Asvakranta Temple, located at Guwahati
, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu
. This particular shrine is considered very sacred according to the ‘yogini tantra.’ It is believed that a sinner can achieve salvation by offering worship here.
The deity is referred to as Anantasayin Vishnu. The word ‘Anantasayin’ refers the reclining position of Lord Vishnu on the body of a serpent, as depicted by the idol. An idol of Lord Brahma is depicted seated on a lotus, which emerges from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Other idols of Goddess Mahamaya and two demons, Madhu and Kaitabha, are located at one corner of the shrine. Two rows of ‘nagakanyas’ or female serpent figures are seen praying to the lord with their hands folded. The shrine is adorned with artistic carvings.
The temple derives its name from a legend involving Lord Vishnu. Naraka, who ruled the land, was a tyrant and Lord Krishna decided to kill him. On this way, Lord Krishna had halted with his army and horses on the present site of the temple. He killed Naraka and installed his son Bhagadatta as the new ruler. The word ‘asvakranta’ literally means ‘ascended by horse.’ The temple got its name, since the lord came to this site on horses and camped here.