Mookambika Temple, Kollur, Karnataka, India

Deities: Goddess Mookambika
Location: Kollur, Karnataka
Built in: Sanakanna Nayaka King of Keladi
Importance: one of the seven Mukti Sthalas
Best time to visit: September-October
STD Code: 0825

Namasthe Jagadatri Sadbrahma Rupe
Namasthe Haropendra Datryadivandye
Namastheprasanneshtadhanaikadakshe
Namasthe Mahalakshmi Kolapuresi.

Kollur is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Karnataka is in the distance of 128 Kms from Mangalore. The temple here is dedicated to Mookambika and stands on a spur of the Kodachadri peak.

The Goddess Mookambika is in the form of Jyotir-Linga incorporating both Shiva and Shakthi. The Panchaloha image (five element mixed metal) of the Goddess on Shree Chakra is stated to have been consecrated by Adi shankaracharya during his visit to this place. There is an exquisite sculpture of Panchamukha Ganesha here.

The main statue in the temple is the Shiva linga called the Jyothirlingam. This Jyothirlingam in front of the image of the Goddess Mookambika is of great antiquity. A golden line divides this lingam into two unequal parts and is visible only in the light of reflected sunlight pointed at the lingam. The right portion of this lingam is said to represent Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – as the conscious static principles and the larger left part Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Parvathi – the creative energy principles.

It is a belief that the three goddess and the three lords emerged out of it. Temple of Mookambika Devi is one of the ‘Seven Muktisthala’ pilgrimage sites in Karnataka.

Tippu Sultan of Mysore had visited this temple and a special ‘mangala arthi ( Deeparadhana)’ was conducted at his behest. That pooja is being continued even today and it is called ‘Salam Mangalarthi’ which follows the main pooja during night session.

Legend:
According to the legends, Kola Maharshi who was doing penance here was disturbed by a demon who was also engaged in doing penance to please Lord Shiva, to get a boon from Him. To prevent the demon from fulfilling his evil desire, Adi Shakti made him dumb (mooka) and when the Lord appeared before him, he could not ask for anything. Thereupon he got enraged and soon began troubling Kola Maharshi who prayed to Adi Shakti for deliverance. Adi Shakti, who vanquished demon Mookasura, was extolled by the gods as Mookambika. At Kola Maharshi’s prayer, the Divine Mother accompanied by all the Gods; stayed there to be perpetually worshipped by the devotees.

It is believed that Sri Adi Shankaracharya had a vision of Sri Mookambika Devi and he installed the deity here. The story goes like this. Adi Shankara mediated at Kudajadri hills and Devi was incarnated before him asking for his wish. He revealed his wish to incorporate Devi to a place in Kerala to worship where his wanted.

Devi agreed and put forward a challenge that she will follow Shankara and he should not look back until he reaches his destination. But to test Shankara Devi deliberately stopped the voice of her ornaments when they reached Kollur, and Shankara turned back because of doubt.

Devi then asked Shankara to install her vigraha as he sees her. Kollur was also a part of ancient West coast which stretched from Gokarna to Kanyakumari.

Festival:
Sri Mookambika Temple celebrates various festivals and regularly conducts Pancha Pooja and Thrikala Bali. Various celebrations of the temple can broadly be classified as Nithyothsavam, Varothsavam, Pakshothsavam, Masothsavam, and Varshikothsavam.

Navarathri days are considered to be the most auspicious time to worship all Shakthi devathas. It is also the most important festival of Mookambika. Thousands of pilgrims throng the temple on those nine days. Vijaya Dashami day is the most auspicious day for beginning education (Vidya Arambham).

How to Reach:
by Road: Mangalore city is only 50 km away from Udupi. Express buses ply between Mangalore and Udupi at regular intervals.
by Rail: The railway station at Udupi falls on the Konkan Railway network and there are trains to most major cities of the state.
by Air: The nearest airport is the Mangalore airport located at Bajpe, 60 km away from Udupi. There are 2 flights daily from Mumbai and from Bangalore.Sri Mookambika TempleP.O. Kollur – 576 660 Udupi dist. Karnataka State INDIA.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Pattabhirama Temple, Hampi, Karnataka, India

Deities: Lord Rama
Location: Hampi, Karnataka
Built in: 1530
Famous For: A World Heritage SiteBest time to visit: September to February.
STD Code: 08394

Karnataka temples and shrines forms an inevitable part of Karnataka tourism. Devotees from different corners of the world come to visit Karnataka temples and shrines to pay their homage to their titular deities.

353 kilometres from Bangalore, in the south Indian state of Karnataka.Hampi has a history from the epical age of Ramayana, ages before the Vijayanagara Empire was born. Hampi has an epical history as the capital city of Kishkindha, the monkey kingdom during the period of Ramayana. It is 353 kilometres from Bangalore, in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It was built by Krishna Devrai.

Pattabhirama temple on the south of the sacred river Tungabadra located in scenic hilly surroundings is the largest among the ruins. This wonderful temple is noted for its largeness. There is a capacious hall in front of the temple.

Known for its splendid architecture, the temple complex is confined within a large rectangular enclosure. The sanctum sanctorum with its axial mantapas is situated in the centre of the courtyard. A pillared colonnade runs along the inside of the wall round the courtyard.The east-facing sanctum is a tri-tala vimana with an antarala, ardha-mantapa and maha-mantapa. The large and square maha-mantapa is a finely proportioned seven aisled structure with tall and slender composite pillars of various types. To the east of the ardha-mantapa is the usual covered pradakshina-prakara enclosing the garbha-griha and the antarala.

Today, the ruins at Hampi remindes its visitors of the greatest land of culture, music, art and architecture, which continues to exude a charm, that is just mind-blowing.

Tourist Attractions:
Lotus Mahal
Vitthal Temple
Stone Chariot
Virupaksha Temple
Ugra Narasimha
Pampapati temple
Krishna temple
Hazara Ramachandra
Chandrasekhara temple
Jaina Temple.

How to reach:
by Air: The nearest Airport is Bellary (974 km); other convenient airports are Belgaum (190 km) and Bangalore (353 km).
by Rail: The nearest rail point is Hospet from where one travels another 12 kilometers by road to reach Hampi.
by Road: Regular bus services from Bangalore to Hospet.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Iskcon Temple, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Deities: Radha-Krishna
Location: On West of Chord Road, Bangalore
Built in: 1997
Also known as: Sri Sri Radha Krishna Chandra Temple
Attraction: Neo-classical style of architecture
Significance: Iskcon’s largest temple complex across the World
Best time to visit: October to February

ISKCON, an abbreviation for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, popularly called Hare Krishna after the mantra that they chant, is a worldwide religious organization founded by Prabhupada in 1966 in New York and is based on the Gaudiya Vaishnavism sect of Hinduism inspired by Chaitanya’s life and teachings in the 16th century. The organization has the stated aim to foster bhakti (devotion) towards Krishna that it considers a personal God and the supreme Godhead.

The colossal shrine sprawls on seven-acres of ‘Hare Krishna HillJust like all other Iskcon temples, Bangalore Iskcon temple is also dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is situated to the west of the Chord Road, on a seven-acre hillock. The Iskcon temple of Bangalore was built to commemorate the birth centenary of the founder of ISKCON, Sri Prabhupada. It is built in the Neo-Classical style, which combines the conventional elements of temple architecture with modern high-tech amenities.

One enters the beautifully decorated Rajagopuram through patterned arches and brilliantly illuminated artificial waterfalls. There are four ‘Gopurams’ inside the temple, each of them connected to the other by a striking glazed-glass canopy. This entire complex forms the ‘Hari Naam Kirtan’, a 10,000 square feet hall adorned with magnificent ceiling-paintings.This temple was established in Bangalore in 1997. The temple spans across the length of 4-5 football grounds and is quite the sight to see. Massive pillars, very flamboyant idol for worship, laser shows and living quarters, class rooms, yoga centers, dance studios, gift shops and restaurants signify this place of worship. All lot of foreign visitors attend workshops and spiritual programs here.
The temple offers a bowl of ‘Kichri’ (made of rice and pulse) to its each visitor. The vast kitchen of the shrine is equipped with modern equipments and has the capacity to provide food for two thousand visitors per hour. Besides prasadam, the kitchen is also used to prepare variety of delicacies that are offered to the Lord.

Following the knowledge of the Vedas, the temple also promotes protection of cows. Being the primary element, Cows are essential for a prosperous and healthy society. Bangalore Iskcon ‘Gaushala’ retains not less than 40 cows. The milk of these cows is used in the making of various dishes and delicacies. The other attractions of the Bangalore Iskcon temple include ISKCON Vedic Theatre, Vedic museums and exhibit areas, a lecture hall and beautifully landscaped gardens. Multivision Cinema, Dakshinakriti, Srila Prabhupada Museum, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Goloka Seva Trust. There is also a unique open-air amphitheatre, where concerts and festivals are organized.

The huge shrine was started under the global project of ISKCON to memorialize the birthday of its founder, Sri Prabhupada. In May 1997, Bangalore Iskcon Temple was inaugurated by Mr. Shankar Dayal Sharma (former President of India). Ever since, the temple has been visited by far more than 5.1 million visitors. In the vein of other Iskcon Temples round the World, the shrine is mainly dedicated to Radha-Krishna.

The festival of ‘Janmashtami’ is the major festival that is celebrated here with loads of enthusiasm and devotion. The annual Rath Yathra, (Chariot Procession) of Krishna and Balrama is attended by thousands of devotees.

The beautifully ornamental arches and illuminated water jets escort to the richly decorated Rajagopuram (main shrine). The main shrine comprises the stunningly beautiful idols of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. Apart from the main shrine, the temple also comprises four additional shrines dedicated to Sri Krishna Balrama, Sri Nitai Gauranga, Sri Prahlada Narasimha and Sri Srinivasa Govinda respectively. The main hall that embraces the three shrines, including the main one, is a huge hall of 10,000 sq feet. The ceiling of the hall is festooned with remarkable paintings made by the Russian painters.

ArchitectureBuilt in neo-classical style of architecture, the temple bands together conventional architecture with ultra-modern services. The ardent devotees like Madhu Pandit Dasa (President and Project director) and Jagat Chandra Dasa designed the structure of this remarkable shrine, mingling the elements of traditional South-Indian with contemporary style of architecture. The elaborate temple complex is divided into various sections and sub-sections. The splendid structure of the temple is worth-seeing because the celestial grandeur cannot be bounded in words. Lush green gardens in the campus appear mesmerizing to the onlooker. The temple complex also has an open amphitheatre, where various festivals and concerts are observed.

Shata Koti Nama Japa Yajna In 2000, this religious program was started to promote world peace and harmony with an intention to chant 1 Billion holy names of Rama and Krishna. The venue for this ‘Nama Japa’ is ‘Harinama Mandapa’, which can be found ahead of the first temple of Prahlada Narasimha. Here, one can see two sets of 108 granite steps, where the devotee can chant the ‘Hare Krishna Mahamantra’ at each step. Following the chant of ‘Mahamantra’ for 108 times, the devotee can enter the Narsimha Temple.

FOLK Program:
This is an unusual program in which, bachelors between the age group of 19 and 29 can take part. The “Friends of Lord Krishna” (FOLK) has been organized to create an understanding of the Vedic culture among the youth of Bangalore. It is held on Saturdays and Sundays, where classes, discussions and practical sessions on Vedic philosophy and lifestyle are undertaken.

Other Attraction in Bangalore:
Attara Kacheri
Bangalore Aquarium
Bal Bhavan
Bangalore Palace
Cubbon Park
Gandhi Bhavan
Government Museum
Lalbagh Gardens
Nehru Planetarium
Tipu Sultan Fort
Ulsoor Lake
Visvesvaraya Museum

How to reach:
by Air: Bangalore airport is serviced by almost all the domestic airlines as well as a few international airlines. It is well connected with all the major cities of India.
by Rail: Bangalore City Railway Station has direct trains connecting it with all the key cities in the country. It is also serviced by a number of fast trains and daily express trains.
by Road: Bangalore is linked with the other cities through a number of National Highways. One can easily reach Iskcon Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from Bangalore.

Address:
Harikrishna Hill
1st R Block
West of Chord Road
Rajajinagar
Bangalore 560 010
Karnataka
INDIA

Tel: 0091-80-2347-1956

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Dharmaraja Temple, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Deities: Lord Dharmaraja
Location: Nagarath Pet, Bengalore
Best time to visit: September to March.
STD Code: 080

The Garden City of Bangalore which is presently more famous for its development in the IT sector is a favorite tourist destination. There are many places to be visited in Bangalore, but the Temples are its main attractions. For all tourists visiting Bangalore, the Dharmaraja Temple must be included in the list of places to be visited.

Sri Yama is known by various names: Dharmaraja, Yamaraja, Kaalan, Kaala Déva and so on.
The Dharmaraja Temple in Bangalore is located in Nagarath Pet. The Temple has two outstanding images, Sri Dharmaraja Swami, one of the main characters of the Hindu mythology Mahabharata, and the other of Lord Krishna. People to worship Lord Krishna celebrate Kangra festival here. The Karaga that is a symbol of Draupadi (wife of Dharamraja) is kept inside this temple.

A fascinating thing about the procession of Dharmaraja Temple is that, it is compulsory to visit the dargha of the Sufi saint Hazarat Tawakkal Mastan. It is because of this reason that people of sect and religions participate in this procession. It’s a wonderful example of the brotherhood of Hindus and Muslims.

This temple is symbol of the Hindu religion. The temple is known for its colorful sculptures that adorn the walls and roofs of this huge structure on the outside. Inside the temple premise also one can find a large number of stone sculptures and carvings that are true examples of Indian culture. The temple is neat and clean. The images of the deities to whom this temple is dedicated are extremely beautiful.

You can come to the Dharmaraja Temple, Bangalore and offer prayers to the God’s. The priests are helpful and will perform the rituals properly, by chanting sacred hymns. You can also conduct a large number of religious ceremonies inside the temple premises. Thus, you can come to the Dharmaraja Temple, Bangalore with your family and experience spirituality and divinity.

Architecture:
early 7th century), among the earliest examples of their type in southern India, there are here several monolithic temples carved out of the rock, the largest of which is the massive three-storied Dharmaraja-ratha (c. 650). The finest temple at this site and of this period is an elegant complex of three shrines called the Shore Temple (c. 700), not cut out of rock.

The Five Rathas:
The five Rathas include The Dharmaraja, The Bhima, The Arjuna, The Draupadi and The Sahadeva. The Five Rathas, about 200m south of the main hill, were fashioned out of a smaller hill sloping down from the south. From the largest part was made the biggest of the five rathas, the Dharmaraja. Then followed onwards north, in the descending order of height, the Bhima, the Arjuna and the Draupadi.

A little to the west of Draupadi there was a comparatively large rock and out of it the Sahadeva Ratha was made. Immediately in front of the Draupadi again two smaller rocks were sculptured into an elephant and a lion. Behind the Draupadi and the Arjuna, which stand on a common base, there is a Nandi.

Gigantic with respect to all the other rathas found here, the dharmaraja ratha is a chariot of the Lord Shiva. A larger version of the Arjuna ratha, it displays all the aspects of true dravida style. A pyramidal structure with 3 tiers before the shikhara appears, here also called the stupi.

Festival:
A large number of festivals are held in Dharmaraja Temple, Bangalore. The most famous of them is the Karaga Festival. Karaga is the symbol of Draupadi, wife of Dharmaraja in the epic Mahabharata. This festival is celebrated in March and April. Huge processions are held that start from the temple grounds and returns over here. It starts at 2 in the morning and ends at 6 in the morning. The procession of the festival covers a distance of 20-25 kms, People of all religions participate inn the procession. The idol of the deities is taken out in the procession. However, the idols can be carried by the members of the Thegala community only. The music played in the procession is extremely enchanting and mesmerizing.

Other important Attraction in Bangalore:
The Bangalore Palace
Lalbagh
Cubbon Park
Government Museum
The Bull Temple
The Shri Gavi Gangadhareswara Temple

How to reach:
by Air: Bangalore is well connected by air with other cities. There are daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Goa and Thiruvananthapuram and other cities.
by Rail: Bangalore is well connected to the rest of the country both by meter gauge and broad gauge rail services. It is an important railway station on the southern railway network. There are two major railway stations in Bangalore-The Bangalore city railway station and Bangalore cantonment railway station.
by Road: Bangalore is located at the junction of National. Highway 4, 7 and 48 that connects it to all parts of the country with good roads.

Adderess:
D.K. Street
H.K.P. Road
Bangalore 560 051
Landmark: Near Kamakshi Marriage Hall
Karnataka
INDIA

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebid, Karnataka, India

Deities: Lord Shiva
Location: Halebid, Karnataka
Built in: 12th century
Attraction: Exquisite architecture
Best time to visit: November to April
Significance: One of the largest temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in South India
STD Code: 08177

Halebid (16 kms from Belur, 149 kms from Mysore and 31 kms from Hassan), once the capital of the Hoysala rulers is situated on the banks of an artificial lake Dwarasamudra.

The Hoysaleswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has two shrines connected by pillared walls. In each shrine is a Lingam Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleshwara. It was built by Ketumalla, the chief of staff of Vishnuvardhana (the Hoysala king who had commissioned the construction of the Belur Chennakesava temple) during 1121 A.D. In front of the shrines, is a mandapam with a huge Nandi. Behind this is an idol of Surya with his seven horses.

The exterior walls are intricately carved with horizontal friezes depicting stories from the Epics, Mythology, animals and birds such as elephants, lions, horses, makaras, hamsas, creepers, floral designs, etc. At the time of construction, a tough competition held between Hoysaleswara Temple and Chennakesava Temple at Belur.

The Hoysaleswara temple is regarded a masterpiece for the profusion splendid carvings and friezes. The temple walls are studded with richly sculptured friezes of naturalistic and fanciful scenes from the epics of Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Intricate wall panels depicting Lord Shiva in the form of Nataraja and Lord Krishna holding up Mount Govardhan adorn the northern and southern sanctuaries.

There is a Museum managed by Archeology Department of Karnataka. Near the Hoysaleshwara temple are Jain temples dedicated to Parshwanatha Swamy (a 14 feet idol of Tirthankara Parsavanth with a seven hooded cobra over his head), Adinatha Swamy & Shanthinatha Swamy.
Legend:
From records it is known that the temple derives its name from the Hoysala ruler at that time, Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara, though interestingly the construction of the temple was initiated and financed by wealthy Shaiva citizens of the city, prominent among whom were Ketamalla and Kesarasetti. The temple building activity was taken up in competition to the construction of the Chennakesava Temple at Belur, a Vaishnava temple. The temple faces a large tank which was built in the middle of the 11th century and received water through channels from an ancient anecut (dam) built over the Yagachi river. The tank preceded the temple by nearly seventy five years. It is one of the largest temples dedicated to lord Shiva in South India.

Garuda Pillar:
Garuda Stambha (Pillar) is an attention-grabbing structure of Hoysaleswara Temple. Garudas were known to be the selected bodyguards of the kings and queens. They used to live and move with the Royalty with the sole aim to defend their master. At the death of their master, they committed suicide. In the southern side, the pillar demonstrates heroes flanking knives and cutting their own heads. The inscription on the pillar commemorates Kuruva Lakshma (bodyguard of Veera Ballala II).

Sculptures:
The Hoysaleswara temple is most famous for its wall sculptures that run all along the outer wall starting with an image of dancing Ganesha on the left hand side of the south entrance and ending with another image of Ganesha on the right hand side of the north entrance. In all there are 240 such images. Perhaps no other Hoysala temple is as articulate as this is in depicting the sculptures and these sculptures are second to none in all of India. The most intricate of all sculptures are found in the lintels over two of the doorways, one on the south side doorway and the other on one of the eastern doorways.

The superstructure on the shrines is known as ‘Sunakasi‘, which used to be a row of ornamented miniature roofs on top of the attics of the hall, are all gone astray. Even the towers of the shrines are not there. The temple was constructed at a height to grant adequate horizontal and vertical space to illustrate large and small sculptures. The great temple of Halebidu has been described as an outstanding example of Hindu architecture and as the ‘supreme climax of Indian architecture’.

How to reach:
by Air: The nearest airports are Mangalore 148 km and Bangalore 216 km.
by Rail: The nearest railway stations are Hassan 31 km and Banavar 31 km.
by Road: Halebid is connected by road with major cities. One can easily reach Hoysaleswara Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from anywhere in Karnataka.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Banashankari Temple, Karnataka, India

Location: At Cholachigud, Near Badami in Karnataka
Built in: 17th century
Dedicated to: Goddess Banashankari
Significance: Banashankari is the incarnation of Goddess Parvati

Introduction:
The temple was built in 1915 by a devotee, Somanna Shetty who installed a deity of Banashankari Amma brought all the way from Badami in Bijapur district. Banashankari Temple is a popular and highly revered shrine of Karnataka. Located at Cholachigud, Banashankari Temple lies at a distance 50 kms from Badami. The town of Badami is another destination renowned for its ancient cave temples.

About us:
In the main shrine, the image of Banashankari Devi reveals the Goddess in a sitting posture. The Goddess can be seen seated on a growling lion and crushing a demon with her foot. The idol is carved out of a black stone. The Goddess Banashankari is depicted here with eight arms, holding trishul, damaruga, kamaalpatra, ghanta, Veda scripts and khadg-kheta in her different hands. It is believed that the Goddess was the ‘Kuladevi‘ of the Chalukyas.

The term Banashankari is derived from two words; ‘Ban’ (Van) meaning ‘forest’ and ‘Shankari’ meaning ‘the lover of Lord Shiva’.

Banashankari Temple of Karnataka is one of the finest pieces of Dravidian style of architecture. The temple is open to public everyday but special puja is performed on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The ancient temple of Banashankari represents the Dravidian style of architecture. ‘Haridra Tirtha’ is a large pond, which makes the foreground of this temple. This pond is encircled by stone mantapas on its three sides.

Festival:
The temple celebrates three cultural ceremonies in a year: September 13 – the birthday of Banashankari Amma, Dussehra Festival in October and the temple anniversary which falls in the end of December. Large crowd gather at the place during these occasions.

How to reach:
One can easily reach Banashankari Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from anywhere in Karnataka.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Bull Temple, Karnataka, India

Deities: Lord Shiva
Location: In Basavangudi, Bangalore, Karnataka
Built by: Kempe Gowda
Built in: 1537AD
Also known as: Nandi Temple
Attraction: 5 meter tall bull
Best time to visit: December to January

The “Bull Temple” is found in Bangalore the capital of Karnataka. Bangalore is relatively a new city and it dates as recently as 1537 when the Vijaynagar Kingdom made a grant of land to an ally called Kempe Gowda. In the 18th century, Haidar Ali, Tipu Sultan and the Wodiyar dynasty of Mysore strengthened it. The British later enlarged it and shifted the main cantonement from Srirangapattanam to a much higher and healthier Bangalore.

Bull Temple is one of the places to visit in Bangalore. Kempe Gowda made many temples.The height of the idol is approximately 15 ft and it is approximately 20 feet long. The Temple is positioned at the southern end of Bull Temple Road in Bangalore. The term ‘Basavangudi’ is derived from the word ‘Basava’, which means ‘Bull’.

Importance:
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.

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.

Architecture:
The architectural style of the temple rejuvenates the notion of Dravidian architecture. In the vicinity of this temple, there is a shrine of Lord Ganesha by the name of Dodda Ganesha Temple. The unique feature about this shrine is that the huge image of the Lord is made out of 110 kilograms of butter after every four years. It is amazing to know that the butter never melts. After every four years, the butter deity is broken and distributed amongst the devotees.

Festival:
Bull temple is a buzz with great activity during the Shivratri festival.

Local festival Kadalekaye Parishe (Ground nut fair) at the Bull Temple includes a groundnut eating festival. The farmers offer their first harvest collection to Nandi (November-December). The temple is busy always with some ceremony that is on all the time at the temple premises. On weekends, musicians present their concerts at the temple.

How to reach:
One can easily reach Bull Temple by taking local Buses, auto rickshaws or by hiring taxis from Bangalore.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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