Vakrakali in Thurvakkarai, Vizhupuram, Thidivanam-Pondicherry Road, Photo by Vidya Sury ©

Don’t mess with me!

April Six Word Photo Story Challenge: “Graffiti & Street Art”

Families that stick together usually win

We visited this temple during one of our South India trips and were blown away by the workmanship.

Considered one of the most powerful “Amman” or Kali temples in South India, the twelfth-century Thiruvakkarai Vakra Kaliamman Devi Temple is unique in many aspects. The main idol of Kali is slightly bent to one side with eight hands. She wears a small baby as an ornament in one ear and the skull of a dead person as her crown.

Now, of course, you want the story!

Vakrasura, a demon, did penance for Lord Shiva. Pleased, Shiva granted him the boon of immortality 🙄. Naturally, the arrogant Vakrasura, armed with his boon, ganged up with his equally obnoxious sister Dhurmukhi to pester the sh*t out of all the gods and sages.

Gods approached Shiva, who delegated Vishnu to slay the demon, and Goddess Parvati to kill Dhurmukhi. Dhurmuki was pregnant. Killing a pregnant woman is a sin per Vedas, so Goddess Parvati took the form of “Vakra” Kali, rescued the fetus, and wore it as her earring, then killed the demoness. And thus, she came to be known as Vakrakali.

On full moon days, Vakrakali’s idol is covered in sandal paste, and special prayers are offered.

The temple itself is unusual in many ways. It is a Shiva temple but better known as Vakrakali temple, and besides Kali, it also has Vishnu and Brahma sanctums. There is so much more to say — maybe I’ll write a post about this temple.

The stunning idol of Vakkrakali is HUGE inside the sanctum, and the 3D wall art around the temple, as you can see above, is amazing. And just for context: the reference to families in the six words — Shiva is Parvati’s husband. Vishnu is Parvati’s brother. As for Shiva’s and Parvati’s connection with Brahma and Vishnu, too many stories, too little space.



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Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles


Writing about Self Improvement, Mindfulness, Meditation, Parenting, Health, Travel, Life, Books. Showing my diabetes who’s boss. Visit: