Assam Temples and Monuments
This northeastern state of India is sprawled with numerous temples and monuments,
which stand witness to the great historical and cultural past of the state. Some
of these monuments date back to the medieval days. This ancestral heritage of the
region is preserved in the form of rock sculptures, rock inscriptions, copper plates
and other forms of inscriptions hailing from historical to medieval times. Many
ancient Hindu temples of Assam have some root in mythological legends. New religions
and faiths arriving in this hilly region followed construction of temples and monuments
throughout the state. Many of these temples followed architectural styles of the
Kachari, Ahom and Kochs. The archeological heritage of Assam has a connection with
some of the ancient civilizations of the world. These monuments can be grouped into
ancient and modern monuments. Most of the cave temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva,
creator of the world as per Hindu belief. The time period of construction of these
monuments dates back from 350 AD to 1828 AD. Some of the ancient marvels of Assam
are mentioned below -
Kamakhya Temple is located on top of the Nilachal hill, at a height of around eight
hundred feet. It is an ancient Shakti peeth situated in the western part of Guwahati.
The goddess Kamakhya is mostly worshipped by Hindus and specially the Tantric worshippers.
It is an important pilgrimage centre of Assam. The present day temple was built
during the Ahom times. The present structure has preserved the Shikhara characteristic
of architecture, which is adorned with beautiful idols of Ganesha and other Hindu
gods. The main temple is comprised of three major chambers, rectangular large western
chamber, square shaped middle chamber and the narrow eastern chamber. But the most
important part is the inner sanatorium or Garbhagraha.
These are devoted to Navagraha or nine celestial bodies according to Hindu astronomy.
Some of the temples of South India contain a Navagraha shrine, however Navagraha
temples refer to the group of nine temples each dedicated to individual Graha. The
Navgraha temple of Guwahati in Assam was built by Ahom king Rajeshwar Singha during
end of 18th Century. The temple was renovated in 1923. It is adorned with nine Shivalingas
which are representing the nine Grahas. They are covered with a colored cloth typical
of each Graha. A shivalinga in the center represents the presence of Sun.
This Shiva temple is beautifully situated on the Peacock Island which is tucked
at center of Brahmaputra River in Guwahati. It is located on the mountain called
Bhasmacala and it can be accessed by boats from the bank of the river Brahmaputra
This temple built by Ahom king Gadadhar Singha a devotee of Shiva, in the period
1681-1696 is dedicated to the presiding deity Umananda. Walls of the temple are
decorated with exclusive sculptures and portraits of Hindu gods which are engraved
in the rock walls. As per local belief, worshipping this god on Amavasya falling
on Monday brings lots of prosperity. A colorful festival is celebrated every year
in this temple on Siva Chaturdasi. Hordes of devotees rush to this temple during
This is a well known pilgrimage spot located in the southern-most part of Guwahati
at the foot hills of Meghalaya. This ashram belonged to the great Vedic sage Bashistha.
The region is bedecked by the scenic background of the rivers namely Sandhya, Lalita
and Kanta which meet at this spot offering panoramic views to the visitors.
This temple located on a hillock of northern Tezpur was established by king Bana
in prehistoric times. This Shiva temple originally built out of stone during Ahom
rule, was recently renovated. The temple is popular for its Shivalinga, which is
supposed to be the largest in the world. This temple was built in the 8th century
by the Salasthamba dynasty. Shivaratri festival is celebrated with great pomp and
fervor amidst devotees coming from all corners of the world. The temple can be accessed
from Tezpur railway station. It can also be accessed by air, the nearest airport
being just seven km from the city center.
This temple is tucked on a hillock of Guwahati enriched by Sal and Teak forests,
which is dedicated to Lord Kamdev. The temple is stuffed with so many beautiful
sculptures, that it has become popular as Khajuraho of Assam. Madan Kamdev is a
complex of twenty four temples situated in Kamrup district just thirty five km from
Guwahati. The sculptures in the temple are depicting story of Kamdev and his wife
Rati. This site is honored as one of the important historical and archeological
sites in Assam. Ruined sculpture of Shiva and Parvati is still worshipped by locals
but they are known by the name Kamdev and Madan, hence the temple is popular as
These are institutional centers which follow the Ekasarana tradition, which are
independent and controlled by individual adhikaras. Many satras were observed emerging
out in the 17th century, which were supported initially by the Koch kingdom and
afterwards by Ahom kingdom. These satras proved to be useful in spreading Ekasarana
religion. They are housing many bhakals and hold control over their disciples.
Poa Mecca means a sect of Mecca which is also called Barmagam, is a Muslim pilgrim
center located on the Garurachala Hills. This mosque was built by an Iraqi preacher
Ghiyasuddin Auliya in 12th Century AD. The prince turned preacher brought a lump
of soil from Mecca and placed it at the spot where the mosque was supposed to be
built at a later stage. This place is named as Poa Mecca because a devotee offering
prayer at this place, acquires one forth (Poa) spiritual enlightenment compared
to what one gets at Mecca.
This 6th century architectural marvel in the form of an ancient Hindu temple is
located just a few km from the town of Tezpur. On the ruins of this temple, Shiva
temple was built during Ahom period which was diminished during the earthquake in
Assam leaving only an intact doorframe. This temple preserves some of the finest
examples of iconic and sculptural art of Assam. The art style resembles one that
existed during Gupta period. Figures of Ganga and Yamuna are carved at the entrance
of the temple.
This is the fortress built by Banasura for keeping his daughter named Usha in isolation.
Banasura described in Ramayana was a thousand armed son of Bali and a horrifying
demon. Everybody including the gods was afraid of Bana, who was a Shiva follower.
The name of the fort is derived from Sanskrit words Agni and Garh. It is located
near the banks of river Brahmaputra and is popular as love site of Northeast. Agnigarh
literally means residence amidst fire. Once a fortress on a hillock, presently it
is a well landscaped garden on the hill with amazing statues to be viewed along
its length and breadth.