Banashankari Temple in Karnataka
The Banashankari Temple of Karnataka located about 5 kilometers away from Badami near Bangalore. Banashankari Temple enshrines goddess Parvati in the form of Goddess Banashankari or Shakambari. The Banashankari temple got its name as Ban means forest and it is sited within the Tilakaaranya forest. This Banashankari temple is a very old temple dates back to 17th century and is one of the finest piece of Dravidian style of architecture.
The Banashankari temple has a large pond named Harida Tirtha at the front side of the temple surrounded by stone mantapas from three sides. This Banashankari temple has a very pleasant and peaceful environment to meditate. This temple has high wall enclosed on all sides.
The temple of Banashankari in Karnataka attracts many devotees with its main attraction of Goddess Banashankari idol made up of black stone seated on a lion and treading down the demon with her foot. The Goddess Banashankari has eight hands holding kapaalpatra, Trishul-damaruga, ghanta, khadg-kheta and veda scripts.
History of Banashankari Temple:
The Banashankari temple in Karnataka was founded by a great devotee of Banashankari Amma is Somanna Shetty who installed a deity of Banashankari Amma brought from Badami, in Bijapur district. But the original temple was built by the Chalukyas of Kalyan who worshiped Goddess Banashankari as their Kuldevi. This temple of Banashankari at Karnataka is mainly worshiped by the weaver community.
Though the Banashankari Temple was built in the Dravidian architectural style initially but later the temple was rebuilt in the structure of Vijayanagara architectural style.
Now the Banashankari Temple is managed by the Endowment Department of the Government of Karnataka.
Festivals celebrated at Banashankari Temple:
During the months of January-February is the best time to visit the Banashankari Temple in Karnataka as there will be chariot festival celebrated.
Goddess Banashankari is worshipped in Rahukala, which is considered as inauspicious time according to Hindus but it is believed that all the hardships and paucities gets off from their life. The goddess is also worshipped during the days of Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, which are considered as auspicious days for doing goddess pooja. The prayers are offered by lighting multiple oil lamps in half cut lemon peels, whose pulp has been removed.
There will be a Banashankari jatre held as a religious cum cultural festival, at the temple grounds every year. On this occasion they celebrate Rath yatra, for about three weeks. And during festivals images of the gods and goddesses are worshipped and are taken on large wooden chariots called rathas and drawn in a pageant by the devotees.