Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Badrakali Amman Temple, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu


Badrakali amman temple, Sivakasi,Tamil Nadu. TripAdvisor
Bhadrakali ( simply "Kali"),  a Hindu goddess popular in Southern India is one of the fierce forms of the Great Goddess (Devi) mentioned in the Devi Mahatmyam. In Kerala and in West Bengal Kali worship is common among the Hindus and there are  popular festivals associated with Kali. She is known as Sri Bhadrakali and Kariam Kali Murti Devi  in Kerala who is believed to be the protector of the good.

This goddess is portrayed as fierce-looking with three eyes, and four, twelve, or eighteen hands. She carries a number of weapons, with flames flowing from her head, and a small tusk protruding from her mouth. In many places, in particular in Kerala, her worship is also closely associated with the Tantric tradition being followed normally by the Matrikas - people who practice witchcraft. Kali worship represents  the tradition of the ten Mahavidyas that come under the  broader spectrum of Shaktism. 


Regarding her avatar, there are more than 3 versions seen in some Puranas.  Among them, the popular one is  her divine birth as the daughter of Shiva to liberate the world from demon Daruka.  Lord Shiva created Kali to kill the demon Daruka who got a boon of invincibility and immortality and no body could kill him. Intoxicated with this mystic power, he committed all kinds of attrocities that tested the patience of the celestial and demigods The demon was forced to confront Kali and atlast was slain in a tough battle. In the wake of her victory over the demon goddess Kali - Devi was in uncontrollable rage. When  Lord Shiva came to know about it, he was  tempted to calm her wrath by dancing before her and offering her worship. Then, she became subdued.

Badrakali amman temple, Sivakasi.en.wikipedia.org/
It is believed in Kerala,  worship of Bhadrakali  is associated with  the practitioners of Kalarippayattu, a traditional martial arts form and the belief has been that she protects them when facing danger.

Badrakali Amman Temple in Sivakasi town in Virudhunagar district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu was built during the 18th century. The temple  saw further expansion during the 19th and 20th centuries. The  tall temple  is chracteristic of  a five-tiered gopuram, the gateway tower and a granite wall surrounding  the temple, enclosing all its shrines.
Badrakali amman Wikipedia
Badrakali Amman temple dedicated to Kali -  fierce manifestation of Parvati, the consort of Shiva. is yetanother  important landmark of this town, Sivakasi with its tall temple tower 110 feet in  height  and 66 feet in  breadth; the tower is visible all around.  The unique feature noticesable here is the main tower and the Garbagraha - sanctum are not in the same axis, this is rare in most of the Hindu temples. The deity Badrakali is in sitting poisture in  a Garbagraha facing west direction. It is on th left side of the gateway tower. The roof of the shrine is gold-plated.  Axial to the sanctum are built  the temple tank and a bell tower.  There is a shrine  for a fiece-lookng form of Vinayanaga called Heramba Vinayaka, with five heads. Here, his mount is bandicoot!! The normal mount, a lion is  missing. Yet another feature of interest is the presence of eight forms of Parvati with shrines all around the temple. Adjacent to the temple,  there are smaller shrines of other deities like Ayyappa, Murugan and Agora Murthy located adjacent to the temple tank.

As for puja rituals, the same tradition is being followed here, as in other places. The major  annual festivls are  Panguni Pongal-April  and Chithirai Pongal- May  celebrated for the deities Mariamman and Badrakali Amman. It is a ten-day engagement.

Normally in numeous temples, the deity of Badrkali, with a relaxed standing posture as a whole is a personification of humane nature and sympathy and it can not be misken for her weakness. She is equally deadly and fearlful, when dealing with the evil-minded people, demons, etc. Instantly,  her sybolic face full of grace can turn red with rage, and action will be taken forth with.  Hence, she is the goddess of annihilation of the evil forces.

That she is wearing the crown of Fire and holding the trident downward  suggests two things.  The trident she is wearing  destroys evil and the fire on the head prevents the reoccrence of  evil and reduces them to ashes.

Ref:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badrakali_Amman_temple,_Sivakasi