When I read about the Umananda Temple for the first time in website, I was truly amazed at the sheer location and beauty of the temple. Its fascinating story still captivates me to this very day and would do the same to you. The Umananda Temple was one of the main places that I wanted to visit in Assam, due to its sheer brilliance in architecture and due to the fact that it was constructed on an island called the Peacock Island on the majestic Brahmaputra River.
When I first set foot on the country boat that would take me to the Peacock Island, I was truly mesmerized by the sheer brilliance of the location. My only complaint was the boat reached pretty quickly barely giving me enough time for taking pictures of the serene landscape. This Shiva Temple was built by the Ahom King Gadadhar Singha in 1694 A.D who was an avid Shiva devotee. The Temple was built on a hill called Bhasmacala.
The Legend says that Shiva was residing on the island in the form of Bhayananda. It says the when Shiva was meditating on the hill, Kamadeva interrupted his meditation and this resulted in Shiva’s anger burning Kamadeva into ashes. Hence the hill got the name Bhasmacala. The temple and its surroundings are truly a sight to behold and be mesmerized by. The present deity of the temple however is Umananda and it is said that if we pray on an Amavasy day that falls on Monday, it would bring us great bliss. Siva Chartudasi is also a very colorful festival held every year at this temple.
The architecture of the temple truly caught my attention and is very detailed and intricate. This shows the true craftsmanship of the Assamese sculptors and masons of the Ahom era. The Peacock Island is also famous for being the smallest inhabited river island in the world. This temple truly knocked some sense of worship and faith in me, even though I am not a firm believer of god. While leaving the island on a ferry back to the mainland, the island and the temple was truly a unique place and one of the most memorable trips in my entire life.