Bull Temple Bangalore – Every time I heard the name “Bull Temple Road,” I wondered how this got its fancy name. I never thought about its literal translation into Kannada. So it’s “Bull means Basava” and “Temple means Gudi” – Means Basavana Gudi. It’s a famous and old area in Bangalore.
Located in South Bangalore (Karnataka), Bull Temple or commonly known as “Dodda Basavana Gudi,” is one of the oldest temples in Bangalore. The temple is dedicated to Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva, as per Hindu mythology.
Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore, built this Bull temple and installed the Nandi statue. Today, it is situated in Basavanagudi, inside a lush green park of Bangalore called “Bugle Rock.” Temple was then built in the Dravidian architectural style. Also, it is said that the origin of the Vrishabhavati River is at the feet of Nandi here.
Sacred Nandi Statue at Bull Temple Bangalore
As per Hindu mythology, Nandi is considered the sacred bull and the Vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva in Kailasha. The Nandi statue here is one of the most giant Nandi statues in the world. And it is a monolithic statue – carved from a single big grey stone. It measures 4.5 meters (14.8 feet) high and 6 meters (19.7 feet) long. And this single grey granite carved statue attracts even foreign tourists due to its beautiful craftsmanship.
During puja customs, coconut oil, butter & benne is applied to the Nandi idol daily. This is why the Nandi statue, which was initially grey colour is turned Black.
The Legend Behind Bull Temple & the Nandi Statue
This temple is on a fertile land famous for growing rice, peanuts, & ground nuts (Kadalekai in Kannada). And when the farmers had to harvest their crops, the Bull would destroy them. Seeing this, the people were worried and decided to fight back the Bull to avoid crop damage. And this crop was the primary living source for the people there then.
They decided to fight the Bull one evening when it arrived in the fields. A farmer hit the Bull with a stick on its head in a rush. People were scared of how fiercely the Bull would react after that, but instead, the Bull sat down silently. And immediately, it turned into a stone or a statue. Not just that, the statue kept on growing day by day.
The scared villagers prayed to the Lord Shiva to save them from this. Lord Shiva then placed a metal plate over the Bull’s head, which then stopped growing further. After watching this miracle, people started believing that the Bull manifested a holy spirit & started worshiping it.
The Famous Festival – Kadalekai Parishe in Bangalore
To mark this day, people in Basavanagudi started celebrating it as a festival & named it “Kadalekai Parishe or Groundnut Festival.” Even today, Bangalore celebrates Kadalekai Parishe every year. They offer their first crop of Kadalekai/Groundnut to the Bull as a sign of their belief. Localites say that, this Kadalekai Parishe started back in 1537 AD.
It’s now celebrated as an annual festival in Bangalore. It is held on the last Monday of Karthika masa (month as per the Hindu calendar), the 3rd week of November every year, around the 20th to 23rd November. This takes place around the temple area in Basavanagudi. Bull temple and the Nandi statue get illuminated for the festival, with nearly 1,00,000 lamps.
The complete Bull Temple road will be decorated, and all the cultivators from nearby villages install their groundnut stalls during this Kadalekai Parishe. Just think of any variety of Kadalekai; you will find it here. During the festival, one can find different varieties of snacks and savories made from groundnut, like fried, baked, boiled, roasted, salted, spiced, chocolate coated, sugar-coated, and many more. Not just the people of Karnataka but also the surrounding states’ people attend the Kadalekai Festival every year.
Bull Temple Timings & Entry Fees
- The Bull Temple is open throughout the week. It opens at 6 Am and stays till 12 Pm. Again in the afternoon, it is available from 5.30 Pm to 9 Pm.
- There is no entry fee to the Bull Temple. Visitors are allowed to visit for free.
- Photography is allowed in the temple premises (outside), but prohibited inside the temple.
The Nandi statue at the Bull Temple Bangalore is a religious symbol and remarkable art and craftsmanship. Its colossal size and historical significance make it a significant landmark in Bangalore, attracting tourists and devotees from far and wide.