Kumari Puja Celebrations in Kamakhya Devi Temple of Assam

Kumari Puja was celebrated with much gusto and gaiety in Kamakhya Devi temple of Assam state. Kamakhya temple is one of the Astadasha Shakti Peeth temples (18 prominent temples of Goddess Shakti). Kumari Puja is a most celebrated event in Durga Navratri in Kamakhya temple.

Thousands of devotees throng revered Kamakhya temple in Assam state for Kumari Puja during Hindu festival of Navratri, in which young girls are worshipped. Kumari Puja is held at the Kamakhya temple every year prior to Durga Puja celebrations that begins on 16 October and will end on (24 October 2012) (the ninth day of the Navratri festival). The tradition is as old as that of the origin of Kamakhya temple.

It is believed that the Goddess, although omnipresent, surely exists in the virgin. Reverence to female children as goddesses is an age-old custom of India. The Kamakhya temple situated in Guwahati, main city of Assam, on the banks of river Brahmaputra, is dedicated to goddess Kamakhya, consort of Shiva, Hindu God of destruction.

It is believed that at Kamakhya, the Goddess appears in the form of a virgin. So, some of the pilgrims worship the living virgin as Goddess in this temple. Worship of a living woman as Goddess is of purely Tantric origin. It is stated that virgin worship is nothing but Shakti worship. The virgin worship is performed along with Durga, Kali and other Mahavidyas. The salutation mantra of virgin worship is the same as vidyas salutation mantra. Sometimes, it is also seen that the virgin is fed and clad and saluted without any mantra. The tantrics believe that the virgin is the Goddess incarnate.

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