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Sakthi Temple
About Amman  -  Amman Image Gallery
Pooja Cost : US$ 9.00 Leadtime : 3 Days
Location : Kancheepuram.
Main Deity : Parasakthi.
Nearest Town : Kancheepuram District : Kancheepuram State : Tamil Nadu
In Kanchi, when one mentions the temple of Parasakthi, only the Kamakshi Amman shrine will come to our mind. But that she has taken abode in several places in this city may not be known to many. In fact in Kanchi, there are 12 temples for ParaSakti. As Ganga that fell in three streams was called Tripatha, in South India, too the three rivers Bahu, Kundalini and Kshira join near Kanchi and hence it was called Trisarotha. Akasa Raja a devotee of Sakti was without any issues and prayed to the Divine mother, who sent her son Vinayaka to be born as the king’s son. A son was born and he was named Tundira and the area came to be called Tundira mandalam.

Kanchi is one of the 64 Sakti peetas as the city was born by the grace of Parasakti, The city was filled with saktas of the three modes of worship Vaidika, Misra and Tantrika. Tantric became supreme. Some of the temples in Kanchi, which are tantric, are considered by some as Buddhist. Now one should carefully scrutinize the claim. Buddha was against idol worship.

According to the puranas, there were 12 Sakti temples here. They are Pidavarthini, Ugravahini, Pralaya Pantini, Panchalikai, Kshetrangi, Banambikai, Viravareswari, Sampathakarisvari, Pancha Chandrikai, Hemasanai, Kambutharani and Ranukambujavalli. The most important temple in the group is Pidavarthini also named Kalikambal. She assumed this name when she killed the Asura Tirisiran.
This temple housing Kalikambal is between Kumara Kottam and Kamakshi Amman temple. A tall gopura, two corridors and a Ranga Mandapa adorns this temple. This temple is also known as Adi Pida Parameswari temple. A small board in the North Rajaveedhi indicates its location. For a very long time it was lying neglected and only recently has it been renovated.

At the base of the entrance, a caravan of camels in relief bring tributes and presents to the Parasakti. Their turban, dress and jewels proclaim the handwork of Vijayanagara dynasty. In a dream a sword was presented to Gangadevi wife of Kampana Odeyar by the Goddess Meenakshi of Madurai to free the land from invaders. On entering, in the front corridor, on a dais is housed a rare Sakti Lingam. The Goddess Sakti is embedded on the face of a Lingam. The idea is to show that as heat is concealed in fire. Sakti is within a Lingam. (Purusha).

Behind this Lingam is the sanctum barred by iron rods and one will have to reach it by the Ranga Mandapa to the left. The entrance is guarded by two huge goblins with a bulbous stomach. These Dvaraplakas are nude and wield a sword and a kapalam. Inside the sanctum is Mother Parasakti and in accordance with Tantra Sastra to indicate She is the most powerful. The heads of the three Murthis, Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra are carved. In Hampi, too one can see a similar figure.
The priest brings a light and the dark sanctum is illuminated a little. In the lightning-like face of Sakti, the tejas of Siva, the mercy of Vishnu. Yama’s power in her locks, the beauty of Moon in her breasts are all reflected. There is an Yantra at her feet. In the outer open corridor, in two niches the Goddess appears as Mahisasuramardani and Pidavardini. The first image has corroded due to passage of time, but the later is in a good condition.

With her locks forming a Greeta, bearing three eyes like Siva, with Ganga in her head, wielding a kapala-like Bhiksadana, Preta kundala dangling in her ears, She is seated in the second niche. As Cupid could not conquer Siva he placed aside his bow and arrows but when he saw Sakti, the very essence of beauty, he got courage and though of conquering Siva with that beauty alone. Now we stand rooted facing that beauty.