Banasur battles with Krishna
In-universe information
Family Bali (father)
Children Usha

Bana is described as an ancient king of Sonitpur in several Hindu Puranic scriptures. Bana was a thousand-armed Asura king, and the son of Mahabali.[1][2]

Some other sources say that since Banasur, son of Asura King Mahabali who is believed to be a central character in the mythology and culture of Kerala inherits his kingdom from his father and is believed to have ruled from Kerala. There is a hill named "Banasur Hill" and a dam, "Banasur Sagar Dam" dedicated to the memory of their great ruler's son Bana.


Krishna forgives Banasura

Banasura, a mighty asura, once ruled over a large kingdom, Sonitpur. His influence was so strong and fierce that all the kings – and even some of the devas – shuddered in front of him. Banasura used to worship a Rasalingam given to him by Vishvakarman, on instruction from Vishnu. As an ardent devotee of Shiva, he used his thousand arms to play the Mridanga when Shiva was performing the tandava dance. Shiva gave Banasura a boon and the latter requested Shiva to be his protector: therefore, Banasura became invincible. As time passed, he became even more cruel and arrogant. He locked up his daughter, Uṣā, in a fortress called Agnigarh, because many young suitors had come to him asking for her hand. One day, Usha saw a young man in her dream and fell in love with him. [3] Chitraleka was a friend of Usha and daughter of Kumbhanda, Minister of Banasura. Chitralekha was a talented artist who helped Usha to identify the young man seen in her dream by sketching various portraits. She had dreamt of Aniruddha, the grandson of Krishna. Chitralekha, through her supernatural powers, abducted Aniruddha from the palace of Krishna and brought him to Shonitpur.[4][5][6][7][8]

The ground-breaking battle went on for days and created typhoons and whirlwinds so intense that men couldn't have their feet keep touching the ground. Finally, Krishna put Shiva to sleep using Jurumnastra (as per Shiva's suggestion and request,so to end this war) Soon after Shiva fell into slumber, the Yadava forces destroyed the Asura forces. Seeing that Bana summoned his mother like presiding deity, who came as Kotara (or Kotari), a nude women with dishevelled hair and fought with Krishna.[9][10] Meanwhile Bana fled away, and Shiva regained consciousness. Shiva summoned his goblin assistant - Trisira(three headed) Jvara(fever). Krishna successfully defeated him.[11] Bana returned to the battlefield. Krishna, then summoned the blazing Sudarshan Chakra and cut Bana's thousand arms systematically, like the branches of a huge tree. As a last resort, he pleaded to Lord Shiva for life. True to the plight of his devotee, Shiva arose from his slumber at and approached Krishna to ask for his devotee's forgiveness to which Krishna gladly accepted .[12][13]

He then married his grandson Aniruddha to Bana's daughter Usha and the war ended on a happy note, who later gave birth to Vajra, grandson of Pradyumna and the great-grandson of Krishna and Rukmini.[14] Banasura practiced tapasya and obtained a boon from Lord Brahma that he could only be killed by an adolescent unmarried girl.

With this powerful boon, he became fearless and wreaked havoc on the entire world. He went on to conquer and oust Lord Indra from his throne. He banished all the devas from there. The devas who were the personification of the basic natural elements, Agni (fire), Varuna (water), Vayu (air) went uncoordinated and havoc spread in the universe, because Indra (ether) was not able to administer and coordinate the Pancha mahabhoota.

It is believed that Bhagvati, the unbiased Prakriti, can only bring order because she is the nature within which everyone lives and hence is unbiased. Bhagavati manifested herself in the Southern tip of Bharatkhanda, to kill Banasura and recur the balance of nature. As an adolescent, she had immense devotion towards Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, then decided to marry her. All arrangements were made for the marriage. Lord Shiva started the journey from Shuchindram for the marriage. The marriage muhurat (muhurtam or auspicious time) was in the Brahma muhurtam, early in the morning. Narada made the sound of a cock sending wrong information that the Sun had already risen and the auspicious time passed. The marriage procession returned. Sage Narada realized Bana could only be killed by an unmarried young girl and thus interrupted Shiva’s marriage with Bhagavati.

Devi waited for Lord Shiva and finally, she thought that she had been snubbed. With unbearable insult, pain, grief, and anger she destroyed everything she saw. When she finally gained her composure, she undertook continuous penance. Ages later Bana, tried to approach and lure the goddess without realizing who she was. The infuriated Bhagvati, who was the Bhadrakali herself, slaughtered Bana at once. Moments before his death Bana realized that the one before him was Shakti, the Almighty itself. He prayed her to absolve him of his sins.


Krishna defeats Banasura.

The genealogy of Banasura is as follows:[15]

Banasura's story has been narrated in Indian epic Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana. His story as the rejected suitor for goddess Shakti is present in Tamil Sangam literary works Manimekalai and Puranaanooru; Bhattavataar's Banasura Katha.[16]


  • According to Hindu mythology, Agnigarh hillock was built by Banasura to keep his daughter Usha in isolation.[17]
  • Mahabhairav Temple is believed to have been established by king Bana with a Siva lingam. Formerly, this temple was built of stone but the present one is built of concrete. During the later years, the Ahom kings donated devottar[what language is this?] land for the Temple and Pujaris and Paiks were appointed to look after the temple.[18]
  • To the east of Tezpur town, on the bank of river Brahmaputra a temple call Rudrapada is situated. It is believed that Rudra ( Lord Shiva ) had left the print of his left foot (pada) on a stone found in the temple. It is believed that Mahadeva showed his real self to king Bana here.[19]
  • Banasura Sagar Dam is named after Banasura because he was the son of Mahabali and as per local belief, Mahabali was a very respected king of Kerala.


  1. ^ – Glossary description
  2. ^ Kumar, Anu (30 November 2012). Banasura: The Thousand-Armed Asura. Hachette India. ISBN 978-93-5009-537-9.
  3. ^ "The Story of Usha and Aniruddha". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  4. ^ M. Padmanabhan; Meera Ravi Shankar (1 August 2004). Tales of Krishna from Mahabharatha. Sura Books. pp. 56–57. ISBN 978-81-7478-417-9.
  5. ^ Vanamali (2012). The Complete Life of Krishna. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1594776908.
  6. ^ Stephen Knapp (January 0101). Krishna Deities and Their Miracles. Prabhat Prakashan.
  7. ^ Krishna. Har Anand Publications. 2009. p. 68. ISBN 978-8124114223.
  8. ^ Chandra Sekhar Singh. The Purans volume-02. ISBN 1365593274.
  9. ^ Devdutt Pattanaik's 7 Secrets of the Goddess, Kali's Secret
  10. ^ Bhagavata Purana Skandha X Chapter 63 Verses 20-21
  11. ^ Bhagavata Purana Skandha X Chapter 63 Verses 22-33
  12. ^ Bhandari, C. M. (1995). Saving Angkor. ISBN 9789748922942.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Swami, Bodhasarananda (2 March 2016). Stories from the Bhagavatam. Advaita Ashrama. ISBN 978-81-7505-814-9.
  15. ^ Bhaleram Beniwal: Jāt Yodhāon ke Balidān, Jaypal Agencies, Agra 2005
  16. ^ Kalla, Krishan Lal. The Literary Heritage of Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir (India): Mittal Publications. p. 11.
  17. ^ "Agnigarh | Sonitpur District | Government Of Assam, India". Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Mahabhairab Temple | Sonitpur District | Government Of Assam, India". Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Rudrapada Temple | Sonitpur District | Government Of Assam, India". Retrieved 13 June 2020.