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Banashankari Temple

The famous Banashankari Temple is located at Cholachigud about 5 kilometers from Badami - the historic capital of Chalukyas. Here Banashankari or Shakambari is the form of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. The Banashankari Temple is quite old. Its original structure is said to have been built by the Chalukyas of Kalyan. However, the existing temple was built in the 17th century. The temple has a marked Dravidian style of architecture

Banashankari Temple has significant mythological relevance also. According to the Skanda Purana it was here that Devi killed a demon called Durgamasura. As the temple is located in the Tilakaaranya forest, the Devi is popularly called Banashankari or Vanashankari where 'Van' or 'Ban' means forest. Banashankari Devi is also said to be worshiped by mighty Chalukyas as Kuladevi. .

Idol of Goddess Banashankari is of Blackstone. Here the Goddess can be seen seated on lion and trampling a demon by foot. The Goddess has eight arms holding trishul-damaruga, kapaalpatra, ghanta, veda scripts and khadg-kheta. The temple has been considerably modernized in the present times. In front of the temple is a large pond called as 'Haridra Tirtha' which is enclosed by stone mantapas on the three sides.

The best time to visit Banashankari Temple is Pushya-Maas or the month of January - February when car festival is organized.

This article was added on request of Mr Rajesh M.K.

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