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Timings : 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Bull Temple, Bangalore Overview

The Bull Temple, also known as Nandi Temple, is one of the oldest temples in the city of Bengaluru. The temple is popularly called as 'Dodda Basavana Gudi' by the locals and is the biggest temple dedicated to Nandi in the world. Nandi, the bull, is the mount or 'vahana' of Lord Shiva and the guardian deity of Lord Shiva's abode, Kailashagiri; according to Hindu traditions. This temple is every Shiva devotee's must-visit destination because Nandi holds great importance to Lord Shiva.

The architectural style of the Bull Temple is mainly Dravidian and was constructed by Kempe Gowda. It is believed that the origin of the river Vrishabhavati is at the feet of Nandi. The entire sculpture of the bull is carved out of one single granite rock. The statue is 4.5 meters high and 6.5 meters long. Coconut oil, butter and 'benne' are regularly applied to this statue. This had led to the originally grey statue to turn black.

On the premises of the Bull Temple, there is also a beautiful temple of Ganesh, the beloved son of Lord Shiva. An interesting fact about this temple is that the statue of Lord Ganesh is made entirely of butter! It takes about 110 kilos of butter to make this artistic statue, and a new statue is made every four years. What is really astonishing and noteworthy is that in the four-year tenure of each butter sculpture, the butter doesn't melt or change shape even once. The butter that makes the statue of the deity is then distributed to the devotees as prasad.

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History and Legend of Bull Temple

The area in which the Bull temple is constructed was very fertile for growing rice, peanuts and groundnuts. The rich cultivation of these products was the source of living for the many farmers who had fields here. However, during harvesting season, a mighty bull would rampage through the fields and consume the produce of groundnuts. The farmers were terrified of the bull but also tired of the constant damage it was causing.

One evening, all the farmers gathered together to fight the bull when it arrived. A farmer, in his adrenaline rush, hit the bull on the head with a stick. Instead of running or panicking, the bull sat down still and turned into a statue! However, the statue started growing day by day. Intimidated by this, the villagers prayed to Lord Shiva to help them with his. Lord Shiva placed a metal plate on the head of the bull, and since then, the statue stopped growing.

Nandi and Lord Shiva

Nandi is considered a companion and guardian of Lord Shiva. But it is important to know how he acquired this stature.

A very virtuous sage Shilada, who was a doting devotee of Lord Shiva, was troubled because he couldn't conceive a child. Finally, Shilada decided to immerse himself in the prayers of Lord Shiva till the Lord grants him his wish for a child. Pleased by the sage's grit and devotion, Lord Shiva granted him his wish to father a child. The next day, sage Shilada found his beautiful baby boy in the middle of a groundnut field. He named him Nandi and raised his son to be a doted devotee of Lord Shiva. Nandi was always taught to place his faith in the great Lord Shiva.

Once, a few sages visited Shilada's abode and noticed Nandi. The sages regrettably informed Shilada of their vision that Nandi did not have a long time to live. Shilada was utterly disappointed and fell into a pit of depression. At this, young Nandi comforted his father by reminding him that all problems can be solved by placing their faith in Lord Shiva.

Nandi decided to devote his days and nights in the prayer of the lord. Lord Shiva, pleasurably surprised by the young boy's devotion, appeared before his eyes and Nandi was left spellbound. He lost himself in the light of Lord Shiva. In that moment, Nandi realized that he wanted to spend every waking moment of his life by Lord Shiva. When he requested Shiva to grant him this boon, Lord Shiva told him that he had just lost the bull he travelled on, and that Nandi could be his bull. From that moment forward, Nandi was blessed with the face of a bull and the promise of an eternity by the side of Lord Shiva.

Festivals at Bull Temple

Having witnessed the miracle of God, the people in the village were convinced that the statue of Nandi embodies a holy spirit. To honour this sacred spirit, the celebration of 'Kadalekai Parsihe' commenced. Since the legend says that the 'basava, ' i.e. the bull, used to sneak into the fields in the nights to devour all the groundnuts, the farmers of the area offer their first crop of groundnuts to Nandi.

The temple is lit with 100,000 gleaming lamps, and the entire Bull Temple Road is decorated. The road from Bugle Rock to Ramakrishna Mutt hosts the festivities with joy and delight! Vendors plop down on this road to sell groundnuts of various varieties, and everyone is just waiting to grab their first batch of crunchy nuts. The peanuts are boiled, fried, salted, spiced, sugar coated or even honey roasted; any groundnut you have in mind, you will find it here. People travel from the neighbouring states to witness this event.

This festival is celebrated on the last Monday and Tuesday of 'Kaarthik Maas'.You will also find stalls that sell toys made of mud, clay, stones, etc. There are stalls for other street food and small eats. It is an enjoyable time of the year for the locals and has become an integral part of their religious lives.

Bull Temple Timings

The temple remains open every day from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM including public holidays. No entrance fees are charged for devotees who wish to offer prayers to this powerful deity.

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Bull Temple Location

It is located in Kempegowda Nagar. Locate on Google Maps

How To Reach Bull Temple

The closest bus stop to the Bull Temple is named after it; Bull Temple Bus Stop. It is 600 meters away from the temple which is approximately a 7-minute walk.The Bengaluru Railway Station is only 6 km away from the temple and takes about 27 minutes to reach in usual traffic. Taxis and autorickshaws frequently ply from different places in the city to this grand temple.

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Bull Temple Reviews

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harshitha k p

on Bull Temple 4 years ago
One of the most ancient and authentic temples in Bengaluru. Dodda Ganesha Temple situated very near to Big Bull Temple is also a popular tourist attraction. Kadalekai Parishe (annual groundnut fare) (Read More)is held near Bull Temple in Bangalore for 2 days white is quite famous. Along with the groundnuts, one can also find numerous stalls during this time.
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