Umananda Temple is located on an island called “Peacock Island” in the middle of the Brahmaputra river in the northern part of Guwahati. Devotees can reach the temple with the help of a ferry or boat, this temple can be seen on a mound called Bhasmachala or Bhasmakuta. Devotees have to climb more than 150 steps to reach the temple. The ferry ride gives a wonderful view of the flowing Brahmaputra River with a distant view of rolling hills and greenery. It will take 15 to 20 minutes to reach the foot of Bhasmakuta hill.
Lord Shiva is worshipped as Umananda. The name ‘Umananda’ comes from the two Hindi words, ‘Uma’ means Lord Shiva’s wife and ‘Ananda’ which means happiness. The island was originally built in 1694 A.D. by King Gadadhar Singha. However, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1897 and later rebuilt by a wealthy local merchant.
Guwahati Umananda Temple Timings: 5:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Peacock Island Ferry Timings: 7.00 AM – 4.30 PM
Guwahati Umananda Temple History:
The Umananda temple was earlier known as Umananda devaloi which means “The abode of Lord Shiva”. As can be gathered from the name, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The magnificent temple was built in 1694 by the Bar Phukan Gadadhar Singha. However, the order was issued by King Gadadhar Singha who was one of the mightiest kings of the Ahom kingdom.
According to a legend, Lord Shiva resided on this island as Bhayananda. It is said that at the beginning of creation, Lord Shiva sprinkled ashes here and imparted the supreme knowledge to his wife, Parvati. The temple’s actual history is overshadowed by many such legends. It is said that the Goddess Urvasi resides on this island and brinks “amrit” or nectar for Goddess Kamakhya. That is why the island is also called Urvasi island. Even the Bhasmakuta hill on which the temple is located has a story. Legend says that when Kamadeva disturbed Lord Shiva during his meditation, he turned Kamadeva into ashes on this hillock, hence earning it the name of Bhasmakuta.
During the Mughal rule in Kamrupa, the Umananda temple received grants and donations from the Mughal emperors Jahangir and Aurangzeb. Sadly, the mighty temple was heavily damaged in an earthquake in 1897. It was later rebuilt by a rich merchant who was a devotee of Lord Shiva.
Guwahati Umananda Temple Address:
Assam – 781030.