Nandi Hills is a popular tourist spot located about 60 kilometres to the north of Bangalore, past the turn off to the Airport. As the name suggests, it is popular for its views over the countryside and to view the sunrise / sunset.
I had been there a weekend in June and on the way back, a few of the group members suggested that we visit a nearby temple. I had been to Nandi Hills before but had never even heard of this temple, so I was keen to see it.
And what a sight it was! The Bhoganadishwara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered to be one of the oldest existing temples in Karnataka, dating to the 9th century AD. It is situated within a large, well maintained enclosure with lush lawns and huge trees providing a nice green cover. It is a good walk beneath the trees to the main entrance.
As one nears the entrance, one can see a large raised platform to the right. This is the Mahanavami Dibba, which, as the name suggests, was a royal enclosure to view the Navaratri celebrations from. To the left of the main entrance is a large, wooden chariot.
The temple complex itself is large, with multiple enclosures. There are some exquisite carvings in black stone in the main enclosure.
One of the noteworthy elements of the temple is the beautiful, stepped water tank within the temple itself. A covered walkway surrounds the water tank on all four sides, topped by perfectly shaped small towers. It makes for a beautiful spot to rest for a while.
I am sorry to say that, even after many years of staying in Bangalore, I had never even heard of this place, let alone visit it. I hope more people visit this place – it is a stunning example of the traditional architectural heritage around us.
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