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Goddess Banashankari – About Hindu Goddess Banashankari Devi

Goddess Banashankari is an incarnation of Mother Goddess Shakti. It is in this form she nourishes all living beings. Banashankari Devi is popularly worshiped in the northern districts of Karnataka and southern parts of Maharashtra. She is essentially a forest Goddess in Hindu religion.

In the Devi Mahatmya it is mentioned that Goddess Shakti appeared as Banashankari after a period of hundred years of drought. All the plants had died and there was nothing to eat. Banashankari brought forth from her body fruits, flowers, vegetables and herbs to suffice the hunger of the people.

The form of Banashankari is described in detail in Durga Saptashati. Banashankari is blue in color. Her eyes are like lotus flower. She is depicted with numerous arms – one arm is shown as carrying a lotus with bees circling it. The other hands carry bow, arrows, flowers, roots, and vegetables.

The most popular festival dedicated to Goddess Banashankari is held from Paush Shukla Paksha Ashtami to Paush Purnima.

The most popular temple dedicated to her is located at Banashankari village, which is around 5 kilometer from Badami in Karnataka.

The temple of Goddess Banashankari in Badami is one of the most ancient shrines in Karnataka. The temple enshrines the black image of the Goddess riding a fierce golden lion. Legend has it that the Goddess transformed herself into a pond alongside the temple.

The temple is the site of an annual 20 days long religious festival in January/February. A huge fair is organized here during the period.