Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Temple At The Foot Of Nandi Hills


This is one of those places that I did not even know existed. Almost everyone of us has heard about Nandi Hills in Bangalore. We have visited the hills too. But not many people know that if you take a small deviation – right turn instead of the left that you take to climb the hills – you will find yourself before a grand temple of architectural significance.

The temple together with its premises is the size of a village. And thankfully, this place is clean and seems well maintained.
From the outer wall to the temple entrance is a short walk along this path.

As you look towards your left and your right, you will find that the inside of the outer wall is lined with pillars that stand on a raised platform all along the wall. These pillars herald the grandeur of the temple to come.

This is the entrance.

As you enter the temple, you will see carvings on your left and right wall.

As you step inside, you will see some more pillars on a raised platform.

This temple was built by five dynasties over a period of 700 or more years. The Cholas, the Hoysalas, the Gangarasas, the Pallavas and the Vijayanagara empire.

The sanctum in the middle was built by Hoysalas, a thousand years ago.




Do notice the parrots carved on the pillars. There are hundreds on them on all the pillars.

To the right of the Hoysala sanctum is another sanctum built by the Chola king. The Cholas built this part of the temple 1200 years ago.

This is the roof.

This is the Chola king himself.

To the left of the Hoysala sanctum is the sanctum containing a huge phallus they call “Brihadeshvara”. This was built by Gangarasa 1100 years ago.
This is the Ugraganapathi - angry Ganapathi.

This is the shivalinga – Brihadeshvara in the sanctum.

The pillars on the platform that supports the three sanctums was built by Pallavas, 900 years ago.

As you go round the temple you see the Gopura …

And an inner wall lined with pillars…

Just outside this temple wall is a mosque and that time, sufi music was playing aloud... the song is ringing in my ears still... something that ended with "mohammed ke shahar mein..." Though I like sufi music and I hummed this tune again and again during the rest of the day, I did wonder aloud why there was a mosque next to every important Hindu temple in India! Since the temples existed much before and the mosques were built later, I wonder what the motive might have been...

As you walk further, you come across a few more sanctums… more pillars and more gopuras.. walls with carvings… I noticed that the carvings in this temple were not really intricate except in certain places ...like the parrots carved on pillars just outside the Hoysala sanctum. It is the number of pillars, gopuras, statues and the huge premises that fill you with awe. while most of the stone is grey coloured, at some places you will find brick coloured stones. i dont know if this is how the temple was when it was built or the renovators painted them later.




This was built by the Vijayanagara empire… 500 years ago


Thanks to my friend Nikhil.... I would not have found this place, but for him...


As you cross the entrance, you find yourself standing before this pond.

Shringi Tirtha - It is a large square pond in the north of the enclosure. It is surrounded by varandha which has 3 entrances on the north, east and south. Over the varandhas are fine stucco figures in niches. it is said that the Dakshina Pinakini (South Pennar river) flows from the pond.

A very pretty picture I thought.

This stone umbrella standing outside the three main sanctums is also a work of the Vijayanagara empire.

I must visit this temple again... tried to search this using google...to verify the facts that I had gathered from a tour guide who guided us... could not find much. A must see for everyone who lives in Bangalore and every tourist...

19 comments:

Satish said...

You seem to be unearthing temple gems. The first one in Hosaholalu, now this temple......When you plan to visit the temple again, please hop me in

Sowmya said...

You in Bangalore??

shubhi said...

nice artecle forgotten empire!

Satish said...

Yes!!!!

Rishi said...

Sowmya,
Coming to your blog after a while. This looks to be a great temple to visit. But I am confused with the directions.

In last 3 months I have gone to Nandi Hills twice for my Hill Run training. And the left we take is from Highway. But as we near the Nandi Hills we take a right towards the Hills not left. So did you mean the right at the T-Junction much before that where there is a small Village. Will like to go there in my next Visit.

Thanks for all the info and the pictures.

- Rishi

Sowmya said...

Welcome back Rishi... you take a right at the foothills before u start climbing...

Welcome Shubhi to this space... thanks for the nice words

Rishi said...

What name for the temple we should mention to people there for directions to the temple.

Rishi

Anupama said...

Beautiful temple...reminds me a lot of the Dilwara Jain temples in Mt. Abu...the colour of the stone and the layout...

And nice pictures too!

Sowmya said...

Thanks Anu.

We should all plan this trip sometime. And after that we can have breakfast... We can combine the merits of temple visit with the sin of sumptuous morning breakfast :)

Rishi said...

I visited Bodhinandishwara Temple, with my parents yesterday. I need to check the name if I got it correct.

Thanks again for this article. It is as beautiful as the pictures you have put. Infact the pictures helped me to make sure I see everything.

Rishi.

Sowmya said...

Good good.

I think it is Bhoganandishwara temple.

Rishi said...

Yes it is Bhoganandishwara Temple. Confirmed with my folks also.

Rishi.

saurabh said...

excellent & brilliant..loved your photos. do visit me back since i too write on similar topics
www.meondemand.blogspot.com

madhu said...

been there, enjoyed the place then ever! Madhu Chandra - The Bulleteer!

saurabh said...

bumped into your blog again..planning to go there tomorrow..will share my experience as i get back.

PaLa said...

informative, thanks for providing us a detailed view on this temple

Giridhar said...

Great find. Also great to know there ARE other people who enjoy re-discovering our heritage.

Giridhar M
www.giri-thedaily.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

The Pics are really beautiful!!! Though visited nandi hills many times never heard of this temple....thank you for the info....The temple looks really beautiful, untouched & calm....Free from all city madness...

Saravan said...

Such a beautiful article about Bhoganandisvara Temple.