(Last Updated on : 24/03/2015)
Banashankari is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. The Banashankari Temple is one of the most popular religious places in South India. The reference to this goddess is found in Skanda Purana. According to the Holy Scripture Goddess Banashankari is the slayer of Durgamasura. Hence she is worshipped in the form of Shakti. The goddess came to be known as Banashankari since the temple was situated in the Tilakaaranya forest. Banashankari literally means the lover of lord Shiva who resides in the forest.
The main temple houses the goddess in a sitting posture. The goddess is seen sitting on a growling lion and killing a devil with her foot. Since the place is famous for its black stone the idol of the goddess is made out of the same stuff. The goddess is represented with eight arms and holding different weapons.
Originally Banasankari temple was constructed by the Chalukyas of Kalyan. Later the temple went through a lot of renovations. Banasankari characterizes Dravidian style of architecture. You will also come across 'Haridra Tirtha', a large pond. The pond is adorned with stone mantapas on its three sides.
An annual festival is observed in the months of January and February. This is the time of the chariot festival when the goddess is placed on a chariot and a procession of devotees follow. The Banashankari Temple is one of the most sacred Hindu religious sites in Karnataka.
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