Lighting of lemon lamps-My visit to Banashankari Temple

The climate is salubrious.The weather is chilly.The day is a big day.2011’s Christmas Day.
The place I am referring to is the garden city of Bangalore in India.Be it for job opportunities,education,health facilities,parks and for tree-lined roads,cosmopolitan work culture and for many things Bangloreans are spoilt for choice.I also sucked into it.

Not attracted to the news paper advertisement jingles ‘Party for less”.

I in fact wanted to spend  the Christmas day differently.
I made up my mind to go to “Banashankari-Hindu temple,situated in the southern part of Bangalore,on Kanakapura Road.

The most popular temple in the city of Bangalore known for its folklore and its unique way of offering prayers-
lighting of lemon lamps and offering pujas or prayers during


Banashankari or Vanashankari is made up of two Sanskrit words.
‘Vana’ in sanskrit means forest and Shankari means the consort of Shiva, parvati.

I understand that the original Banashankari Temple is located at Badami in Bijapur district.
It has a 250 year heritage.The idol of goddess Banashankari was brought to the city in 1915 from by a devotee Somanna Shetty.(Banashankari Amma Temple)
There are currently three temples of a similar nature.
one in Bangalore, the other two in Bijapur and Shimoga.

Worshiping the deity during inauspicious time (Ragukaalam)has its heritage in folklore as well.
I also gathered  the folklore attached with.That is during Rahukal 3 women who were pativratas or sumangaleyaru came to the temple.
The pujari(temple priest) asked them to wait because puja would only be offered after Rahukal got over.
But the women insisted the priest to perform the puja right away.
After the puja when the priest came out with the prasadam the women had vanished.
It was believed that the women were Goddesses and since then the tradition of offering puja during Rahukal has been maintained.

Prayers are offered by  devotees by lighting multiple oil lamps in half cut lemon peels, whose pulp has been removed.
Very nice to watch.

The temple witnesses three major festivals – Banashankari Utsav (Sept), Dasara (Oct) and the temple’s anniversary celebrations (Dec – Jan)
The first ceremony, commemorating the birth anniversary of Banashankari Amma, is held on 13th September.
The second one is held as a celebration of the Dussehra festival, in October-November.
The third, and the last, ceremony is held in the last week of December or the first week of January, to mark the anniversary of the temple.

The temple now comes under the management and control of the Endowment Department of the Government of Karnataka.

Looking at all the arrangements made for queues to contain and streamline people, the temple seemed to take in lot of visitors.
The temple is kept neat and clean.

I returned back from the temple with my thoughts that definitely the cultural continuity a product and cause of the social consciousness that exists in India’s heritage map.

Call it conflict.
Talk endlessly.
In a city where one lands to become a face of the crowd to join the techies population I wondered
how the customs, rituals and folklore continue to attract more number of people.
It forces us to think fresh.
To learn from it would be apt.
Here where do I record the echo of Boston to Bangalore slogan!!!

3 replies to “Lighting of lemon lamps-My visit to Banashankari Temple

  1. Wow this sounds really cool. There is a slim chance I may go to Bangalore in the next 2 wks or so! If I make it, I will have to check this out. I’m currently near Pondicherry.
    Merci for sharing!


    1. Travelingmad
      You have to visit the temple during the time of RAGUKAALAM.
      It is indeed nice to watch the sight.
      Wishing you good luck 2012.


  2. Travelingmad
    Thank u for visiting my blog.I went through your blog.
    Amazing indeed. I was in Paris in 1988 ,very long time back.
    You may consider reading the following posts and refer to your blog readers.
    Travel bees normally don’t miss my following posts:

    My visit to Shani Shingnapur village that sans doors and to a temple without roof – near Mumbai
    Thousand years of Thanjavur Big temple
    My visit to Sripuram Golden Temple
    My visit to Dakshineswar kali Temple-Kolkata
    Lighting of lemon lamps-My visit to Banashankari Temple


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