Walking south through Bengaluru on my first visit to the South Indian city, I cross busy roads, walk through empty lanes, past small parks, and enter Bugle Rock Park. I am getting close to my goal of the walk: the Bull Temple, at the southwest side of the park. There are a few smaller temples, with the colourful sculptures of Hindu deities, and colourful flowers to adorn them, and a little further on, I come to a small open space. A tower with sculpted Hindu deities looms over the trees, I leave my shoes to walk through the entrance. I read about the background of the Dravidian style temple, which is known as Dodda Basavannagudi by the locals. In fact, the entire neighbourhood here is named after the famous bull. It destroyed groundnut crops here, hundreds of years ago, until the angry farmers hit it with a club, after which it sat down and turned into stone.
It continued to grow, and the farmers turned to Lord Shiva for help. A trident was placed in the forehead of the bull, to stop its growth. A temple was built on the spot in honour of the bull. The founder of Bengaluru, Kempe Gowde, then constructed a much bigger temple, which is the one I am in now. There are big signs saying not to take pictures. When I enter the temple, I am received by a caretaker who puts a red dot on my forehead, gives me a flower, and holds a tray in front me, on which I already see a few Indian rupee bills. When I put some money on the tray, he whispers I can take as many pictures as I like. In front of me, I now see a huge bull, a granite monolith, black because of the rubbing with oil and charcoal. The trident is still visible in the bull's head.
A walk around the bull reveals its size, and when I am back at its front, I watch a young lady on the floor, immersed in a lengthy prayer at the feet of the mighty Nandi, adorned with srings of yellow flowers, its neck partly covered in orange cloth. After retrieving my shoes, I walk down to the temple dedicated to Ganesh, and see two massive horns at the side of the lane leading to the Bull Temple. The sun is getting low when I walk around Bugle Rock Park, a lively park where people come to work out, to walk, to enjoy views from some of the rocks, and where couples come to be together in relative privacy. Once, a bugle was used from the top of a rocky outcrop of these old rocks to alert nearby dwellers. There is a neat garden with flowers a little further down, and a water tank with famous figures of Karnataka state adorning the outside.
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Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Bull Temple (India). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Bull Temple. Read more about this site.