Ban Mata




Ban Mata Ji, guardian goddess of Mewar, inter alia, the Mewari thikanas of Bansi, Amet, Kurabar, Kanor, Begum, and Salumbar.
   
The kuldevi for the Sisodiyas used to be Amba Mata. Then, when the Sisodiyas were at Chitor, the kuldevi became Kalika Mata. There is still a temple for her there now. Later, when the king conquered Gujarat, he demanded a Gujarati princess in marriage. That princess had always wanted to marry the Sisodiya king. She had even sent him a letter telling him that. Her kuldevi , Ban Mata, had determined to help her accomplish this aim. After the conquest, the marriage occurred. When the princess left for her new home, Ban Mata came with her in the form of a pendant. That is how Ban Mata left Girnar (though there is still a temple for her there) and came here.
 





A second account is not so much a variation as another etymology, one that states a homology between the Sanskritic goddess Durga and the kuldevi .

The Sisodiyas used to worship Durga, Mata Ji. Banasur was a demon who fought with Mata Ji. She conquered him. From then on she was called Ban Mata.

The name Ban was pronounced and written in many different ways: Ban, Baen, Bayan, Byan, and Vyana. Written sources tend to prefer Bayan, but informants usually spelled out Ban when I asked them to spell their kuldevi 's name.

The antecedents of Ban Mata are vague. Amba and Kalika are Sanskritic epithets and so do not characterize these goddesses as discrete local incarnations. As we shall see, these stories refer to a kuldevi preceding the appearance of Ban Mata but give her no specific local name or identity. There is a Kalika Mandir at Chitor.
 





Tod identifies the king as Bappa Rawal and the bride as the daughter of Esupgole, prince of the island of Bunderdhiva (Annals and Antiquities 1:197). Another narrated variant identified Ban Mata as the daughter of a Caran in the village of Khod; Hamir, the great Sisodiya leader, heard of her powers, worshiped her, and asked her blessing in his attempt to reclaim Chitor from the Moghals. She aided him and he installed her as Sisodiya deity. This variant places the adoption of Ban Mata just after the Sisodiya line of Guhils came to the throne rather than after the Guhils first won Chitor, as Tod's variant has it.
 





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