Press Esc to close
Friday 31 October 2014
News updated at 9:56 PM IST
Weather
Max: 28.4°C
Min : 18°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy

Ancient temple; bustling junction

Last updated: 20 July, 2009

History: Thatís Madivala in Bangalore. The temple is said to be a Chola period structure, making it one among Bangaloreís oldest. The earliest record dates to 1247 AD and refers to lands donated ''below the big tank of Vengalur'' by a resident of 'Veppur' (Begur), writes Meera Iyer

Calm reigns here The Someshwara templeís outer walls are adorned with age-old inscriptions and idols. Photo by the author

For Bangaloreans, ‘Silk Board’ is probably synonymous with ‘traffic jam’.

Non-Bangaloreans perhaps conjure up images of silk when they hear these words. Almost certainly, an 800-year-old temple is not what you would associate with that bustling junction… which makes the Someshwara temple one of IT city’s best kept secrets.

The temple is in old Madivala, a place where shops and houses open out onto narrow lanes that twist this way and that, and where children still play cricket in the bylanes. And while traffic-induced chaos reigns supreme at the Silk Board junction, peace and quiet hold sway at the Someswhara temple a mere kilometre away.


The stone temple is said to be a Chola period temple, making it one among Bangalore’s oldest. And there is ample proof of its antiquity. Large portions of its outer walls are covered with inscriptions in Tamil and Grantha (an old script used to write Sanskrit) characters, attesting to the temple’s age. The earliest record dates to 1247 AD and refers to lands donated “below the big tank of Vengalur” by a resident of ‘Veppur’ (modern-day Begur). Other inscriptions seem to have followed in quick succession, recording grants made during the reigns of Hoysala king Ballala III and Chola king Rajendra. One record, from 1365, mentions a land grant at Tamaraikkirai (meaning ‘the banks of the lotus pond’ in Tamil). Epigraphy expert H S Gopala Rao, Secretary of the Karnataka Itihasa Academy, points out that this is the old name for what we today know as Tavarekere.

Apart from its obvious age, the Madivala area may have much else to boast about. Gopala Rao mentions how inscriptions have been found elsewhere in Bangalore which suggest that the illustrious Krishnadevaraya, the most famous king of the Vijayanagar empire, himself spent some time in Madivala.

Today, though, there are no trappings of royalty, either in Madivala or in the Someshwara temple. The temple underwent extensive renovations five years ago, but as Gopala Rao says, fortunately, the inscriptions were largely unharmed. The temple’s outer walls that carry the inscriptions and also idols of various gods including Ganesha, Durga and Vishnu, remain unaltered.

Inside, apart from shiny new flooring, the garba griha and artha mantapa were untouched. These inner chambers still remain small and darkened spaces that encourage a personal and intimate communion with the Lord.

Apart from four carved pillars, the artha mantapa has a large and elegantly proportioned granite Nandi facing the linga. Behind the Nandi, the eastern wall of the temple has a small opening that is directly in line with the linga.

In the days before Madivala was engulfed in buildings, the sun’s rays entered through this small opening to illuminate the linga. According to the priest, K Achyuta Rao, the temple’s deity is a Swayambhu linga, i.e., it is said to have manifested itself without any human agency.

This refreshingly quiet and serene temple remains open for worship from 7:30 to 11:00 in the mornings and from 5:30 to 8:30 in the evenings. 

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A view of the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the occasion of his birth anniversary...

A view of the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the occasion of his birth anniversary...

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi paying tribute to former Prime Minister...

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi paying tribute to former Prime Minister...

Artists perform during a function on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar...

Artists perform during a function on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar...

Members of Thamizhar Vazhvurimai Koottamaippu during a protest against Sri Lankan court's...

Members of Thamizhar Vazhvurimai Koottamaippu during a protest against Sri Lankan court's...

Indian cricket players during their practice session at barabati stadium in Cuttack...

Indian cricket players during their practice session at barabati stadium in Cuttack...

Delhi Police band performs at India Gate near Amar Jawan Jyoti to salute Sardar...

Delhi Police band performs at India Gate near Amar Jawan Jyoti to salute Sardar...

Army soldiers patrolling after an IED was recovered in a gas cylinder near the Circuit House...

Army soldiers patrolling after an IED was recovered in a gas cylinder near the Circuit House...

Tourist take pictures from a boat as people bath in the Ganges river in Varanasi...

Tourist take pictures from a boat as people bath in the Ganges river in Varanasi...

Devendra Fadnavis being sworn-in as the new Maharashtra Chief Minister by Governor...

Devendra Fadnavis being sworn-in as the new Maharashtra Chief Minister by Governor...

A camel herder sits as he feeds his camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, in the Rajasthan...

A camel herder sits as he feeds his camels at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, in the Rajasthan...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523