Strange are the ways of the world. There are some things that I just don’t comprehend. That every Bangalorean has been to or knows about Nandi Hills is a common knowledge. But ask them about Boga Nandeeshwara Temple and they will draw a blank. What’s the connection? Well, the Boga Nandeeshwara temple is situated right under the nose of Nandi Hills. What makes the matter even more intriguing is that this is no ordinary run-of-the-mill temple. This temple was originally built in the 9th Century by Bana Queen Ratnavali. This temple was then expanded and renovated by the dynasties of Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pallavas and finally the Vijayanagaras. This is also quite easily one of the largest temples in and around Bangalore. Despite all this, the Boga Nandeeshwara temple is off the tourist map for reasons unknown. Also the Karnataka tourism boards that usually display even the slightest place of tourism interest have conspicuously missed out on Boga Nandeeshwara temple. That could be one reason why so few people know about (and visit) this temple – which is good in way because this temple so far has been well maintained with sprawling lawns, well-kept structures and even clean bathrooms!
The Boga Nandeeshwara Temple houses three different temples namely, the Arunachaleshwara, Uma Maheshwara and finally the Boga Nandeeshwara temples. They all together represent three stages of Lord Shiva’s life – Arunachaleshwara depicts Shiva’s youthful life, Uma Maheshwara depicts Shiva’s wedding with Parvathi and Yoga Narashimha depicts Shiva’s renunciation stage.
To the trained eye it is easy to make out the architectural styles of Gangas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagaras. The many stone pillars in the temple reminds its devotees of the temples of Hampi – rich in stone artwork. The also houses a Mahanavami Dibba and a stepped tank called Shringi Theertha a lot like the ones we saw in Hampi. The temple also has a few soapstone sculptures which leaves a Hoysala signature in the temple. The highlight of the temple, in my opinion, is however the Shringi Theertha (a stepped tank). This pond is believed to be created by Nandi by plunging its horns into the earth to draw water from holy Ganga. We spent at least an hour in the serenity and peacefulness offered by this magical place (but for the annoying “caretaker” who came asking for money every 10 minutes for no reason, which we obviously didn’t oblige).In the end it was hard to bid goodbye to this temple but then we knew we would come back soon enough.
Getting-there: Cross Devanahalli airport and the take the left which goes to Nandi Hills. This road ends in a T-junction where left goes to Nandi Hills. Take the right here and travel 5 kms.
Must-Do: Check out the Stepped Tank and the stone carvings around the temple.Must-Don’t: Vandalism and Littering.
My Rating: 8/10