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Story of Goddess Kanyakumari and Demon Bana

Goddess Kanyakumari is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Parvati and she appeared in the form of a virgin (Kanya) to annihilate demon Bana. The story of Goddess Kanyakumari begins with demon Bana being cursed by Sage Markandeya.

Legend has it that once Sage Markandeya was performing austerities. He was offering oblation to the gods and an arrogant demon Bana asked a share of the oblation. This audacity angered the Sage and He cursed Bana that he will be killed by a woman.

The demon was greatly distressed and sought the advice of his Guru, Shukracharya. Guru asked his student to ask for forgiveness and for a change in curse – not any woman but a virgin woman should kill him.

Bana was granted his wish by Sage Markandeya. The demon thought he had become immortal as there would be no virgin woman who would have the strength to defeat him and kill him.

Bana now became arrogant and attacked men, saints and gods. Heaven was attacked by the demon and the Devas fled to Kailash and took refuge there.

They pleaded with Shiva to help them and to find a way out from future attacked.

Shiva gauged the seriousness of the situation and told the Devas that Goddess Parvati will take the manifestation of a virgin and annihilate the demon.

Goddess Parvati descended from Kailash and took the form of a Kanya, Virgin. People who had the fortune to witness this manifestation called Her Goddess Kanyakumari. Soon she got into a confrontation with Bana. When the demon saw that an exquisitely beautiful maiden was challenging him, instead of fighting her, he was smitten by her beauty.

Goddess Kanyakumari laughed at the love interest shown by Bana. This angered the demon who attacked her with the intention of abducting her. Goddess Kanyakumari easily overhauled the demon army.

Then a fierce fight ensued between Goddess Kanyakumari and demon Bana and the demon was killed by the Goddess.

The battle took place in the southernmost tip of India. Goddess Kanyakumari then made this spot her abode.