What initially catches the eye is a rather modern shrine for Kali Ma in which one would expect to find the fiery red eyed Goddess enraged and ready to kill the savage demons and destroy all evil. It is pleasantly surprising to note that this [as far as I know] is probably the only shrine that displays an enormous Kali yantra that has been placed on the ground in the very same spot where demonic blood once fell as the Goddess massacred evil.
Red and yellow flags still flutter in the air to celebrate the victory of the Goddess who once graced this earth. And then they say, she vanished, into the very same earth where she killed him.
This Kali Ma shrine is just the trailer to what actually lies behind these walls. A local priest ushered us to follow him to a world that hid silently behind the shops that sold offerings to Goddess kali. What lay ahead was not just the most potent shrines attributed to the Goddess's many forms but the ambiance that left us feeling a deep sense of peace and happiness. A sense of discovery enveloped us as we headed towards the inner sanctum.
Old rocky stone had been meticulously put together to shelter great power on this earth. In the silence of the morning with hardly any crowd at this temple, there seems to be enough life within this temple premises. It is energy of a different kind that stems from the soil, glows in the sun and exhibits power that shines through the vermilion. It was as picturesque as it could be, with the Mandakini flowing on one side, a small village precariously balancing itself along the sharp ridge and the sun penetrating through the hills, Kalimath has its own unique beauty.
This would have been a great seat of worship and learning in the ancient days. It just didnt echo the presence of a Shakti sthal here, but also a great seat of Tantricism and occult sciences not to miss the strong presence of the Goddess who also rendered it a Siddha Peeth.
In all its ancient charm, still untouched by modern renovation, stands the roofless Nandi shrine with small Shiva lingas excavated and placed around it. Ganesha adorns the entrance of the Saraswati temple, not by an iconographic measure but more as being unearthed and placed there. Shiva takes on center stage in the next temple with Parvati seated on his lap while a Linga is enshrined in a smaller temple closer to the river. The most eye catching aspect of this temple is the main shrine attributed to Goddess Lakshmi who resides deep within the Garbha griha with the matrikas on vigil outside her sanctum. Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped here in various "swarups" each divine version of her face is inscribed on the sacred rock and is silver plated. Opposite her sacred shrine is the yagnakund whose flames never die.
When the color of vermilion breathes life into the richness of the divine complexion of the Goddess, when her grace and beauty envelopes the air inside this chamber, when the smell of fire and sacred incense covers our soul, awaken to the world of the Mother, to her presence echoing in these rocks. This is life, this is bliss, this is beauty and this is power.
Photo courtesy: Agastya, Picasa