The Deccan Plateau is a large plateau in western and southern India. It rises to 100 metres in the north, to more than 1,000 metres in the south, forming a raised triangle within the South-pointing triangle of the Indian subcontinent's coastline, it extends over eight Indian states and encompasses a wide range of habitats, covering most of central and southern India. The plateau is located between two mountain ranges, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, each of which rises from its respective nearby coastal plain, converge at the southern tip of India, it is separated from the Gangetic plain to the north by the Satpura and Vindhya Ranges, which form its northern boundary. The Deccan produced some of the major dynasties in Indian history including Pallavas, Vakataka and Rashtrakuta dynasties, the Western Chalukya, the Kadamba Dynasty, Kakatiya Empire and Maratha empires and the Muslim Bahmani Sultanate, Deccan Sultanate, the Nizam of Hyderabad; the name Deccan is an anglicised form of the Prakrit word dakkhin or dakkhaṇa, itself derived from the Sanskrit word dákṣiṇa, as the Deccan Plateau is located in the southern part of the subcontinent.
The Deccan region has lacked an enduring geo-political centre, has been defined in various ways. Geographers have attempted to define it using indices such as rainfall, soil type or physical features; when considering physical features, it is taken to be the area bounded on North by the Narmada River, in East by the Eastern Ghats and on West by the Western Ghats. The 16th-century historian Firishta defined Deccan as the territory inhabited by the native speakers of Kannada and Telugu languages. Richard M. Eaton settled on this linguistic definition; the Western Ghats mountain range is tall and blocks the moisture from the southwest monsoon from reaching the Deccan Plateau, so the region receives little rainfall. The eastern Deccan Plateau is at a lower elevation spanning the southeastern coast of India, its forests are relatively dry but serve to retain the rain to form streams that feed into rivers that flow into basins and into the Bay of Bengal. Most Deccan plateau rivers flow south. Most of the northern part of the plateau is drained by the Godavari River and its tributaries, including the Indravati River, starting from the Western Ghats and flowing east towards the Bay of Bengal.
Most of the central plateau is drained by the Tungabhadra River, Krishna River and its tributaries, including the Bhima River, which run east. The southernmost part of the plateau is drained by the Kaveri River, which rises in the Western Ghats of Karnataka and bends south to break through the Nilgiri Hills at the island town of Shivanasamudra and falls into Tamil Nadu at Hogenakal Falls before flowing into the Stanley Reservoir and the Mettur Dam that created the reservoir, emptying into the Bay of Bengal; the climate of the region varies from semi-arid in the north to tropical in most of the region with distinct wet and dry seasons. Rain falls during the monsoon season from about June to October. March to June can be dry and hot, with temperatures exceeding 40 °C; the Deccan plateau is a topographically variegated region located south of the Gangetic plains-the portion lying between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal-and includes a substantial area to the north of the Satpura Range, which has popularly been regarded as the divide between northern India and the Deccan.
The name derives from the Sanskrit daksina. The plateau is bounded on the east and west by the Ghats, while its northern extremity is the Vindhya Range; the Deccan's average elevation is about 2,000 feet, sloping eastward. The plateau's climate is arid in places. Although sometimes used to mean all of India south of the Narmada River, the word Deccan relates more to that area of rich volcanic soils and lava-covered plateaus in the northern part of the peninsula between the Narmada and Krishna rivers. Having once constituted a segment of the ancient continent of Gondwanaland, this land is the oldest and most stable in India; the Deccan plateau consists of dry tropical forests. On the western edge of the plateau lie the Sahyadri, the Nilgiri, the Anaimalai and the Elamalai Hills known as Western Ghats; the average height of the Western Ghats, which run along the Arabian Sea, goes on increasing towards the south. Anaimudi Peak in Kerala, with a height of 2,695 m above sea level, is the highest peak of peninsular India.
In the Nilgiris lie Ootacamund, the well-known hill station of southern India. The western coastal plain is uneven and swift rivers flow through it that forms beautiful lagoons and backwaters, examples of which can be found in the state of Kerala; the east coast is wide with deltas formed by the rivers Godavari and Kaveri. Flanking the Indian peninsula on the western side are the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea and on the eastern side lies the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal; the eastern Deccan plateau, called Telangana and Rayalaseema, is made of vast sheets of massive granite rock, which traps rainwater. Under the thin surface layer of soil is the impervious gray granite bedrock, it rains here only during some months. Comprising the northeastern part of the Deccan Plateau, the Telangana Plateau has an area of about 148,000 km2, a north-south length of about 770 km, an east-west width of about 515 km; the plateau is drained by the Godavari River taking a southeasterly course.
Bhavani is an avatar of the Hindu goddess Parvati. She is a form of Durga, worshiped in Maharashtra, by Gurjars of North Gujarat, Western Rajasthan and Punjab. Bhavani translates to "giver of life", meaning the source of creative energy, she is considered to be a mother who provides to her devotees and plays the role of dispensing justice by killing Asuras. Bhavani was the protective patron deity of the Maratha King Shivaji, in whose veneration he dedicated his sword, Bhavani Talwar. Many Marathi folk stories celebrate her. Shivaji's mother was said to be a great devotee of Bhavani; the town of Tuljapur in Maharashtra is the location of the annual Tulja Bhavani fair during Navaratri, home to the Tulja Bhavani Temple which dates to the 12th century. The temple contains a granite icon of the goddess, one metre in height, with eight arms holding weapons and the head of the slain demon Mahishasura; the Tulja Bhavani temple in Tuljapur in the Osmanabad District of Maharashtra is considered one of the 51 Shakti Pithas.
This temple was built close to the 12th century CE. Another Tulja Bhavani temple was constructed between 1537 and 1540 CE in Chittorgarh, located at coordinates 18.011386°N 76.125641°E / 18.011386. Worship of the primeval energy, Shakti, in the form of the Mother Goddess is seen in the four Shakti Peethas of Maharashtra: Bhavani, with her seat at Tuljapur. Sri Bhavani Amman is worshipped in the state of Tamil Nadu. Other Shakti temples in the Maharashtra state are those at Aundh; the goddess Bhavani is held in great reverence throughout Maharashtra. She is considered to be an embodiment of ugra' or ferocity, as well as a Karunaswaroopini, an embodiment of mercy. A number of castes, sub-castes, families from Maharashtra consider her their family deity or Kuladevata; the Bhavani temple in Tuljapur is located on a hill known as Yamunachala, on the slopes of the Sahayadri range in Maharashtra near Solapur. The temple entrance is elevated and visitors ascend a flight of steps to reach the shrine. Historic records speak of the existence of this temple from as early as the 12th century CE.
Bhavani is worshipped in the form of a granite image, 3 feet tall, with eight arms that hold weapons and bear the head of the slain demon, Mahishasura. Legend says that a demon by the name of Matanga wreaked havoc upon the devas and humans, who approached Brahma for help. Upon his advice, they turned to the Mother Goddess Shakti, she took the form of the destroyer and, empowered by the other Saptamaataas, vanquished the demon and allowed the restoration of peace. Legend describes how Bhavani vanquished another demon who had taken the form of a wild buffalo, Mahishasura, she is said to have taken abode on the Yamunachala hill, now home to the temple. Bhavani is said to have come here to save Anubhuti from the demon known as Kukur. In a battle with the goddess, Kukur took the form of a buffalo. At that time, she penetrated her trident in his chest. Hence, she is in form of Mahishasura Mardhini Durga. Four worship services are offered at the temple each day; the festivals of special significance are Gudi Padwa in the month of Chaitra, Shriral Sashti, Lalita Panchami, Makara Sankranti, Rathasaptami.
The statue of the deity is taken out in procession on Tuesdays. Navaratri is celebrated with great fanfare, it culminates in Vijaya Dasami. Sri Bhavani Devi is said to be Adhi Parashakti herself and the name Bhavani has several meanings. According to Lalitha Sahasranamam, Bhavani means the deity. Adi Shankara said, "A Person who recites the name Bhavani with true devotion thrice every day will not acquire sorrow, sin and unexpected death." People confuse Bhavani devi with Renuka devi. The Devi Bhaghavatam Puran says Bhavani Devi is the original form of Aadhi Parashakti and sister of Shri Krishna. Maha Vishnu is said to have undergone penance to get Devi's help for his Krishna Avatar as a result of which Devi is born to Yashoda as Maha Maaya devi; this is why Bhavani holds a chakra in her hands, thus resembling Vishnu. The image of Tulja Bhavani is made of about 3 feet in height and 2 feet in width; the face of the goddess is described as beautiful and smiling. The goddess is asta-bhuja Mahishasura Mardini Durga.
As she is Parvati, she has a swayambhu Shiva lingam in her crown. Her long hair is coming out of the crown, she has an arrow holder on her back. The sun and the moon are present as witnesses of her victory over Mahishasura, her lion stands near her. The image is movable, it is moved three times a year from its place to the bedroom of Maa Bhavani. Below the lion, sage Markandeya is chanting the Durga-saptashati shlokas; the lady sage Anubhuti is on the left side of the goddess. It is chala murti, moved thrice a year during the long sleeping periods of maa Bhavani; the face of Sati had fallen in Tuljapur, due to this the face is decorated with sarees and ornaments. List of Hindu deities Shakti Pitha Bhavani Ashtakam Three and a half Shakti Peethas Tulja Bhavani Temple Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions by David Kinsley Image of Tu
Food and Agriculture Organization
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate arguments and debate policy. FAO is a source of knowledge and information, helps developing countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all, its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates as "let there be bread". As of August 2018, The FAO has 197 member states, including the European Union and The Cook Islands, the Faroe Islands and Tokelau, which are associate members; the idea of an international organization for food and agriculture emerged in the late 19th and early 20th century advanced by the US agriculturalist and activist David Lubin. In May–June 1905, an international conference was held in Rome, which led to the creation of the International Institute of Agriculture by the King of Italy Victor Emmanuel III.
In 1943, the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt called a United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture. Representatives from forty-four governments gathered at The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, US, from 18 May to 3 June, they committed themselves to founding a permanent organization for food and agriculture, which happened in Quebec City, Canada, on 16 October 1945 with the conclusion of the Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization. The First Session of the FAO Conference was held in the Château Frontenac in Quebec City from 16 October to 1 November 1945. World War II ended the International Agricultural Institute, though it was only dissolved by resolution of its Permanent Committee on 27 February 1948, its functions were transferred to the established FAO. From the late 1940s on, FAO attempted to make its mark within the emerging UN system, focusing on supporting agricultural and nutrition research and providing technical assistance to member countries to boost production in agriculture and forestry.
During the 1950s and 1960s, FAO partnered with many different international organizations in development projects. In 1951, FAO's headquarters were moved from DC, United States, to Rome, Italy; the agency is directed by the Conference of Member Nations, which meets every two years to review the work carried out by the organization and to Work and Budget for the next two-year period. The Conference elects a council of 49 member states that acts as an interim governing body, the Director-General, that heads the agency. FAO is composed of eight departments: Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Biodiversity and Water Department and Social Development and Aquaculture, Corporate Services and Technical Cooperation and Programme Management. Beginning in 1994, FAO underwent the most significant restructuring since its founding, to decentralize operations, streamline procedures and reduce costs; as a result, savings of about US$50 million, €35 million a year were realized. FAO's Regular Programme budget is funded by its members, through contributions set at the FAO Conference.
This budget covers core technical work and partnerships including the Technical Cooperation Programme, knowledge exchange and advocacy, direction and administration and security. The total FAO Budget planned for 2016–2017 is USD 2.6 billion. The voluntary contributions provided by members and other partners support mechanical and emergency assistance to governments for defined purposes linked to the results framework, as well as direct support to FAO's core work; the voluntary contributions are expected to reach US$1.6 billion in 2016–2017. This overall budget covers core technical work and partnerships, leading to Food and Agriculture Outcomes at 71 per cent; the world headquarters are located in Rome, in the former seat of the Department of Italian East Africa. One of the most notable features of the building was the Axum Obelisk which stood in front of the agency seat, although just outside the territory allocated to FAO by the Italian Government, it was taken from Ethiopia by Benito Mussolini's troops in 1937 as a war chest, returned on 18 April 2005.
Regional Office for Africa, in Accra, Ghana Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in Bangkok, Thailand Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, in Budapest, Hungary Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, in Santiago, Chile Regional Office for the Near East, in Cairo, Egypt Sub-regional Office for Central Africa, in Libreville, Gabon Sub-regional Office for Central Asia, in Ankara, Turkey Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Sub-regional Office for Mesoamerica, in Panama City, Panama Sub-regional Office for North Africa, in Tunis, Tunisia Sub-regional Office for Southern Africa and East Africa, in Harare, Zimbabwe Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean, in Bridgetown, Barbados Sub-regional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and Yemen, Abu Dhabi Sub-regional Office for the Pacific Islands, in Apia, Samoa Liaison Office for North America, in Washington, DC Liaison Office with J
Jejuri is a city and a municipal council in Pune district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is famous for the main temple of Lord Khandoba, it is a famous temple town being the family deity of many houses in Maharashtra. Its economy is centered on businesses catering to the numerous devotees coming to worship the Khandoba Temple there; the increase in property rates and the planning of an international airport near the town has seen a spurt of development happening there. Naik Hari Makaji and Naik Tatya Makaji were two Koli revolutionaries from Maharashtra, they revolted against British Hukumat. Naik Hari Makaji and Naik Tatya Makaji with Naik Rama Krishna of kalambi made a army of Ramoshis of Satara and revolted. In 1879 they raided in Poona fifteen times with ramoshi army. After that Hari Makaji and Tatya Makaji raided satara many time. In February 1879, Naik Hari Makaji attacked in Baramati portion of Bhimthadi. On the 8Th raid in Baramati, Naik Hari Makaji was attacked by British police but he was escaped by fighting hand to hand with two British policemen and wounded them but two Ramoshis were captured.
After that, at the beginning of March, Naik Hari Makaji again raised and revolted in Indapur and raided. But in middle of march Hari was captured in Solapur. After capture of Naik Hari Makaji, His brother Naik Tatya Makaji led his revolution, Tatya Makaji continued till the end of the year. Naik Tatya Makaji raided the villages on the Sinhagad ranges. On 17 October, Koli Naik Tatya Makaji and some of his followers killed a Ramoshi, informer for British Major Wise. After that Tatya Makaji Naik brought to justice. Jejuri is located at18.28°N 74.17°E / 18.28. It has an average elevation of 718 metres; as of 2011 India census, Jejuri had a population of 14,515. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Jejuri has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 79%, female literacy is 67%. In Jejuri, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age. Jejuri Temple is located in the Jejuri town, which lies to the southeast of the Pune city of Maharashtra.
The town is known for being the venue of one of the revered temples in the state, known as the Khandobachi Jejuri. The temple is dedicated to Khandoba known as Mhalsakant or Malhari Martand or Mylaralinga. Khandoba is held in great reverence by the Dhangars; the temple was the site of a historic treaty between Tarabai and Balaji Bajirao on 14 September 1752. Jejuri Khandoba Temple can be divided into two separate sections - the Mandap and Garbhagriha. Jejuri has Lime deposits; the historic Shaniwar Wada fort at the central seat of Maratha Empire at Pune was completed in 1732 by the famed Peshwa Bajirao I, at a total cost of Rs. 16,110, from the Lime mined from the lime-belts of Jejuri. Jejuri by Arun Kolatkar Günter-Dietz Sontheimer: Some Incidents in the History of the Khandoba. In: Asie du Sud. Traditions et changements. VIth European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies 1973. Hrsg. von M. Gaborieau u. A. Thorner, Paris 1979, S. 11-117
Vishnu is one of the principal deities of Hinduism, the Supreme Being or absolute truth in its Vaishnavism tradition. Vishnu is the "preserver" in the Hindu triad that includes Shiva. In Vaishnavism, Vishnu is identical to the formless metaphysical concept called Brahman, the supreme, the Svayam Bhagavan, who takes various avatars as "the preserver, protector" whenever the world is threatened with evil and destructive forces, his avatars most notably include Rama in the Krishna in the Mahabharata. He is known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Hari, he is one of the five equivalent deities worshipped in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta Tradition of Hinduism. In Hindu iconography, Vishnu is depicted as having a pale or dark blue complexion and having four arms, he holds a padma in his lower left hand, Kaumodaki gada in his lower right hand, Panchajanya shankha in his upper left hand and the Sudarshana Chakra in his upper right hand. A traditional depiction is Vishnu reclining on the coils of the serpent Shesha, accompanied by his consort Lakshmi, as he "dreams the universe into reality".
Yaska, the mid 1st-millennium BCE Vedanga scholar, in his Nirukta, defines Vishnu as viṣṇur viṣvater vā vyaśnoter vā, "one who enters everywhere". He writes, atha yad viṣito bhavati tad viṣnurbhavati, "that, free from fetters and bondages is Vishnu"; the medieval Indian scholar Medhātithi suggested that the word Vishnu has etymological roots in viś, meaning to pervade, thereby connoting that Vishnu is "one, everything and inside everything". Vishnu means "all pervasive". Vishnu is a Vedic deity, but not a prominent one when compared to Indra and others. Just 5 out of 1028 hymns of the Rigveda, a 2nd millennium BCE Hindu text, are dedicated to Vishnu, he finds minor mention in the other hymns. Vishnu is mentioned in the Brahmana layer of text in the Vedas, thereafter his profile rises and over the history of Indian mythology, states Jan Gonda, Vishnu becomes a divinity of the highest rank, one equivalent to the Supreme Being. Though a minor mention and with overlapping attributes in the Vedas, he has important characteristics in various hymns of Rig Veda, such as 1.154.5, 1.56.3 and 10.15.3.
In these hymns, the Vedic mythology asserts that Vishnu resides in that highest home where departed Atman reside, an assertion that may have been the reason for his increasing emphasis and popularity in Hindu soteriology. He is described in the Vedic literature as the one who supports heaven and earth. In the Vedic hymns, Vishnu is invoked alongside other deities Indra, whom he helps in killing the symbol of evil named Vritra, his distinguishing characteristic in Vedas is his association with light. Two Rigvedic hymns in Mandala 7 refer to Vishnu. In section 7.99 of the Rgveda, Vishnu is addressed as the god who separates heaven and earth, a characteristic he shares with Indra. In the Vedic texts, the deity or god referred to as Vishnu is Surya or Savitr, who bears the name Suryanarayana. Again, this link to Surya is a characteristic Vishnu shares with fellow Vedic deities named Mitra and Agni, where in different hymns, they too "bring men together" and cause all living beings to rise up and impel them to go about their daily activities.
In hymn 7.99 of Rigveda, Indra-Vishnu are equivalent and produce the sun, with the verses asserting that this sun is the source of all energy and light for all. In other hymns of the Rigveda, Vishnu is a close friend of Indra. Elsewhere in Rigveda and Upanishadic texts, Vishnu is equivalent to Prajapati, both are described as the protector and preparer of the womb, according to Klaus Klostermaier, this may be the root behind post-Vedic fusion of all the attributes of the Vedic Prajapati unto the avatars of Vishnu. In the Yajurveda, Taittiriya Aranyaka, Narayana sukta, Narayana is mentioned as the supreme being; the first verse of Narayana Suktam mentions the words paramam padam, which mean highest post and may be understood as the supreme abode for all souls. This is known as Param Dhama, Paramapadam or Vaikuntha. Rig Veda 1.22.20 mentions the same paramam padam. In the Atharvaveda, the mythology of a boar who raises goddess earth from the depths of cosmic ocean appears, but without the word Vishnu or his alternate avatar names.
In post-Vedic mythology, this legend becomes one of the basis of many cosmogonic myth called the Varaha legend, with Varaha as an avatar of Vishnu. Several hymns of the Rigveda repeat the mighty deed of Vishnu called the Trivikrama, one of the lasting mythologies in Hinduism since the Vedic times, it is an inspiration for ancient artwork in numerous Hindu temples such as at the Ellora Caves, which depict the Trivikrama legend through the Vamana avatar of Vishnu. Trivikrama refers to "three strides" of Vishnu. Starting as a small insignificant looking being, Vishnu undertakes a herculean task of establishing his reach and form with his first step covers the earth, with second the ether, the third entire heaven; the Vishnu Sukta 1.154 of Rigveda says that the first and second of Vishnu's strides are visible to the mortals and the third is the realm of the immortals. The Trivikrama describing hymns integrate salvific themes, stating Vishnu to symbolize that, freedom and life; the Shatapatha Brahmana elaborates this theme of Vishnu, as his herculean effort and sacrifice to create and gain powers that help others, one who realizes and defeats the evil symbolized by the Asuras after they had usurped the three worlds, thus Vishnu is the savior of the mortals and
Banai known as Banu and Banu-bai, is a Hindu goddess and the second wife of Khandoba, a form of the god Shiva worshipped in the Deccan – predominantly in the Indian states of Maharashtra. Khandoba is portrayed as a king of Jejuri; some traditions do not treat her as a concubine of Khandoba. While scriptures related to Khandoba do not mention Banai, she is a central subject of folk songs. Banai is considered as a Dhangar, a sheep herding caste, is sometimes regarded to be of celestial origin. Oral traditions chiefly discuss the tale of her marriage to Khandoba and her conflicts with his first wife Mhalsa. Banai is an antithesis of Mhalsa. Banai is depicted with Khandoba and is accompanied by Mhalsa. Banai does not enjoy independent worship, but is worshipped as Khandoba's consort in most of his temples, she is worshipped as a protector of their herds. Though Khandoba is a god with five wives, his first two consorts Mhalsa and Banai are the most important; the tale of the King or god with two wives is retold with some variation across India: Murugan and his wives Devasena and Valli.
The motif of Shiva and his wives Parvati and Ganga is told in the Puranas. The theme of the god marrying a tribal girl like Banai recurs across the Deccan region. Deities across the Deccan have two wives. Khandoba's wives who come from various communities establish cultural linkages of the god to these communities, who worship them as their patron god. While Banai is considered as a legal wife of Khandoba in Maharashtra, the Kurubas of Karnataka regard her as a concubine. While Mhalsa is from the high-caste Lingayat merchant community, Banai is described as a Dhangar, representing the "outside" and associates Khandoba with non-elite herding castes like Dhangars and Kuruba who live in the forest; some traditions consider Banai as a Koli. In Karnataka, she is a Kuruba. Banai is an antithesis Mhalsa. Mhalsa has a regular ritualistic marriage with Khandoba. Banai, on the other hand, has a love marriage after being captured by the god. Mhalsa is described as pure, jealous and a good cook. Mhalsa represents "culture" while Banai "nature".
The oral legends and texts initiate a process of Sanskritization of the folk deity Khandoba by elevating him to the classical Hindu god Shiva. Banai does not appear in the Sanskrit Malhari Mahatmya, the main scripture related to Khandoba, however it mentions Ganga arriving from heaven. Banai has a quarrel with Mhalsa ending with the message that both are the same; some Dhangars consider Banai to be a form of Parvati. The chief source of legends related to Banai are ovi or folk songs sung by Vaghyas and Muralis, the male and female bards of Khandoba, they sing at jagrans. The songs talk about the relationship of Khandoba to his consorts and the mutual relationships of the wives, they are centred on Mhalsa and Banai and narrate about their quarrels. The tale of the marriage of Khandoba and Banai is a central theme in many Dhangar folk songs; the Varkari saint Sheikh Muhammad disparages Khandoba in his Yoga-samgrama and calls him the "mad" god that searches for Banai due to "sexual passion", an allusion to the tale of Banai's marriage, indicating that the tale was well-established by this era.
According to scholar Günther-Dietz Sontheimer, the legend of Banai has close parallels with the story of King Dushyanta and Shakuntala from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The tale of another folk god Mhaskoba to gain his wife Balurani or Balai despite obstacles is similar to Khandoba's endeavour to win over Banai. Banai does not appear in the Malhari Mahatmya originating from the Brahmin tradition, which glorifies Khandoba as Shiva and de-emphasizes his earthly connections. In contrast, Banai occupies the central position in the Dhangar folk narrative and Mhalsa's marriage to Khandoba is reduced to a passing mention. Banai's birth is not discussed in the folk songs. Few regard her as an avatar of the apsara Rambha, while others consider her as one of the seven daughters of Indra, the king of the gods, she is found by a Dhangar in a golden box in the forest, hidden in a pit. Her Dhangar father is the chief of shepherds, who owns nine lakh sheep and goats, nine lakh lambs and numerous barren ones.
Yamu finds Banai in a box. A virgin ewe is said to have fed Banai her milk, as Yamu does not have a wife and does not know how to feed the infant. In another miracle, a three-storeyed house appears at the place of Yamu's tent for the young Banai to reside, while the rest of the Dhangars live in tents, she becomes the overseer of twelve Dhangar vadas. She grazes them and learns how to breed them. Once and Mhalsa play a
Khandoba, Martanda Bhairava or Malhari, is a Hindu deity worshiped as a manifestation of Shiva in the Deccan plateau of India in the state of Maharashtra. He is the most popular Kuladaivat in Maharashtra, he is the patron deity of select warrior, farming and Brahmin castes as well as several of the hunter/gatherer tribes that are native to the hills and forests of this region. The cult of Khandoba has linkages with Hindu and Jain traditions, assimilates all communities irrespective of caste, including Muslims; the worship of Khandoba developed during the 9th and 10th centuries from a folk deity into a composite god possessing the attributes of Shiva, Bhairava and Karttikeya. He is depicted either in the form of a Lingam, or as an image of a warrior riding on a bull or a horse; the foremost centre of Khandoba worship is Jejuri in Maharashtra. The legends of Khandoba, found in the text Malhari Mahatmya and narrated in folk songs, revolve around his victory over demons Mani-malla and his marriages.
The name "Khandoba" comes from the words "khadga", the weapon used by Khandoba to kill the demons, "ba". "Khanderaya" means "king Khandoba". Another variant is "Khanderao". In Sanskrit texts, Khandoba is known as Martanda Bhairava or Surya, a combination of the solar deity Martanda and Shiva's fierce form Bhairava; the name "Mallari" or "Malhari" is split as "Malla" and "ari", thus meaning "enemy of the demon Malla". Malhari Mahatmya records Martanda Bhairava, pleased with the bravery of Malla, takes the name "Mallari". Other variants include Mailara. Khandoba is sometimes identified with Mallanna of Telangana, MallikarjunaSwamy of Andhrapradesh and Mailara of Karnataka. Other names include Mhalsa-kant and Jejurica Vani. In a popular oleograph representation of Khandoba, Mhalsa is seated in front of Khandoba on his white horse. Mhalsa is piercing a demon's chest with a spear, while a dog is biting his thigh and the horse is hitting his head; the other demon is grabbing the reins of the horse and attacking Khandoba with a club as Khandoba is dismounting the horse and attacking the demon with his sword.
In other representations, Khandoba is seen seated on a horse with the heads of demons trod under the horse's hooves or their heads under Khandoba's knees. In murtis, Khandoba or Malhara is depicted as having four arms, carrying a damaru, Bhandara-patra and khadga. Khandoba's images are dressed as a Maratha Sardar, or a Muslim pathan. Khandoba is depicted as a warrior seated on horseback with one or both of his wives and accompanied with one or more dogs, he is worshipped as the aniconic Lingam, the symbol of Shiva. In Khandoba temples, both representations of Khandoba — the aniconic lingam and the anthropomorphic horseback form. Legends of Khandoba tell about the battle between the deity and demons Malla and Mani; the principle written source of the legend is Malhari Mahatmya, which claims to be from the chapter Kshetra-kanda of the Sanskrit text Brahmanda Purana, but is not included in standard editions of the Purana. R. C. Dhere and Sontheimer suggests that the Sanskrit Mahatmya was composed around 1460–1510 AD by a Deshastha Brahmin, to whom Khandoba is the family deity.
A version is available in Marathi by Siddhapal Kesasri. Other sources include the texts of Jayadri Mahatmya and Martanda Vijaya by Gangadhara and the oral stories of the Vaghyas, bards of the god; the legend tell of the demon Malla and his younger brother Mani, who had gained the boon of invincibility from Brahma, creating chaos on the earth and harassing the sages. When the seven sages approached Shiva for protection after Indra and Vishnu confessed their incapability, Shiva assumed the form of Martanda Bhairava, as the Mahatmya calls Khandoba, riding the Nandi bull, leading an army of the gods. Martanda Bhairava is described as shining like the gold and sun, covered in turmeric known as Haridra, three-eyed, with a crescent moon on his forehead; the demon army was slaughtered by the gods and Khandoba killed Malla and Mani. While dying, Mani asks for a boon; the boon is that he be present in every shrine of Khandoba, that human-kind is bettered and that he be given an offering of goat flesh. The boon was granted, thus he was transformed into a demigod.
Malla, when asked by the deity if he asked for a boon, asks for the destruction of the world and human-flesh. Angered by the demon's request, Khandoba decapitates him, his head falls at the temple stairs where it was trampled by the devotees feet; the legend further describes how two Lingas appeared at Prempuri, the place where the demons were killed. Oral stories continue the process of Sanskritization of Khandoba — his elevation from a folk deity to Shiva, a deity of the classical Hindu pantheon —, initiated by the texts. Khandoba's wives Mhalsa and Banai are identified with Shiva's classical Hindu wives Parvati and Ganga. Hegadi Pradhan, the minister and brother-in-law of Khandoba and brother of Lingavat Vani Mhalsa, the faithful dog that helps Khandoba kill the demons, the horse given by Mani and the demon brothers are considered avatars of Vishnu, Krishna and the demons Madhu-Kaitabha respectively. Other myth variants narrate that Khandoba defeats a single demon named Manimalla, who offers his white horse, sometimes called Mani, to the god.
Other legends depict Mhalsa and Banai or Banu as futilely helping Khandoba in the battle to