Bull Temple And Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple-Bangalore's Oldest(16 th century)Temples
Bull TempleClick thumbnail to view full-size
Bull Temple Atop The Bugle Rock
Bangalore is a city famous for its religious places of worship and among the temples, the Bull Temple is a famous landmark. Situated in Basavangudi on top of the Bugle Rock, it houses an enormous monolith of the Nandi or the Bull of Lord Shiva. Built in the 16 th century by Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore, the bull has been carved out of a single black granite rock and is 15 feet in height and 20 feet long. It is built in the Dravidian style. The weekends are marked by weddings and musical concerts.
An inscription at the base of the Nandi, dating back to the 17 th century mentions a stream called Vrishabhavathi that originated here.
Legend has it that a bull used to attack all the flourishing groundnut crops of the area and an enraged farmer hit the bull with a club and it turned into stone in the crouching position. The stunned farmers took to building the temple around it to appease the Nandi. From then on, the groundnut farmers are known to bring their first crop of groundnuts every year as an offering to the Nandi(Sacred Bull)before being sold inside the premises. So began this tradition called Kadlekaayi Parse(Groundnut Fair) in the month of November.
Timings :7AM -1 PM and 4 PM -9 PM
Gavi Gangadhareswara Temple, Gavipuram
Gavi means cave in Kannada and Gavipuram means area full of caves. Atop the Shivaganga hill(1368 m tall), this famous temple is situated inside a 3000 year old natural cave and is an architectural marvel. Built in the 9 th century, it was later renovated by Kempegowda in gratitude in the 16 th century to celebrate his release from imprisonment by Rama Raya. It attracts hordes of devotees. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this monolithic structure is built inside a cave. The granite pillars are the star attractions two of which support mammoth discs representing the sun and moon while another two have a Nandi(Lord Shiva's bull) carved on top.
Makara Sankranti(Pongal), occurring January 14/15 every year, is celebrated with fervor as devotees gather to get a glimpse of a unique phenomenon here. The evening sun's rays passes through an arch in between the Nandi's horns situated at the entrance to the temple, to fall on the Linga idol (Shiva), bathing it in light. Only for a few minutes(between 5PM and 6PM), the idol is seen, otherwise it is in total darkness inside the cave. This is ample proof of the architectural wonders related to astronomy, from ancient times.
There are several deities within and one needs to get down on all fours to complete the cave circuit.