Shibani Banik Nov 22 2014

A Spiritual Moment that Satiates Hearts

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Sometimes, the chaotic life that you experience in the metropolis makes you all exhausted and tired. With your regular, mundane life; even an exciting trip doesn’t excite you anymore! There are times when you desperately seek inner calmness, divinity and spirituality that induce consciousness and allow you to access a strange sense of tranquil moment no matter what is happening around you. What is the best get-away to bring back this lost treasure of happiness?

Let’s stop here and think for a moment. Is it because you need a spiritual boost to ease up your mind and savor into spiritual divinity? Is it because you need a path of enlightenment that can help you focus and satiate your heart? Well, take a moment to think.

Well, as it is rightly said “Faith can move mountains and direct us to the misty future”, it always invokes a question in our uneasy minds – “Is it simply a belief to believe or is there any evidence?” Uncanny but true, the curiosity that often bells our hearts and persuade us to believe are the testaments and miracles witnessed by generations appeasing the mind. We, homo sapiens, being the most logical species, often tend to befall in such paradox and look out for self-realization that rejuvenates the mind and soul.

One such place to experience the spiritual happiness and regain self actualization is the oldest sacred shrine and the heavenly abode of the Hindu demi-god, Nandi. The Bull Temple is a rare pilgrimage spot that reveal the hidden mystery behind and the mythological significance of the servant bull and vahaana (vehicle of Shiva), taking precedence over the master, Lord Shiva. Read on to find out how.

Gigantic granite statue of Nandi, the Bull (photo courtesy- Ted Drake,

Gigantic granite statue of Nandi, the Bull (photo courtesy- Ted Drake,

Bull Temple – Its whereabouts

The historic Bull Temple, also known as Dodda Ganeshana Gudi Bull Temple is located at South Bangalore’s NR Colony of Basavanagudi, just next to the Bugle Rock Park. The literal meaning of ‘Basava’ is “bull”. The locality is named after the bull, adored as Basavana. Dodda Ganeshana Gudi Bull Temple is the world’s biggest temple dedicated to Nandi, as you find one of the biggest Nandi idols positioned here. However, the actual temple that consists of the main shrine is small, facing the stone image of the seated Nandi on the opposite side. The temple rests at the top of the Bungle Hill. It is easily accessible via local buses, taxis or autorickshaws. The Temple is open daily at fixed timings from 6 am–1 pm and 4 pm-9 pm.

Nandi, the Bull – An age-old saga

The famous Bull Temple Bangalore dating back to the 16th century was constructed in the year 1537AD by the local Vijaynagar Empire ruler . Kempegowda, the founder of the city, established the Temple during his era. Adorned by salivate figures and motifs of prominent features, the Temple resembles the famous Dravidian style of religious architecture that rests its tower over the shrine. This existing tower (vimana) constructed in the 20th century, measures 15 feet in length and 20 feet height. The Temple is dedicated to the Nandi bull, the vahana (vehicle) of lord Shiva. The Vishwa Bharati river finds its origin from the feet of the Nandi idol.
Originally sculpted from a single piece of rock, the gigantic granite statue of the monolith Nandi bull is an excellent masterpiece. The idol has an average elevation of 6.5 meters. A small iron plate is positioned on the forehead of the stone-cult Nandi idol in order to prevent it from growing as per the mythological belief. The black sculpture and the blackened walls of the temple that existed over the years reveal the interesting fact that the devotees rubbed its surface with charcoal and coconut oil that gradually turned the original grey color of the bull into black.

Adjacent to the Nandi bull idol, the Dodda Ganesha Temple is situated which is the ancient shrine of Lord Ganesha. The gigantic statue of the elephant-headed idol is a stone cult image that measures 18 feet high and 16 feet wide. The idol is layered with 110 kg (220 lb) of butter. It is surprising to find that despite the butter being broken and distributed among the devotees after every four years, it never melts!

The butter-layered Dodda Ganesha (photo courtesy-

The butter-layered Dodda Ganesha (photo courtesy-

The Growing Bull – The real story behind

Did you notice a brass trident straight over the head of Nandi? And the bells and ornaments etched on its huge body? Ever wondered the story behind the massive growing shape of the idol of Nandi? The interesting story behind the establishment of the Bull Temple can be dated back to the 16th century. It is said that the Temple was built to appease the wild Bull from consuming and destroying the groundnut crops, grown in abundance in the fertile farmland of Basavanagudi. It is said that one day, one of the farmers hit the animal with a club in a fit of rage. The bull went motionless as it sat down transforming into a stone instantly! To utter astonishment, this stone bull began expanding in size which made the worried farmers seek the help of the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. In order to appease the bull, the temple was built. As a result, the crops were saved from further damage.

The Groundnut Fair Celebration

As a mark of appreciation by the happy farmers, the Groundnut Fair, also known as Kadalekkayi Parishe is celebrated near the temple during the month of Karthika (November-December). This is a grand celebration for the Bangaloreans, where groundnut is offered to the deity till date.

Groundnut Fair to appease the Deity (photo courtesy-

Groundnut Fair to appease the Deity (photo courtesy-

Does the amazing Bull Temple story beckon you? The quaint story of the Bull Temple that marveled disciples since ages has been drawing thousands of devotees, who throng into the place to witness this marvelous shrine of the divine idol. The sheer and gigantic size of the Bull is still a wonder that continues to attract devotees from around the world!

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