The year 2017 has begun on a significant note for me. Travelling to Bengaluru to attend the Pravasi Bharathiya Diwas as a delegate, I thought it best to make use of this opportunity to visit local temples steeped in legend and history.
I was so happy to visit some of the temples in Malleswaram, which is one of the traditional areas of the city. My first stop was the Gangamma Temple. What a beautiful place this is! The deity Gangamma dedicated to the River Goddess Ganga is worshipped by the locals. Mother Ganga strikes an emotive chord in the heart of Indians as she blesses this land with her grace. She stands for prosperity and wealth. No wonder we find that she is worshipped in all parts of India by her children. The annual jathra or fair is a big event here where thousands from all over the state come to the temple to offer worship. There is a lovely chariot in which the goddess will be taken in a grand procession during the festival.
You can learn a lot more about Mother Ganga from the detailed articles on my site
Bang opposite the Gangamma Temple is a temple that attracted me with the image of a large Nandi atop the spire of the temple. I went there and was amazed by what I saw. Even more thrilling is the fact that this temple known as Dakshina Mukha Nandi Teertha meaning the South facing Nandi Temple was lost and buried under sand and was a distant memory in the minds of the local people. Then one day in 1997 when someone wanted to sell this plot of sandy land, locals protested saying that a temple had stood there centuries ago. Soon they started digging the land and buried deep under mounds of sand, a beautiful view of the temple emerged. The Archeological Survey of India stepped in and began excavating the place excited that they were going to recreate history. And they were not disappointed. An exquisite temple so grand and unique emerged and they went about piecing together the history of the temple. Using the carbon dating method, the ASI feels the temple is 400 years old. But some say it could be 7000 years old too though there is no evidence apart from hearsay and local legends.
I felt thrilled that I was directly witnessing a unique history as I went inside to see the temple. I have visited so many temples and have always found the Nandi which is the vehicle of Lord Shiva seated right in front of the Lord. Here the Nandi was seated atop a platform and right below is a shiv ling. Water flows out of Nandi’s mouth and falls on the Shivling as if he is continuously doing abhishek on the Lord.
I tried to find out where the water is coming from. That seems to be another mystery of this magnificent temple. No one knows the source of this water body. May be it is a fresh water spring, maybe it is some other divine source. The water is supposed to have medicinal properties. It collects from the shivling into a tank that is right in front of the shrine. Locals call this tank a kalyani.One thing that caught my observation was that the temple is slightly lower than the surrounding areas. Possibly that is why it had remained hidden from public view for so many years. But I marveled at the engineering skills of our great countrymen that inspite of years of neglect the temple remains in a fit condition to host devotees who come to pay obeisance to Nandishwara, the loyal vehicle of the Lord. There are also small idols of Ganesha and the Navagrahas on a raised platform.
I threw some coins into the tank which had a few fish and turtles and slowly wound my way to the exit. I was witness to a unique slice of the past.