Ambubachi Mela Celebration of menstruation cycle of Goddess Kamakhya

The Ambubachi Mela represents the annually celebrated fest of the Hindus. This annual mela of the Ambubachi festival is organised at the premises of the famed ancient Hindu shrine of Kamakhya mandir (temple) atop the Nilachal pahar in Guwahati, Assam. The temple is mentioned in the age-old Kalika Purana.

Time Of The Festival:

This annual Ambubachi Mela is observed during the monsoon season. The rainy season falls around the middle part of June or the Assamese lunar month of ‘Ahaar’. During this period, the sun transits to the Mithuna (Gemini) zodiac. This is the time when the only river with a male name: the Brahmaputra (Lord Brahma’s son) remains in full spate.

Mythological Reference:

The Ambubachi Mela celebrates the annual menstruation course of Goddess Kamakhya.

The popular belief is that the presiding temple goddess – Devi Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti – proceeds through her annual menstrual cycle.

It is further believed that the nurturing and creative power of Mother Nature during the monsoon rains, remains accessible to the devotees congregating at the mela site. Significantly, no idol of the presiding deity is worshipped. However, the presiding deity is revered in the form of a yoni-like stone over which a natural spring flows.

The Fertility Cult:

This Ambubachi or Ameti mela celebrates the ‘Tantric’ fertility cult. This cult is intimately connected with the cult known as the ‘Tantric Shakti’. This cult is very much prevalent across the eastern portion of India.

The Point Of Curiosity:

During this period, hundreds of Tantric Babas (mendicants) who otherwise remain secluded from the society make their public appearances here. These babas attract public curiosity and reverence for their ‘mystic’ powers during this Ambubachi Mela that continues for four days. Notably, during the remaining part of the year, these babas prefer to remain out of public gaze. The congregated common people witness the babas’ psychic powers like putting their heads in a pit and standing upright on it or they shielding their heads in the pit or standing on a leg for hours.