Although I have stayed in the city of Bangalore in India for quite some time now, only recently I got a chance to visit one of the oldest temples in the state of Karnataka – the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple. The temple is about 37 miles from Bangalore and is located in Nandi village near Nandi Hills.
The temple was originally constructed during the 9th century AD by Bana Queen Ratnavali and to my surprise, it still carries the same Dravidian style of architecture after so many years.
While the original temple was renovated regularly under different dynasties throughout the centuries, certain architectures and stone carvings remain the same. The roof of the temple was added in the 11th century by the Chola kings and the outer wall and buildings were added by the Vijayanagar kings in the 13th century.
Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple depicts the childhood, youth and final renunciation stages of Lord Shiva through its three temples within the temple complex – the Arunachaleswara, Uma Maheshwara and Bhoga Nandeeshwara.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and it even has a statue of the Chola King Rajendra. For centuries the temple was impregnable until the British stormed it in the October of 1791, and defeated Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore.
Apart from the three smaller temples within the main big temple, another portion of the temple accommodates a large indoor water pool called Sringeri Teertha. The pond has steps leading down to it on all four sides. Sringeri Teertha is held to be the source of the South Pinakini River. Thrice a year, on main Hindu festival days like Deepavali, 100,000 lamps are lit on the rock cut steps of the pond.
There are many festivals held in this temple throughout the year. Newly married couples often visit this temple to take the blessings of Shiva and Parvati as the temple depicts the wedding scenes between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.