Assam is a state in the northeastern part of India and along the south of the eastern Himalayas along with the Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam is popular for Assam Tea, which is very famous. Assam state is also known for its silk production. It is said by many that when one visits Assam they shouldn’t miss out on shopping for a beautiful hand-woven saree. Assam has a lot of agriculture and vegetation production, and also it is the first place for oil drilling in Asia. It provides a habitat for many species like Tigers, Elephants as well. Not just that, Assam is the home of wild habitats like Asian Elephants. Assam is home to many wildlife sanctuaries and wild species.
Assam has a lot to offer to travelers be it the wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, traditional handloom and handcraft products, scenic beauty of Brahmaputra, and some beautiful and ancient temples.
Apart from its beautiful handicrafts and handlooms, Assam is home to exquisite temples. Assam is a place with a lot of historical significance with myths and many stories in it and diverse. It is a place to find new things, learn about history, and most importantly a place which helps us to connect with divinity and ourselves. So, let’s get to know about the “Top 10 Temples to Visit in Assam.”
1. Aswaklanta Temple
Aswalkanta Temple is one of the famous Hindu temples located on the bank of the river Brahmaputra in the Kamrup district, Assam. This temple was established in 1720 AD by the Ahom King Shiva. The meaning of the word, “Aswaklanta” is “tired horses.” So, according to Hindu mythology, when lord Krishna was searching for Narakasura then he stopped at a place to give some rest to the horses and this place is now known as ‘Aswaklanta Temple.”
The native language in Assam is Assamese and this temple is known as “Abhi-Kranta” in Assamese and which is why there is another back story to this temple that says that Arjuna stayed here so Abhimanyu could be killed in the war.
This place was demolished in an earthquake happened in the year 1897 but it was renovated later. This temple has two idols placed in it one being the idol of Lord Janardana and the second being the idol of Lord Anantasai Vishnu. Many people and devotees visit this temple to see the mesmerizing beauty of the temple and also for the sunset on the Brahmaputra River. As this temple is situated near Guwahati which is the capital of Assam many people visit this temple. One can visit this temple by road and water transport.
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This temple organizes two festivals Ashokastami and Janmashtami which is when many devotees visit the temple for the darshan.
2. Basistha Temple
The Basistha Temple is located in Guwahati in the southeastern part of the city. This temple was constructed by Rajeswar Singha in the year 1764 and is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The back story of this temple is that there is a saint named Vasistha who lived in this ashram which is why it has been named “Basistha Ashram” and this temple is built in the “Basistha Ashram.” The devotees come to this place to see the body of the sage Vasistha which lies in peace. This place has many sculptures and a lot of mythological connections and beliefs.
In this place, we can also see the cave in which Saint Vasistha used to do meditation. Also, this ashram has a breathtaking waterfall in it. The transportation to this place is convenient and can be traveled by auto or taxis or any two-wheelers as well.
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Near the Ashram, there’s a forest named “The Garbhanga Reserve Forest” which consists of many species and butterflies as well.
3. Doul Govinda Temple
The Doul Govinda Temple is located in North Guwahati, on the Chandrabati Hills. This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Interestingly, the back story of this temple is quite intriguing So, it is said that the deity of Lord Krishna in the temple was installed by a man named Ganga Ram Baruah who bought the idol of Shri Krishna from a place named Sadhyasar in Nalbari. As this temple is dedicated to Krishna, it would be very obvious that Holi, the festival of colors will be celebrated in grandeur for five days.
But other than Holi, all other festivals and rituals related to Krishna will be celebrated here. Numerous tourists and locals visit this temple during the festival of Holi. “Janmashtami” is one of the most auspicious days and that is also celebrated here. This temple is near to the Brahmaputra river so one could visit the bank of the river when visited to this temple.
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The best time to visit this place is during Holi and Janmashtami. But we’d suggest visiting the temple during Janmashtami as during the time of Holi it would rain and a visit to Assam during monsoon is not very much recommended as it would rain a lot.
4. Purva Tirupati Shri Balaji Temple
The “Purva Tirupati Shri Balaji” temple is located in the city of Guwahati. This temple is dedicated to the Lord Venkateswara and it is considered to be a holy place to all the Hindu devotees. This temple is huge and magnificent in its size and beauty. The way this temple was built in a large area and its architectural design is so beautifully done and the view from the temple is breathtaking. This temple was constructed in a South Indian style.
At the entrance of the temple, we can see the idol of the Lord Ganesha, and inside the main temple, the idol of the Lord Venkateswara is placed which weighs about 4 tonnes. Around the main temple, there are many temples constructed with the deities like Garuda Vahana which is one of the avatars of the Lord Balaji and also Goddess Padmavati. This temple is constructed with a white serene structure that has a spectacular view that attracts many visitors. This temple conducts pujas and other rituals on a regular basis and along with it there is a park which is attached to the temple which is so calm and serene. The view from the park is so beautiful and peaceful.
Also, how can we forget about the prasadams when we visit any temple and especially when we pay a visit to Lord Balaji’s temple? So, just like the Laddu prasadam the devotees get in Tirumala the devotees who visit this temple can also get delicious prasadam. Nearby this temple, there is a Fancy Bazaar which is a one-stop destination for all the shopping lovers out there. Also, visitors to this temple can also visit the ISKCON temple which is near to the “Purva Tirupati Shri Balaji Temple.”
The transport to this temple is very convenient. This temple can be visited at any time of the day but visiting the temple in the evening is awe-struck because of the beautiful lights that reflect in the evening time.
5. Kamakhya Temple
The Kamakhya Temple is one of the top 10 temples to visit in Assam. Countless devotees visit this temple every year. This temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kamakhya. This temple is very well famous for its architectural and historical background. The architectural design of this temple is one of the best and finest works. It is one of the oldest temples and this temple has 10 adjoining temples in it. Hindu and Tantric devotees visit this temple. This temple lies on the Nilachal Hills and it is with 6 temples and monuments in it. This temple is also known as the temple of the Bleeding Goddess.
There are many tales linked with this temple. It is also said that in the month of June, the waters of the Brahmaputra River turn red because of the menstruating blood of the goddess. This temple was built around the 7th and 8th centuries by many people. During the 16th century, the temple was destroyed and reconstructed again with whatever ruins were left. The artworks around the Nilachal Hills are so attractive. Around the months of September and October, the five-day Durga Puja festival will be celebrated here with so much verve. The travel part of visiting this temple is convenient and quick as one can reach this temple by any vehicle.
6. Umananda Temple
The Umananda Temple is located in the middle of Peacock Island which is in the Brahmaputra River. The deity that resides in this temple is the Lord Shiva. This temple is built on the top of a mountain called Bhasmaschala. So, this island is the world’s smallest riverine Island and here the Shiva Temple was constructed by a Shiv Bhakt. This temple was constructed by a king, who is a Shiv bakht named Gadadhar Singha who was the king of the Ahoms.
So, people believe that from the Hindu mythological text, when Shiva was busy in meditation Kamadeva, the God of love and desire interrupted his ritual because of which Shiva became angry and with his one glance he burned into ashes, and then his ashes got sprinkled here and as Kamadeva was burned here this hill is named as Bhasmachala or Bhasmakuta. So, as the temple’s name is ”Umananda” is a deity that is another appearance of Lord Shiva.
The best time to visit this temple is on the day of Shiva Chaturdashi, as this festival is celebrated in grandeur and a fair will be held every year in the premises of the temple. The craftsmanship and sculptors are the main attraction of this temple. As this temple is an island, ferry services had to be taken which is approximately around 10-15 minute ride to the Island.
We’d suggest you visit this place during the time of Shiva Chaturdashi as one can enjoy the festival and also as there are weather constraints. In the summers, it would be too hot and humid and in the monsoon, it is not recommended as to reach the island one has to take ferry service but it is better if one visits this place in the winter season.
7. Mahishamardini Temple
The Mahishamardini Temple which is located in Nagaon, a district in Assam is one of the highly visited tourist spots. This temple was built by Pramatta Singh who was an Ahom King. The Mahishamardini temple is full of rich culture and heritage. It is a historical temple. Back in those days, human sacrifices used to happen in front of the deity but now they are discontinued. The tools like swords and others are now used in the Guwahati Museum. To reach the temple one of the ways is to catch the frequent buses from the Nagaon District.
8. Kedareswara Temple
The Kedareswara Temple which is situated in Hajo, Assam is one of the many sacred places in Assam. Hajo, in Assam, is a house for a large number of religious places for all devotees like Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims as well. The Kedareswara Temple is one of the tourist attractions and a sacred place for the Hindus. The deity that resides in the temple is the Lord Shiva. This shrine is situated on top of a hill named Madanchalla. This popular Shiva temple was established in the year 1753 by the king named Rajeswar Singha who belonged to the Ahom dynasty.
Many of the people who are interested in History and Archeology visit this temple very often. The interesting part about this temple is that it has a rare self-originated phallic or Swayambhu Linga which is in the form of Ardhanariswara which is known as the Androgynous form in English. This is one of the most important temples in India. The view from the temple is so mesmerizing. While visiting this temple, travelers can also cover The Hayagriva Madhava Temple which is near the ”Kedareswara Temple.” This temple is approximately 30 km from Guwahati so the transport to this temple is easily available.
9. Tilinga Mandir
The Tilinga Mandir, which is commonly known as Bell Temple is located in the small town of Bordubi of Tinsukia district in Assam. As the name of the temple says, this temple is famous for it is the house of hundreds and thousands of sizes of bells here. This temple was built in dedication to Lord Shiva. It is said by many that “Tilinga Mandir” is spiritually stronger than many other temples. In this temple, we can not only see hundreds and thousands of bells but also they are made up of different materials which is even more interesting.
The bells are made up of different materials of metals like aluminum, copper, and more. So, these bells are tied to Peepal Tree. People believe that in this temple their wishes come true if they pray to Lord Shiva and after that one has to donate a bell in the temple. Not alone a bell one can donate a pigeon or a Trishul as well once your wishes are fulfilled. In this temple, you can find hundreds of Shiva tridents speared all over the temple here and there. People from faraway places also visit this temple because of its rich heritage and beliefs.
This temple is about half a century old and it is said that the Shiva Linga which is in the temple emerged from the ground near to the Banyan tree that is present in the temple. After the completion of the darshan of Lord Shiva, the devotees visit that tree. This temple is the center of many tourist attractions like Rukmini Island, Namrup Namghar Temple, Nepali Durga Temple, and Om House Boat. Also, the visitors can go to the local shops nearby the temple and buy bells as well.
The transportation to the temple and the place is connected to the nearest railway station at Tinsukia. The best time to visit this temple is between the months of February to May and also in October and November.
10. Mahabhairab Temple
The Mahabhairab Temple is located on a hill in the northern corner of Tezpur in Assam. It is said that Kings of many dynasties donated land to the temple especially the Tungkhungiya dynasty donated a large part of Devottar land for the temple as well to pujaris.
It is said that the temple was built by King Bana. Back in those days the responsibility to look after the temple was given to a lot of people but now the temple is currently maintained by the government with the help of a committee which is headed by the District Deputy Commissioner.