The "Bull Temple" is found in Bangalore
the capital of Karnataka. , the bull is honoured as Shiva's
mount in this temple on the same platform as the Vishvanath
Temple. It is also called "Nandi temple". The temple
has a giant bull (4.6 metres tall), carved out of a single
boulder. It is a sculptural masterpiece. In Kannada, Basava
means bull, which gives the name Basavanagudi to the locality.
The temple has a giant bull (4.6 metres tall), carved out
of a single boulder. It is a sculptural masterpiece.
It faces the Shiva temple. A statue of Nandi the bull of Shiva
is inside flanked at the back with statues of God Surya and
Goddess Candra on their chariots drawn by horses. Non Hindus
are not allowed in the temple. The temple is busy always with
some ceremony or other going on. On weekends there are musicians
who are performing at the temple. The Bull Temple is dedicated
to Lord Shiva's Vahana (vehicle), Nandi the bull. Here you
can find a huge monolithic statue of the sitting bull that
draws a large number of people to this place every day.
The temple built by Kempe Gowda, a typical example of the
Dravidian-style temple, is situated in Basavanagudi. The temple
has a huge monolithic bull 4.5m tall and 6m long. It is believed
that the source of the river Vishwa Bharathi originates from
the feet of the Nandi. The bull has a small iron plate on
its head to prevent it, as tradition says, from growing. Also
there is a Ganesh temple, with a large deity made of 110 kilos
of butter. The deity of butter is broken up and distributed
every four years. In Kannada, Basava means bull, which gives
the name Basavanagudi to the locality. This is one of the
oldest temples in Bangalore situated in basavanagudi dedicated
to Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva. Kempe Gowda built this
temple in the 16th century. The magnificent Nandi, 15 feet
tall and over 20 feet long has been carved out of single granite
rock. Farmers offer the first groundnuts to the sacred bull.
It has a grey granite sacred bull, Nandi, after which the
temple has been named. The sacred bull has been carved out
of a single granite block. It measures 4.57 mt in height and
6.10 mt in length.
The Bhoganandiswara temple at the foothills of Nandi Hills
goes back to the period of the Banas, Cholas, Hoysalas and
the Vijayanagar Kings.. Bhoganandiswara, Umamaheswara and
Arunachaleswara are enshrined here. The kalyanamandapa is
of great beauty here.The Yoganandiswara temple atop the hill
goes back to the Chola period. It received extensive patronage
from the Vijayanagar Kings. The pillars and metalwork deserve
special mention. The image has been carved out of single granite
rock. The original colour of Nandi bull was grey which has
now turned black due to the application of coconut oil by
the devotees. The statue of the bull has been carved out of
a single rock.
The surrounding area, known as Sunkenahalli had groundnut
growing farmers. A bull started grazing on the well-grown
crop enraging a farmer who hit the bull with a club. The bull
sat stunned and was suddenly transformed into a stone. The
shocked farmers then decided to build a temple for the bull
to atone for what they had done, but were shocked to see that
the bull was growing taller! The worried farmer then prayed
to Lord Shiva who advised him to retrieve a trident buried
a few feet away from the bull and place the trident on the
forehead of the stone statue to stop it from growing. This
was done and the bull stopped growing. The thankful farmers
decided to place their first crop of groundnut as an offering
to the bull. Though in reality there is a trident on the forehead
of the bull, this story is a legend and lacks historical evidence.
Hence, this handsome Bull Temple was built and the bull apparently
took the hint and stayed away from the groundnuts. The thankful
farmers continue to hold a Groundnut Fair (kadalekayi parishe)
near the temple premises every year, to show their gratitude.
It is one of the places to visit in Bangalore. Kempe Gowda
got constructed many temples dedicated to Anjaneya (God of
Power), Vinayaka (God of good fortune), Nandi (Shiva's bull
One can see in the shrine atop the hill a massive garlanded
black and shiny Nandi (Shiva's mount, the bull) ensconced,
which dates back to 1786. The size of the Nandi is overwhelming.
At the back is a small Lingam shrine. Its modern Gopuram rises,
gracefully and majestically. The underground "Sri-Gavi
Gandadhareshwara Temple" is equally fascinating, where
on every year on January 14th (Makara Sankranti) it is believed
that a ray of light passes between the horn of a Nandi outside
the temple and lights the idol kept inside. Three levels of
excavations have been carried out in the cave. One can see
the black stone Hanuman. On the way to the Bull Temple there
is one a temple dedicated to the Elephant God Ganesha. The
Bull temple is a buzz with great activity during the Shivratri
In Nov/Dec every year, when the groundnuts have been harvested,
Kadalekayi Parishe (The Groundnut fair)is held near the temple.
The first groundnuts are offered by the farmers to the sacred
bull. Dodda Ganapati, a manificent image of the Lord, is enshrined
adjacent to the Bull temple. It is believed that the source
of the river Vishva Bharti originates at the feet of the statue.