1,300-year-old temple near Nandi Hills to be developed into a tourist hub

1,300-year-old temple near Nandi Hills to be developed into a tourist hub

1,300-year-old temple near Nandi Hills to be developed into a tourist hub
The Tourism Department and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have joined hands to promote tourism in and around Nandi Hills, 50 km north of Bengaluru.

As a first step, they will restore the 1,300-year-old Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple located on the foothills of Nandi Hills. Next in line will be restoration of other heritage sites around Nandi Hills and Devanahalli.
“We have been brainstorming on developing Nandi Hills and the places around Devanahalli into a tourism circuit. Details are being worked out on how to improve Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple and the places around it,” N Manjula, Director, Tourism Department, said.

She continued: “Work on landscaping the area around the temple will begin soon. The Tourism Department has identified two acres of land near the temple for landscaping, creating parking space, building a cafeteria and toilets. Talks are on with the ASI for temple restoration.”

K Moortheswari, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Bengaluru Circle, said Nandi Hills was a beginning. “We have decided to restore all heritage monuments in Bengaluru and across Karnataka,” she said.

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 8 crore to the ASI’s Bengaluru Circle for this fiscal year. Rs 1 crore is estimated to be required for restoration of Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple. But the Centre is yet to approve the final estimate. Once the approval comes, the timeline for the restoration will be decided.

“We have planned to host an exhibition on September 24, which is the International Tourism Day, on the temple premises to showcase its rich history and archaeology. Photographs and some details of other archaeological sites will also be displayed. While many people visit Nandi Hills, a few of them go to the temple. We want to draw more people here,” Moortheswari said.

This apart, the Tourism Department is looking for land around Tipu Fort in Devanahalli for landscaping. The Indian Oil Foundation has come forward to spend Rs 5 crore as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) on acquiring land around the fort, improving the structure and its surroundings, Manjula added.

Vijay Mahanta, the administrative manager of Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple, said the monument was acid-washed three months ago. “There are fewer visitors now as marriages no longer take place on the temple premises. From Saturday through Monday, 5,000-odd people (including local residents) visit the temple. On other days, the number is just 1,000,” he said.

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