In Guwahati, the vibrant spirit of Durga Puja has swept through the city just like it has in other corners of the country. The puja pandals are adorned with captivating themes and an array of lights, creating a magnificent spectacle.
Yet, the Durga Puja unfolding at the venerable Kamakhya temple, perched regally atop the Nilachal Hill in Guwahati city, takes a different path. Here, the celebration steers clear of traditional idol worship.
In this fortnight-long spectacle, the Kamakhya temple becomes the epicenter of Shakti worship, as the chants of slokas and the rhythmic rituals of the priests set the spiritual stage. Commencing on the ninth day of the waning moon, known as 'Krishna Navami,' the festivities culminate on the ninth day of the waxing moon, 'Sukla Navami,' in the Hindu month of 'Ashwin.'
The temple's adornments for Durga Puja are unconventional, featuring banana stems, vibrant flowers, and lush leaves.
Himadri Sarma, a priest at Kamakhya temple, emphasizes the unique fervor of this celebration, marked by rituals and the sacred Kumari Puja (virgin worship), which extends from the first day after Navaratri through Navami.
Kabindra Prasad Sarma, the chief priest of Kamakhya temple, underscores the temple's annual commitment to Durga Puja, spanning 15 days from Krishna Navami to Sukla Navami.
Kanya Puja, or Kumari Puja, is a pivotal component during Navratri, held from Pratibada to Navami Tithi. The most intriguing facet is the absence of an idol or image of Goddess Durga, making this a truly distinctive celebration.
In the midst of Navratri, a throng of devoted pilgrims converges upon the historic Kamakhya temple, offering their prayers to Goddess Kamakhya.