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Bull Temple, Karnataka

Bull Temple KarnatakaThe "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.

Architecture
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.World Famous Bull Nandi Temple in Karnataka

Legend
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 mount).

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 festival.

Main Attraction
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.

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