Ambubachi Mela, also known as Ambubachi festival, is a 4 days long religious festival held annually in the Kamakhya Devi Temple at Guwahati, Assam during the Assamese month of Aahar or English June month.
This year, i.e., in
2014 2016, Ambubachi Mela begins on June 22nd and the festival ends on June 26.
People believe that Goddess Kamakhya or popularly known as Maa Kamakhya goes through her menstrual cycle during these days and therefore the temple remains closed for three days. The temple remains closed for three days – the menstruation period. People in large numbers wait outside the temple on the fourth day, when the temple will be opened.
Ambubachi Mela is closely related to the Tantric culture and is also known as Kamakhya Devi Puja. It is closely associated with the Tantric Shakti cult prevalent in eastern parts of India and is famous due to the huge gathering of Tantric Sadhus or Babas from India and abroad. Some of these Tantric Babas appear before public only during these four days.
Large number of devotees make a mad rush when the temple reopens to receive the unique ‘Prasad’ which is small bits of cloth, which is supposedly moist with the menstrual fluid of Goddess Kamakhya. It is considered highly auspicious and powerful. Every year lakhs of pilgrims, from all over India and abroad come to Guwahati to observe this festival.
Image Courtesy: Amlan Jyoti Nath