Bhoganandishwara Temple

Situated quite close to Bangalore, near Nandi hills, this ancient temple is a less known, but nonetheless a very picturesque and peaceful historical monument. After having learnt of this place, a visit was on the cards. Me, my wife and a couple of my friends made plans to visit this place on a Sunday. We started after having an early breakfast, at 8:00 am and reached the place by 9:30 am. The small quaint village – Nandi grama - seemed to be waking up rather late on a lazy Sunday morning. The temple itself was open and we spent a good two hours exploring it.

Coming to some historical snippets regarding this temple (sourced from info got at the temple and from here): It supposedly has tell-tale signs of architectural styles from 5 different dynasties. Believed to have been built almost a thousand years ago, it seems to have got modified and developed by successive dynasties over the period of time. The temple has three sub-temples (garbha gudis) – Arunachaleshwara (childhood form of Lord Shiva), Bhoga Nandishwara (youth form of Shiva) and Uma Maheshwara (Goddess Parvathi and Lord Shiva). The other salient structures in this temple complex are the marriage hall, with stone pillars having celebratory carvings and the large kalyani (water pond). The stone shelters supported by symmetric pillars offer a tranquil, cool place where one can sit endlessly. Not being a widely known place, it is not too crowded even during the weekends (of course, being there early definitely helps). For me, this is exactly the kind religious place I’d love to visit, having a peaceful, calm atmosphere.

Below are a few more details of the place:

Near Nandi Hills, Off NH-7 – http://goo.gl/maps/FBxY1
As one would do while going to Nandi hills, take a left off of NH-7, drive till hit a ‘T’-junction. Taking a left here would get you to Nandi hills. But one needs to take a right turn here. The temple is situated about 3 kms from this turn.
Any time of the year should be fine. There might be festivities during festivals and some marriage ceremonies too every now and then. This just adds to the flavour of the place. Depending on your preferences (for weather, amount of crowd, etc) pick a time of the year and time of a day. Its perfect for a day-outing – you can cover Nandi hills and surrounding areas too.
Not much options to eat around the temple. Nandi hills has some options though. Plan ahead and carry food if needed.
The temple and surroundings offer plenty of photo-ops. I’d suggest to carry¬† a wide (18mm or less), a prime (50mm is a fit anywhere!) and a tele (lots of birds in and around the temple, if you are interested). However, depending on your luck, you may or may not be allowed to photograph within the temple premises. I had seen many people who had posted photos from within the temple. But sadly, we were not allowed to photograph on the day we visited.

 

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