Useful guide to historic Bengaluru temples

The oldest dates back to the 10th century
Last Updated : 19 June 2024, 01:17 IST

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A 62-year-old businessman has compiled a handbook on 33 temples in Bengaluru, dating back at least 100 years. Over 106 pages, it covers their history. Photographs and QR codes for their location are
also included.

Authored by K N Rajaram, ‘My Yathras to the Ancient Temples of Namma Bengaluru’ was released last week.

Rajaram clarifies this is not an academic book. It is a compendium of publicly available information and anecdotes gathered from priests, management and old-time visitors of these temples.

Fascinating architecture

The businessman from the telecommunication sector says, “I am fascinated with temples and their architecture. My aim with this book is to get Bengalureans interested in these ancient sites in their backyard. Often, people put off visiting places of interest in their cities.”

Rajaram is one of them. While he has lived in Bengaluru all his life, he hadn’t visited half of these shrines until he started work on the book eight months ago. He did not know that the Chokkanathaswamy Temple in Domlur, where he resides, is among the oldest temples in the city. Its history goes as far back as the 10th century but today, only the sanctum sanctorum exhibits antiquity. Lore has it that a sage underwent penance at this location.

Chola shrine

He learnt of the ‘origin story’ of the Chola-period Maduramma Temple in Huskur, 5 km from Electronics City. It is said that while drinking water from a stream, a farmer heard a female ‘voice’ telling him to build a temple for Madduramma. Soon, two black stone idols emerged from the stream.

“I was told after Tipu Sultan prayed to the deity, his army recovered from sickness. He went on to donate diamonds and gold to the temple,”
he shares.

The temple is also known for its annual fair, marked by a procession of chariots as “high as 100-150 feet”.

His recce took him to the sprawling Banashankari Amma Temple complex, complete with paid parking and wheelchair accessibility, and also to the Muthyalamma Temple that stands on a crowded road in Shivaji Nagar. The latter sees a steady stream of Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain and Sikh visitors, he learnt from its priest.

Outside the Panchalinga Nageshwara temple in Begur, a groundnut seller told him people come here to pray “for saving their marriage or blessing them with a child”. A stone inscription found here suggests that Bengaluru could be at least 1,129 years old.

The book also covers the ‘goddess of plague’, a shrine set inside a cave, puja offerings like lemon peel lamps or garlands made of uddina vade, and an idol believed to shed tears once a year.

Available in bookstores. For details, write to matsyavatar@gmail.com

Published 19 June 2024, 01:17 IST

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