The Garden City, the capital of Karnataka State was so beautiful at the wee hours of the cold morning with haze covering the rays of the sun. The Basavanna temple, which is also called Bull temple to receive the blessings of Lord Siva at the backdrop of this misty atmosphere. Let us enter the glorious shrine.
We can reach the temple after half an hour journey from Bangalore Majestic. On the way, we see the mutts of Sharda Devi and Sri Ramarishna. Before entering Basavanna temple, we can go to the Thotta Ganapathy temple. The size of the statue is beyond anybodyâ€™s imagination. Near the Ganapathy statue, we see the statue of Hanuman in a reclining posture. Anjaneya has been portrayed with folded hands, his eyes fixed on Ganapathy. They say the Anjenaya is very powerful. The temple has been built around 400 years ago during the time of Kempa Gowda. The statue of Ganesa was a swayambu and that it kept growing for years till it reached the present size, it is said. The monolithic statue measures 14 ft. in height and 16 ft. in length! On the days of special puja and Vinayaka chaturti, 20 litres of milk is offered for abhishek. More than 100 kg of butter is also applied as special offering. This butter is distributed as prasadam to devotees.
History of the temple:
Basavanna temple is a temple for Nandidevar, the mount of Lord Siva. Basavan means bull in Kannada language. Thereâ€™s a story going around about this temple. A farmer had cultivated peanuts in his field. When the time for harvest was approaching, he found the crop damaged. He wanted to find out the culprit. When he hid himself and watched, he saw a bull grazing the crop. When the angered farmer hit the bull with his stick, the bull turned into stone! They say there are evidences to substantiate this incident. Basavanna temple was built for this bull. The end of November and the beginning of December months are being observed as special times because it is the time for peanut harvest. Farmers offer peanuts after harvesting as nivedhana to Basavanna. This is celebrated as a grand festival. The belief is that the produce will multiply if peanuts, fresh from the first harvest are offered to Basavanna.
The temple is situated on a rocky place. At the entrance, we see two horns, made of cement. The kodimaram in front of the temple is unique. On the rock platform that encircles the arasamaram at the left side of the temple, small status of snakes attract our attention. The five-stage tower has been built as per the Dravidian architecture. The temple has been built by Kempa Gowda who ruled during the 18th century. As we enter the temple, we are struck by the beauty and size of the Nandikeswara statue. The statue has been made out of a single rock. It measures 4.5 mt in height with a width of 6 mt. Thereâ€™s an iron rod supporting the face of Nandikeswara. Devotees say that this statue keeps growing! It is said that the color of the statue was white in the beginning. In course of time, it has turned black due to the application of coconut oil on its body by the devotees. In front of Nandikeswara, thereâ€™s a small statue of Vinayaka. As we go around Nandikeswara, we see a small sized lingam at the back. Nandikeswara is installed facing the entrance, a feature different from the usual position. We pray to Basavanna for the welfare of all and come out of the temple with hearts filled with devotion and peace.
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