Bull Temple - worship of the sacred bull at the Nandi Temple

Published: 10th June 2011
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The grand metropolis of Bangalore is the capital of the state of Karnataka in the south west of India. The city holds years of history and is home to a host of locations of cultural and religious value. The Bull Temple is one such holy site, which was built in 1537 under the Vijayanagara Empire.

The temple holds architectural detail of the Vijayanagara Era and is christened after the granite monument of a bull that is placed on a pedestal found within the temple grounds. Years of being rubbed with oil and charcoal, the monolith has blackened but is still honoured with the same spirit and esteem that prevails among devotees. The figure of the bull, known among the locals as Nandi, is carved out of a single boulder, and stands as a great artistic masterpiece.

The temple is detailed with a porch, made in the typical Vijayanagara style and now has also a tower that was constructed in the 20th century. Figures and motifs of deities adorn the temple premises and assure a great masterpiece of Indian style and architecture.

Although non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple, there are still various ceremonies and events that are held with great festivity The Bull Temple is dedicated to the steed of Lord Shiva, Nandi the bull. A shrine is placed in the temple, carefully depicting architecture in the Lingam style.

The legend behind the construction of the temple goes back to a day in the yesteryear where a group of farmers that harvested groundnuts hit a grazing bull with a club to prevent it from destroying a well grown crop. The bull had suddenly transformed into stone leaving the farmers stunned. They had then built a temple for the bull in apology for the act they had performed. Another surprise came their way, as the stone bull started gradually growing taller. Praying to Lord Shiva, asking for advice, it was suggested that they place a trident on its forehead. The bull had then stopped growing and the grateful farmers offered their first crop of the season to the bull temple. The story is merely a legend, although however, there is a trident that is placed on the monument.

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