Bansheera is one of the mysterious wild spirits. Hills are replete with tales of their
presence and their encounters with humans. Despite their mystery, very little is
known about Bansheera.
बण means forest & शीरा means Head. Bansheera is also known as the protector of
forest. It forbids animal hunting.
It is also known as बाण/ कंडराला in some areas.
They are believed to be brothers of sages who became corrupt and were outcasted
by sages. They wandered forests ever since.
It is believed that Bansheera is a subordinate of Kali (Bhagwati), who resides at the
highest peak of the region.
Bansheera is known for his पणशियो (screams).
They are illusionists who tend to test the intelligence of the person who travels
through the forest. They try to approach a person or call out their name (in the voice
of a family member or friend). Similarly, it imitates the person in front of him and
creates illusions like stretching into the sky and distorting the person's
understanding of its form. It is believed that it can manifest in any way.
Bansheeras are not to be talked to and if one speaks to one, he will persuade that
person to fight with him. Either the person must fight and win against him
or he will die.
As per conventional wisdom, Bansheera's strength is equivalent to that of 12-15 खाडू
Bansheera bestows a boon on whoever wins the fight with him.
Many old forest travellers have mentioned that a bansheera smells like a खाडू
Some bansheeras have become benevolent and are worshipped as local deities in
many areas today. There are no palanquins or temples dedicated to bansheera.
Earlier, when people used to travel through forests and if
they got hurt for whatever reason, it was advised to lick the blood as soon as
possible. As Bansheera does not eat ort, it won't come hunting.
In some of गडॉसन (glorifying prayer of a local deity, which is used to invoke him/her),
one can listen to the mention of bansheeras and other wild spirits after the mention
of fairies & deity’s बाणी (origin story).
In folklore, it is mentioned that Bansheeras happened to wear gold ornaments.
Also, many people are known to have defeated them.