Ambubachi Mela 2016 is on! It’s that time of the year yet again when thousands of energetic and staunch devotees, sadhus, sanyasis, and tantrics will throng the holy gates and courtyards of Maa Kamakhya temple in Assam. Some gyrating to the nostalgic music, some lost in mystic chants, some puffing away to glory but all bound together by one dedication and devotion for the Divine Mother. The otherwise serene Nilachal hills in Assam don’t get any more vibrant and alive than it gets in these 5 days of energetic celebration. Amubachi Mela is a time to celebrate Mother Earth in all her many forms and seek blessings. Here are 10 things you need to know about Ambubachi Mela:

  1. Ambubachi Mela is the celebration of the menstruation of Mother Earth. The common notion is that Ambubachi Mela is the celebration of the annual menstruation of Goddess Kamakhya.
  2. Ambubachi or Ambubasi is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘ambuvachi’ which means ‘the issuing forth of water’.
  3. Ambubachi is also known as Amthihsua, Ameti, Amoti, Ambabati.
  4. All temples in the surrounding areas remain closed for the first 3 days – the menstruation period of the Goddess.
  5. The cleansing happens on the 4th day, the temple is opened, and devotees receive blessings and prasad.
  6. The prasad known as Rakta Bastra is a red cloth which is believed to be soaked in the menses of the Goddess.
  7. Goddess Kamakhya is Goddess Kameshwari, the Goddess of Desire.
  8. The belief – Goddess Kamakhya is the source as well as the fulfilment of all the desires of mankind.
  9. Tantrics feel an amazing rush of energy and power during Ambubachi and practice various rituals during this time.
  10. It’s like Mother’s Day that we celebrate to honor our mother, making her feel special, loved, and cared.


Photo By Vikramjit Kakati (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons