On Shivaratri Day, we wanted to visit another Shiva temple, and hence decided to visit the ancient Shiva temple at Begur, off Bomanhalli on the Hosur highway.
We reached there very early in the morning, by then the devotees were just arriving in singles and groups.
I was amazed to see the 1200 year old Shiva temple, built in granite, by the Cholas. (Raja Raja Chola). The temple is not tall, but spread across. I chose another day to go there leisurely to take some photos and get some details of the age old temple, from the people who knew about it.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Panchalingeswara. The main deity is Sri Parvati Sametha Nagaeshwara Swamy Linga.
The temple complex enshrines Panchalingas i.e.Nageswara, Kaleswara, Nagareswara, Karneswara, and Choleswara. Sculptures depicting stories from the Panchatantra are carved all around the garbagriha wall.
I was told that this place had got the name Bengaluru, much before the Bangalore city got its name. Nageshwara temple at Begur is believed to be the first place where an inscription records the name `Bengaluru'.
There is also a Nava Graha Mantapa. (Nine planets). A a huge idol of Nandi facing the Linga is also there. A separate shrine of Sri Parvathi measuring about 5 feet is also there.
Outside the Shrine of Sri Nageshwara, in the courtyard are a carved wooden Dwajastambha and Bali Peetham.
There is an idol of Sri Ganesha, which is said to be the oldest shrine of Lord Ganesha in South India, whose trunk is turned to right. The temple of Lord Ganesha is under renovation now.
Near the temple is a lake, (Begur lake?) which needs attention. Many lotus flowers were also there in the lake. If this lake is preserved and maintained in a proper way Bangaloreans can be proud of this natural gift as a tourist destination.
According to Sri Thyagaraja, committee member of the Trust, 4 Raja gopurams are to be built, with an estimate of 20 crores. The construction work of two gopurams have already started.
There are some huge stones with the inscriptions placed outside. There is also a tree (Banni Mara) in the premises, which is said to be more than 100 years old.
The important festivals of this ancient temple are -
1) Maha Shivratri Festival
2) Rathotsavam for two days(April).
Both these festivals are attended by large masses of people.
Daily poojas are held here from 6 to 8 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and on Mondays upto 10 p.m.