One of Bengaluru’s oldest and unique Hindu temples is the Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple, which is also known as the Cave temple. With a lot of history and heritage, the temple makes a pit and must see stop in the Gavipuram heritage walk.
About Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
With an Indian rock-cut architecture, Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple is said to have been built in the Vedic period by Gautama Maharshi and Bharadwaja Muni. The temple was then renovated in the 16th century by Kempe Gowda I, the founder of Bangalore, in recognition of being released from prison of 5 years. It is now protected under Karnataka Ancient and Historical Monuments, and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1961.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva in the avatar of Gavi Gangadhareshwara, the temple has many other gods. Some of the other gods are Goddess Parvathi (wife of Lord Shiva), Ganesha, Subramanya, and Angimurthi Deva. Agnimurthi Deva has two heads, seven hands and three legs, and the god is supposed to cure any eye related problems that the devotees have.
Gangadhareshwara is the lord that bears the weight of River Ganga which is supposed to be very heavy.
History and Stories of Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
There are many mysteries and stories behind the temple. One mystery is that every Makara Sankranti festival (14/15 January) at around 5 to 6 PM, the sun ray passes through the horns of Nandi (bull) and falls on the head of Lord Shiva for one hour.
In 1792, two English landscape painters Thomas and William Daniell brothers painted many structures in Gavipuram, including the Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple.
- The temple is open to public on all days between 6 and 11 AM, and between 5:30 and 8:30 PM.
- As this is a religious site, wear appropriate clothing. You can wear jeans and a top.
- You need to remove your footwear before entering the temple. There is a footwear stand where you can leave your shoes and it cost about Rupees 15.
Notable features of Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple has many important and notable features that make this temple more unique and mysterious.
- Two giant pillars representing the Sun and the Moon. They are known as Suryapana and Chandrapana.
- Four monolithic pillars representing Damaru/drum, Trishul/trident, and two fans on the patio.
- Dwaraka palakas who are guarding the temple at the entrance.
- Pillars from Vijayanagara period.
How to get to Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple?
The closest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport and it is around 40 kilometres from the temple. Most domestic airlines including Air India and Indigo operate from the airport. Qantas, Air Asia and Emirates are some of the international airline providers.
The temple is just around 6 kilometres from Bangalore city and it takes only about 20 minutes by road. You can either drive or hire a taxi (Uber or Ola for affordable taxi rides) to travel between the places in the city. Bangalore also has auto rickshaws that you can hire for shorter distances and they are paid based on the metre calculations.
By Public Transport
Bus – Ramakrishna Ashram bus stop is the closest bus stop to the temple and there are many public buses, operated by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), between Kempegowda bus stop (Majestic) and Ramakrisha Ashram bus stop.
- The fare on the buses need to be paid by cash.
Metro – The closest metro station is the National college and you can take an auto rickshaw from the temple to the metro station.
- You can either buy a token or pay by Namma Metro card. This can be purchased at the counter.
Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple is surely one of the most beautiful and important temples in Bangalore. If you are in Gavipuram, I definitely recommend visiting this temple.
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