The popular Kamakhya Temple of Guwahati, which is situated at a distance of 8kms from the Guwahati railway station, is located on the top of Nilachal Hills and overlooks the River Brahmaputra. The main temple of Kamakhya Temple complex is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya who is known as the granter of desires. According to 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.
Revered as one of the Shakti Peeths, the Kamakhya Temple is also known as the Shakti Temple owing to the legend after the destruction of Daksha's sacrifice and the Rudra Tandava of Lord Shiva, parts of Sati's body fell at several places throughout India, and the places where her body parts had fallen are revered as Shakti Peeths. It is believed that the reproductive organ of Sati, (the Yoni) is said to have fallen here.
The main attractions of the temple are Ambubashi and Manasha Puja when the devotees from all over the world come here to pay their homage to Goddess Kamakhya. Ambubashi festival is a unique festival of fertility. It is believed that the Goddess undergoes her menstrual cycle for three days and thus the temple is closed for these three days and reopened on the fourth day with great festivity. It is considered inauspicious to either plough the ground or even plant a seed during the period of these three days.
Other than the main Kamakhya Devi Temple, the Kamakhya Temple complex houses temples of other goddesses like Kali Devi, Tara Devi, Bagala, Chinnamasta, Bhuvanesvari, Bhairavi and Dhumavati along with other temples of goddesses like Sitala Devi, Lalita Kanta Temple, Jaya Durga Temple, the Vana Durga Temple, and the Rajarajeshvari Temple among others.
In addition, there are five temples dedicated to various avatars of Lord Shiva like Kamesvara (Umananda), Siddhesvara, Amratokesvara (Heruka), Aghpra, and Kotilinga (Tatpurusa). The Kamakhya Temple Complex also has three temples dedicated to the avatars of Lord Vishnu namely Kedara (Kamalesvara), which is situated near the northern side of the main temple, the Gadadhara that is located in the north-western direction of the Kamakhya temple, and the Pandunath, which is situated in the eastern foothills of Nilachal also known as Pandu.
Kamakhya Temple, which was destroyed in the early 16th century was rebuilt in the 17th century has a shikhara in the shape of a beehive. The sculpted panels within the temple premises are of interest as one can see the images of Ganesha, dancing apsaras among other images.