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Story - Hanuman and Goddess Shyama – Khir Bhawani

The story of Khir Bhawani (Goddess Shyama) and Hanuman is found in some versions of Ramayana. Legend has it that Ravana to increase his powers propitiated Shiva by doing intense austerities. To gain more strength, Shiva asked Ravana to appease Goddess Shyama, an incarnation of Goddess Shakti. 

Ravana offers intense austerities for several years and Goddess Shyama agrees to reside at Lanka. With the presence of Goddess Shyama, Ravana becomes more powerful.

Goddess Shyama resides at Lanka with thousands of nagas. Ravana defeats all his enemies and conquers heaven during this period. There was no one as powerful as Ravana.

The demon king then kidnaps Mata Sita

But Goddess Shyama disagrees to Ravana kidnapping Mata Sita.

When Sri Ram arrives at Lanka to rescue Mata Sita, Goddess Shyama decides to abandon Lanka.

She requests the help of Hanuman to carry her and nagas from the Island.

Hanuman carries Goddess Shyama and nagas on his back and reaches the Himalayas. He finds a huge marshy area and a river there. Goddess Shyama agrees to reside there as it is an ideal place for nagas.

It is believed that this marshy area is located in present day Kashmir.

Ravana used to propitiate the goddess by offering animals sacrifices.

After residing in new place, the goddess stopped accepting sacrifices and from then onward only accepted milk, sugar and butter as offerings.

Hanuman also remains as a doorkeeper at the temple.

The Shrine of Khir Bhawani is located in Jammu and Kashmir.