There are several interesting places in and around Bangalore city, suitable for a weekend roundup. One such place is Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple, an architectural masterpiece located by the foothills of Nandi Hills situated around 55Km from the city centre. The little Nandi village comes 18 Km ahead of Devanahalli (Bangalore International Airport) on the Bangalore-Hyderabad Highway.
As per archaeological survey of India, the original temple dates back to 806-810 AD, built in typical Dravidian style by Bana Queen Ratnavali. It came under the patronage of several dynasties like Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pallavas, Vijayanagara kings and even Tipu Sultan in later stages. The temple has undergone modifications by various rulers , until the region came under British rule in 1799, after the death of Tipu Sultan.
There are two major shrines in the temple complex. The Arunachaleswara temple on southern corner was built by the Gangas of Talakad , ( Read about Talakad here> ) and the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple on the northern side was constructed by the Chola Kings. Sculpture of a king could be found inside the temple complex, believed to be that of Rajendra Chola. Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in various stages of life .
Arunachaleswara shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva in childhood form, Bhoga Nandeeshwara shrine worships Shiva as a youth. There is a smaller Uma-Maheshwara shrine between the above two major shrines, depicting Shiva & Parvati in the occasion of their marriage. This shrine is popular among newly wedded couples who visit here to seek blessings. There is another temple located on the top of Nandi hills where Lord Shiva is represented in his renunciation stage. The temple houses beautiful courtyards supported by highly ornate pillars and decorated with exquisite carvings. The Kalyana Mandapa and Tulabhara Mandapa were the later contributions made by Vijayanagara rulers. A large temple tank called Kalyani or Pushkarni in front of the temple complex was added by King Krishnadeva Raya . There used to be an ancient tradition to worshiping the idols of kings along with the other Gods in temples. This is probably the reason why there is a statue of Rajendra Chola-I inside the sanctum of Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple too. There are Tamil inscriptions around the temple, pointing to the Chola influence in this region. Read about Rajendra Chola and the Great Living Chola Temples here >>
A wooden chariot lies unattended in front of the temple with its massive stone wheels lying loose, half-submerged in soil. Do not forget to go for a casual stroll around the village to enjoy the picturesque scenery . The view of this temple from the top of Nandi Hills is spectacular too.
Not far from the temple, there is a little village known as Muddena Halli, the birthplace of Shri Vishveshwarayya, the legendary engineer and architect of Mysore state. Vishveshwarayya’s ancestral home has been preserved and converted into a museum that exhibits a vast collection of his writings and photographs .
Driving Directions : by NH7(AH-43) : Bangalore- Devanahalli-Nandi Village : 54Km