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Kalika Mata Temple, Pavagadh

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Introduction to the Pavagadh Temple

Kalika Mata Temple or Pavagadh Temple stands at the top of Pavagadh hill, Panchmahal district Gujarat. It lies 800 meters above sea level. Maa Kalika means 'Great Black Mother'. This tiny temple is amidst a dense forest covered by a cliff. Pavagadh Temple holds the pride of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is considered a ShaktiPeeth. On the highest peak of this scenic mountain resides the Shakti Swarup Jagatajanani Maa Kalika, the presiding deity. A huge number of devotees visit the Pavagadh Temple to worship Maa Kalika.

Kalika Mata Temple, Pavagadh

Legend of the Pavagadh Temple

Two popular legends revolve around the Pavagadh Temple. One is about how Maa Kalika visited a Navratri Garba celebration in disguise.

After watching the devoted dance of her devotees, Maa Kali was pleased and joined her people by disguising herself as a beautiful young woman. Her appearance attracted King Patai Jaisinh, and he repeatedly held her hand to lure her. Even after warning him three times, he did not stop his action. So, the angered Maa Kalika cursed his kingdom with a colossal downfall. Later, a Muslim invader named Mahmud Begada invaded the kingdom. He killed King Patai Jaisinh and captured his kingdom.

Another legend says Sati (Parvati) performed a tremendous dance once. She lost a part of her body during her dance. Her right leg is said to have fallen here. Thus, a black idol of Maa Kalika formed at this place. A resident, Lewa Patidar, and Raja Sadashiv Patel initiated the worship of the deity. However, Sage Vishwamitra moved her idol to Pavagadh Temple finally.

The Architecture of the Pavagadh Temple

The Pavagadh Temple history dates back to the 10th and 11th centuries. The local Patidar, Koli, and Bhil communities worshipped the deity until she was invoked, and Sage Vishwamitra installed her idol. She is worshipped as an incarnation of Chandi or Durga. This ancient temple lies in the vicinity of Champaner-Pavagadh Archeological Park.

The temple has two sanctuaries. Devotees can see Hindu shrines on the ground floor of this double-storied building. The ground floor has the sanctum sanctorum, where devotees can worship idols of three deities. The idol of the main deity Maa Kalika is painted red and blesses her devotees from the center. Two deities, Mahakali and Bahuchara, are on the right and left sides of the main deity. The marble flooring of the main temple dates back to the 1850s. Next to the sanctum sanctorum, pilgrims can see the shrine of the Muslim saint Sadan Shah Pir, who is believed to have pacified Maa Kalika when she angrily decided to destroy the universe.

Devotees worship the Kali Yantra at Pavagadh Temple. There is an open courtyard. Two altars are in front of the temple for sacrifices. However, animal sacrifice has completely stopped here. The Dargah was amicably shifted nearby, and redevelopments were done in the Pavagadh Temple in 2022. A new Shikhara was also built.

Festivals in the Pavagadh Temple

The Pavagadh Temple conducts a fair every year on Chaitra Sud Ashtami (the eighth day of the waxing phase of the moon during Chaitra month). During Dussehra, thousands of devotees flock to the temple to seek blessings from Maa Kalika. On Chaitra month's full moon day, people visit the temple to perform special Poojas to the deity.

Benefits of Worshipping at the Pavagadh Temple

According to local folklore, Sage Vishwamitra erected an idol of Maa Kalika at the Pavagadh Temple. The locals believe that the region received abundant blessings due to Vishwamitra's power.

How to Reach Pavagadh Temple
By Road

The nearest bus stand is Halol, which is at a 6 km distance. Devotees can take rope cars to reach the hilltop.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Vadodara. It is at a 45 km distance.

By Air

The nearest airport to the Pavagadh Temple is Vadodara Airport, located at a distance of 48 km.

Pavagadh Temple Timings

The Pavagadh Temple remains open from 5.00 am to 7.00 pm.

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