An ancient village near a modern airport

Situated next to the famous tourist spot, Nandi hills near Devanahalli, is a small village called Nandigrama, said to have been founded in the 17th century by the chieftain of Avathi, Bhairegowda. Those who visit the Nandi hills usually miss this hillside village with a grand old temple, an archaeological monument since 1985. 

The foothill village, Nandigrama, has the famed Bhoganandishwara temple which has a history (as per the inscriptions) of thousand years. The village temple, named after its presiding deity Bhoganandishwara, is known to be one of the earliest built temples of its kind in Karnataka. Rathnavalli, the queen of Bana dynasty (of the eighth and ninth centuries) is said to have built the Bhoganandishwara temple which flourished for more than thousand years during the reigns of Hoysala, Chola, Pallava and Vijayanagar empires who developed it into a magnificent temple complex occupying a vast area covering the small village Nandigrama. The spacious mukha mantapa (entrance hall) with rows of artistically sculpted supporting pillars and naga mantapas apart, the sprawling temple complex (370 X 250 ft) has a twin-towered ornate structure comprising separate sanctums adorning the deities of Bhoganandishwara, Arunachaleshwara and Umamaheshwara.  The mid sanctum has the deity of Umamaheshwara.

On either side of the shrine are the other two sanctums with deities of Bhoganandishwara and Arunchaleshwara (towards the north and south respectively). The garbha gudi (sanctum) of Arunachaleshwara has Ganesha (lion faced deity) and a black stone image, said to be of Cholaraja, can be seen inside the navaranga of Bhoganandishwara temple. The exquisitely built Vasantha Mantapa (royal marriage hall) is adjacent to the sanctum sanctorum and the picturesque Pushkarni  called shringa teertha is located (towards the north) near the temple complex. Shringa teertha gets its name from the sage Shringamuni. The river Dakshina Pinakini (South Pennar) is known to originate from Shringateertha.  

Built in the Dravidian architectural style, standing tall on a raised talapaya (foundation), the Bhoganandishwara temple, its sacred shrines and holy pond apart, is also known for its aesthetic structure and classy art work.  Wonderful carvings on temple walls and pillars; beautiful black stone idols and images from mythology and nature; eye-catching friezes and stucco figures are an important aspect of this temple.  

Getting there

The village is just a 15-minute drive from the Bangalore International Airport. There are frequent buses from Bangalore (via Devanahalli) to Nandi hills. Take a right turn at the base hill on Devanahalli-Muddenahalli route to reach the road side temple spot.