October 24, 2014

Begur Panchalingeshwara Temple

Site Name: Panchalingeshwara Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva
Location:  Begur, Bangalore, Karnataka state, India
Highlights: One of the oldest temples of Bangalore; Five Shiva Lingas in a single temple
Nearest Railway Station: Bangalore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options including luxurious and budget hotels all over the city
Restaurants: A lot of options across the entire city

Bangalore, officially known as Bengaluru, is the capital city of Karnataka state of India. It is called as the 'Silicon Valley of India' as all IT majors have presence in the city. Bangalore is known for its pleasant climate has a lot of tourist attractions which include parks, gardens, temples, etc. Pancha Lingeshwara temple is one of the important and the oldest temples of Bangalore city. Let us explore this temple in this article.

Pancha Lingeshwara temple is located in Begur area in Bangalore. There are 3-4 Begur areas in Bangalore. It is the Begur near Bannerghatta Road. The temple is located near the Begur Lake.

  • God - Nageshwara, Kamateshwara, Nagareshwara, Karneshwara and Choleshwara (Five Lingas - Pancha Linga)
  • Goddess - Parvati
  • Sthala Vruksha (holy tree) - Bilva
  • Built in the 9th century CE
  • The oldest mention of the word "Bengaluru" is found in an inscription in this temple (dated 890 CE)
  • Five Shiva Lingas in one temple
  • One of the oldest Ganesha idols in South India is found here
  • Surya (the Sun God) is found facing the main deity which is very rare
  • The temple is considered as a Bhaskara (Sun) Kshetra
  • Built by the Western Ganga Kings and Chola Kings


The temple complex has five main shrines. The Nagareshwara and Nageshwara Swamy templew were built during the reign of the Western Ganga Kings Nitimarga I and Ereyappa Nitimarga II in the 8th century CE. The remaining shrines were constructed by the Chola kings. The tower was constructed recently (21st century CE). One more tower is being constructed at the time of writing this article (2014 CE).


As per the legend a saint blessed a poor Brahmin with divine water which could turn anything it came in contact into gold. He also warned the person not to reveal this secret to anyone. One night, the poor stayed in a sugar cane storehouse. By mistake, a little bit of holy water he was carrying with him fell down and turned all the sugar cane into gold. The news reached to the Chola King Kulotunga II. He suspected that the person had some magical powers to turn the things into gold. The poor did not reveal anything. The king arrested him and ultimately he died in the prison. Thus, the King got the Brahma Hatya dosha. He built a lot of temples including few shrines in this complex to get rid of
his sin. He got salvation after he built Tiruvidai Marudur temple.

As per another legend, the original temple was built by Bodayana Rishi and his disciples several years before it was rebuilt by the Ganga Kings.

Ravana, the villain in Ramayana epic, lost his atma Linga in Gokarna. Before leaving to Sri Lanka, he spent his night in this temple.

Temple Layout:

The temple complex has two entrances. The tower is being constructed currently in the east facing entrance. The south facing entrance has a tower which was built in the recent times.

Nageshwara Shrine:

Nageshwara temple is the main temple in this complex. The main deity is Nageshwara Swami in the form of Shiva Linga along with his consort Parvati. 

The temple enshrines the idols of Ganesha, Bhairava, Vishnu, Surya, Chandra, Sapta Matas, Kasi Vishwanatha, Subramanya in the serpent form  and Chamundeshwari. The ceiling has the carvings of Uma Maheshwara and Ashta Dik Palas along with the colorfully drawn Yantra.

There is a shrine dedicated to the utsava metal idols.

Nandi is found facing towards the main deity.

The Goddess of the temple is Parvati aka Dakshina Kali. She is found in a separate shrine. At the entrance of the shrine, the Ganesha idol which is found with just two arms is believed to be one of the oldest idols of Ganesha in South India.

The Nagagraha shrine is found near the shrine of Parvati.

Choleshwara Shrine:

Choleshwara Linga is found below the carving of Uma Maheshwara. Apart from Nandi facing towards the Linga, there is no other idol in this shrine.

Kali Kamateshwara Shrine:

The idol of the Goddess Kali in a separate shrine resembles Kollur Mookambika. At her feet, there is an idol of Shiva Linga with the head depicted as Ishwara). He is called as Kamateshwara Linga. Nandi is found facing the Goddess. 

The Vrushabha Stambha (granite pillar) is found in front of the shrine. It has the carving of Vrushabha (the complete bull). 

This temple appears to have been built by the Gangas but was later renovated by the Vijayanagara Kings.

Nagareshwara Shrine:

Nagareshwara shrine is like a separate temple. This is the biggest Shiva Linga in this temple complex. An attractive and bigger idols of Nandi is placed in front of the main shrine. Below Nandi, Surya is found facing towards the main shrine (west direction), which is very unique. 

The other idols that are found in this shrine include Rama Linga, Chamundeshwari, Bhairava and Ganesha. 

Karneshwara Shrine:

Karneshwara is the smallest Shiva Linga in this temple. There is a Nandi idol facing towards the shrine. 


The courtyard has another stone Vrishabha Stambha which is about 30 feet tall. At the base, the carvings of Ganesha, Linga, Vrishabha and Brahma Rakshasa are found. A wooden flag post and bali peetha are also found near the stambha.

The carvings of Kulotunga Chola and his wife are found behind the Vrishabha Stambha.

Few hero stones are found in the courtyard.


The mandapas in the temple have cylindrical pillars which belong to Ganga style of architecture. The vimanas of all the temples have good sculptures and look very attractive. The backside walls of the temples look ancient and have the sculptures still intact. Only some portions of the front side and the tower are either innovated or rebuilt in the recent times.

The various portions of temple was built by different kings from Ganga, Chola and Vijayanagara dynasty. 


Each of the five Shiva Lingas is worshipped for some specific reason. 

Kali Kamateshwara is prayed for begetting children and settlement of litigation issues.

Nagareshwara is worshipped by the business people and also it is believed that he cures skin related problems.

Choleshwara is worshipped by the young girls to get married.

Karneshwara is believed to give good health to the devotees.

Happy travelling.

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