Temple: Banashankari Temple
The Banashankari Temple is located in Amargol town in Dharwad district, Karnataka.
Banashankari Temple – Overview and Mythology
Banashankari is a form of the Goddess Parvati. This form of the Goddess is very popular in Karnataka. There are many famous temples dedicated to Devi Banashankari in Karnataka. The most famous one is probably the Banashankari Amma Temple in Cholachagudd. There is also a temple to this Goddess in the city of Bangalore. This temple is so popular that the area itself is called Banashankari.
The reason why Parvati took up this form is explained In the Skanda Purana. When people on earth were being tormented by an Asura named Durgamasura, the Devas prayed to Goddess Parvati to relieve them of this menace. So, the Goddess came down to earth and killed the Asura. She was known as Vana Shankari, the Goddess of the forest. This later became Banashankari.
The Banashankari Temple in Amargol is a fine architectural marvel and is located near the Unkal Lake and the Chandramouleshwara Temple. The temples built in this area in the 13th century exhibit northern influence. They have the Nagara style incorporated into them. This temple is no exception.
Banashankari Temple – Architecture
The Banashankari temple in Amargol is a Dvikuta -a two shrine/two tower temple. Like most temples in this region of this period, this temple also exhibits Nagara influence. This temple has two shrines topped with Vimanas, one in the stepped-diamond shaped Nagara style and the other in the Dravida style.
One shrine houses the main deity, Devi Banashankari, and the other houses a Shiva Linga. The main Banashankari shrine is built in the Nagara Style. This shrine has been fully renovated. The restoration work on the other shrine is ongoing.
The Navaranga Mandapa in this temple has beautiful pillars decorated with figures of Shiva, Parvati, Vishnu, Narasimha, Ganapathi, Brahma and other Gods.
The Banashankari Temple, Amargol, Dharwad is a protected monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
How to Get to Banashankari Temple
Amargol is just eight kilometers away from Hubli. Hubli is a major city with an airport and a railway station. Amargol is well connected to Hubli by bus routes. The best time to visit this temple is around February to March, during the time of Shivratri.