Umananda Temple, Guwahati

Umananda temple is a Shiva temple located on an island in the middle of river Brahmaputra in Guwahati, Assam. The temple has a rich history and the journey to the temple is equally enriching. The island is called peacock island or Bhasmachal hill. To reach the island one has to go by ferry. We boarded a ferry from Uzaan Bazaar ghat near to deputy commissioner’s office of Kamrup district. Ferry from Fancy Bazaar ghat is also available. The ferry ride is of about 15 minutes one way and cost Rs 30 per person. Assam government has banned small boats from operating on river Brahmaputra after an accident which killed many people. Now steamers operated by Inland Water Transport Department only ply.

The ferry ride on river Brahmaputra is amazing. Given that it is a mighty river and its size resembles like a sea. The island looks mysterious which raises like a phoenix from the water in the middle of river Brahmaputra. After reaching the island one has to climb around 150 plus steps to reach the top of the hill and the temple. As we climbed we got to see a amazing birds eye view of river Brahmaputra and Uzaan Bazaar side bank of river Brahmaputra. The island has been maintained aesthetically and is pretty clean.

On the hill top for prayer one can buy flowers and other materials. One has to open their shoes which can be kept at the flower shops free of cost.Then proceed to the main temple. Walk little bit and go through a small white door. This leads to the entrance to the main temple. Inside the main temple one has to climb down little bit to reach the sanctum sanatorium to offer prayer to Lord Shiva. Umananda temple was built by Ashom king Gadhadhar Singha in 1694. The architecture of the temple is a mix of terracotta style of Bishnupur temples and Ashom style. The temple was severely damaged in the earthquake of 1897 and then has been rebuilt.

The island gives an amazing trip to history, culture and natural beauty. Take a stroll around the island and do try to witness the sunset either from the island or from the ferry. I had made video from my trip there. Watch it for yourself.

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