Located: East Guwahati
Built By: King Rajesvar Singha
Built in: 18th century
Dedicated To: Sage Vasistha
Vasistha Ashram is situated amidst beautiful natural scenes, in the Sandhychal hills of eastern Guwahati. It is an important pilgrimage center, which was built by the Ahom king, Raja Rajeswar, in the second half of the 18th century. Vasistha is, in fact, the last existing monument built by the Ahom dynasty rulers. The Ashram is the meeting point of three rivulets namely, Sandhya, Kanta and Lalita, merging together to create a unique natural setting. It is a popular belief that a dip in these waters increases a person’s life and washes off his sins.
Vasistha Ashram is an important pilgrimage center of not only Guwahati, but thw whole of Assam. Assam. It is also a very famous tourist spot of the state. There is a temple of Lord Shiva, associated with the hermitage of Vasistha, situated nearby. Thousands of devotees come here every year to offer their prayers to the Lord and to attain inner peace and happiness by taking a dip in the holy waters of the stream nearby. There are a number of legends associated with sage Vasistha and this ashram. These legends have been related differently in different chronicles.
According to one legend, the hermit (Vasistha) used to do his ‘sandhya’ in a stream near his abode (ashram). However, one day, due to the ardent games played by Lord Indra with his queen Shachi and other heavenly women, the water in the stream became impure. The sage grew furious at this and cursed Indra saying that he would have sexual contact with a Daitya woman. At once, Indra was transformed into a normal person and had sexual intercourse with a Daitya woman.
Indra granted a boon to the Daitya woman, saying that the son in her womb would become a king. It was this same son who later became the progenitor of the Ahom Kingdom and ruled over the Assam region. According to a second legend, the sage attained spiritual success by dwelling into the secrets of Sakta practices. It is also possible that the sage, after being refused into the Kamakhya temple, came down to Sandhyacala and meditated on Lord Shiva.