June 11, 2012

Someshwara Temple, Bangalore

Site Name: Someshwara Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Ulsoor, Bangalore city, Karnataka state, India
Highlights: One of the oldest and biggest Hindu temples in Bangalore city
Nearest Railway Station: Bangalore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options are available in Bangalore
Restaurants: A lot of good restaurants are located all over the city

Someshwara temple is one of the biggest and oldest Hindu temples in Bangalore city of South India. The temple located in Ulsoor lake was built originally by the Chola kings. The compound wall, magnificent tower (raja gopuram) and the other extensions were done by Kempe Gowda (the founder of Bangalore city) in the 16th century CE. The temple's architecture is basically a mixture of Hoysala, Chola and Vijayanagara styles.

The impressive flagstaff is located in front of the tower on the road. Once you pass through the picturesque temple tower, you can find another flagstaff near bali peeth and a small Nandi idol. There is also a big mandapa (hall) with pillars full of sculptures of Vijayanagara styel and a huge Nandi statue. 

The sanctum sanctorum has Someshwara, the presiding deity in the form of big Shiv Linga. The entrance of the main shrine has a small shrine for Lord Ganesha and a small Nandi idol is found opposite to the main shrine. 

The inner prakara (corridor surrounding the main shrine) has the idols of 63 Nayanmars (devotees of Lord Shiva) and Nalvar (four important devotees). The wall surrounding the shrine has koshta idols of Ganesh, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga. The idols of Navagraha (9 planets), Subramanya with his two consorts and Bhairava are also found in this prakara.

The shrine of Nataraja and Sivakami is located near the sanctum sanctorum.  
The outer prakara has the shrine of the Goddess of the temple - Kamakshi. Also, there is a shrine for another Shiv Linga - Manjunath. A small shrine of Hanuman is also found in the outer prakara. There are many beautiful bas relief images found on the walls in the prakara.

Happy travelling.

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