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