Located: Uzan Bazaar, Guwahati
Built By: King Shiva Singh
Built In: 18th century
Dedicated To: Goddess Ugra Tara, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati
Ugratara Temple is an important Shakti shrine, located in the eastern part of the Guwahati city, in Uzan Bazaar. The temple serves as an important pilgrimage center of the state and attracts tourists from far and wide. It was constructed in 1725, by King Shiva Singh of Ahom Kingdom. He also excavated a tank, known as Jorepukhuri, in the east of the temple. However, the present temple has undergone a number of renovations and modifications, after its upper section was destroyed by a devastating earthquake. These reconstructions were undertaken by a private citizen.
The residing deity of the Ugratara Temple is Goddess Ugra Tara, who is considered to be another form of Goddess Parvati. The legend has it that the temple was constructed on the very spot where the naval of Sati fell on the earth, after her death. Hence, the place is considered to be an important shakti shrine in India and is regarded as very sacred by the thousands of devotees who come to visit the place every year. The temple is also connected to Buddhism and related to Eka Jata and Tiksna Kanta of the Buddhist pantheon.
The main festival celebrated in Ugratara temple is Navaratri or the festival of nine nights. During this time, devotees from far and wide come to offer their prayers and seek blessings of the Mother. An important ritual observed during the festival is the sacrifice of animals, like bulls, buffaloes, wild boars, goats etc. There is also another ritual of offering one’s own blood to the Mother. However, an interesting fact is that, generally, the females of all the species are exempted from sacrifice. Apart from this, special prayers are also offered to the Goddess every Friday.