Bull Temple



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  Video - In and Around Bull Temple

The famous Bull temple of Bangalore is dedicated to Lord of Nandi Bull, the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva. It is situated in Basavanagudi, this temple has been built in the Dravidian style of architecture.

Significance of the temple
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Kempe Gowda is the founder of Bangalore, who has got the Bull temple built during his time. This temple has been counted amongst the oldest temples of the city and draws devotees from all over the country.

The legend of the temple says that the surrounding area of the temple is known as Sunkenahalli and was cultivated for groundnut. A bull had started grazing in the well-grown groundnut crop, at this a farmer has got furious and hit the bull with a club. Then later the bull immediately sat down becoming motionless and was transformed into a stone.

Bull Temple
Poor farmers were left stunned and felt guilty. For their repentance they decided to build a temple for the bull, to their surprise the bull was growing in height. The worried farmers then prayed to Lord Shiva who advised them to redeem 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. Farmers followed the Lord's advice and the bull stopped growing. Still one can see the trident placed on the bull's forehead.

Since then farmers due to this incident started to offer their first crop of groundnut to the bull. The farmer's hold a Groundnut fair known as Kadalekayi Parishe, near the temple premises every year to show their thankfulness.

Bull Temple
The famous temple is a typical specimen of the Dravidian-style of temple architecture constructed by Kempe Gowda. The temple is nestling in Basavanagudi housing a sacred bull of Lord Shiva, it is believed that the source of the river Vishwa Bharathi originates from the feet of the Nandi. There is a Ganesh temple inside the premises with a large deity all made of 110 kilos of butter. The deity of butter is distributed as a prashada (God's food) every four years.

There is a huge idol of Nandi Bull inside the temple, measuring 4.5 m in height and 6.5 m in length. This idol is said to have been carved out of a single rock. The bull also has a small iron plate on its head. As per the tradition, this plate prevents the bull from growing. Providing a great backdrop to the statue are the idols of God Surya and Goddess Chandra, on their chariots. It is believed that the Vishva Bharti river originates at the feet of this statue.

Nandi the bull of Shiva faces the temple of Lord Shiva haunch at the back with sculptures of God Surya and Goddess Chandra on their chariots drawn by horses. There is a small Lingam shrine bedecked with the exquisite Gopuram. The underground "Sri-Gavi Gandadhareshwara Temple" holds its own charm, every year on 14th January known as Makara Sankranti festival, it is believed that a ray of light passes between the horn of a Nandi outside the temple and lights the idol kept inside. The Bull temple is full of liveliness during the Shivratri festival.

Time to Visit
The temple Timings: Entry to the temple is free and the daily timings are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Other places to Visit

The Nandi temple holds numerous places of tourist interests in and around it. The temple a holy shrine of the Hindu God Shiva atop a hill. The statue of bull is a massive structure of the Holy bull Nandi which is garlanded. Originally the color of the statue was bluish brown but has turned out to be shiny black of late due to application of coconut oil by the devotees. The temple also houses an underground temple named Sri Gavi Gandadheshwara, which is equally fascinating. Near by tourist places to Bull Temple




Nandi Hills
Bull Temple

How to Reach the Temple
  • The temple is easily accessible from Bangalore through local buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis. There are two routes; one is from Subhash Nagar-Majestic bus stand, through Goodshed Road, Chamrajpet, Viswesvarapuram and Basavangudi and the other is through Corporation, Lalbagh, Basavanagudi.

  • Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) runs bus number 36 and all 45 series (45, 45j, 45k etc) to Basavanagudi from Platform numbers 9 and 10 in Majestic Bus stand (Kempe Gowda Bus Station), Subhash Nagar.