Being a long weekend and all, a ride was always on the cards. I had had my eyes on Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple for a while now, thanks to ZenRainman‘s pics on Twitter. I pinged S who had only recently got his RE and was keen on doing a ride. A was a doubtful starter, and pulled out in the morning. I started out from home at 8:30 AM, and S left from his place at the same time. The plan was to meet up near Hebbal opposite the notorious Esteem Mall. I reached there at 9 as there was hardly any traffic on the way. S reached there in a few minutes too! Talk about timing!
We hit the Hyderabad highway and after passing the turnoff for the airport, we reached a Sri Krishna Garden at 9:30 AM. The breakfast was just about decent, and we back on the road by 10 AM. The route was to avoid the Nandi hills turnout, take left on a service road somewhere further up, and then take left onto the road leading to Nandi town. As expected with such turns when on bikes, we missed it and came upon the Chikkaballapur turnoff. We doubled back and got on to the road. Very soon we came across our first sign that we were on the right track. (:P)
Not sure what this place is. The board said it’s a religious place. But a Google search did not reveal anything interesting about it. Either way, we rode along and reached the temple pretty soon.
The very first structure is the main temple complex itself. The rest of the structures are on its left (on your right as you enter). We were greeted by a pillared hall with pillars that looked like they had been plucked out from Hampi. The temple itself is very old, built around 800 AD. Various dynasties and Kings have added their own structures, and you can see a temple evolving across different architectures from different periods.
If this reminds you of Hampi, not too surprising. Those pillars inside with 3 sculptures are also similar.
The main garbagriha and it’s outside are different though, with Shiva sculptures and people looking much older. In fact, the resemblance is more towards the Aihole-Pattadakal kind of art.
There is a Girijamba temple to the back of the Arunachaleshwara and Bhoga nandeeshwara temples.
The art below is similar to Aihole/Pattadakal. This would be from around the 9th Century when the main complex was constructed.
Shiva wedding Sati:
Any google search on this temple would show up an image of its Kalyani. This pond is known as Shringi Teertha, and is said to be the source of the Dakshina Pinakini river (Ponnaiyar). This river flows through Bangalore, into Hosur and empties into the Bay of Bengal in TN. Bellandur lake and Varthur lake lie on its path. No points for guessing what flows in the river as it leaves Bangalore now.
The best part of the Kalyani was the “fish pedicure”. Stand with your feet in the water and enjoy the fish eating away at your dirt.
The work around the pond seems to have aged badly. Many sculptures had their arms or faces gone, looking grave and solemn.
We got back to the main campus and into the main temple. Between the Arunchaleswara and Bhoga nandeeshwara temple, there is a smaller griha for Uma Maheshwara with a Vasantha Mantapa in front of it. This is supposedly a Hoysala contribution, made of soapstone. There wasn’t enough wriggle space to get a full length pic of the pillars. This is the best I could manage.
I tried getting some sections and intricate carvings on them.
There was some contribution from the Cholas too. One of the sculptures is said to be Rajendra Chola. Either way, we were surprised to see a few inscriptions in Tamil. Also the script seems to have aged well. You can make out quite a few letters there.
And of course, there were a lot of sparrows! The distances we have to travel to come across them!!
We left there around 11:45 AM and I was home just after 1. Not a bad ride, eh?