U for Umananda

The Peacock Island at sunset
Umananda Devaloi is located on the Peacock island (the smallest inhabited Riverine Island in the world) in the middle of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati city, Assam. To reach the temple, one has to cross the river in a boat. Lord Shiva is said to have resided here in the form of Bhayananda. According to the Kalika Purana, in the beginning of the creation Siva sprinkled ashes (bhasma) at this place and imparted knowledge to Parvati (his consort). There are various other legends of Lord Shiva associated to this island.
The island
The temple
The temple of Umananda was built in 1694 A.D. by the Bar Phukan Garhganya Handique by the order of King Gadadhar Singh (1681–1696), one of the ablest and strongest rulers of the Ahom dynasty. The original temple was however immensely damaged by a devastating earthquake of 1897. Later, it was reconstructed by a rich local merchant who chose to inscribe the interior part of a Siva temple with Vaisnavite slogans.
I visited Umananda in the summer of 2009 with my mother, grandmother, uncle, aunty and  their daughters. We paid our respects and then had lunch, which my grandmother packed from home, on the island itself. It was a holiday so the place was quite crowded. What I liked best on the island was the Golden Langurs who inhabit the island. While you are there, you better feed them. I am sharing few pictures of the animal. Watch out for its long tail.


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