I have been going to caves of Badami and its nearby places from my childhood days as our Home Deity goddess “Banashankari” temple is located at cholachagudda near Badami. My mom wanted to do an elaborate ceremonial worship in Banashankari temple and welcome our new family member. We all jumped in to make our offerings to temple and take this opportunity to roam around near by places. During this we had a family trip to Badami caves, Aihole and Pattadakalu. Here are some details on Banashankari Temple.
Banashankari Devi Temple
This temple is located at Cholachagudda near Badami in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. It’s about 8-9 Kms from Badami in Gadag road. Deity here is called “Shakambhari or Banashankari”. The original temple is built during Badami Chalukya’s in 7th century. We started our journey from Bangalore at night made our first stop at this temple in the morning. We took a room here in temple “Yatri Nivas” accommodation, freshened up and visited temple. We made all the necessary arrangements for next day morning pooja. The Mandir Committee offers different “Sevas” like Rudrabhishek, Aarati etc. You can inquire about it in the office situated near the main entrance of the temple. It can be a very spiritual experience to watch the Abhishek early in the morning.
The idol of goddess is very nice and beautiful. Deity here is made of black stone and is seated on a Lion facing us and treading down the demon with her foot. The temple area is neat and clean and well connected by auto rickshaws in case you are not driving on your own. Long ago the forest around the temple provided vegetables to all, hence the name “Shakambari” or “Goddess of Vegetables“. You can see two big old Deepastmba in the premises(See first pic).
Their is a huge water tank in front of the temple. This Pushkarni or Kalyani is beautiful. its called “Harida Tirtha” and surrounded by stone mantapas. There are steps to go down near the water from all the sides. It is nice piece of architecture. Also look for the huge stone and wooden Rath on the open ground near the market. I loved the big old deepastamba opposite water pond and in temple premise.
Reach – Nearest railway and bus stand is in Badami. Lot of local auto’s are available from both places to reach this temple. Approx 20 rs for seat auto from Badami. Full auto hire might cost approx 150 rs.
Best time to Visit- Throughout the year (Avoid visiting in summer as it will be too hot)
Timings : 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location: Cholachaguuda, Badami Taluk, Bagalkot Distict
Languages spoken: Kannada
Temperature: Summer 30 to 45°C degree, Winter 20 to 30°C
Eating Around: Options here are not much. You have only 2 decent hotels with limited menu. During lunch hour you will get temple food.
Stay – Best place to stay is in Badami. There are several hotels available for reasonable fare.
Temple stay in cholachagudda is also decent. If you not visiting temple during Jatra ( Dec and Jan month – Full moon Day) then its ok to go and directly check-in into at temple accommodation or in Badami. 40 Rooms building complex. The deluxe rooms costs Rs.500 per night subject to availability.
Other nearest attraction – Badami, Aihole, Pattadakallu, Kudalasangama, Almatti Dam
If you are a spiritual person and love to see yourself in spiritual places, this is another place to visit. The temple offers a serene environment where you can meditate for sometime and pray to the God peacefully.