December 10, 2014

Tanjore Kodi Amman Temple

Site Name: Kodi Amman Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Outskirts of Tanjore city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: The legend associated with the temple reveals the origin of the name of Thanjavur (Tanjore) city
Nearest Railway Station: Tanjore
Nearest Airport: Trichy
How to reach: Well connected by road and rail
Hotel: A lot of options across the entire Tanjore city
Restaurants: A lot of options across the entire Tanjore city

Those who know about Thanjavur (Tanjore) city in South India know mainly about the great Brahadeeswarar Temple built by Raja Raja Chola around 1000 years back. However, there are many rare and interesting sites found across the entire city. Let us explore about Kodi Amman temple, which is supposed to be one of the original temples of this city. 


Highlights:
  • The city Thanjavur was probably named after the demon who was killed by Goddess Kodi Amman, the main deity of the temple.
  • Goddess - Kodi Amman
  • The utsava idols of this temple are located in a separate temple in faraway place.
  • The Goddess bears Lord Shiva on her head which is unique.

Legend:

As per the legend, the demon Thanjan got boon from Lord Shiva and became very powerful. He was troubling the Devas who had inhabited the site where the temple is currently located. The Devas sought Shiva's help. Lord Shiva sent his consort to help them. The Goddess took the form of Pachai Kali (her complexion in green color) and started fighting the demon. However, the demon started taking different forms and was reappeared crore (kodi) times. Kali became very ferocious and turned red in color and was called as Pavala Kali. As she ultimately killed the demon who took kodi forms, she was named as Kodi Amman. The blood of demon flew as river and as it was reflecting in the body of Goddess, her body turned into red, as per another version. As per the request by Thanjan to the Goddess, the place was named as Thanjavur.

There is slightly a different version which states that the Goddess fought with two demons Thanjan and Tharagan in order to protect Parasara rishi and his disciples. 

As per another version, as the temple is located at the corner of the city, the deity was named as Kodi Amman. Kodi means corner in Tamil language.

There is another legend associated with this temple. There was a Chola king ruling this region once. As his country was affected by drought, he sought advice from the sage Vashisht. As per his advice, he expelled a Brahmin who was associated with an unchaste woman from his country. The Brahmin aligned himself with a king named Chatrgopan, the enemy of the Chola kingdom. The king attacked the Chola Kingdom, Kali took score of figures carrying burning woods and protected the boundary of the Chola King. Thus the Goddess was named as Kodi Amman. The Chola king built this temple.

Temple Layout:

This is a village temple located in the outskirts of Tanjore city enroute to Kumbakonam. It is close to a place called Sungan Tidal. 

The temple is very small and has no tower. The sanctum santorum has the five feet tall large stucco red colored idol of Kodi Amman. She looks very ferocious. She has eight arms and bears Lord Shiva on her head. 

Kodi Amman is flanked by Pachai Kali and Pavala Kali. Both are stone idols are they are present in the main shrine too.

The entrance of the temple has the idols of Ganesha, Subramanya and Shasta- Poorna-Pushkala.

The temple has just one prakara. The idols mostly of village deities are located in the prakara. Some of the idols present here include Madurai Veeran, Karuppanna Swami, Shiva Durga, Vishnu Durga, Shakti Linga, Raja Vishnu Durga, Swarna Bhairava, Karuppannan, Dakshinamurti and Kala Bhairava.

Usually, the processional (utsava) metal idols are also present in the same temple premises. However, the utsava idols of Pachai Kali and Pavala Kali, the deities of this temple, are located in Tirugnana Sambandhar Mutt adjoining Omli Pillaiyar Temple in Mela Masi Veethi (West Main Street) in Tanjore. 

There is a famous festival called Kali Attam connected to this temple where the utsava deities Pachai Kali and Pavala Kali are taken for procession.

Happy travelling. 

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