From The Historical To The Modern: The Must Visit Temples Of Bangalore

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    Over the years, Bengaluru has earned many titles — from being crowned the IT capital of the country to being called the Pub City. Rarely has it been recognised as a historical centre, though. Many (Bangaloreans included) believe that the city is devoid of history and breathtaking architecture. Well, one look at the city’s many temples and we assure you, you’ll be eating humble pie. Decked up with inscriptions and sculptures (from even as early as the 10th century), the temples tell the story of successive kingdoms. There are also modern contributions that are reflective of the modern city we have become. LBB takes you on a temple run around the city!

    Bull Temple

    Bull Temple

    Basavanagudi, Bangalore

    A regular feature on travel brochures, Dodda Basavana Gudi is part of Basavanagudi’s Bugle Rock Park. It was built in 1573 by the city’s founder — Kempegowda. The star attraction here is the large monolith carving of Nandi, the bull demi-god. Equally visited is the Dodda Ganeshana Gudi, that’s a short walk away. Here devotees flock to seek the blessings of a monolith Ganesha. The famous kadalekai parishe (groundnut mela) that happens at the end of the year is held here. After you drop by the temple, don’t forget to tour Bugle Park itself. The rock formations here are believed to more than 3 millions years old! Finally, no trip to Bugle Rock is complete without chowing down a meal at Kamat Bugle Rock, located in the vicinity of the temple. 

    Temple Timings: 5:45am - 8pm

    Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple

    Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Swamy Temple

    Kempegowda Nagar, Bangalore

    A 16th-century structure, the famed Gavi Gangadhareshwara is a favourite amongst architecture lovers. Housed in a natural cave, Lord Shiva reigns here. The courtyard of the age-old temple is dotted with monolithic sculptures. You can also gape at tall pillars that are topped by renditions of the sun and the moon. The temple has been built in a way that ensures the rays of the sun pass through the horns of the Nandi and fall on the lingam on Makara Sankranthi.

    Temple Timings: 6am - 12:30pm; 5pm - 8pm

    ISKCON

    ISKCON

    rajaji nagar, Bangalore

    One of the more modern religious structures, ISKCON’s gopuram features blue glass and intricate, traditional carvings. Dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha, this is one of the largest ISKCON temple complexes in the world. Inside, you can walk by a lake and marvel at a gold-plated flag post. By the way, their prasadam (sacred offerings) is said to be one of the yummiest in the city. #justsaying

    Temple Timings: 9:30am - 12:30pm; 4pm - 8pm (prayer timings)

    Pro Tip: After a wholesome interaction with yourself and the almighty, you could satiate your hunger by having a delightful Sattvic spread at this restaurant, located within the temple premises. 

    Shiva Temple

    Shivoham Shiva Temple

    Old Airport Road, Bangalore

    This one is impossible to miss! Located on Old Airport Road, you’ll be welcomed into the temple by a 65-foot statue of Lord Shiva. He sits in the lotus position on a tiger skin and serenely gazes at you. Around him, the icy (recreated) mountains of Kailash stand. And in front, devotees walk by in reverence. The best time to visit this temple is during the festival of Mahashivaratri.

    Temple Timings: open 24 hours

    Sree Chokkanathaswamy Temple

    Travel back in time to the 10th century, as you step into the Chokkanathaswamy Temple in Domlur. While it has been renovated through the centuries, the inner sanctum and a couple of ardhamantapas (hallways) stand intact. You can spend time gazing at the walls that have been inscribed in Tamil and also the sculptures.

    Temple Timings: 6am - 11am: 5:45pm - 8:30pm

    Sri Someshwara Temple, Halasuru

    Sri Someshwara Temple

    Ulsoor, Bangalore

    Another old temple, the Sri Someshwara Temple in Halasuru dates back to the Chola period too. It was, however, extensively renovated during the days of the Vijayanagar Empire. A colourful gopuram greets you at the entrance. And inside, you’ll encounter intricately done pillars. There are also sculptures that you should watch out for; like the one that depicts Lord Shiva’s and Parvati’s wedding. And the one where Goddess Durga conquers Mahishasura. 

    Temple Timings: 6am - 12:30pm; 5:30pm - 9pm

    Shrungagiri Sri Shanmukhaswamy Temple

    Shrungagiri Shanmukha Temple

    RajaRajeshwari Nagar, Bangalore

    Sitting atop a hillock, this temple makes for an impressive sight thanks to its unique gopuram. Dedicated to Lord Shanmukh (meaning, six faces), the massive gopuram features the six faces of the Lord on each side. The Temple Tower too, dazzles with thousands of LED and laser lights besides being fitted with a Sun Tracking System that ensures the deity is bathed in sunlight through the day.

    Temple Timings: 7am - 12:30pm; 4:30pm - 9pm

    Shree Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple

    Hop over to Nandi Hills to be floored by the architectural splendour of this temple, first built in the 9th century. Said to be one of the oldest in Karnataka, the temple was modified over time by the Ganga dynasty, the Cholas, the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara Empire. Eminently as a result of these modifications, you can observe different architectural influences that these empires brought to the temple. In the South, there is the Arunachaleswara shrine that was erected by the Ganga dynasty. On the other end, is the Bhoga Nandeeshwara shrine that includes a king’s sculpture, believed to be of king Rajendra Chola. The Uma Maheshwara Shrine, perched in the middle, is built entirely of black stone and showcases the intricate stonework of the Hoysalas. The yali (a mythical creature) pillars that can be found around the temple complex having been contributed by the Vijayanagar Empire.

    Temple Timings: 7:30am - 7pm

    Venugopalaswamy Temple

    Venugopalaswamy Temple

    Devanahalli, Bangalore

    An exploration of the Devanahalli Fort, on the outskirts of the city, will bring you face to face with Venugopalaswamy Temple. Though on a smaller scale, the architecture and the frescoes of the temple reflect the aesthetic of Belur and Halebidu. Pay close attention to the walls of the temple that depict scenes from the Ramayana and also Lord Krishna’s infancy. The Dravidian style vimana (that’s right above the sanctum sanctorum) is also another highlight.

    Temple Timings: 8am - 11am; 6pm - 8pm

    Pro Tip: Now if you do happen to be in Devanahalli, visit the fort without fail. 

    Shree Sugreeva Venkataramana Swami Temple

    Tucked into the busy streets of Balepet, this little-known temple honours Sugreeva, the king of monkeys. He is represented by a daunting, six-foot tall statue at the temple. On the opposite side, there is another temple that is dedicated to the Lord Venkateshwara. While not overtly ornate, the temple’s fading carvings and sculptures will surely impress you.

    Temple Timings: 6am - 8:30am; 3pm - 8:30pm

    Pro Tip: If you happen to be in Chickpete, here are a set of things you could do, or buy (wink wink) after your interaction with the almighty. 

    Sri Dharmaraya Swamy Temple

    Dharmaraya Swamy Temple

    Whitefield, Bangalore

    One of the rare temples to be dedicated to the Pandavas, the Dharmaraya Swamy Temple is known as to be around 800 years old. A colourful gopuram invites you in. And inside, you can discover the architectural touches left by the Gangas and Pallava dynasties along with the Vijaynagara Empire. The temple, that stands in the pete area, is said to have been a favourite with Kempe Gowda. These days, the temple is famous for its annual karaga festival that honours Draupadi. Spread across eleven days, the highlight of the festival is the colourful procession (karaga) that happens on the ninth day.  

    Temple Timings: 6:30am - 9:30am; 5:30pm - 9:30pm

    Kadu Malleshwara Temple

    Kadu Malleshwara is believed to have been built by Venkoji, the brother of Shivaji. At the time, it was said to be built in the midst of a thick forest and hence the name kadu (which means forest) malleshwara. Today, the temple is known as Kadu Mallikarjunaswamy and stands amidst the bustling streets of Malleswaram. It showcases the Dravidian style of architecture and is popular among Shiva devotees. Once you are done here, walk over to the Dakshinamukha Nandi Teertha Kalyani Kshetra. Dedicated to Nandi, it said to be over 400 years old.

    Temple Timings: 7am - 12pm; 6pm - 9pm

    Sri Gali Anjaneyaswamy Temple

    A huge gopuram flanked by busy streets, there is more than energy surrounding this place. Make your way to the sanctum sanctorium and offer your blessings to Lord Hanuman. The statue of Lord Hanuman is said to be one of 732 idols installed by Sri Vyasa Raja. Here, you will always find a long line of devotees wanting to catch a glimpse of the lord's idol with the bell tied to its tail. It is widely believed that the sacred thread given as prasadam wards off evil and obstacles in one's life. More than 600 years old, we recommend a visit to this temple. 

    Temple Timings: 7:30am - 8:30pm