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Basavangudi, Bangalore, Karnataka

Nandikeswara is Lord Siva's carrier vehicle - vhahana & also the head of the Siva Ganas. There is an idol of Nandi Deva in every Sivan temple just opposite the main murti, facing the Lord. It is believed that Nandi Deva will dutifully carry our wishes to the Lord & hence special prayers & naivediyam is offered to him as a part of the daily rituals.

There are huge Nandi idols in around 6 temples in India. Some of them are
Basavanagudi Nandi in Bangalore - Karnataka (15 ft in height & 20 feet in length)

Brahadeeswarar koil Nandi - Thanjavur, Tamilnadu (19 1/2 feet in length; 8 1/4 feet in breadth; 12 feet in height)

Lepakshi koil Nandi- Andhra Pradesh

Chamundeswari koil Nandi - Mysore, Karnataka (16 x 25 ft)

Rameswaram koil Nandi - Rameswaram, Tamilnadu (9 ft in height & 12 ft in length)

The Nandi in Belur, Halebid - Karnataka

There is a temple exclusively for Nandi Deva at Basavanagudi, Bangalore. (Basava - Nandi in Kannadam). The Nandi idol is huge, measuring about 15ft in height & 20 feet in length.

This temple is said to have been constructed about 500 years ago. A bull was roaming in this region (a few villages then) 500 years ago. The chief crop harvested in the region was ground nuts. The villagers found that every full moon day their crop of ground nuts vanished mysteriously. Yhey decided to stay on watch & on a full moon day they witnessed a huge bull golden in colour, eyes shining bright like jewels consume their crop. But after this incident the bull no longer visited their farm. Instead, they found a huge idol of a bull appear suddenly on the hill, which was growing at a steady pace. They had to hit a nail in the form of a soolam (trident) to stop its growth.

A Nandi appeared in the dream of Kempe Gowda the ruler who laid the foundation for the bangalore city & requested that a temple be built on the hill. The Nandi is facing North. Accordingly a temple was built for the Nandi on the hill. At the foot of the hill is a temple for Dodda Ganapathy (huge Ganesha - 10ft height & 15 ft wide). There is a temple for Lord Siva a little above the Ganesha temple.The ground nut fair (Kadalekay Parishe) is celebrated every year on the last Monday of the Kaarthigai month (it mostly falls in Nov). Farmers believe that they will enjoy a good yield if they offer their prayers to the Nandi on this festival day. Even those who cannot visit the festival, consume a few ground nuts on that day.

Dodda Ganapathy
Sketch by Sumathi