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Banashankari Temple near Badami in Karnataka

Banashankari Temple is located at Cholachagudd which is around 5 km from Badami in Bagalkot District in Karnataka. This famous pilgrim center in North Karnataka is located on the banks of Malaprabha River. Mother Goddess Shakti worshipped here is known as Vanashankari, Shakambari, Vanadevi, Saraswati, Mahakali and Mahalakshmi. She is worshipped as forest goddess and is also family deity or kuldevata of many families in Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra.

The murti of Mother Goddess worshipped in the temple is that of her riding a lion. goddess has eight arms and holds a trident, hourglass drum, skull cup, bell, Scriptures sword and shield. Two hands are in blessing giving posture.

The shrine is located inside Tilakaaranya forest. There are total five ponds around the shrine.

Legend has it that Sage Agastya performed penance at the spot where the current temple is located.

The temple was built by early Chalukyas around 681 AD. Additions to the temple were made by later Chalukyas and Rahtrakutas.

The current temple structure has a sanctum sanctorum, front enclosure and gopura in Vijayanagara style.

The annual Ratha Yatra festival held in Paush month (December – January) attracts thousands of devotees to the shrine.

As the ancient structure is very old, worship is currently performed at shrine built during the 18th century.