Our Yoga group had arranged for an annual tour and this year it was towards North Karnataka. We were a large crowd, and were accommodated in four buses. Our Yoga Guru had made arrangements for our stay and food in the respective places.
It was past one O' clock when we reached Badami. Our first visit was to the famous Banashankari Temple, built in 17th century. Banashankari Temple is located at Cholachigud 5 kilometers from Badami - the historic capital of Chalukyas and The idol of Goddess Banashankari, made out of black stone,is seated as a lion treading down the demon with her foot. The idol has eight hands and is seen holding trishul-damadurga, kapaalpatra, ghanta, veda scripts and khadg-kheta.
Since photography was not allowed inside, I was able to click just two photos from outside. The first one was an outside view of the temple, and the second one was the temple chariot which was decorated and used during the car festival (Jan-Feb). The top of the chariot was protected by a thatch of coconut leaves. The four granite wheels appeared about 8 feet in diameter and the thickness must be about 8 inches.
Banashankari Devi is considered as the incarnation of Goddess Parvati, who is regarded as the divine consort of Lord Shiva. According to the Skanda Purana it was here that Devi killed a demon called Durgamasura. As the temple is located in the Tilakaaranya forest, the Devi is popularly called Banashankari. 'Ban' means forest. Banashankari Devi is also said to be worshiped by mighty Chalukyas as Kuladevi.
During the annual festival held in January-February on full moon day, the image of the Goddess is placed in a chariot and taken in a procession around the region. Huge crowds of devotees come to attend this festival of Banashankari Devi.