We descended into a dark room, where the first thing you notice is the constant dripping of the water. You can see two pandits sitting at two points near a mound of garlands and flowers. They ask the people to kowtow in front of the garlands and touch the water and keep it on your head. The only light in the room is that of two flame torches that are lit in the room. If you keep electic lights, then the whole divine ambience might be lost, I felt. Somehow I did not feel very spiritual in the cave and kept walking, just observing curiously the happenings around me.
Kamakhya Temple must have been built in many phases from 8th to 17th century. In the outerwalls of the temple you see very intricately carved sculptures which speak of the craftsmanship of that age. At the same time, certain parts of the wall seems to be like plastered and bland, which kind of points to the deterioration of the quality of construction in later periods, I felt.
Another major thing you observe in the temple is the presence of huge number of goats and pigeons. These goats are mostly offered to Maata Kaamakhya. Kaamakhya temple still observes animal sacrifice, and I’m told that only male goats are sacrificed. I could see some male goats, called “kottanadu” in Malayalam, roaming freely in the temple as if it’s their domain until they’re sacrificed. They have this air about them that they are going to solve world problems with their life sacrifice and they are entitled to walk around as if they’re the masters there.
Kids can be seen running all around the place. They have been very well tutored how to talk to the visiting pilgrims ( or tourist pilgrims?) Two of them approach me and tell me with conviction ” Bhaiya, give us some dakshina. You can have the blessings of Maa Kaamakhya. All your problems will be solved” I smile at them with my best childlike smile and tell that I don’t have any problems that needs solving. I do not know whether they even understand what I am saying and they lurk around for some more time and then leave.
Maa Kaamakhya temple suffers from the same date as any other famous temple. It’s too commercialised with spirituality being sold at every nook and corner. Near every deity there is a Pandit who promises blessings. This combined with the rush makes this hill shrine devoid of any spirituality. Just like beauty, spirituality also likes in the eyes of the beholder. So Maata blesses everyone differently, I guess.