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Story of Bhima and Pagasooran in Tamil Nadu – Bheemasena and Demon Pagasuran

Story of Bhima, second of the Pandavas, and Pagasooran is a local legend in Tamil Nadu. The story is quite similar to the Bakasura episode in the Mahabharat. Demon Pagasuran had received numerous blessings and he was as strong as Bheemasena. The demon built a fort near Neelimali in Tamil Nadu (near present day Coimbatore). The demon was a voracious eater and used to trouble the villages in the region for food.

Like the infamous Bakasura, the demon demanded a cart load of food daily. If the food was insufficient he killed person that brought the food and also the bulls that pulled the cart.

One day Pandavas visited the region and found out about the troubles of the people. Bhima promised to the help the villagers.

Next day Bhima carried the food to the demon. Instead of serving it to the demon, Bhima started eating the food.

Pagasuran witnessed this arrogance and ran towards Bhima to kill him.

Bhima thwarted the attack of the demon. Two of them attacked each other. The fight shook the nearby regions. It was like two mountains dashing against each other. People ran out of their house thinking it was an earthquake.

Bhima realized that the demon was equal in strength. So he prayed to Goddess Kali for help. Goddess Kali blessed Bhima with more strength. Thus Bhima finally struck down the demon.

The demon was nearing his end and realized his mistakes. He then prayed to Goddess Kali for forgiveness. Goddess Kali appeared before the demon and blessed him. She gave him the boon that he will be a guard in her temple.

The villagers were happy and they constructed a temple for Goddess Kali. They also created the statue of Pagasooran and Bhimasena. They both stand guarding the deity in the temple.

It is believed that the Vanabadrakaliamman Temple on Mettupalayam – Tekkampatti Road near Coimbatore is the temple associated with demon Pagasuran. The statue of Bhima and Pagauran guard this temple.