This week, The Musafir Stories speaks with Prasenjit Sharma, founder of Kamakhya walks and Six Degree Adventures!
Today's destination: Guwahati, Assam!
Nearest Airport: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, GAU
Nearest Railway Station: Guwahati Railway Station, GHY
Prerequisites - N/A
Packing - N/A
Time of the year - October to March
Length of the itinerary: 5-6 days
- Prasenjit kicks off the episode by giving us an overview of Guwahati and its strategic location as a gateway to the Northeast. The walk begins in the Nilachal Hills in Guwahati.
- Kamakhya walks covers the spiritual trails in Assam, including but not limited to the iconic Kamakhya temple complex. The Kamakhya temple is believed to be one of the Shakti peeths in hinduism and is considered as a holy place for Hindus. It is believed that the reproductive organ of Sati, the wife of Shiva, landed here after the episode including her father’s yagnya.
- Prasenjit provides us with a background of the story related to Sati, Shiva and Dakshya and how this place came to be such a significant place for Hindus. Kamakhya is also known as the center for Tantrik fertility worship, given the backstory.
- We also review the pillars of Tantrik worship, its perceptions, as well as related practices. In addition to this, we also cover things like architecture, the concept of sacrifice, panchamakara offering in tantrik worship as well as the other significant temples in the Kamakhya complex.
- We also discuss the festival of Ambubachi, the festival that celebrates the menstrual cycle of the goddess and its beliefs. The temple sees close to 500,000 devotees during this festival and is often referred to as the mini-kumbh.
- The communities in the temple complex including the pandas or the priests, the mali community or the cleaning staff and the signers are discussed along with some commonly held perceptions.
- Prasenjit also highlights the contribution of the Ahom kingdom to Assam, a kingdom that ruled the region for over 600 years and was never defeated by the Mughals in 17 attempts. We talk about the heroic Lachit Barphukan, his rise and achievements and how they are being identified by the National Defense Academy.
- We discuss other important places in the vicinity including Uzan bazaar, flower markets, beautiful heritage buildings, Ugra Tara temple, Pobitora wildlife sanctuary, Mayang - the black magic capital, Umananda island - the smallest river island, Gurudwara in Dhubri, Paua Mecca mosque in Hajo, buddhist sites, Kaziranga and Manas national parks among other places.
- The team also engages in arts and crafts tours covering bell metal, cane and bamboo, traditional jewellery, textile tours covering the popular muga silk in Sualkuchi, the gamcha or gamosa, makhela chador as well as the celebrations of Bihu
- Finally we discuss some exotic delicacies from Assam including rice and chicken powder, silkworm fry, ghost pepper or bhoot jhalokia, bamboo shoot and pork, sticky rice among other things.
Kamakhya walks on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kamakhyawalks/
Kamakhya walks on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KamakhyaWalks/
Six Degree Adventures on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sixdegreeadventures/
Prasenjit’s Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/dreamweavers.journal/
Link to podcast on Majuli - https://open.spotify.com/episode/16TwAz8XY5luMwv3yYsO9r?si=1f6d842cc5264e5f
Link to website - https://www.sixdegreeadventures.com
Cover Photo by Suchitra Shots on Unsplash
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