Kamakhya - The Bleeding Goddess:

Kamakhya Yoni Peetha at Kamakhya TempleHave you ever wondered why the waters of the river Brahmaputra turn red in the months of June - July?

It is believed that during the month of Ashad Goddess Kamakhya undergoes the biological process of menstruation due to which the water of river Brahmaputra turns red in colour.

Goddess Kamakhya is also known as the bleeding Goddess or the menstruating Goddess. This ritual of the Goddess menstruating is performed to celebrate the power of women, their fertility and their ability to give birth.

About Goddess Kamakhya:

idol of kamakhya deviThere is no idol for Goddess Kamakhya. She is worshipped in the form of the yoni or female vagina/vulva. Kamakhya Maa is not only wise, valiant and the source of creation, she is also very much in touch with her sexuality, fertility and related bodily functions.

The name Kamakhya literally means ‘She whose title/definition is Sexual Desire.’  The name of the Goddess, Kamakhya, also indicates that she is at once the desired, the desiring and the granter of desires.

The Kalika Purana, an ancient work in Sanskrit describes Kamakhya as the yielder of all desires, the young bride of Shiva, and the giver of salvation.

Kamakhya, like many Hindu deities, is depicted with many heads, and multiple arms.  However, she is also said to exist in many forms. Kamakhya is generally depicted as a young female adorned in a red sari, and having six multi-colored heads and twelve arms. It is also common to see images of the Siva and a lion accompanying depictions of Kamakhya 

The garbagraha of the temple is situated in a natural cave with a spring. Down a flight of steps to the bowel of earth, it is located a dark, mysterious chamber. Here, draped with a silk sari and covered with flowers, is kept the "mantra yoni"


Kamakhya Temple 

painting of Kamakhya TempleThis Kamakhya Devi is seated in the Kamakhya Temple. This temple is one of the main pithas (sacred place) among fifty-one Saktipithas in the country. 

The Kalika Purana, an important Hindu text, gives the description of the innermost cave of the main temple where the deity resides – ‘Inside the cave there exists a very lovely pudendum on the stone which is 12 angulas (9cm) in width and 20 angulas (16 cm) in length gradually narrowing and sloping… It is reddish in colour like vermillion and saffron. On that female organ the amorous Goddess Kamakhya … The primordial force resides in different forms

 The temple is known as Kamrup-Kamakhya  Temple is nestled on Nilachal Hill of Guwahati, Assam.  The architecture of the temple is magnificent and this is one of North East India’s most popular tourist destination attracting devotees and pilgrims from across the country.

When a powerful temple is located in a place of natural scenic beauty the whole experience becomes a divine one. Presence of the majestic Nilachal hill with the river Brahmaputra flowing close by creates a calm and soothing atmosphere that increases the divinity of the place.

The Garbagraha of the temple that is found in a cave underground is rather dark but there is definitely a strange power that can be felt by one and all. There are stone steps leading down to the Grabagraha and here is a stream flowing that keeps the matra yoni moist all through the year. This Yoni is covered in silk sarees, sindoor and flowers. 

Apart from the main idol of goddess Kamakhya, the statues of the ten different forms of Kali – the goddess of creation, preservation and destruction are present here in the complex. These are the statues of Dhumavati, Matangi, Bagola, Tara, Kamala, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Bhuvaneshwari and Tripura Sundari.

From the idol of a bleeding Goddess and to the ability to remove black magic, there are many mysteries associated with the famous temple Kamakhya.


Who should offer prayers at Kamakhya Temple?

You should offer pujas at Kamakhya Temple if you are:

  • Separated from your lover and want to get back
  • Are divorced or are undergoing divorce / Separated from your spouse
  • Suffering from loss of virility 
  • Affected by black magic
  • Suffering from influence of ghosts, spirits and other paranormal activity
  • Suffering from health problems especially life-threatening diseases like cancer
  • Want to bring other people into your way of thinking i.e. influence the thoughts of other people
  • Want to attract wealth and success into your life
  • Want to ward off all negative energy and obstacles

Significance of Kamakhya Temple

Kamakhya Yoni Tantra

Yoni Tantra


What use are meditations, reciting mantras, giving gifts or kula nectars? O Durga, without yoni worship, all are fruitless.


Kamakhya Temple and Tantric Worship:

tantric aspect of kamakhya deviThe most ancient and most significant seat of Tantric worship in India was and continues to be the Kamakhya Temple.

The strong link between tantric worship and this primordial Goddess is significant. In traditional religious practices where patriarchy prevails, the male is dominant and Gods are given a higher power over the Goddess. This is, however, the opposite for tantric worshippers who place the Shakti at the centre of their worship.

The tantric worshipper’s place a lot of importance of the power of the female energy, and keeping this in mind most tantric rituals involving women are performed during the period of the woman’s menstruation.

Both the Kaul tantras that has its origin in Kamapur (Kamakhya Temple) and the Yoni Tantras that has its origin from Cooch Bihar agree that one of the most significant aspects of Tantric rituals, is the worship of the Yoni also known as Yoni Tattva – a puja that is dedicated to creating - and consuming - the sacred fluid.

The Shakti, residing as Kamakhya Devi has close associations with the 64 Yoginis found in Orissa. The yantra associated with Kamakhya Devi empowers the 64 yoginis(Hirapur Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Khajuraho) as part of Shakti.

It is also believed that female sadhvis who are well versed in Yoga dwell at Kamakhya Peetha. If one joins them, they obtain yogini siddhi. This is also a place where you can find various Sadhus and Aghoris, the worshippers of Tantric Devi and Tantra Vidhya

Being the centre for Tantra worship this temple attracts thousands of tantric devotees to an annual festival known as the Ambubachi Mela

 

Different Puja Options Available at Kamakhya Temple

Get Immediate Relief By Worshiping Kamakhya Devi


black magic removal puja

Black Magic Removal Puja

For thousands of years, people believe that the reason behind the black magic cure here at this temple is the presence of Goddess Kali in ten different forms. The presence of the 10 Mahavidyas is said to strengthen the powers to cure and ward off black magic.

If you are suffering from influence of bad spirits, black magic, buri nazar (evil eye) etc. you can get this puja done.

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Vashikaran Puja

Vashikaran is a well-known tried and tested ritual in the field of Tantra and Mantra. It this ancient Tantra ritual one can gain control over someone else's mind. The Vashikaran Puja is a process to influence another person’s mind so that they work according to our wishes and desires.

In Sanskrit, 'Vashi' means 'to attract' and 'Karan' means to 'control'. The Vashikaran puja will, therefore, help you to attract a person, gain control over his mind and thoughts and ultimately influence him to behave, act and think according to your desires.

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vashikaran puja atkamakhya temple

Vashikaran Puja

Puja and Havan for Infertility and Childless Couples

Maa Kamakhya is the Goddess who rules sexuality, fertility and other related bodily functions. The name Kamakhya literally means ‘She whose title/definition is Sexual Desire.’  She is one of the most powerful fertility Goddessess.

It is not only the women who can pray here, men having infertility problems can also offer prayers. It is believed that Kamadev the Lord of Love was once cursed by Shiva and lost his virility. He prayed to the Yoni at the Kamakhya Temple and regained his virility.

This temple is, therefore, a good place for both husbands and wives to offer prayers for conceiving a child.

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Navagraha Puja at Kamahkya Temple for Graha Dosha Nivaran

For hundreds of years people have offered Navagraha Puja at Kamakhya Temple for Graha Dosha Nivaran. The reason is that this temple is the seat of the 10 Mahavidyas or the ten different aspects of Maa Durga. Each one of these Mahavidyas is the presiding deities for each Grahas namely -

  • Maa Dhumavati - Ketu; Maa Matangi - Chandra; Maa Bagola - Mangal; Maa Tara - Brihaspati; Maa Kamala - Ravi; Maa Bhairavi - Shani; Maa Chinnamasta - Rahu; Maa Bhubaneshwari - Shukra and Maa Tripura Sundari - Budh

The puja can remove the malefic influence of planets in your life and bring in a positive inflow of energy.

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Ten Mahavidyas or the ten different forms of Kali Maa (Durga)

The Kamakhya Devi Sindoor:

kamiya sindoorThe sindoor or vermillion from the Kamakhya temple commonly known as the Kamiya sindoor is renowned for its properties to ward off and heal black magic.  This sindoor is distributed to devotees after the three days Ambu Bachi Festival. A huge throng of devotees including tantriks, black magic practitioners and pundits.

This is the only sindoor in the world that is available in a crystallised form.  It is prepared with special items and is blessed so it helps get rid of the obstacles, avoiding witchcraft problems, bhoot prêt badha, other delays and negative energy caused due to black magic.

How to use the Kamiya Sindoor:

Mix the Kamiya sindoor with Ganga Jal or water from any holy river. You can then use this in various ways. This sindoor water can be sprinkled all over the house. It can also be applied to doors and windows (you can do this by using the sindoor water to draw the shapes of Om and Swastika).

The sindoor is also applied on the forehead of the person suffering from the ill effects of black magic and also on the forehead of all the family members.

The sindoor can be used where ever necessary; if the negative effects of black magic are felt in the business or workplace then the symbols of Om or swastika should be drawn at those premises.

Benefits of using the Kamkiya Sindoor

  • It can attract positive energy, wealth and prosperity in your life.
  • Help you in getting back together with your lost love.
  • Increase romance, passion and virility in your life.
  • Increased well being in personal and business life

What protection do you get by wearing the Kamakiya Sindoor?

  • Black magic problem
  • Paranormal beings, ghosts and spirits presence in your life.
  • Love and relationship problems
  • Career problems
  • Problems in conceiving children.
  • Problems of separation from husband/wife, divorce, separation from loved one

Visiting the Temple:

kamakhya templeThe temple can be visited at any time during the year as each season has its own attraction. However many people like to visit the temple during the rainy season of Ashad in order to experience the Ambubachi Mela.

There are priests all around the temple dressed in orange clothes. They are known as Pandas and they are responsible for performing the different poojas and all the rituals at the temple.

Many pandas will approach you and for a fee, they can help you do the puja of your choice. It is important to note that the using the service of the Pandas is not mandatory. Going through a Panda means an additional expense. Those who want to avoid the Pandas can enter the queue and offer puja directly.

The cleanliness maintained in the temple is exceptional and the Temple administration is very efficient.  The management of crowds and queue’s is well done and cause the least inconvenience to the devotees.

The daily routine of Kamakhya temple starts from morning 5.30 am and ends with the closure of its gates at 5.30 pm. The temple gates open for the pilgrims at 8 am while the Snana and Nitya puja takes place before that, you can offer homage once the gates open.

If you set out to the temple in the morning after a fresh bath, you will experience the piousness of the atmosphere even before you enter the temple. There are numerous shops on both sides of the lane where the temple is situated and from here you can buy prasad, incense sticks, etc. The prasad baskets are available starting at a rate of Rs. 51/-. You will have to leave your footwear at the entrance.

Beautiful sight of hibiscus flowers at a shop outside Kamakhya Temple

There are various kinds of entry queues formed here at this temple which includes:

  • The free general entry – these queues are generally very long and if you go there on a Tuesday or a weekend it may take you 4-6 hours to get darshan.
  • Special Entry for those who belong to Police or Defence forces. Civilians can also take this entry after buying a ticket of Rs. 101 per person.
  • Direct entry or VIP entry which can be availed only after buying a ticket of Rs. 501 per person. On crowded days even this queue may take 1-2 hours before darshan.
  • There is a separate entrance that is open only to VIP’s

At the Garbagraha where the path is very narrow all the queue’s merges into a single queue. The passage is very narrow and dimly lit by two lamps. This makes it difficult to see anything clearly. However, the electrifying atmosphere is clearly perceived by one and all.

At 1 pm in the afternoon doors of the temple close as food is offered to the Goddess. The same food is then offered to the pilgrims in the prasadalay. After the food distribution, the gates of temple reopen at 2.30 pm. Coupons for the Annadana are available at the entry gate and the quality and quantity of food served was very good. It is recommended that all visitors participate in the prasad offering.

In evening before the closing of the temple at around 5 pm you can take part in the Aarti of Mother Goddess with hundreds of pilgrims.

There are several places in the temple designated for performing certain rituals and practices example a fixed place for lightning diyas, a place to offer coconut water, a place to tie sacred threads and another place where the sacrificial rituals take place.

Daily Events

5:30 AM               Snana of the Pithasthana.

6:00 AM               Nitya puja.

8:00 AM               Temple open for devotees.

1:00 PM                Temple closed for offering food to Devi, followed by food distribution to devotees.

2:30 PM                Temple reopens for the devotees.

5:30 PM                Aarati of Goddess followed by the closing of the temple for the night.

How to Reach

shops on the way to kamakhya templeReaching the temple is not a tough task as you can get buses and auto-rickshaws from any place in Guwahati. There are several shared auto, bus and private cab services to reach the temple from the city. The traffic is often chaotic in the city of Guwahati and if you are planning to visit the temple before closing time, you should keep a buffer of 45 minutes to 1 hour to allow for traffic snags.

Located at a distance of around 6km from Guwahati railway station and a distance of around 20 km from Guwahati airport can be reached easily via taxis or cabs available for hire.

If you are a trekking enthusiast then this destination is definitely an attractive one as you can choose to reach the temple situated on the hilltop by climbing up the Nilachal hill.

If you want to avoid large crowds then do no visit the Temple on Tuesdays and Saturdays (considered as auspicious days for the Devi). Sundays are also crowded.


Main Festivals at Kamakhya Temple:

Ambu Bachi Mela:

aghori baba dancing at the ambubachi mela

Aghoris and Sadhus dancing at the Ambubachi Mela

The normally serene atmosphere at Kamakhya turns electrifying at the time of the Ambubachi Mela as lakhs of devotees (the estimate is between 2,00,000 – 2,50,000 devotees per day) from across the country throng the temple. It is the main event for Tantric kulas who arrive at the scene in thousands singing, chanting and shouting out their devotion to the Devi.

The Ambu Bachi Mela time is the most potent time of the year for many tantric babas that live in seclusion come out only during the Ambubachi Festival to recharge their energy levels. They can be recognised by their red and black clothes, their dreadlocks and the religious paraphernalia that they carry.

Occurring during the months of June-July, the three day period of the Mela is when the waters of river Brahmaputra turn red as it is believed that Kamakhya Devi is menstruating. The temple is closed down for the three day period to allow the Goddess to rest.

The stream that comes out from the Garbagraha in the in the temple turns red during these three days. This red colour is most probably vermillion poured by the priests into the waters of the temple stream to signify menstruation.

While devotees are not permitted to enter the temple they are encouraged to dip small pieces of cloth into this stream.

Inside the shrine at the Devi is offered an Aarthi and other ritualistic worship with various fruits and flowers. She is also offered pieces of red silk cloth in consideration of her menstruation. The pieces of red cloth are called Rakta Bastra.

On the fourth day, the temple is reopened with great festivities. The devotees are given the rakta bastra as prasad.

Ambubachi Mela, at Kamakhya temple

Guwahati: Sadhus taking out a procession on the eve of Ambubachi Mela, at Kamakhya temple in Guwhati on Wednesday. PTI Photo

aghori babas at Kamakhya temple

Durga Puja During Navarathri:

The Durga puja that is conducted during Navaratri (months of October – November) is one of the most famous festivals celebrated at the temple.

As Kamakhya Devi Herself is the manifestation of Durga, there is no separate idol installed. Instead, an image of Goddess Durga is drawn on a layer of clay and is worshipped throughout the 9 days of festivities. On the last day, the image is immersed in the river Brahmaputra.

The temple authorities take elaborate measures to decorate the temple. The whole temple is covered with flowers, leaves and decorations of Maa and Om. The entrance has a special arch decorated with beautiful flower arrangements. The roads leading to the entrance are lit up and the whole atmosphere is electrifying.

Throughout the 9 days, Prasad is distributed to the devotees. During lunchtime devotes are fed kichidi, sabzi and papad, and kheer.

The largest crowds visit the temple on Ashtami and Navami days. On Maha Ashtami day thousands of devotees who flock to the temple bring sacrificial offerings of goats, pigeons, fish, Gourd, pumpkins, buffaloes. A human model made up of flour is also sacrificed to fulfill the ancient times' tradition of this pooja.

The crowds start queuing up at the temple as early as 4:00 am even though the temple doors open to the public at 9:00am.  The temple remains shut from 1:30 PM-3:00 PM.

People wishing to bypass the crowds can obtain a special pass that costs around Rs.500/-. The special entry pass is not available on Ashtami and Navami days.

Sadhus at Kamakhya Temple

sadhu at kamakhya

sadhu smoking at kamakhya

Sadhu smoking at the Kamakhya Temple


Manasa Puja:

manasa devi idolManasa Devi is another manifestation of Parvati or Shakti. She is a Hindu goddess of snakes and is worshipped mainly in north-eastern states.

She is also known as Vishahara (the destroyer of poison), Jagadguri, Nitya and Padmavati. Mansa is depicted as a woman covered with snakes and sitting on a lotus. She is sheltered by a seven hooded cobra.

The story of Manasa runs like this:

Vasuki is the king of serpents. Once, his mother sculpted a statue of a beautiful girl. The semen of Lord Shiva fell on this sculpture and the sculpture turned to life and was called Manasa. Vasuki accepted Manasa as his sister and made her the custodian of the venom had with him.

Once when Manasa was wandering through a forest, she met Shiva was enthralled by her beauty and wanted to make love. However, Manasa was able to prove to Shiva that she was his daughter and therefore the relationship was incestuous and taboo.

Shiva realised his mistake and wanted to make it up to Manasa. He took her home with him. Before Shiva’s wife could understand the whole story, She suspected Manasa of having an affair with Her husband and insulted Manasa and also burnt one of her eyes. This left Manasa half blind.

Tired of the quarrels between Manasa and Chandi, Shiva decides that he has to let Manasa go. He takes her to a tree and leaves her behind there. Before he leaves he creates a companion for Manasa from his tears. This companion was called Neta. 

Manasa and Neta descend to Earth from their heavenly abode. On earth, they gain many devotees. However, there was one devotee called Chand Sadagar who was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Chandi. This made Manasa very angry and in order to teach him a lesson she killed his six sons and left him bankrupt.

This distressed Chand Sadagar’s wife and daughters. They begged their father to offer worship to Manasa. Chand Sadagar reluctantly offered the idol of Manasa a flower with his left hand. This gesture pleased Manasa greatly and she resurrected all his six sons and blessed him with a life of good health, wealth and prosperity.

Since that time the festival of Goddess Manasa is celebrated every year on the Nagapanchami day that falls during the monsoon season (July – August).

Manasa is also an important Fertility Goddess, and many childless couples that pray to her are blessed with healthy off springs.


Pohan Biya:

A symbolic marriage between Dev Kamesvara and Devi Kamesvari during the month of Poush (December - January)

Durgadeul, Vasanti, Mdandeul are some of the other festivals celebrated at the temple.

The complete List of Festivals Celebrated at the Kamakhya Temple

Month

Special Puja at Temple

January

Makar Sankranti (Magh Bihu)

January-February

Ratanty Kali Puja

January-February

Saraswati Puja

February-March

Shiva Ratri

March

Doul Yatra (Holi)

March-April

Durga Doul and Shiva Doul

March-April

Basanti Puja

March-April

Madan Saturali Puja

April

Chaitra Sangkranti (Bohag Bihu)

May-June

Gramya Devta Puja

June

Ambubachi Mela

July

Daskshinang Sangkranti (Kali Puja)

August

Manasa Puja (Devadhawani)

August-September

Krishna Janmashtami

October

Durga Puja

October

Lakshmi Puja

October-November

Kartika Sangkranti (Kati Bihu)

November

Shyama Puja (Dipawali)

November

Katyayani Brata

November

Sadhan Brata

November-December

Dhanya Chedan

December-January

Pohan Biya or Hara Gauri Bibah


History of Kamakhya Devi Temple

shiva dancing the tandava with sati

Shiva dancing the Tandava with the dead body of Sati while Vishnu looks on.

As one of the four primary Shakti Peetha in the country, the Kamakhya Temple has a rich history that can be traced to the ancient times when Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu inhabited the earth.

As the legend goes, Sati marries Lord Shiva against the wishes of her father Daksha. A disgruntled Daksha does not invite his son-in-law when he performs an Ashwamedha Yajna (grand horse-sacrifice).  In spite of not being invited Sati decides to attend the yagna and hears her father abusing her husband. Disgusted with her father and convinced about her husband’s unquestionable greatness Sati then immolates herself wishing that she be reborn to a more worthy father. 

Her suicide enrages Lord Shiva and he lifted the corpse of his dead wife on his shoulder and began the Tandava dance. The entire world was in danger of destruction. People appealed to Lord Vishnu to save them. In order to protect the world, Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshana Chakra and cut the body of Sati into 51 pieces. These dismembered parts of the body fell at 51 different spots and these spots are referred to as shakti pithas, or sacred sites.

The vagina of Sati fell at the region of the Kamakhya temple and hence the worship of the Yoni at this temple.

Another legend in the Kali Purana states that the Kamahkya Temple is the centre of love and romance where Lord Shiva and Sati enjoy the bliss of male-female union. Here Kamakhya is the young bride of Lord Shiva and this is the centre for their lovemaking.

There is also a rumour among the people of Guwahati that once Kamdeva, known as the Lord of romance was cursed by Lord Shiva and as a result of this curse, he lost his virility. He sought out the Yoni or Vagina of Goddess Kamakhya and offered worship and was relieved of his curse.  Hence this temple is also known as Kamapur.


Temple Architecture:

kamakhya architecture historicBetween the periods of the 8th – the 17th century the Kamakhya Temple was built, destroyed by invaders and the rebuild many times. This building and rebuilding have resulted in a hybrid indigenous style of architecture. This architecture consists of a combination of two different styles, namely, the traditional Nagara or North Indian and Saracenic or Mughal – this style is unique and is called the Nilachal Style of Architecture.

The literature Darang-Rajavamsavali that was written in the 17th century A>D narrates the story of how the temple got its unique style.

King Naranarayan of Koch Bihar commissioned the rebuilding of the temple in 17th century A.D. At first the Masons tried to rebuild the Shikara using the old stone blocks but they were unsuccessful. They then resorted to using bricks and relying on the Saracenic style of building a dome. However, in order to avoid a complete dome-like structure, the masons shaped the dome into a sixteen sided polygon decorated with horizontal bands. This style of architecture then went to become very popular in Assam.

The architecture of Kamakhya was groundbreaking for that era as it was the only temple in the Northeast to have a fully developed ground plan. The temple consists of five chambers namely the:

The Kamakhya temple possesses some significant uniqueness. This is the only temple of Assam having a fully developed ground-plan. It consists of five chambers and each of these chambers exhibits a different architectural feature. The five chambers are:

  • The Garbhagriha or the inner sanctum sanctorum that has the Saracenic Dome
  • The Antarala or the vestibule that a two roofed design similar to traditional thatched cottages.
  • The Jagmohan or the principal chamber,
  • The Bhogmandir or the ritual chamber. This chamber is also called the Panchatantra as it has five domes and resembles the main temple
  • The Natmandir or hall for performing arts, where artists gave splendid performances of dance and music. This chamber has a shell roof that ends in a polygonal termination. This last chamber was added to the temple complex by the Ahom King Rajeswar Singha (A.D. 1751-69) in A.D. 1759.

The walls of Kamakhya temple are richly embellished with sculptures that depict religious and secular themes. Some of the sculptures are of Gods and Goddess while others are of depict flora and fauna and geometrical designs.

There are many life-sized sculptures on the outer temple walls of this Sakti temple. Many of them show different aspects of Lord Shiva.


Some Images of Kamakhya Temple

Sculpture of Mother and Child on the walls of the Kamakhya Temple

Sculpture of Mother and Child on the walls of the Kamakhya Temple


Animals Roaming Around the Kamakhya Temple

Animals Roaming Around the Kamakhya Temple


offering worship at the kamakhya temple

Offering worship at the Kamakhya Temple


Animals are Routinely Sacrificed at The Kamakhya Temple

Animals are Routinely Sacrificed at The Kamakhya Temple

Some Sculptures Adorning the Walls of Kamakhya 

Beautiful Sculptures Adorn the Walls of the Temple

Beautiful Sculptures Adorn the Walls of the Temple


More sculptures at Kamakhya Temple

More sculptures at Kamakhya Temple


Intricate Carvings

Intricate Carvings

Sculpture of Mother and Child


Have you visited the Temple?

We would love to hear about your experiences.  Do let us know what you think about the Temple by writing a comment below.

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