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Kamakhya Temple Idol – Unique Natural Formation Symbolizing Yoni

Kamakhya Temple in the Nilachal hills in Guwahati is one of the most important centers of Shakti worship in India. But the Kamkhya Temple does not have an idol or image of Shakti or any of her forms like Sati or Kamakya, Durga, Parvati or Kali. What is worshipped is a natural crevice in a rock that symbolizes the ‘Yoni’ (female genitalia or vagina). The rock cut in the shape of a yoni is surrounded by a pool created by an underground spring or stream.

Kamakhya Temple is one among the 51 Hindu Shakti piths. Legend has it that Lord Shiva was carrying the body of his dead wife Sati around the world. There seemed to be no end to Shiva’s anger and grief. This led to an imbalance in the universe. Finally, Lord Vishnu decided to decimate the body of Sati with his Sudhrashana Chakra. He cut the body of Sati into 51 pieces. It is believed that ‘Yoni’ of Sati fell at the spot where the present Kamakhya Temple stands.

During the Ambubasi Festival (June – July), the water in the underground stream turns red and this is believed to be the menstrual blood. It is agreed that the water turns red due to iron oxidation.

The sanctum sanctorum of the Kamakhya Temple is in the form of a cave and is reached after passing two chambers. The chamber before the sanctum sanctorum has an idol of goddess, which is a new addition. The walls of the chamber are noted for its sculptures.

It is believed that worship at the Kamakhya Temple fulfills all desires and the deity bestows ‘moksha.’