The Kamakhya Temple is located on top of the Neelanchal Hills. The legend about the establishment of the Temple at the spot is interesting. Sati immolated herself due to the insults hurled on her husband, Shiva, by her father, Daksha. Unable to bear the grief, Shiva launched into a Tandava Nritya holding the immolated body of Sati and started destroying the places where he set foot. Vishnu, concerned about the destruction, used the ‘Sudarshana Chakra’ to cut the body of Sati into 51 pieces. Each place, where the body parts of Sati fell, became a sacred place. The ‘yoni’ of Sati fell on the Neelanchal Hills and the presiding deity of the Temple came to be called ‘Kamakhya Devi’. Similarly, the legend of why the area around Guwahati is known as Kamrup is also quite interesting. After a visit to the Temple and the View Point on top of the Hill, which affords a magnificent view of the city, the River and the Bridge on a clear day, I decided on a masala dosa at ‘Gokula Nandana’. The restaurant is owned by two Kochiites - Padmarajan and his brother. They have established a reputation for cleanliness, taste and service. They operate four eateries at the Railway Station.
The Saraighat Bridge was built in 1963 by the Indian Railways, under the stewardship of the dynamic BC Ganguly, at a cost of Rs.11 crores. This two storey Bridge has a lower deck that carries the railway track and the upper deck that has a two lane carriage way and a pedestrian path. It was the first bridge built to span the mighty Brahmaputra River; till then men and material were transshipped over water between Amingaon and Pundu. During the visit to Guwahati in 1983, I had the opportunity to cross a swollen River in a Steamer. It was an exciting and awesome experience. A visit to the Saraighat Bridge is a must to appreciate the multi-dimensional nature of the bridge.
After tucking into Puris and Pongal in Sunder Ram’s house, we decided to trek some distance up the hill in front of the ORH. The going was tough only because I am totally unfit – the villagers would have thought that a steam engine is on the way had they heard me huffing, puffing and panting! A half hour into the ‘trek’ both of us decided that we have done our ‘muscular bodies’ proud and returned without much distress.
Updating the blog posts is becoming increasingly difficult. I have not been able to update since I entered Assam as CDMA and pre-paid connections from outside the NE do not work here. I managed a post paid connection for making phone calls, but I remain challenged on uploading the blog. Tomorrow, I intend to connect up from the railway office. Here on, this is going to be the pattern – bulk updation, whenever I can access the Net.