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Pitari, snake catcher, was one of the consorts of Shiva, and a benevolent Navashakti. The cult of Patri evolved probably around the sixth or seventh century AD and was primarily in southern India. She was considered an aspect of the goddess Kali and is invoked in many villages to ward off evil and demons. She possesses most of the attributes of Kali, and may also have snakes around her breasts, but may also be represented by a stone. Her cult moved one time and reached a climax in eastern India between the eighth and twelfth centuries. Her attributes are the cup, fire, noose, and trident. She is also known as Pitali and Kali-Pidari. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 205

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