Assam’s Umananda Mandir: A thousand-year-old holy temple on the world’s smallest river island in Guwahati

By Manoj Kumar Ojha

GUWAHATI: Thousands of devotees of Lord Shiva thronged the Umananda Temple on the occasion of the last Monday of Suddha Savan today . Assam’s Umananda temple is located at ” Jagrit Bhumi of Devi and Devta ” Where Mahadeva himself put his footsteps. It is located at the world’s smallest river island which itself help devotees to feel divine. The entire atmosphere there is divine and healthy as it seems the land of God Shiva .

“The managing committee of Umanada Devaloi said that devotees from different parts of the city as well as from outside of Assam visited to offer their prayers. One of the priests of the temple said “Around 8000-9000 devotees have already reached here to worship Lord Shiva and we hope to witness increased footfalls”.

It is to be mentioned that the Assam Inland Water Transport Department also allocated multiple ferry services to Umananda Temple. The administration seemed to be concerned about the safety of the devotees.The river island named peacock island by the British for its shape ,is also the home to golden langur.

The temple with elements of both Hindu and Vaishnavism and Shaivism has statues of Ganesha, Shiva , Parvati , vishnu and other deities. Dr Shiela Bora , the eminent historian of Assam, said , ” Guwahati boasts of a number of temples built under the royal patronage of the Ahom Kings and the Shiva temple at Umananda is one of the most important of such temples. “

“A stone inscription at the temple of Umananda, indicating the construction of the temple during the reign of Gadadhar Singha ( 1681-1696) ,is probably the first instance of an Ahom king granting lands to Brahamanical temples in Guwahati. ” Bora said .The temple is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva, the temple is located a top the hill called Bhasmakuta . Kalika Purana tells the story.


On the other hand with prayers on lips and faith in hearts, thousands thronged the historic Shiva temples across the state on Monday. Devotees made a beeline to offer prayers at the most revered Shiva temples, be it Umananda in Guwahati or the Shiva Dol in Sivasagar.

At the Lankeswar Temple in west Guwahati, devotees from various parts of the city and Kamrup queued up since the morning to pay obeisance.

The Maha Mrityunjay temple in Nagaon, a major tourist destination in central Assam, also saw teeming crowds. In Tezpur’s Mahabhairab Temple, too, devotees lined up till Saturday night to offer prayers.

“The main rituals started at 12am midnight on Monday and will continue the entire Sawan . In many parts of the state, Savan is being observed on the holy occasion,” said, a puja organiser in the city.#

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