Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple

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After not so long time, I went to visit a temple with friends as part of road trip. Actually the road trip included ride to Nandi hills and later to the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple. Thanks to internet, I got to know about this magnificent temple which made me and also my friends to explore the beauty of this dravidian archietectural style temple.

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Located at a distance of 60 km from Bangalore, the temple is in Nandi village at the base of Nandi Hills (Nandidurga) in  Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state, India. As said by priest of temple, it is more than 10 centuries old and was constructed by Hindu rulers of that region dedicated to lord Shiva.

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BRIEF HISTORY (i): Inscriptions of the Nolamba ruler Nolambadiraja and the Rashtrakuta king Govinda III (A.D. 806) and copper plates of the Bana ruler, Jayateja and Dattiya (A.D. 810) refer to the construction and grants to the Siva temple at Nandi. Nandi formed part of the Bana-Nolamba territory during fourth to tenth centuries A.D. Epigraphs indicate that it was under the rule of chola followed by Hoysala and Vijayanagara. However, the foundation of the present village is attributed to one Baire-Gouda of Avati in the late medieval times. The chieftains of Chikaballapur, Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan held sway over the area. A regiment of the British military was stationed from A.D. 1799 to 1808 between Nandi and Sultanpet.

The Bhoganandisvara temple is architecturally one of the most important specimens of Dravidian order datable to circa ninth to fifteenth century A.D. Enclosed in its own prakara measuring 112.8m x 76.2m with double mahadvara, this complex consists of twin temples dedicated to Siva as Bhoganandisvara (north) and Arunachalesvara (south). Between the two is a small intervening shrine.

Each temple consists of a garbhagriha, a sukanasi and a navaranga. Both sukanasi and navaranga are provided with sculptured jalis. Both temples have individual nandimandapas in front. In between the two shrines is a kalyanamandapa built of black stone intricately carved with creepers and birds, even excelling the meticulously worked Hoysala specimens. The prakara has two Devi shrines and other related structures like vasantamandapa tulabharamandapa and a square stepped tank.

(Source: (i)Archaeological Survey of India, Bengaluru Circle)

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