Situated on the Nilachal hill in the capital city of Guwahati, the deity of the temple, Kamakhya Devi is revered as the ‘Bleeding Goddess’. It is believed that the ‘Garvagriha‘ or the sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses the mythological womb and vagina of the Hindu goddess Shakti.
Curiously enough, every year during the month of Ashaad (June), the Brahmaputra river near Kamakhya turns red. It is believed that the goddess ‘menstruates’ during this period.
The story of origin is behind the temple quite interesting. It spins around the Hindu gods Shiva and Sati. Myth has it that Sati argued with her husband to be part of the grand yajna that her father was offering to please the gods—of which both were intentionally not invited to. Paying no heed to her husband’s advice, Sati headed to the yajna nonetheless, only to be insulted by her father.
The last straw was when he spoke hostile of Shiva as well. Unable to bear the insult, Sati leapt into the very sacrificial fire of the yajna. When Shiva was aware of what had happened, his anger knew no limits. Carrying his wife’s burnt corpse, he went on a rage with his ‘Tandav‘or the dance of destruction.
While all other gods shrank in fear under Shiva’s rage, it was Vishnu who sent his chakra and cut the body, in order to calm the distressed deity. It is believed that Sati’s body parts fell in 108 locations across the country, which are today known as Shakti peeths.