Guwahati, June 24 : Tens of thousands of devotees from different parts of the country thronged the Kamakhya Temple for the three-day traditional fair, 'Ambubasi Mela' held here.
As per ritual, during the Ambubasi Mela, the main door of the temple remained closed for three days and all the religious activities were brought to a standstill.
The temple priests are forbidden to step into the temple leave alone the sanctum sanctorum following the belief that during this period, the presiding deity Goddess Kamkhaya undergoes her menstrual cycle.
"During this time all Hindu temples remain closed during this time. At this time no kind of farming work is undertaken. Be they Shudras, Kshatriya, Vaishyas or Brahmins, none of them cooks food at home and remain on a fruit diet. This is the significance of the Ambumasi," said Nayan Sharma, the priest of the Kamhakya Temple.
At the conclusion of three days, the temple's doors are reopened after Devi Kamakhya is bathed and other rituals are performed religiously by the priests. It is described as the Mother Earth retrieving her purity.
The devotees are allowed to enter the temple to worship Devi Kamakhya only on the fourth day.
The ceremony that lasted till Tuesday this year is believed to be purely a ritual of the Tantrik cult and observed to fulfill certain obligations.
Sadhu Surpanj Baba, a hermit said: "Some visit the temple for devotion, some come to fulfill their promises and to all the Devi Kamhakya showers Her blessings for their aspirations to come true."
Kamakhya is an aspect of the Goddess Sati or the wife of Lord Shiva. The temple in her honour exists in the Kamrup district here. The temple is one of the 51 holy Shakti Peethas related to Sati.