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Centers of Shakti Worship - Assam
Temples of North Eastern India
Abodes of Shakti

Assam has been long associated with Tantric practices connected with Shakti worship.

The best known center of Shakti worship in Assam is the Kamakhya Devi Temple on the Neelachala Parvat near Guwahati. This temple is regarded as one of the Shakti Peetha shrines associated with the legend of Daksha's sacrifice - Shiva's Rudra Tandavam, and the fall of various parts of Sati's body on to the earth. Other temples on the Neelachala hill include those of Tara, Bhairavi, Bhuvaneswari and Ghantakarna.

The Hatimura Temple enshrining Mahishasuramardini is located at Silghat, in the district of Nowgong. Mahisamardini is portrayed as the destroyer of the demon Mahisha. This temple has been a center of Shakti worship for several centuries. The current structure built on the ruins of an ancient structure, dates back to the 18th century and was built by the Ahom ruler Pramatta Singh.

The Tamreswari temple, now mostly in ruins is one of the oldest centers of Shakti worship and is located at a distance of about 10 km from Sadiya. This was once a flourishing center of Tantric worship. Tamreswari is also referred to as Ugra Tara.

The Ugra Tara temple is located in Guwahati. Its current structure dates back to the period of the ruler Shiva Singh of the 18th century. The temple has undergone renovation since its damage by a devastating earthquake.

Interesting legends surround the origin of Tantric practices in Assam. It is believed that Kamaroopa Desa was the site of Vasishta's penances and that it was a center of great religious significance and that those who died attained immediate salvation. Yama, the God of righteousness, apparently disappointed at the fact that there were no souls entering his realm. Upon his request, Shiva sent Ugra Tara, who cleansed the region of its population. An enraged Sage Vasishta upon being driven away from the region placed a curse on the region. Thereafter, all Savia agamic forms of worship declined and the Vamachara (left handed) forms of worship involving animal and human sacrifices came into being.