Exploring the Rich History and Spiritual Significance of the Banashankari Temple in Badami, North Karnataka

Exploring the Rich History and Spiritual Significance of the Banashankari Temple in Badami, North Karnataka

Exploring the Rich History and Spiritual Significance of the Banashankari Temple in Badami, North Karnataka

Continents such as Asia and Europe, as well as other parts of the world, offer various destinations for holistic living. One such place is Swaswara, located at Om Beach in Gokarna, which provides a rejuvenating experience. When considering accommodation options in Shekhawati, Piramal Haveli is a recommended choice. For travelers seeking luxury in a pilgrimage city, Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa offers a perfect retreat. Living the vibrant lifestyle of Lucknow can be experienced at Clarks Awadh. In North Karnataka, the Banashankari Shakthipeetha in Badami is a well-known temple dedicated to Sri Badami Banashankari Devi. This deity has been worshipped since the Chalukya era and is considered the Kuldevi by millions of devotees.

In the year 603 CE, King Jagadekamalla III constructed this temple and placed the Banashankari Devi Murti within it. The Banashankari Devi is the deity worshipped by the Kalyana Chalukya dynasty as their family goddess.

In 1750 CE, Marari Dandanayaka, also known as "Parasurama Agale," reconstructed this temple. During the nine-day celebration of Navratri, Goddess Banashankari is adorned with special jewelry and sarees. Her devotees visit the temple during these nine days to see the nine different forms of Devi.

The Badami Banashankari temple holds great historical importance as it has a rich historical background.

The Skanda Purana includes accounts of Badami Banashankari, who was revered as the main deity by the Chalukyas and other nearby rulers.

Once upon a time, there was a powerful demon named Durgamasura who resided in a forest called Tilakaranya. He caused immense suffering not only to the people residing there but also to the wise sages. Unable to endure the torment inflicted by Durgamasura, the sages sought help from the gods. In response, Adishakti, a manifestation of Parvati, emerged from the sacred fire pit known as Yagna Kund and defeated Durgamasura.

Therefore, the term "Bana" denotes a forest, while "Shankari" refers to the embodiment of Shakti or the divine feminine energy of Shankara. Consequently, the name Banashankari is derived from the combination of these two elements.

Shakhambari, which is also known as Banashankari Amma, has its origins in a fascinating tale.

In the past, there was a town that was severely affected by drought, causing its residents to suffer from a lack of food and water. During this difficult period, Goddess Banashankari, in her compassion, shed tears that quenched the thirst of Mother Earth and brought sustenance to her devotees. She provided nourishment by creating vegetables, which is why the goddess is also revered as Shakhambari, a name that signifies the motherly provision of food.

In the Durga Saptashati, Shakambari is described as one of the forms that Devi takes in the present era.

The goddess Banashankari is revered by various names such as Balavva, Banadavva, Chaudeshwari, Sankavva Vanadurge, and Vanashankari. She is known as Simhavahini, symbolizing her riding on a lion.

The captivating black stone Murti of the Devi holds a mesmerizing allure. The deity Banashankari, which is a combination of Lakshmi and Saraswati, is primarily revered and worshipped in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

The Banashankari Amma temple, as it appears today, is designed in the Vijayanagara architectural style. The original temple, however, followed the Dravidian architectural style. The temple is enclosed by a tall wall, known as Prakara, which surrounds it from all directions.

The temple is made up of a rectangular hall known as the mandapa, which has a towered entrance called the Gopuram. The Gopuram is adorned with carvings of different deities and figures from ancient Indian literature known as Pauranic figures. This entrance acts as the gateway to the main shrine of the temple.

The primary building of the temple consists of a mukha mandapa, which is a front entrance chamber leading to the sanctum, and a shrine with a Vimana on top. Within the temple, there is a spacious courtyard or Angala, surrounded by halls supported by pillars. These halls serve as venues for religious events and rituals.

Within the inner chamber of the Garbhagudi, resides the revered idol of Banashankari Amma, which has been intricately carved out of exquisite black stone. The goddess is depicted seated atop a majestic lion, while triumphantly placing her feet upon a defeated demon. The depiction of Banashankari amma showcases her eight arms, each holding significant symbolic objects such as Trishula (trident), a bell, Dhamaru (a small drum), a sword, a shield, and the severed head of an asura (d

The Banashankari Temple hosts various festivals. In front of the temple, there is a square-shaped water tank called "Haridrathirtha."

In this particular Kalyani, there is a special tradition where newborn babies are placed in cradles made of banana leaves and left on a raft. The belief behind this practice is that it will bring positive outcomes and blessings for the children and their future.

Shakhambari is worshipped as the cherished deity of Rahu. As a result, followers of this belief illuminate a lamp made of lemon during the Rahu Kala, with the intention of eliminating any negative effects caused by Rahu Dosha.

During the "Palleda Habba" or vegetable festival, Devi is adorned with a variety of vegetables. Additionally, numerous curries are made and presented to Banashankari Devi. This custom has been practiced for many years, and a total of 108 different dishes made with various vegetables are offered to the goddess on this special day.

One of the well-known cultural events in North Karnataka is the Banashankari Jatra, which is an annual fair that takes place for approximately four weeks. It is celebrated on the full moon day, known as Purnima, in the Hindu calendar month of Magha or Magh Purnima, which typically falls in January or February. This period is considered highly auspicious for worshipping the goddess Laxmi and her various forms.

During the festival, numerous followers from different parts of Karnataka come together at the Banashankari temple to pray and ask for the goddess's blessings. The event generates a dynamic and vivid atmosphere, filled with street vendors who sell a variety of goods like desserts, blooms, attire, and playthings.

The Banashankari Amma Temple in Badami celebrates Navaratri, a significant Hindu festival that usually takes place in the month of Ashwin (September-October) in the Hindu calendar. However, this particular temple in Karnataka chooses to commemorate Navaratri in the month of Paush. During this nine-day festival, devotees honor and celebrate the Goddess Banashankari.

Banadashtami is considered a very important day. During this time, there are celebrations and events held at Banashankari temples and throughout the northern region of Karnataka.

Traditional meals from North Karnataka are available at the temple, prepared by local women. These meals include corn/maze/sorghum roti, Karagadubu (Puran Kadabu), Kalupalle (sprouts curry), red chili chutney, and Pundi Palle (Gongura curry). These dedicated women bring these delicious dishes to the temple to provide nourishment to the weary devotees.

The cost for a plate of this food is relatively low, ranging from Rs 30-50. The flavor of this type of cuisine is unique and indescribable, it is something that you need to experience for yourself.

If you happen to be in Banashankari and don't try the "Rotti/bread" meals available outside the temple, your trip will not be fully experienced.

Many devotees often choose to embark on a foot pilgrimage, known as Padayatra, to the Badami Banashankari temple. This spiritual journey is particularly common on the day of the full moon and is especially popular during the annual Banashankari fair held in either January or February.

Typically, followers of a particular faith begin their pilgrimage, known as Padayatre, from their own residences or neighboring towns and villages. They embark on a long journey, often on foot, with the goal of reaching the Banashankari temple in Badami. Many devotees choose to walk barefoot as a symbol of their deep devotion and willingness to undergo penance.

Visiting the Banashankari Amma is seen as a deeply meaningful and spiritual experience, as it involves seeking blessings from the goddess. Numerous devotees make this pilgrimage annually, often accompanied by their loved ones. The belief is that this journey helps to reinforce their faith and devotion to the deity.

Getting to Banashankari Temple in Badami is convenient as it is situated on the outskirts of the town and can be easily reached by road. To reach the temple, one must first arrive at the nearest town, Badami, and then continue their journey to Banashankari, which is approximately 4 kilometers away from there.

If you are planning to visit Badami, the closest airports are Hubbali and Belgaum airports, which are located 110 KM and 130 KM away respectively. For those who prefer traveling by train, it is convenient as the town has good railway connectivity.

When you arrive at Badami, there are regular buses operated by KSRTC that can take you to Banashankari. Alternatively, you can choose to take an auto-rickshaw or a horse cart (known as a tanga) at a reasonable cost.

Nearby attractions for tourists

Badami, a town with a rich historical background associated with the Chalukya dynasty, is adorned with numerous ancient temples and rock-cut monuments. Visitors have the opportunity to discover various places in the vicinity of the temple, including:

The Badami-Aihole-Pattadakal circuit in Karnataka is well-known among tourists.

If you happen to be in Karnataka, these neighboring destinations provide a wonderful opportunity to explore the state's vibrant history and culture. It is highly recommended to include these places in your itinerary while traveling in the region.

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Gayatri Ari, a resident of Ilkal, known for its sarees, is the author of this Guest Post. Although she works as a quality specialist, her true love and interest lies in traveling and immersing herself in diverse cultures. Being a nature and spiritual enthusiast, she finds comfort and tranquility in the magnificence of the natural world, and takes pleasure in experiencing the spiritual ambiance of various destinations.

Other articles you may be interested in include the 7-day journey along the Prachi River in Odisha, the Kandariya Mahadev Temple in Khajuraho, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the ancient Shiva temples in Udupi. There are also 6 comments on this article.

This article is fantastic! The Badami-Banashankari Shakthipeetha seems to be a little-known treasure in the northern region of Karnataka. The detailed carvings and fascinating past of the site make it a place that should not be missed. I appreciate you bringing this captivating location to my attention with your excellently written article.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this. In close proximity to Badami and the Banashankari temple, there are numerous archeological sites that are definitely worth exploring at

I appreciate you for sharing your blog, it is really well done

These nearby places offer visitors the opportunity to experience the captivating history and culture of Karnataka. If you happen to be in the vicinity, they are definitely worth visiting.

I completely agree with Nida's statement. During my time studying at JNV, I resided near Banashankari for a span of 7 years. Throughout that period, our go-to destination was often the Badami Cave Temples, a magnificent architectural marvel crafted by the Chalukya Dynasty.

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