A journey to the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple
A quick travel to the 12th century right beside a city like Bangalore, this temple has a lot to offer for an excursionist, history-buff and holidaymaker. Just at the foot-hill of Nandi hills, it is another place which you should not miss to visit. It offers the right blend of tranquility, knowledge and satisfies the travel hunger inside you.
Started at 8:30 in the morning with all the fresh energies and the expectation of a long, comfortable and enjoyable drive through the Nh7. We didn’t face any “as usual” traffic jam of Bangalore being a Sunday morning. Crossing the airport, heading towards the Nandi hills road, you will get a turn before Nagarjuna College. But I would suggest to avoid the turn and get to the top of the bridge to get an awesome view of the Nandi hills stretching over the whole horizon. Later you will get another turn in the middle of the bridge only to take your vehicle to the service road and reach to the temple. As we were driving ourselves, we were completely dependent on the Google navigator and were on our track.
- Highways are always risky. Better be safe with your vehicle always.
- Apparently one will have no issues for parking of vehicles as many cars and bikes were already there on the day we visited.
- Entry is free to the temple.
- If you carry a good camera, wide angle lens would be more helpful.
- Comfortable clothes
- Ample water, though outside shops are there for basic snacks and water
Entering the temple complex we first found a nearly dilapidated structure that welcomes you to the historical extravaganza. We also found out ruins that have been supported by metal frameworks. In front of the gate of the main temple complex, there is a chariot and its wheels and planks with a small Darbar hall. These 12th-century structures declared as World Heritage site by UNESCO, have been best tried to keep protected.
After entering the temple complex, we were mesmerized with the each and every style of architectural designs, all carrying their own histories and significances. All over the pillars, there were carvings of different kind of animals in some human forms, representing the history of the then dynasty. The architectural style is Dravidian.
The temple complex has two large shrines: the “Arunachaleswara” shrine to the south built by the Gangas of Talakad, and the “Bhoga Nandeeshwara” shrine to the north built by the Cholas. In between there is a small intervening shrine called with “Uma-Maheshwara” shrine with Vasantha mandapa (“marriage altar”) supported by ornate pillars in black stone with reliefs depicting of the Hindu gods Shiva and his consort Parvati, Brahma (the creator) and Saraswathi, Vishnu (the preserver) and his consort Lakshmi, the god of fire Agni and his consort Swaha Devi, and decorative creepers and birds in bas-relief. This is typically from the Hoysala architecture. The “Arunachaleswara” and the “Bhoga Nandeeshwara” forms of Shiva represent, according to Hindu legend, two stages in the life of the god Shiva: childhood and youth. On the day we went, a family puja was going on, and we got to experience that in the midst of all.
The “Uma-Maheshwara” shrine has reliefs depicting the third stage, Shiva’s marriage to the goddess Parvati. Hence this shrine is popular with newlyweds who come to seek blessings. Also, wedding Ceremonies take place in these temples. The altar is named as “Vasantha Mantapa”.
You may find some peace while seating amidst of the vast campus of the marriage alter. And if you are with your partner, you can get a click for two of you, sitting on the altar.
Leaving this, we went beyond this compound. There is a large stepped temple tank (Kalyani or pushkarni), locally called “Sringeri Teertha” (the mythical source of the Pinakini river). This place is really calm and one can sit here for long enjoying the cool breeze. The water keeps tortoise and fish whom you can see in intervals poking out their head out of the water.
[The writer went to this place on May, 2016]
**All pictures are copyrighted to author of the page, Aparajita Paul**
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