18 Most Famous Temples of Assam

18 Most Famous Temples of Assam

The State of Assam has numerous temples and monuments, which stand witness to the great historical and cultural past dating back to the medieval days. Many ancient Hindu temples in Assam have roots in mythological legends. Assam is the land of Vaishnava Gurus like Sankardeva and Madhavdeva, and you will find various temples devoted to various Gods. In this article, we are going to read about the 18 most famous temples of Assam:

Kamakhya Temple

Located on the Nilachal Hill in the western part of Guwahati, Assam, the Kamakhya Temple is an ancient Shakti Peetha and one of the oldest among the 51 in India. The main temple is surrounded by ten individual shrines dedicated to the Mahavidyas, including Kali, Tara, and Bhairavi. The temple is a hub for Tantra worship and is visited by thousands of devotees every year during the Ambubachi Mela, Manasha Puja, and Navaratri in the autumn.

Tilinga Mandir

Tilinga Mandir, a famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Upper Assam, is situated in the small town of Bordubi, 7 km from the Tinsukia District of Assam. The temple is also known as the "Temple of Bells" or "Tilinga Mandir" because of its vast collection of bells. This temple has made it to the Limca Book of World Records for having the largest collection of bells of all types. The bells, made of copper, bronze, brass, and aluminum, come in various sizes, weighing from 50 grams to 55 kg. The temple is located where, in 1965, a Shiva Lingam emerged from the ground near a banyan tree. Banyan trees are considered divine and wish-fulfilling in Hindu mythology. Therefore, it is believed that if someone ties a bell to the banyan tree at Tilinga Mandir, their wish will come true. If their wish comes true, they are expected to return to the temple and tie a bell. Pilgrims visit this temple throughout the year, with Monday being the most popular day.

Negheriting Shiva Doul

Perched on a hillock approximately 1.5 kilometers north of National Highway 37 in the Golaghat district of Assam, the Negheriting Shiva Doul is a temple complex comprising a beautifully decorated Shiva Doul and four smaller Douls dedicated to Ganesh, Vishnu, Durga, and Surya. Originally built by the Kacharis in the 8th–9th century AD, the current temple was reconstructed by the Ahom king Rajeswar Singha after multiple natural calamities. 

Siva Dol

Located on the banks of the Borpukhuri in the heart of Sivasagar, the Siva Dol is a group of three Hindu temples, including the Siva Dol, Vishnu Dol, and Devi Dol shrines, as well as a museum. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva stands tall at 104 feet, with a base measuring 195 feet in circumference and an 8-foot high golden dome on top. The temple hosts a huge fair during Mahashivaratri and attracts pilgrims from all over India for the Hare Krishna kirtan, which is conducted throughout the night during the Hindu month of Sawan. The Vishnu Dol celebrates Dol Yatra and Rath Yatra annually, while Devidol celebrates Durga Puja with great fervor in September-October. 

Kedareswara Temple

Situated atop Madanchala Hillock in Hajo, Assam, the Kedareswar temple is a medieval shrine that was built by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha in 1753. It is a rare Svayambhu linga in the Ardhanarishwara form of Lord Shiva. The linga is considered so sacred that it is kept covered by a metal bowl by the priests and is not visible to the devotees. 

Asvakranta Temple

The Asvakranta Temple, situated on a rocky bed near the Brahmaputra river in the North of Guwahati, is an important shrine of Lord Vishnu. The deity worshipped here is Anantasayin Vishnu, depicting the lord sitting on the serpent. Legend has it that Lord Krishna halted here with his army and horses before he defeated the demon Narakasur, who ruled over this region. A visit to this temple is believed to absolve one of all sins and help them attain salvation.

Basistha Temple

The Basistha Temple, constructed by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha in 1764, is a Shiva temple located on the southeast corner of Guwahati. The temple is situated in the Basistha Ashram, which dates back to the Vedic age and is believed to be the home of the sage Basistha or Vasishtha. The temple stands on the bank of the mountain streams that originate from the hills of Meghalaya and later become the rivers Basistha and Bahini/Bharalu. Although the cave where the sage meditated is located 5 km from the temple, it remains a popular destination for worshipers.

Dhekiakhowa Bornamghar

Located in the Jorhat district of Assam, India, Dhekiakhowa Bornaamghar was founded by the saint-reformer Madhavdeva. The temple is known as a Bornaamghar due to its historical significance and vast campus. In the Dhekiakhowa village, 15 km towards the east of Jorhat city and 3.5 km away from National Highway 37, a continuously burning earthen lamp has been kept alight by the priests who regularly refuel it with mustard oil in accordance with religious traditions. The temple is named after the Naamghar, which was started by Guru Madhavdeva in the village. According to an anecdote, he was served dinner by an old woman, who was embarrassed that she had only been able to offer rice and Dhekia Saak, a wild vegetable with excellent taste. However, the saint guru was immensely pleased with the dinner and started a Naamghar there, appointing the old woman responsible for kindling the earthen lamp. A large number of devotees visit the temple daily, especially during the sacred month of Bhado, when the Death Anniversaries of both the gurus Srimanta Sankardeva and Madhavdeva are observed. 

Bhairabi Temple

The Bhairabi Temple is situated on the outskirts of Tezpur in Assam, specifically in Kolibari. It is considered a sidhapitha, a place where people offer prayers and seek blessings from Maa Bhairabi to fulfill their wishes. Legend has it that the daughter of the mighty Asura King Banasura, Usha, regularly worshipped the Goddess here. The Durga Puja celebration is performed in a grand manner at this temple, and sacrificial offerings of goats, ducks, pigeons, and other animals are still conducted on a regular basis. 

Umananda Temple

This holy place, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is situated on the tiniest river island of Umananda, which lies amidst the mighty Brahmaputra River flowing through Guwahati in Assam. Peacock Island is the name given to the island by the British due to its peacock-like shape. As per Hindu mythology, Shiva created this island to delight his wife Parvati. Bhayananda is believed to have taken the form of Shiva and resided here. The Island is also known as Bhasmachal, as it is believed that Shiva burned Kamadeva with his third eye when he disturbed Shiva's deep meditation. Maha Shivaratri and Mondays are the most revered occasions for devotees at Umananda Temple, and the new moon brings them immense joy. To reach the island, one can take a 10-minute ferry ride from Umananda or Kachari Ghat, located near Guwahati High Court. 

Ugra Tara Temple

The Ugra Tara Temple, located in Latasil, in the western part of Jur Pukhuri, is an essential Sakti shrine dedicated to Devi Tara. According to legend, the navel of Sati, the first consort of Lord Shiva, is associated with this temple. Ahom King Siva Singha erected the present temple in 1725 AD, and he had earlier dug a pond three years before called Jur Pukhuri, which is situated on the east side of the temple. Although the temple's upper section was destroyed by a massive earthquake, a private citizen rebuilt it. The Kalika Purana describes a Shakti peetha named Dikkaravasini, which has two forms: Tikshna kantha and Lalitha kantha. Tikshna kantha, also known as Ugra Tara or Ekajata, is black and potbellied, while Lalitha kantha, also called Tamreshwari, is graceful and attractive. The garbhagriha of Ugra Tara does not have any image or idol of her; instead, a small pit filled with water is considered the Goddess. The Ugra Tara temple has a Shivalaya beside it and a pond behind it. 

Maha Bhairav Temple

The Maha Bhairav Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is situated on a hillock in the northern part of Tezpur, Assam. According to legends, it was founded by king Bana in prehistoric times. Although the original temple was constructed with stone, it was later renovated and reconstructed with concrete. The festival of Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with much fanfare, as devotees from far and wide visit the temple to offer laddus laced with Bhang, an edible preparation of cannabis, mixed with milk and spices, as prasad to Lord Shiva. The ritual of releasing pigeons symbolizes the liberation of the spirits of ancestors.

Tamresveri Temple

The Tamresveri Temple, located in the northern Lakimpur district of Assam, near Sadiya, stands in a deteriorating condition amidst forests, about 7 kilometers away from the city. The temple's unique construction style is a single-stone building made without any cement but held together by iron pins without clamps. Inside, the temple boasts magnificent sculpted images of birds, animals, flowers, and exquisite geometrical designs. 

Navagraha Temple

The Navagraha temple is dedicated to the nine major celestial bodies of Hindu astronomy and is located on the Chitrachal hill in the southeastern part of Guwahati, Assam. These celestial bodies are Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, North Lunar Node, and South Lunar Node. The temple serves as a research centre for both astrology and astronomy. The temple's tower and a large part of it were destroyed by an earthquake, but it was later rebuilt. King Rajesvar Singha built the current temple in 1752 A.D. The inner quarter of the temple survived the earthquake, while the upper portion was reconstructed using corrugated iron sheets.

 Da Parbatia Temple

Nestled in the village of Da Parbatia, a few kilometers to the west of Tezpur city, lies the ancient Da Parbatia Temple. This temple, renowned for its architectural grandeur, is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Assam. The temple is well-known for its exquisite sculptural art that is displayed in the ruins of the temple's door frame. The Archaeological Survey of India oversees this temple, which is of great historical significance and is listed under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958. In 1924, archaeological excavations uncovered a sixth-century antiquity in the form of a stone door frame adorned with intricate carvings. The temple's ruins, constructed during the Ahom era, are built over the foundation of an ancient temple and consist of a stone-paved layout plan of the sanctum sanctorum and a mandapa.

Sukreswar Temple

Constructed in 1744 by Ahom King Pramatta Singha, the Sukreswar Temple is a significant Shiva temple located on the Sukreswar or Itakhuli hill on the south bank of the Brahmaputra river in the Panbazar locality of Guwahati city. The temple received financial backing from King Rajeswar Singha, who was also a promoter of the Saiva cult, in 1759. A long flight of steps leads down from the temple compound to the Brahmaputra river, from where visitors can view the picturesque Umananda Island, the world's smallest river island, or appreciate the sun setting on the river, boats sailing across, people performing puja in honour of their departed loved ones, children and elderly bathing, far from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Hayagriva Madhava Temple

Hayagriva Madhava Temple, situated on the Manikuta Hill in Hajo, approximately 30 km west of Guwahati, Assam, houses an exquisite image of Lord Vishnu, resembling the image of Lord Jagannath at Puri in Orissa. This temple is a significant religious spot for Hindus, Buddhist Lamas, and Bhutiyas who follow Buddhism. It is believed that Lord Buddha attained Nirvana or Moksha at this place. The entrance to this temple is an intricately carved granite block structure, standing tall at 10 feet and spanning 5 feet in width. The temple's exterior flaunts colossal sculpted figures of the 10 Avatars, with Buddha taking the ninth position. People offer food to fish and turtles in a large pond called Madhab Pukhuri, located close to the temple. Every year, the Doul, Bihu, and Janmashtami festivals are celebrated with great fervor at this temple.

Mahamaya Temple

The Mahamaya Temple, also known as the Mahamaya Dham, is a revered Hindu shrine located in the Kokrajhar District of Assam. With a rich cultural and historical heritage, this ancient temple is considered one of the greatest Shakti Peethas, attracting a large number of pilgrims and tourists each year.

Of particular note is the temple's 400-year-old tradition of animal sacrifice, which is especially prominent during the time of Durga Puja. The temple also houses a magnificent idol of Goddess Kali and Lord Hanuman, providing a splendid sight for visitors.

Furthermore, there is another place of worship associated with the Mahamaya goddess known as the Mahamaya Snaanghat Temple, located a few kilometers away from the main temple. According to local legend, this is the place where the Goddess Mahamaya would take her bath, leading to the naming of the site. Each year around January, the temple priests perform a Shakti Yagya at this temple, further adding to the religious significance of the area.

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