September 6, 2015

Pachai Kali and Pavala Kali - Tanjore

Site Name: Pachai Kali and Pavala Kali Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Mela Masi Veethi, Tanjore city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An unusual temple separately dedicated for procession idols
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 Pachai Kali and Pavala Kali temple associated with Kodi Amman temple, which is supposed to be one of the original temples of this city. 


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.

Temple Layout:

Usually the utsava (procession) idols made of metals are also found in the same temple where the main deities are located. However, this temple is unique and is dedicated to the utsava idols of Pachai Kali and Pavala Kali. The main deities are located in Kodi Amman temple in the outskirts of Tanjore city. 

This temple is very small and has two utsava idols adjoining Omli Pillayar temple near Tirugnana Sambandhar mutt in Mela Masi Veethi at the heart of Tanjore city. Though the temple is small, it is very popular 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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