Ambubachi Mela [Festival in India]

Ambubachi Mela

Ambubachi Mela is an annual Hindu gathering that takes place at the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam. It is held in the month of June during the monsoon season. Ambubachi Mela is a celebration of the annual menstruation cycle of Goddess Kamakhya, which is the presiding Goddess at the Kamakhya Temple.

While there is no idol of the Goddess in the temple, the goddess Kamakhya is worshipped in the form of a yoni-like stone. Here are all the facts you need to know about the Ambubachi Mela, including its date, its history and its significance.

About Ambubachi Mela

Ambubachi Mela is also known as Ameti or the Tantric Fertility Festival. This four-day festival is one of the biggest celebrations in North-East India and is of great significance to the Tantric Shakti cult that is prevalent in the region. Ambabuchi festival is celebrated widely and during this festival, the Kamakhya temple remains closed.

Members of the cult remain in seclusion throughout the year and only make a public appearance during the Ambabuchi festival. This festival is a celebration of the childbearing capabilities of a woman.

Occasion Ambabuchi Mela
Held In June (in monsoon months)
Place Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, Assam
Ambabuchi Mela 2023 Date 26th June (tentative)
Rituals Visiting the Kamakhya temple to seek the blessings of the goddess.
Significance To celebrate the annual menstruation of goddess Kamakhya

Ambubachi Mela 2023 Date

Ambubachi festival is celebrated annually for four days in the month of June, i.e., in the Assamese month of Ahaar. This is the Hindu month of Asadha. At this time, the rains make the earth fertile and ready for procreation, signifying the fertility of Mother Earth. Ambabuchi Mela also signifies the coming of the monsoon season.

The Ambabuchi festival has been celebrated for almost 500 years. However, it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, the Mela will be held from 26th June onwards.

Ambubachi Mela Kamakhya Temple

Ambabuchi Mela is held at the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam. The Kamakhya Devi Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths (holy sites) for the followers of the Shakti cult. Each of these sites represents a part of the body of Sati, the companion of Lord Shiva. The sanctum sanctorum of the Kamakhya Temple houses the yoni (womb).

Location of Ambabuchi Mela

  • Ambabuchi Mela is held at the Kamakhya temple in Nilchar Hills.
  • This temple is located by the Brahmaputra river in Assam.
  • Ambabuchi Festival site is one of the 51 holy shrines of the Shakti cult followers.
  • According to ancient legends, this temple was built by the demon king, Narakasura.

History of Ambubachi Mela

The history behind the Ambabuchi festival can be traced back to the legend when Goddess Shakti surrendered herself to flames when her father insulted Lord Shiva. We have shared further details about the history of the Ambabuchi Mela here –

  • When Goddess Shakti surrendered herself to burning flames, Lord Shiva carried her burning body.
  • Lord Shiva then began performing the tandava, which could have potentially destroyed the universe.
  • To save the universe, Lord Vishnu split her body into 52 parts, with each part falling into different places, now referred to as Shakti Peeths.
  • The Kamakhya Temple signifies the womb of Goddess Shakti and the Ambabuchi festival celebrates the fertility of the goddess.

Ambabuchi Festival – Significance

Ambubachi Mela celebrates the creative and nurturing power of Mother Earth and has originated from agricultural, social, and religious ideas. It is a significant festival for lakhs of Hindu pilgrims ranging from Sadhus to householders who travel to Guwahati every year. Here is why the Ambabuchi Festival is considered significant –

  • The festival is a celebration of the Goddess’s annual menstruation and signifies the fertility of Mother Earth. Therefore, during the three days of the Ambabuchi Mela celebration, the temple remains closed for pilgrims, after which rituals are performed to retrieve the piousness of the Goddess.
  • On the fourth day, the temple doors are opened, and prasad is distributed among the pilgrims in the form of ‘Angodak’ and ‘Angabastra’. ‘Angodak’ refers to the fluid part of the body, while ‘Angabastra’ signifies the cloth covering the body. This is a red cloth that covers the yoni-shaped stone while the Goddess menstruates.
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FAQs on Ambubachi Mela

Q.1) What is the Ambabuchi Mela?

Ambabuchi Mela is an annual festival held at the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, Assam. Ambabuchi Festival celebrates the yearly menstruation of goddess Kamakhya, and each year, sadhus from around the country visit the Kamakhya shrine in Guwahati and seek the goddess’ blessings.

Q2. What is the date of Ambubachi Mela 2023?

The tentative date of Ambubachi Mela 2023 is 23rd June. Every year, the Ambabuchi festival takes place in the month of June, and lasts till three days. This festival celebrates the annual menstruation of Goddess Kamakhya, who is believed to reside in the temple premises in Guwahati.

Q.3) Where is Ambubachi Mela celebrated?

Ambubachi Mela is celebrated annually at the Kamakhya Devi Temple in Guwahati, Assam. The Kamakhya Devi temple is considered sacred by the followers of the Shakti cult, who believe that the womb of goddess Kamakhya resides in the holy shrine and menstruates during the annual Ambabuchi festival.

Q.4) What is the significance of the Ambubachi Mela?

Ambubachi Mela is a celebration of the annual menstruation of Goddess Kamakhya. This festival is observed by the followers of the Shakti cult. The Ambabuchi festival also signifies the fertility of Mother Earth and is celebrated widely by sadhus from around the country.

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