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Umananda Temple, Guwahati

This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located on Peacock island in the Brahmaputra River (named by a poetic British Administrator). It is probably the world’s smallest human inhabited river-island and can be reached by country boat from Kachari Ghat. According to legend Kamdev, the god of love, was reduced to ashes here by Lord Shiva when he interrupted his meditation.

The presiding deity of the temple, which was built in 1694 by the Bar Phukan Garhganya Handique by order of King Gadadhar Singh (1681-1696) one of the ablest and strongest rulers of the Ahom dynasty, is Umananda. The original temple, however, was badly damaged during the devastating earthquake of 1897 and was later reconstructed by a rich local merchant.

The temple has some rock carvings that show the masterly skill of their Assamese craftsmen and that the original worshippers followed all the principal Hindu gods. It attracts devotees from all over the country during Shiva Ratri.