The Shyamakali Mata temple of Mandi is dedicated to Goddess Kali (an incarnation of Goddess Durga). The temple is built on the Tarna Hill and hence is also called the Tarna Devi Temple. The temple is built with red and white stones on a four feet elevated stone platform. Pictures displayed all over the temple show the nine forms of the Goddess (Nav Durga). The sacred bells of the temple are really soothing to the mind and soul. There are many pillars that are beautifully carved depicting the rich architectural style. The dense forest around the temple provides great scenic beauty to the temple. Kali is also called as "Shyamakali" who is the first of the ten avatars (incarnations) of Goddess Durga. Shyamakali is the fearful and ferocious form of the mother Goddess Durga. In this temple Goddess Kali stands in Pratyalidha pose on the chest of Lord Shiva and posseses four hands. She is engaged here in reverse cohabitation with Lord Siva. She holds a sword and displays Abhaya-mudra in her upper left and right hands respectively while her lower left hand is holding a severed human head and the lower right displays Varada-mudra. In this context it is noteworthy that her kind aspect is demonstrated by holding of the sword in her left hand, because the sword in right hand symbolises destruction. She possesses three eyes and is surrounded by jackals and vultures carved on the side. The height of the image is around four feet.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- For purification of mind and body
Jayantii Manggalaa Kaalii Bhadrakaalii Kapaalinii Durgaa Shivaa Kssamaa Dhaatrii Svaahaa Svadhaa Namostu Te
Meaning -We salute the Devi Kali, who is always victorious and always auspicious, we offer salutations to Bhadrakali Devi who wears a skull garland, we salute Shiva's consort and the embodiment of self-control and supports all beings, Devi Durga, who is Swaha as well as Swadha. We offer our salutations to you.
Om Maha Kalyai Ca Vidmahe Smasana Vasinyai Ca Dhimahi Tanno Kali Prachodayat
Meaning -Om the great Goddess Kali who stays in the ocean of life and burial grounds, we focus our energies on you, may you grant us our wishes and bless us
Kaalika Kalahey Gorey Paathuthvaam Parameshwari Mandapey Thathra Mathangi Thatha Sowmya Swayamwarey
Meaning -Let the ever charming, mother of the universe, protect us and stay in this mandap and bestow her blessing on us as mother Mathangi.
Katyayani Mahamaye Mahayoginyadheeshwari Nandgopsutam Devipatim Me Kuru Te Namah
Meaning -Oh Goddess Katyayani, the great vigour of the Lord, the owner of great magical power and the mighty one who controls all, please make the son of Nanda Maharaj my husband. I offer my salutations to you.