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Chapter 3

Tantric Inklings
Chapter 3

Day Two – Sri Ugratara Devalaya


I took the early morning flight, the next day and reached Guwahati, happy and exuberant at the idea of having started the journey that I was so looking forward to. I was received at the airport by the cab driver and to my surprise his name was shiva. The first thing I did was call up the Panditji. It was about eight in the morning but the Panditji told me that if I wanted to have a peaceful darshan it would be better if I went to Kamakhya, early in the morning. I had the entire day to myself and decided that I would use it wisely to explore a few other temples. I told the driver to first drive me straight to the hotel so that I could freshen and change first. Once that done, I requested that he take me to any of the temples that he could think about since Kamakhya was happening only the next day morning.

The first temple Shiva took me to was the Sri Ugratara Devalaya near Uzan Bazar. In front of the temple, there were ladies selling deep red Hibiscus flowers. Do you know that Hibiscus is offered to Goddess Kali because it represents her tongue?

I bought some Hibiscus flowers before I entered and my Sarathi Shiva was with me , he spoke to pandidji and made me do pooja over there. After offering my pooja I sat there for a while to absorb the experience and connect with Goddess Tara.

The Temple is believed to have been consecrated at the site where the navel of Goddess Sati fell. There is no idol or image inside the Grabhagraha of the temple, instead, there is a pit filled with holy water that is kept covered with a red cloth and considered to be the goddess. There is also a very unique story connected to the temple; one of the idols of the temple is said to have been stolen sometime back and it reappeared a few days later, probably returned by the thief, himself. So as Idols there are two goddesses where we do the pooja, both old and new ones.

The experience of visiting the temple was very different from my earlier experiences of temple visits down south. There were a lot of hens kept tied outside the sanctum, yet inside the temple complex, probably used for sacrificial purposes. The way in which they smeared the Kumkum (Vermilion) was also very different.

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