab, Tezpur, Assam 784001
  • Timings: 6 am to 8 pm
  • Dress Code: Decent Attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How to Reach: Local mode of transport
  • Temple Website: http://www.mahabhairab.org/
  • Best Time to Visit: Mahashivratri
  • Other Attractions: Doul Govinda temple

6. Umananda Temple In Peacock Island, Assam:

Umananda Temple Devaloi located at Peacock Island, Assam, in the middle of Brahmaputra River was built around 1681-1696. Bhayananda, a form of Shiva resides here. The deity here is Umananda and it is believed that worshipping here on Amavasya (lunar phase of the new moon) day on a Monday brings the highest bliss. The annual festival celebrated here is Shiva Chaturdashi when many devotees visit the temple.

Highlights:

  • Address: Peacock Island, Baruah Souk, North Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam 781030
  • Timings: 6 am to 6 pm
  • Dress Code: Decent Attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 3-4 hours
  • How to Reach: Via boat
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time to Visit: Shiva Chaturdashi
  • Other Attractions: Hanuman Temple

7. Sukreswara Temple In Guwahati, Assam:

The Sukreswara temple is an important Shiva temple situated on the banks of Brahmaputra River in Guwahati, Assam. It was built in 1744 AD. The temple has one of the largest Shiva linga or phallic emblems of Shiva. Devotees from all over visit the place throughout the year. This Assam Guwahati temple remains crowded during the festival of Shivratri.

Highlights:

  • Address: Sukreswar Hill, Guwahati, Assam
  • Timings: 6 am to 7 pm
  • Dress Code: Decent Attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
  • How to Reach: Walking or local mode of transport
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time to Visit: Shivratri
  • Other Attractions: Sukreswar hill

8. Hayagriva Madhava Temple In Hajo, Assam:

Haragriva Madhava temple is situated in a hill called Monikut hill in Hajo, Assam. It was constructed back in the 16th century and is a famous Buddhist temple. It’s a stone temple and enshrines an image of Hayagriva Madhava. The presiding deity worshipped here is the man lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Doul, Bihu and Janmashtami are the festivals widely celebrated in the temple every year. This temple preaches both Hinduism and Buddhism and thus attracts many Buddhist monks from various places.

Highlights:

  • Address: Hajo, Guwahati, Assam
  • Timings: 6 am to 9 pm
  • Dress Code: Decent Attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 4-5 hours
  • How to Reach: Local mode of transport
  • Temple Website: N/A
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
  • Other Attractions:Kamakhya temple

9. Ugro Tara Temple in Guwahati, Assam:

Ugro Tara is located in the western side of Jorpukhury tanks in Guwahati, Assam and is dedicated to Devi Tara. Devi Tara is also considered as a reincarnation of Goddess Parvati. There is a Shivalaya (pagoda) beside the Ugro Tara temple. It is believed that Sati’s navel fell here, thus making it a significant place of Hindu worships.The present temple which is considered an important Shakti Peeth temple was built around 1725 AD. The nature of worship here is similar to that of Kamakhya which means animal sacrifice is included.

Highlights:

  • Address: Jor Pukhury tanks, Uzan Bazar, Guwahati Assam
  • Timings: 5:30 am to 8 pm
  • Dress Code: decent attire
  • Approx. Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
  • How to Reach: local mode of transport
  • Temple Website: NA
  • Best Time to Visit: throughout the year
  • Other Attractions:Maa Kamakhya Temple

The next time you are planning for a holiday to Assam, make it a point to visit these magnificent temples. Not only are they symbol of Indian heritage and culture, but they are also great places to admire the architecture. Each temple hosts festivals which are bright, colorful and speaks of the legendary tales associated with them. Although the temples might be thronged with visitors, you can witness the customs and rituals that have stayed from time immemorial. So, Assam is no longer just an icon for tea, it is the home to some of India’s heritage.

Frequently asked Questions and Answers:

1. Is The Ugra Tara Temple a Shakti Peetha?

Yes, the Ugra Tara temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peetha’s when Lord Shiva performed tandava with the body of Sati, her body was cut apart and fell across the country. The navel of the goddess is said to have fallen here.

2. What Kind of Animal is Sacrificed at The Kamakhya Temple Assam?

A goat is sacrificed at the Kamakhya temple Assam; there is no compulsion for all the devotees to make this sacrifice.

3. To Whom is The Asvakranta Temple in Guwahati Dedicated to?

The Asvakranta Temple in Guwahati is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the most famous temples of the lord in India.

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