Lankeshwar Temple

About The Temple

Lankeshwar Temple, Guwahati, Assam

The Lankeswar temple is located in the University of Guwahati campus on top of a hillock. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was constructed in ancient times by the king of Guwahati. You have to climb approximately 452 steps to reach the top of the hillock.

Influence on religion and culture

The influence of Lord Shiva in the Hindu religion has no bounds and forms the basis of worship at the Lankeshwar Temple in Guwahati. Lord Shiva is considered the destroyer while Lord Brahma is considered the creator. Among these Lord Shiva is considered more powerful because he wields infinite power that can destroy all forms of life when he is angry. When praying to other Gods, Lord Shiva is also worshipped in the form of Lord Narayana, who is the controller of life so that he does not feel envious of the other god’s popularity. To prevent Lord Shiva from getting angry, a part of the prayer is always dedicated to Lord Shiva when praying to Goddess Shakti or Goddess Durga or any other form of Goddess Shakti.

Presiding temple deity

There is no idol of Lord Shiva in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Just like everywhere else, the devotees who come to this temple worship the Shiva Linga that stands in the center of the temple. Lord Shiva is represented by the Shiva Linga, which can be commonly seen in all temples that are dedicated to him. A picture of Lord Shiva hangs from the wall behind the Shiva Linga. There is a smaller version of the Shiva Linga beside the bigger one inside the temple.

Details of idol

Lord Shiva is represented by the Shiva Linga in this temple that is how the God is worshipped in most places. Beside the Shiva Linga is the Yoni, which represents Goddess Shakti. The Shiva Linga is considered as the symbol of energy and potential, and the yoni is considered as a symbol of female creative energy. The combination of the Shiva Linga and the Yoni signifies the combination of active time and passive space that is the source of life.

Other nearby shrines

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva only, and there are no other shrines in the vicinity of the temple. The devotees who come to pray here can pray to both Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti for salvation as both their symbols are present here which are Shiva Linga and the Yoni.

Worship and rituals

Lord Shiva is the supreme destroyer and has been given due respect in a large number of rituals. The main two occasions when Lord Shiva is worshipped are during Neel Puja and Shivratri. Neel is another name of Lord Shiva, which has been derived from “Neelkantha” or one with a blue throat. This festival is held during the month of March which is the month of “Chaitra”. The festival celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva with Devi Parvati. Mothers and wives keep fast and pray for the long life of their children and husbands by lighting holy lamps or “pradeeps” in front of Lord Shiva and bathing him with milk.

Special functions and occasions

Shivratri is the second big occasion in the month of “Falgun” when Lord Shiva is worshipped during the year. Devotees from all over the state and country come to this temple during the Maha Shivratri festival. It is a special occasion for all unmarried girls irrespective of their age. They pray and ask for blessings from Lord Shiva. The young girls perform fasts and at the end of the day pray to the Lord to bless them, so that they can get husbands who have all qualities of Lord Shiva. It is said that Lord Shiva listens to everybody who comes to this temple for his blessings and grants all their wishes. As per the mythology in Hindu religion, this temple is one of the most sacred temples that have been dedicated to Lord Shiva. Anybody who visits the city of Guwahati feels that his trip remains incomplete if they do not visit this temple.

Pilgrims visiting the temple

The temple is very sacred to pilgrims who come to worship Lord Shiva from different parts of the state and the country. The temple is located in a very picturesque location that attracts a huge number of student worshippers from nearby educational institutions like the Guwahati University and the Assam Engineering College. There are no restrictions on the Lankeshwar Temple timings, and people can come here to pray whenever they want to.

How To Reach

The Lankeshwar Temple is only 15 kilometers away from the centre of Guwahati and can be accessed very easily for performing Lankeshwar Temple puja. You can reach Guwahati by air, rail or road from different parts of the country and then choose a bus, train or taxi to travel to the temple.

 

  • By Air – The Borjhar Airport in Guwahati is well connected with other main cities of India. It is serviced by domestic airlines. The nearest international airport is the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. It is connected a large number of cities of the world by international carriers.
  • By Rail – The Guwahati railway station is an important station on the map of the North Eastern Frontier Railway of India. It is connected to all the major cities of the country through one of the metro cities namely Kolkata. You can easily visit the temple by taking a local train from the main Guwahati Railway station. The Azara railway station is only 11 kilometers from the temple, while the Amin Gaon railway station is only 13 kilometers from it. The Mirza railway station is located at a distance of 14 kilometers away.
  • By Road – The city of Guwahati is connected to other parts of the country via a large number of national highways and state highways. It is very easy to travel to the temple by taxi, or bus as frequent bus services operate to take devotees to the temple.

 

Nearby Attractions

Other than visiting the Lankeshwar mandir, there are a large number of places around the city of Guwahati that attracts thousands of tourists from all over the country. Some of them are:

  • The Kamakhya Temple is famous all over the country and perhaps the world. It is located in the hills of Nilachal about seven kilometres away from the city. The temple was destroyed by Muslim invaders and was rebuilt in 1565. This where the Yoni of Goddess Shakti fell when her body was dismembered by the Gods to stop Lord Shiva from destroying the world.
  • The Umananda Temple is another important place that attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is located in the middle of the Brahmaputra River on an island called the Peacock Island. This temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva and can be visited by ferries.
  • The Navagraha Temple was constructed in the 18th century on top of the Navagraha hill that was known earlier as the Chitrasal Hill. It is dedicated to the nine planets of the solar system.
  • Going on a cruise on the Brahmaputra can be very exhilarating for anybody who wishes to. Other than this you can visit the Guwahati Planetarium and the Assam Rajyik State Museum to know the people and their culture better.

 

History Of Temple

Legend says that the monarch of Sri Lanka, Ravana, had worshipped Lord Shiva at this place. The name of the temple was derived from the Lankeswar, or the king of Srilanka. Accordingly the temple came to be known as the Lankeswar temple. This temple not only attracts Hindu devotees, but people of other countries also come here to pay their respects to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva grants all the prayers of those who come to this temple to pray to him.

As per the Lankeshwar Temple history, the temple was built centuries ago but was destroyed by Muslim invaders when they conquered the land. After recovering the land from the Muslim hordes, the king of Guwahati rebuilt the temple in 1565. There is no resident deity at this temple, except the rock formation depicting the Shiv Linga and the Yoni. The surroundings of the temple are lush and green. The view of the area around the temple is very picturesque.

Earlier the dirt road leading uphill to the temple used to wind through dense foliage of plants and trees. It was difficult to climb especially during the rains. The devotees collected subscriptions from everybody and built a flight of stairs made of marble that has 452 steps. It has made it possible for the devotees to reach the temple very easily in all kinds of weather.