Kālikā Mata Temple (or Kalikamata; meaning "the black Mother") is a Hindu goddess temple complex and pilgrim centre at the summit of Pavagadh
Hill in Panchmahal District
, within the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
. It dates from the 10th or 11th centuries. The temple has three images of goddesses: the central image is of Kalika Mata, flanked by Kali on the right and Bahucharamata on the left.
The spire has a shrine of Sadanandsha Pir, a Muslim ‘pir’ or “saint” held in great reverence locally. On Chitra sud 8, a fair is held at the temple which is attended by thousands of devotees. The temple is the site of one of the Shakti Peethas. One can reach easily to temple by ropeway.
Kalika Mata Temple is situated in the Indian state of Gujarat
, near Halol
, at 762 metres (2,500 ft) above sea level. The temple complex is part of the Champaner
-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World
Heritage Site. It is set amidst a dense forest cover on a cliff.
The temple can be accessed by a pathway from the road head through the forest over a distance of 5 kilometres (3.1 mi). The path passes the ruins of Patai Raval's palace ruins. Alternatively, there is a ropeway access, which was commissioned in 1986. The ropeway, 740 metres (2,430 ft) in length, is of mono-cable and can carry 1,200 people per hour; it is said to be the country's highest.
Dating from the 10th-11th centuries, Kalika Mata is the oldest temple in the area. According to R. K. Trivedi in Fairs and Festivals of Gujarat (1961), the goddess Kalika Mata was initially worshipped by the local Bhil people and Koli people, until she was later invoked and installed by Vishvamitra on Pavagadh Hill
summit, where she is worshipped as a form of Durga or Chandi.
Pavagadh's Kalika Mata is also worshipped by the Adivasi. The temple was described in Gangadas Pratap Vilasa Natakam, a 15th-century drama. Named in honor of the Goddess Kali, the temple is believed to be the Kali Mata's residence, and is one of the Shakti Peethas, as the symbolic toe of the goddess Sati is said to have fallen here.
Architecture and fittings
The small and plain temple is set amidst fortifications with an open yard in the front, and is open for long hours to cater to the rush of pilgrims. There are two altars in front of the temple for offering sacrifices to the Kalika Mata, as well as a row of lights that are lit on festive occasions. The Kali yantra is worshipped at the temple.