Ambubachi Mela

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Devotees from across the nation are flocking to the Kamakhya temple in Assam's Guwahati for the commencement of the annual Ambubachi Mela.

About Ambubachi Mela:

  • It is an annual Hindu fair held at the historic Kamakhya Temple.
  • It is celebrated during the monsoon season that happens to fall during the Assamese month Ahaar, around the middle of June.
  • It is the celebration of the yearly menstruation course of goddess Maa Kamakhya.

Key facts about 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 combination has been named the Nilachala Style of Architecture.
    • 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.

Q1: What is Nagara architecture?

It is a classical architecture of temple design in northern India, contrasted with Dravida architecture in southern India. Nagara temples have a shikhara (mountain peak) over the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum), a circumambulatory passage around it, and one or more mandapas (halls).

Source: Assam news: Devotees throng to Guwahati to offer prayers in Maa Kamakhya temple amid ongoing Ambubachi Mela