Name of the Temple

Sri Vadapathrakalli Temple

Period of origin

Before:  1160 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Nisambasoothani,Vadapathrakalli


Thanjavur is also popular for the cult of ‘Kali'(the mother goddess – specific Sakthi cult). In Thanjavur there are eight Kali temples as guardian deities with different names:
1. Nandhi Makali; 2. Selliamman; 3. Ugra Kali (Nisumba soodhanai); 4. Kodiamman (Karanthai); 5. Vanchiamman; 6. Samavarthiniyamman; 7. Vada Bhadra Kali (Nisumba soodhani); and Kunthalamman. Kali is an incarnation of Parvati ‘Kali’ means black or kala (Hindi). Kali is a warrior goddess, who protects humanity and the gods from horrible demons, but she is also a deity of feminine energy, creativity, fertility, guardian, protector, ruler of eternal time, goddess of death and doomsday.

Hindu iconography depicts Kali all the more gruesome and she appears in absolute rage, with lolling tongue and protruding fangs  as well as with her ornaments of necklace of snakes, skulls and heads of her sons and a belt from, which hangs demon’s hands. The deity often appear with the number of arms being four (Kali, Ruthra Kali), eight (Chamundi), ten (Bhadra Kali), twelve, fourteen (Mahakali), eighteen (Bhadra Kali)  or even one hundred (Bhadra Kali) and each of hand holding weapon or other objects including a sword, dagger, trident dripping with blood, cup, drum, chakra, lotus bud, whip, noose, bell, and shield. She is the destroyer of demons such as Mahisasura, Chanda, Munda, Shumbha, Nishumbha as well as Madhu and Kaitabha.

It is also interesting to witness the cult of Nisumba soodhini, a form of Kali in mythology and the war deity of Imperial Cholas associated with war, combat or bloodshed. The cult of Korravai was present during Sangam period and the Tamil kings of Sangam period worshiped Korravai,  a local presiding deity of war and victory in the Tamil region. Perumpidugu Mutharaiyar II (c. 705 – 745 A.D.) ruled over Cauvery Delta Region Mutharaiyar Nadu before the Cholas. The cult of Pidari (a form of Kali and the protecting deity as well as war deity) probably evolved in the sixth and seventh centuries AD and is generally restricted to southern India. The feudatory king was a formidable Warrior and was engaged in 12 battles with Pandya and Chera and was victorious in all the battles i.e., Kodumbaalur, Manalur, Thingalur, Kaandhalur, Azhindhiur, Kaarai, Maangur, Annavoil, Semponmari, Thanjaisembulanattu Venkodal, Pugazhi and Kannanur. He built the temple devoted to Pidari at Niamam. The four pillars erected by the king bears the inscriptions (27 stanzas) reciting the wars, victories and other accomplishments.

The temple was built by Vijayalaya Chola (848-891) aka. Parakesarivarman, once a feudatory of the Pallavas. The temple has the sanctum sanctorum, ardhamandapa and the mahamandapa.

Temple popularly known among the local people as “Ragukaala Kali Temple”.


The temple is 2 km away from Old Bus stand of Thanjavur and there are number city buses and auto rickshaws available from here.

Temple Timings:

07.00 am – 11.00 pm and 05.00 pm – 08.00 pm.

Temple Address:

Sri Vadapathrakalli Temple

Ravuthan Koil Street ,

Tanjavur District.