Kamakhya temple festival called off 

#GS1 #Culture 

First time in recorded history  

  • With the lockdown, the annual festival at the Kamakhya temple here has been cancelled for the first time in its recorded history.  
  • Legends say the temple atop the Nilachal Hills, whose northern face slopes down to the Brahmaputra river, was built by the demon king Narakasura. Records are available only from 1565 when Koch King Naranarayana had the temple rebuilt.  
  • Kamakhya is one of the 51 shaktipeeths, or holy sites, for the followers of the Shakti cult, each representing a body part of Sati, Lord Shiva’s companion.   
  • The temple’s sanctum sanctorum houses the yoni — female genitals — symbolised by a rock. The festival marks the menstruation of the goddess  

Ambubachi Mela 

  • TheAmbubachi Melais an annual Hindu melaheld at Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam.  
  • This yearly mela is celebrated during the monsoonseason that happens to fall during the Assamese month Ahaar, around the middle of June when sun transit to the zodiac of Mithuna, when the Brahmaputra riveris in spate.  
  • It is the celebration of the yearly menstruationcourse of goddess Kamakhya.It is believed that the presiding goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti, goes through her annual cycle of menstruationduring this time stretch.  
  • It is also believed that during the monsoon rains the creative and nurturing power of the 'menses' of Mother Earthbecomes accessible to devotees at this site during the mela.   
  • There is no idol of the presiding deity but she is worshipped in the form of a yoni-like stone instead over which a natural spring flows.   
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