Banashankari Amma Temple is located in the town of Badami in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India, is a revered temple dedicated to Goddess Banashankari.
Goddess Banashankari, also known as Shakambhari or Banadevi, is worshipped as a divine mother and protector.
The name “Banashankari” is derived from “Bana,” meaning arrow, and “Shankari,” another name for the goddess.
Banashankari Amma Temple, an ancient Hindu shrine, stands as a remarkable architectural marvel. It is commonly referred to as Banashankari or Vanashankari due to its location in the Tilakaaranya forest.
The temple venerates the deity known as Shakambhari, an incarnation of the goddess Parvati.
- Address: Sri S. Kariyappa road, Bengalore
- District: Bengalore
- Affiliation: Hinduism
- Deity: Goddess Banashankari
- Entry Fee: Free
- Timings: 6 am–1 pm and 4:30 pm–8 pm
- Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
- Dress Code: decent outfit recommended
- Festivals: Attukal Pongala
- Best Time to Visit: February – March
History of Banashankari Amma Temple
Historical records trace the temple’s origins to the 7th century AD during the Kalyani Chalukya period. According to epigraphic inscriptions, Jagadekamalla I installed the goddess’s image in 603 AD. The present structure, renovated in 1750, is credited to Parusharam Agale, a Maratha chieftain.
According to the Skanda Purana and Padma Purana, the demon Durgamasura plagued the locals until the goddess Shakambari, responding to the prayers of the Devas, appeared through the Yagna’s fire.
She vanquished the demon in a fierce encounter, bringing peace to the region. Banashankari is revered as the sixth incarnation of the warrior-goddess Durga, an embodiment of goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva.
The temple is affectionately called by various names by the locals, such as Balavva, Banadavva, Sunkavva, Shiravanthi, Chowdamma, and Vanadurge. Each name reflects a facet of the goddess’s divine persona. The Banashankari Temple stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of Hindu mythology and the enduring spiritual heritage of Karnataka.
- The Banashankari Rath Yatra – This festival is held every year starting from the full mom day in January. The Goddess is taken on a procession through the village streets in the temple chariot. This festival attracts both people from Karnataka and others from the neighboring states.
- Banashankari Jatre – This is a religious and cultural festival that is held along with the Rath Yatra. It is a sort of fair, blending entertainment and commerce.
- Many shops are set up around the temple to sell various wares.
- The interesting point to note is that many shops selling uniquely Hindu wares like vermilion and sacred threads among others are operated by Muslims.
- The cattle fair held during the Jatre is very famous.
- Another attraction is that artisans from neighboring areas set up shops to sell elaborately carved wooden doors and door frames.
Architecture of Banashankari Amma Temple
Originally built in the Dravidian architectural style, the temple now showcases the Vijayanagara architectural style. Classified as a Dvikuta, it features two shrines with Vimanas – one in the stepped-diamond shaped Nagara style and the other in the Dravida style. Reflecting the prevalent Nagara influence of the 13th century, the temple is surrounded by a high wall on all sides.
The main structure comprises a mukha mantapa, ardha mantapa, and a sanctum crowned by a Vimana. Within the sanctum resides the goddess Banashankari, depicted in a black stone sculpture seated on a lioness, triumphantly trampling a demon beneath her foot.
The temple underwent extensive remodeling, with the Navaranga Mandapa showcasing exquisite columns adorned with figures of Shiva, Parvati, Vishnu, Narasimha, Ganapathi, Brahma, and other deities.
At the entrance, a 360-ft square water tank known as Haridra Tirtha captivates visitors. The tank is surrounded by stone mandapas on three sides, and a pradakshina path encircles it.
Pooja Timings of Banashankari Amma Temple
Pooja Timing on Tuesday – Friday – Sunday:
- Tuesday 6.00 AM to 1.00 PM and 3.00 PM to 9.00 PM
- Friday 6.00 AM to 1.00 PM and 4.30 PM to 9.30 PM
- Sunday 6.00 AM to 1.00 PM and 4.30 PM to 9.30 PM
Darshan Timing on Monday – Wednesday – Thursday – Saturday:
- 06.00 AM to 1.00 PM
- 04.30 PM to 8.00 PM
Daily Abhisheka Timing
Morning: 6:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Pooja Timing Change During Rahu Kala
- Sunday 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
- Tuesday 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
- Friday 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
How To Reach Banashankari Amma Temple?
Fly into your choice of airports near Badami: Hubli (106 km away) or Belgaum (150 km). Both connect to Bangalore and Mumbai internationally, and offer taxis and buses to Badami.
Badami Railway Station sits 5 km from the Cave Temples, conveniently connecting you to Bangalore, Hubli, Bijapur, Gadag, Solapur, and beyond.
For further connections, reach Hubli Junction. Direct trains also run from Bangalore’s Yashawantapura Junction.
Hit the road for Badami from major cities like Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum, Bangalore, Bagalkot, Hampi, and Bijapur.
From further away, Pune lies 470 km distant, Bangalore 464 km, and Hyderabad 420 km. Public buses, private operators, and taxis are all available.
And once you arrive, enjoy a charming tonga (horse-drawn carriage) ride from the bus stand to the temples, or hop on an auto-rickshaw for a quicker city zip.
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