Devotees throng Kamakhya temple to celebrate ‘Ambubashi Mela

June 24th, 2008 - 9:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Guwahati, June 24 (ANI): Devotees from across the country thronged Kamakhya temple in Guwahati today to participate in the three-day long temple fair called ‘Ambubashi Mela’. The temple, situated about 300 kilometres above the sea level on the banks of river Brahmaputra , is dedicated to goddess Kamakhya, consort of Shiva, Hindu God of destruction. Thousands of pilgrims have covered the distance of the winding road reaching the temple atop the Nilachal hills to celebrate the sacred festival. The festival is celebrated to mark the ‘menstruation period’ of mother earth during which the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine remains closed. Holy men and widows observe fast and after the completion of three days, the doors of the temple are reopened only after goddess Kamakhya is given a ritual bath and other rituals are performed. It is believed that prayers offered to the goddess during this time impress her and it is an auspicious time to attain spiritual salvation. When the temple reopens on the fourth day, the pilgrims are allowed to enter the temple for worshipping Kamakhya. The fourth day also marks the breaking of fast by holy men as well as the devotees. The festival is attended by both Vaishnavites (followers of Vishnu, God of Preservation) as well as Shaviks (followers of Shiva, God of destruction). Vaishanvites are vegetarians while Shaviks are meat eaters and indulge in smoking and drinking. Devotees belonging to both the sects do not communicate with anyone during the fasting period. (ANI)

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