Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple – The magnificent Shiva Temple near Bengaluru
Sometimes we forget to visit places, that are located very close to us and one such classic example is the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple, located just 60 kms from Bengaluru and about 15 mins drive from the famous Nandi Hills.
The magnificent Shiva Temple is an example of Dravidian Architecture, which is more than 1,000 years old. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, the Temple was originally constructed by the Bana Queen Ratnavali in the 9th Century and later the Chola kings added the roof in the 11th century ; the Hoysala dynasty added the marriage hall to the temple structure and the Vijayanagar kings added the Kalyana Mandapa and the Tulabhara Mandapa in the 13th century.
In the post medieval era, the local chiefs of Chikaballapura and the rulers of the Mysuru kingdom controlled the Temple before it eventually came under the British in 1791, after they defeated Tipu Sultan.
The Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, is the oldest in the state of Karnataka. The Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple houses three temples, the Arunachaleshwara, the Uma Maheshwara and the Bhoga Nandeeshwara.
The Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple depicts the youthful phase of Lord Shiva, and as youth is the time to rejoice and enjoy life, there are many festivals held in this temple throughout the year. The Uma Maheshwara temple depicts the wedding scenes between Shiva and Parvati, and newly married couples often visit this temple to take the blessings of Shiva and Parvati.
The main Temple, the Bhoga Nandeeshwara has a majestic Shiva Linga in the Sanctum. This temple is said to have been built by the Cholas. There is a figure of a Chola King in this temple, believed to be of Rajendra Chola. The Temple premises have Chola period Tamil inscriptions on the walls.
The pillars are covered with carvings depicting the wedding of Shiva and Parvati. Do not miss the beautiful Apsara on the pillars, whose fashion sense can shame a modern woman of today ; a man playing drums and a percussion instrument ; a “chhatri” or umbrella carved out of stone and other masterpieces. The idol of the divine bull and Lord Shiva’s vahana or mount – Nandi, in front of the Sanctum of this Temple, is an extremely majestic piece of architecture.
Shringi Theertha, the temple pond, is surrounded on all four sides by a walkway and a running mandapa. This pond has steps leading down to it on all four sides. The green waters of the pond makes for a very refreshing sight.
Legend has it that this pond was created by Nandi by plunging his horn into the ground to draw out water from the divine Ganga. This pond is held to be the source of the South Pinakini (South Pennar) River.
Just as you enter the Temple, you will be greeted by 4 tall Peepal Trees and vast green lawns in the compound area. You can hire a local guide, at the Temple’s entrance, who will explain the intricate details of the Temple.
After visiting this architectural wonder that dates back to early 9th Century, I was wondering….how and why did I miss this gem of a Temple ?