Arunachal Pradesh is the second state we will be covering on our series of the seven sister states. It is also known as “the land of the rising sun”. It is home to the oldest Buddhist monastery – The Tawang Monastery” and is one of the most famous tourist locations in India.
In this article we will be looking at Akashi Ganga Temple, which is located around 12 kilometers from Malinithan, in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Legend – The temple owes its history to the famous mythological legend of the Daksha Yajna. During this Yajna, Parvati jumped into the fire pit to avoid hearing insults hurled by her father towards her husband Lord Shiva. Seeing this, Lord Shiva picked up Sati’s burning body and proceeded to perform the Tandav dance (dance of destruction). To stop the world from destruction, Lord Vishnu cut up Satis’s body into pieces using his sudarshan chakra. It is said that a piece of Satis body landed here in Arunachal Pradesh. It is unclear among some people as to which part of the body fell here although some people believe that it was Sati’s head that fell. This legend is mentioned in the Kalika Puran.
Another legend says that Lord Krishna ran away with Rukmini, when her marriage was arranged with the evil Shishupal. They came here to Parvati, who welcomed them by offering flower garlands. Hence Parvati is known here are Malini (Hindi Mala : garland) and the place is named Malinthan.
Main Diety – The main Goddess is the mother goddess Sati or Parvati.
Temple Specialties – Akashi Ganga is a well known pilgrimage place for Shakti worshipers. The temple is built in an architectural style that reminds one of the temples in Odisha. Mostly the temple is made of stone.
The river Brahmaputra flowing next to he temple also enhance the scenic beauty. It is customary for devotees to take a dip in the river while offering their Puja.
It is said that devotees who come here once feel the need to keep visiting again and again.
The most interesting part about this temple is a water tank (kund) in which one can see a mysterious sparkling object. However, upon entering the waters, the object becomes invisible. Due to this, the tank water is considered holy and is said to have healing powers.
Plan your visit – The best time to visit this place is during the winter season. Akashi Ganga is well connected by road. Buses are available from Malinthan or Itanagar. The nearest airport is Along airport or Lilabari airport.
Doni Polo Temple
Namdapha national park
Webpage – http://arunachalpradesh.gov.in/akashiganga.htm
Location: West Siang, 791001