Friday, May 6, 2016

Kodi Amman Temple, Thanjavur

Kodi Amman Temple, Thanjavur
Kodi Amman Temple is a Hindu temple situated at Sungan Thidal, 2 kms from the town of Thanjavur on the Thanjavur-Kumbakonam road. The city Thanjavur was probably named after the demon who was killed by Goddess Kodi Amman, the main deity of the temple. 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. Goddess Kali came to this place to kill the demon as the representative of Lord Shiva, hence bears him on her head.

Legends
Slaying of Demon Thanjan by Kali:
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.
Slaying of Demon Thanjan & Tharakan by Kali:
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. 
Reason behind the naming of this Amman:
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.
Story behind the name Thanjavur
The name of the place was Alagapuri when Thanjan was killed by Kali.  The place was renamed as Thanjavur after his name as requested by him.  Later, due to changes in pronunciations, it became Thanjavur.
Kali protecting the Chola Kingdom:
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 Vashista. 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 Speciality
The name Thanjavur came into being after the story of the Kali killing a demon here by name Thanjan. All of us know that Lord Shiva bears Ganga on His head, but here Goddess Kali bears Lord Shiva on Her head, hence, instead of the Lion
Temple Architecture
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 Sanctorum 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. There is a Nandhi and Soolam at the entrance facing the Goddess.

The height of the idol is 5 feet and is facing north. The deities Pachai Kali and Pavala Kali are famous in this temple. Abishekams are conducted daily to these deities. The Utsavar idols of Pachai Kali and Pavala kali are located in the Thirugnanasambanthar madam adjoining Omli Pillayar koil in West Main Street Thanjavur. The main festival is conducted in the Tamil Month of Masi for 11 days.

On a Tuesday Kodi Amman will be taken in procession along the main street of Thanjavur and the idol will be worshipped in each and every house of 64 Manai Vellan Chettiars. Then the idol is taken to her village Kalimedu and she returns back to the temple.

The main shrine of Goddess Kodi Amman is facing east and the Moolavar is a sudhai idol. The main Deity is flanked by two stone idols and Pavala Kali. Abhishekam are performed only to these two idols. 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, Karupanna 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 Thirugnana Sambandhar Mutt adjoining Omli Pillaiyar Temple in Mela Masi Veethi (West Main Street) in Tanjore. 
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Festivals
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. This Kaliattam festival is observed in the temple either in the last week of Masi (February-March) or in the first week of Panguni (March-April) by painting the idols of Pachaimalai and Pavalakali taking them to each house. This is called Kaliatta Vizha.
A puja will also be performed by a representative of the king. People carry milk pots during this festival. There are shrines for Pachaikali, Pavalakali and Shoolakali in the West Street of Thanjavur.
Goddess kali destroyed the demon Tharakan as per the prayers of the Saint Parasarar. She took the form of Pachai Kali as an aspect of Shyamala Devi and her body became red, stained by the blood of Tharakan. So she was called as Pavala Kali. There is a festival called Kali Attam connected with this temple, Thanjavur will commence with festivals of Lord Ayyanar and Kodi Amman.
The Utsava idols in the west main street will be taken to the main temple and two wooden figures of Pachai Kali and Pavala Kali will be taken in procession. The Pachai Kali will commence her journey from Sri Sankara Narayana temple in west Main Street while Pavala Kali starts from Sri Konganeeswarar temple of the same street.
Both the deities will go around the town with each Deity holding a kapalam made of bronze and filled with Viboothi. The right of holding the kapalam is enjoyed by 64 Manai Vellan Chettiyars. After dancing in the streets for 3 times the deities retire into the temples from where they started.
The Utsava idols will then go to adjacent Kalimedu village where the villagers worship them. Then they proceed to Kodi Amman temple via Bondiri Palayam enroute. After being worshipped in Kodi Amman temple they return to the west main street temple and with this festival Kali Attam is concluded.
Prayers
Relief from the witchcraft effects caused by enemies, child boon are the prayers placed at the feet of Goddess Kali. Devotees offer abishek and vastras to the Goddess as their prayer commitment.
Contact
Sri Kodiamman Temple,
Sungan Thidal, Thanjavur
Phone: +91-93671 82045
Connectivity
Goddess kodi Amman temple is located in Thanjavur-Kumbakonam main bus route at a distance of 3 km from Thanjavur. It is close to a place called Sungam Thavirtha Chola Nallur (Now called Sungan Tidal), Thanjavur. Nearest Railway Station is located at Thanjavur & Nearest Airport is located at Trichy.

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