Kamakhya temple is situated at the top of the Nilachal Hills in Assam on the bank of the mighty river Brahmputra described as Louhitya in epics and Puranas. The Nilachal Hills are now within and form part of the bustling metropolis of Guwahati and the gateway to the north-eastern region of India comprising of the seven states.
The main temple consists of the peetha of Goddess Kamakhya and two shrines of Lakshmi and Saraswati nearby. The entire temple complex not only comprises of many other temples but also is a whole set of people connected with them. Apart from the main temple, it comprises of some other major temples of Goddesses Kali, Tara, Bagala, Chinnamasta, Bhuvanesvari, Bhairavi and Dhumavati. Some other temples of various goddesses can also be seen in the complex. They are Sitala Temple, Lalita Kanta Temple, Jaya Durga Temple, Van Durga Temple, Rajarajesvari Temple, Smasanakali Temple, Kail Temple of Abhayananda Dharmashala and the Sankhesvari Temple. There are five temples of Lord Shiva in the complex. They belong to different forms of Lord Shiva like Kamesvara (Umananda), Siddhesvara, Amratokesvara (Heruka), Aghpra, and Kotilinga (Tatpurusa). The complex also contains three temples of Lord Vishnu. They are as Kedara (Kamalesvara), situated near the northern side of the main temple, Gadadhara, situated in the north-western direction of the Kamakhya temple, and Pandunath, which is situated in the eastern foothills of Nilachal also known as Pandu.
Sri Kamakhya Sankara Health Care Centre, assisted by the Sewa Bharati, Purbanchal, is the leading social activity of Sri Kamakhya Debutter Board. It takes care of thousands of devotees visiting the temple from world over and as well as the local people the whole year. It was established in the year 1992 with the blessings of Jagadguru Shankara-charaya. Since then it has been organising medical aid for the sick pilgrims visiting Devi Kamakhya. It is a complete charitable providing free medical consultancy to the patients and free distribution of medicines to all. A total of 6,72,331 patients have so far been treated by myself alone. Medicines are prominently donated by Sewa Bharati Purbanchal.
Upgradation of the Health Centre with a team of medical professionals, sufficient medicines, basic emergency services and ambulance service is in progress. There is a general desire to establish a complete health institution with a laboratory equipped with adequate infrastructure. A clinical laboratory with pathology, histopathology, biochemistry, x-ray and ultrasonography has been planned to be set up. The work of identification of equipments and project development work is in progress. Sri Kamakhya Debutter Board has also taken up a task of renovating the local temples.
A research and development cell under Sri Kamakhya Debutter Board was established in the year 2001. The Centre was created with an objective to provide a platform to everyone to contribute intangibly towards overall development of the Nilachal Hills. Till date the Centre has initiated a few projects, which are capable in attracting lot of people from the affluent society. Moreover the Centre has also developed strategies for more ambitious projects to be implemented shortly. Establishment of a religious library and teaching-learning centre, establishment of a museum complex inside the Kamakhya temple campus, visual documentation, digital archive and database development are part of the project.
Ambubaci fair is the annual affair at the temple, which attracts lakhs of devotees every year. This year more than seven lakh devotees visited the temple. Sewa Bharati organised a medical camp at the fair. Eighteen doctors rendered free services at the camp and distributed medicines free of cost. Two doctors of Border Security Force, Dr Karmakar and Dr Naina Kumar Bharati also rendered yeoman'sservices at the camp.
(The writer is a doctor and priest of the Kamrup Kamakhya temple and can be contacted at Sri Sankara Health Care Centre, Kamakhya Dham, Guwahati-10, Assam.)