Guwahati: The Ambubachi Mela is one of the biggest religious gatherings of devotees at the Kamakhya Temple in Assam during June. The ‘Maa Kamakhya Temple’, situated in Guwahati, is considered one of the ‘Shakti Peethas‘.
What is Ambubachi Mela?
The Ambubachi Mela is celebrated during monsoon in the belief of Goddess Kamakhya going through her annual menstruation cycle at this time. The temple remains closed for three days starting from the seventh day of the “Ashadh” month of the Hindu calendar until the tenth day as part of traditional seclusion during menstruation.
The doors ceremonially open on the twelfth day, and a huge fair takes place at the temple premise. The popular belief is that the fertility brought in by the Goddess will bless the devotees and nurture them.
The significance of Ambubachi Mela
The meaning of Ambubachi is ‘spoken with water’, signifying the rainfall expected during this month to make the earth fertile. The regular worship of devotees is suspended during this period and all digging, ploughing, sowing, and transplanting of crops are forbidden in the state. All the used utensils, clothes and other items are cleaned and symbolically purified by sprinkling water on the fourth day of the Ambubachi festival.
Goddess Kamakhya is also cleaned and other rituals are performed on the fourth day, after which worshipping of the goddess begins. Entry to the shine is considered auspicious after the rituals are performed.
Two different types of prasad- Angodak and Angabastra, are distributed among the devotees present in Kamakhya temple.
Ambubachi Mela 2022
There were no Ambubachi celebrations in the Kamakhya temple for the last two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as there are no covid-19 restrictions this year, Ambubachi Mela is set to make a grand return.
The festival will be celebrated in the Kamakhya Mandir premise from June 22 to June 26. Since huge numbers of devotees throng the three-day festival, priests are concerned that it might lead to the spread of COVID-19. There is a fear looming that the mela might become a new COVID-19 hotspot in the state.
The chief minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma also advised people to refrain from visiting the mela this year because of landslides due to extreme rainfall.
“There might be chances of landslides. If rains occur on the days of mela, this would go out of government control. A press release will also be issued by the Government regarding the same,” Sarma stated.
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