Kali (; Sanskrit: काली, IAST: Kālī, ISO: Kālī), also known as Kalika (Sanskrit: कालिका, Kālikā, ISO: Kālikā), is a Hindu goddess. Kali is the chief of the Mahavidyas, a group of ten Tantric goddesses who each form different aspects of the mother goddess, Mahadevi
Kali's earliest appearance is that of a destroyer of evil forces. She is the most powerful manifestation of Shakti and the goddess of one of the four subcategories of the Kulamārga, a category of Tantric Saivism. She destroys the evil in order to protect the innocent. Over time, Kali has been worshipped by devotional movements and tantric sects variously as the Divine Mother, Mother of the Universe, Adi Shakti, or Parvati. Shakta Hindu and Tantric sects additionally worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also seen as the divine protector and the one who bestows moksha or liberation. Kali is often portrayed standing or dancing on her consort, the Hindu god Shiva, who lies calm and prostrate beneath her. Kali is worshipped by Hindus throughout India and Nepal. She is also worshiped by Sri Lankan Buddhists as 'Kali Amma'.