Bull Temple in Bangalore
Bull Temple in Basavangudi, Bangalore Dist, Karnataka has a mammoth monolithic bull called Nandi which is 4.5 m high and 6.5 m long, carved out of a single boulder. Bull Temple was constructed in 16th century and is dedicated to a sacred bull - Nandi.
The temple is a typical specimen of the Dravidian-style of temple architecture constructed by Kempe Gowda. Kallekai parse an annual festival is celebrated at the time of harvesting of peanuts during the month of Nov-Dec, thousands of visitors throng the city to participate in the festival from all over the state.
Nandi the bull of Shiva faces the temple of Lord Shiva haunch at the back with sculptures of God Surya and Goddess Candra on their chariots drawn by horses. There is a small Lingam shrine bedecked with the exquisite Gopuram. The underground Sri Gavi Gandadhareshwara Temple holds its own charm, every year on 14th January known as Makara Sankranti festival, it is believed that a ray of light passes between the horn of a Nandi outside the temple and lights the idol kept inside. The Bull temple is full of liveliness during the Shivratri festival.
Non Hindus are not allowed in the temple. There are continuos festive celebrations throughout the year assisted by the musical programs held in the temple premises. Entry to the temple is free and the daily timings are from 6a.m. to 8 p.m.
The legend says that the surrounding area of the temple, known as Sunkenahalli was cultivated for groundnut. A bull started grazing in the well-grown groundnut crop, at this, a farmer got furious and hit the bull with a club. Immediately the bull sat down becoming motionless and was transformed into a stone. Poor farmers were left stun and felt guilty. For their repentance they decided to build a temple for the bull, to their surprise the bull was growing in height. The worried farmer then prayed to Lord Shiva who advised them to redeem a trident buried a few feet away from the bull and place the trident on the forehead of the stone statue to stop it from growing. Farmers followed the Lord's advice and the bull stopped growing. Still one can see the trident place on bull's forehead. Since then farmers offer their first crop of groundnut to the bull. The farmer's hold a Groundnut fair known as Kadalekayi Parishe, near the temple premises every year, to show their thankfulness. It is one of the worth visiting places in Bangalore.