Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple

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Timings : 6:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Time Required : Less than 1 hour

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple, Nandi Hills Overview

Nandi Temple or Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple is a beautiful temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated at the base of Nandi Hills and is one of the few antiquated temples in India which is very well preserved. The grandeur and intricately detailed carvings on the temple facade are to be admired. Nandi Temple dates back to the 9th-century and is termed as one of the oldest temples in the state of Karnataka. The temple complex now comes under the management of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and is open to tourists. Tourists can take a stroll in the temple complex and explore the shrines constructed in the Dravidian type of architecture that the temples are built. 

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History of Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple

Nandi Temple is a 9th-century monument dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to the oldest inscriptions, it was built during the Nolamba Dynasty. They were installed by the ruler of Nolamba, Nolambadiraja and Govinda III, the emperor of Rashtrakuta. There are also copper plates of Jayateja and Dattiya, who were the Bana Rulers in early 9th-century. Later on, the temple came under the control of various dynasties that ruled South India after the Nolamba Dynasty; some of them being the Ganga, Chola, Hoysala and the Vijayanagara Dynasties. The rulers of Mysore Kingdom and the Chikaballapura chiefs controlled or ruled the region in the post-medieval era. The British took over the area in 1799 after the death of Tipu Sultan.

Architecture of Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple

The temple complex was built in the 9th-century and is an illustration of Dravidian/ Hoysala type of architecture. The complex has two main shrines, the Arunachaleswara and Bhoga Nandeeshwar. Aunachaleswara was built by the Gangas belonging to Talakad and is situated to the south of the complex, while the Bhoga Nandeeshwar as constructed by the Cholas and is located to the north. Bhoga Nandeeshwar shrine has a sculpture which is believed to be built in the honour of the Chola King, King Rajendra. There is another small shrine dedicated to Uma-Maheshwara. This shrine has a kalyan mantapa, or a marriage alter which is supported by intricately carved black stone pillars. These pillars have reliefs that depict mythological stories about Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, the Fire God, Lord Bhrahma adorned with other images in bas-relief.

The shrines have pilasters on the outer walls, and the stone windows are decorated with Hindu deities. The two major/ main shrines have a sanctum, a mantapa, a sukanasi, shikharas, a large lingam and a pavilion each with a sculpture of Nandi facing in the direction of the shrines. A granite pillared hall lies in between the two major shrines. The pillars possess relief structures of maidens attending the Gods and the Goddesses. It is believed that the Arunachaleswara temple represents the childhood stage of Lord Shiva while the Bhoga Nandeeswara shrine represents the youth of Lord Shiva.

The third shrine, Uma-Maheshwara shrine, represents the third stage - the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. There are also two smaller shrines devoted to Devi who is considered as the female form of divinity. There is also a temple tank situated at the north of the temple complex in a compound. This side of the temple complex also has a mantapa that is supported with pillars. The tank has descending steps and is also called the Pushkarni or the Kalyani or the Sringeri Teertha. The tank is decorated with lamps during festival seasons as it is believed that the tank is a source of River Pinakini.

Best Time To Visit Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple

The best time to visit the opulent temple is between October and February as the weather stays pleasant throughout the day making it a pleasurable experience to explore the temple complex. A visit to the temple is a must especially during the occasion of Maha Shivratri that is either celebrated in February or March as per the English calendar.

How To Reach Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple

Nandi temple is easily accessible from any part of Nandi Village by public transport.
The closest railway station is the Chikaballapur Railway Station which is about 7 kilometres away from the temple complex. Tourists can easily hail public transport to reach the site.

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