The temple of Asvakranta in Assam is situated in North Guwahati. An important and one of the greatest Vishnu shrines of Assam, Asvakranta is located on a rocky stratum touching the waterfront of the Brahmaputra. Asvakranta Assam can be by motor boats that are available at Suklesvar Ghat (Guwahati). Asvakranta is favoured for its scenic beauty. From here one can enjoy the east-west expanse of Guwahati situated on the other bank of the river.
Asvakranta literally means ?ascended by horses?. It is here that Sri Krishna camped with his army before he defeated and killed Narakasur. Aswakranta is associated with Krishna-Rukamini episode. It is said that Krishna’s Asva (horse) was encircled (akranta) by the enemies at this place. It is also believed by some people that the place should be caged as Asvaklanta indicating that Krishna on his way from Kundil Nagar to Dwaraka had to rest here as his horse became tired (klanta).
The Asvakranta temple contains the image of Anantasayin Vishnu, a reclining statue of wonderful workmanship. As laid down in the texts, a tortoise, a frog, and a piece of waterweed is shown supporting Ananta upon which Visnu is seen reclining. Of his four arms, the lower left is thrown on the body of the serpent, while the lower right is stretched along the right thigh.
The four –
faced Brahma is depicted as sitting on the lotus which has sprung out from the navel of Vishnu. Devi or Maha maya and the two demons, Madhu and Kaitabha, are standing on the one corner. Two rows of Naga kanyas, one on the space between the coil of the serpent, are seen kneeling down on his feet with folded hands. The scene is surrounded by an arch type prabhamandala, and the entire carvings appear to be sculptures of high artistic excellence.
Asvakranta is considered to be the greatest tirtha. According to the Yogini Tantra, this is a place for gift, recitation of mantras, homa, Pinda, meditation and study. Sin as great as a mountain is worn off by a visit to Asvakranta. At the touch of a speck of dust of this place, it is believed, the most hardened sinner is able to attain salvation. The salvation that the residents of Asvakranta attain is not to be attained even by residence at Ganga and Pushkarana. Even a slayer of a Brahmana, is absolved of his sin if he practises yoga there; what is gained with great gifts in other tirthas is gained here at Asvakranta with a mere day?s fast.
Places of Interest
The Footprints of Lord Krishna –
The rocky outcrop at the eastern side bordering the river allegedly contains a footprint, which is supposed to be that of Krishna. The devotees come to this place to perform ‘Shraddha’ ceremonies of the departed souls regularly.
Kurmajanardan and Anantasayi –
The hillock beside the river contains two historical temples enshrining th erein images of Vishnu, known as ‘Kurmajanardan’ and ‘Anantasayi’, A long flight of steps has survived from historical times, which link the Anantasayi temple with the foothills.
The Aarparuat or the flat-topped Screen-Hill is a small island, only a hundred metres off the bank of Brahmaputra River. Apart from its natural beauty, this island is the abode of thousands of white cranes, which offer added attraction to the visitors.
Getting there and Around
The nearest airport is Guwahati.
The nearest railhead is situated at Guwahati.
Asvakranta is linked by road transport via the Saraighat Bridge across the Brahmaputra. Other option is Guwahati, which is well connected with regular bus services from all the major cities in and around the state.
Regular ferry services are available to Asvakranta from Guwahati.
Accommodation facilities are available at reasonable prices in Guwahati with options varying from luxury to budget hotels.
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