Bangalore, the IT hub of India is also a city where modern day technology exists in harmony with age-old beliefs that define our culture. The city of Bangalore is home to almost a thousand temples, big and small, with some dating back to the 9th century. A crowd puller for its several tourist attractions, Bangalore sees a large influx of tourists who flock to the city for a religious trip to the ancient temples in Bangalore. So, in modern day parlance, cleanse your soul with a visit to these temples like you would clean the viruses from your laptop.
Located near the Airport is Bangalore’s oldest temple, which was built by the Cholas in the 10th century, and reflects the grandeur of that era in its magnificent facade. You can always stop over at the temple on the way to your hotel in Bangalore from the airport. The temple pays homage to Lord Vishnu and depicts his Dashavtars, or ten incarnations, on its pillars. Lord Vishnu is also referred to as Chokka Perumal or Chokkanathaswamy at this temple. Inscriptions in Tamil adorn the walls, while the pillars are decorated with sculptures showing the local traditions and dance forms.
Dodda Ganesha Temple
An eighteen feet high monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha is what makes this temple one of the most popular Ganesh temples in Bangalore. The statue of Lord Ganesha in his Benne Alankara avatar is bathed in almost hundred kilos pure butter on several important religious occasions. Also known as Shakthi Ganapathi or the Satya Ganapathi temple by the locals, it sees hundreds of devotees at its doorstep every day. Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore, made this temple and is believed to have stumbled upon a rock with an image of Lord Ganesha etched in it. He then asked the sculptors to replicate the same in the temple idols.
Dodda Basavana Gudi (The Bull Temple)
Dodda Basavana Gudi shares the campus with Dodda Ganesha Temple and is equally popular among the devotees. It was built in 1537 by the former ruler of Vijayanagara Dynasty. Holding the honor of being the biggest Nandi temple of the world, it has a majestic fifteen feet tall statue of Nandi, the bull, carved out of a single granite rock. The temple also pays homage to Lord Shiva along with his mount, the Demi-God Nandi. Right behind the Nandi statue are the statues of Lord Surya, the Sun God, and Lord Chandra, the Moon God.
Shivoham Shiva Temple
Shivoham Shiva Temple in Bangalore is a relatively new addition to the city. Constructed in 1995, the elaborate architecture of this temple matches that of ancient temples in the city. Located on the Airport Road, the temple with its sixty-five feet tall statue of Lord Shiva is your first encounter with the religious heritage of the city. The statue looms large against the backdrop of Mount Kailash and the sacred river Ganges, which is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva. As many as four lakh devotees come to the temple on the festive occasions of Maha Shivratri and Ganesha Chaturthi. A thirty-two feet tall idol of Lord Ganesha is present in the premises. People visit the temple during the ritual hours when the sacred twenty-five feet Shiva Linga is bathed in milk by the priests. Monday, which is considered to be an auspicious day to pray to Lord Shiva, also sees a heavy footfall in the temple with devotees spellbound to Shiva Aartis.
Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple is another Shiva temple in Bangalore, built by the founder of Bangalore. What makes this temple unique is the fact that it is a rock-cut cave temple dating back to the ninth century. This temple is not only a place of worship but also holds importance in the history of the city. The stone discs present in the compound are major highlights of this temple.
This popular temple in Bangalore is preferred as one of the temples for marriage in Bangalore, because of the charm and character it exudes. The idols of Radha and Lord Krishna grace this temple with their ethereal beauty, which is enhanced at night when the moonlight falls on it. Along with the idols of Sri Sri Radha Krishnachandra, the temple is also the sanctum sanctorum for Sri Nitai Gauranga, Sri Prahlada Narasimha, Sri Krishna Balarama, and Sri Srinivasa Govinda deities.