Friday, 18 January 2008

My Visit to an Ancient Begur Temple - Sri Panchalingeshwara Temple

When One thinks of Bangalore , the first thing that comes to mind is a Hi-Tech city.But behind this Glamor and Glitz there exists a city full of rich heritage waiting to be explored and cherished.

I will be taking up different aspects (Temple and Monuments), Which I have explored or will be exploring in this blog.Let me start with my visit to one of the oldest temple in Bangalore , rich in History and spirituality

My Visit to ancient Temple of Sri Pancha Lingaeshwara Temple,Begur

Entrance to the Main Hall of the Begur Temple

It all strted when I stumbled upon an article of this temple while surfing on the web for Bangalore history. The article was very informative and briefed me on the oldest mention of the word "Bengaluru" which is found in an inscription at this temple of "Begur".

Reading the article tickled my inquisitive cells and I decided to explore more on the temple.

In the beginning I faced some problems in pin-pointing the location but as usual the web came to my help, by providing a link to another article that had loads of information. The information I needed and more . I immediately got motivated to visit the place which was off Hosur Road (on Begur Road,Bommanahalli)
The Journey Begins....

On a misty Sunday Morning, Me and my friend embarked upon the "exploration" on a bike . After taking the turn for Begur road off Hosur Road, we understood that we are going to have a rough ride ahead.

It seems there was a road among potholes and not the other way around. After a lot of maneuvering and inquiring, we finally reached the place. From a distance itself the temple had a look of antiquity.

The entrance to the temple was through a small gopuram. (Which has been replaced by a new one now).The proximity to the Begur lake added to the Charm.The temple basically consists of 5 Shiva lingas, each having its own specialty with its own special meditation spots..

The surroundings gave us a soothing feeling of serenity and warmth.Fortunately we reached at the time when Aarthi (Showing of Burning Camphor to the God) was to be performed for all the lingas.

After the Aarthi got over , we inquired about the temple past.The priest (the 15th Generation of the Priest Family of Temple) informed us about the temple . It is believed to be more than 1000 years old and received the patronage of Gangas , Cholas and all the dynasties that followed.

The environment encompassing the temple is of peace and serenity. One really feels calm and cool just by visiting the place esp. in the early mornings. Far from the crowd and congestion of the city , the temple is a wonderful, peaceful and serene place to visit .

There are few places where you get the feeling of Peaceful Bliss and this is one of those places.The place where you can speak to your inner self and get a kind of unexplainable comfort. Do visit this place when you can get time.

Just to enumerate particular and unique info about the temple :
  • Boasts of Five lingas , each having its owns specialties.
  • One of the Oldest Ganesha idol in south is in the temple
  • In the temple you will the oldest mention of the world of "Bengaluru" in Stone slab.
  • Inscription is much older than the famous story of Benda Kadalu.
  • The slab is in a neglected state and needs immediate attention.
  • Temple is a Bhaskara Shetra ( Sun God ).
  • Temple has a rich history and received the patronage of many rulers.
Special Days :

  • Maha Shivratri : celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha (as per Shalivahana) or Phalguna (as per Vikrama) in the Hindu Calendar (that is, the night before and day of the new moon). 

  • Pradosham : Occurs once in every 15 days and considered most auspicious by Shaivites, almost 2 days before either Amavasya (black moonday) or Pournima (full moon day). 

Note : The best time to visit the temple is 7:30 AM in the morning and 6:00 PM in the evening. Temple has a bus stop in its name in Begur . There are many buses which ply from KR Market and other areas to Begur. (343 Series of BMTC Buses Ply on this Route)

Some of the temple's Historic relics are housed in Bangalore Museum (Next to Vishweshwaraya Industrial & Technological Museum)

Noteworthy Inscriptions in Epigraphia Carnatica

On a stone now in the Bangalore Museum, from temple at Begur

svasti samasta-bhuvana-vinuta Ga.nga-kula-gagana-iiirmruala-t,arapati jaladhi-jala-vipula-valayamekhala-
ka]apalankriteladhipatya-lakshmi-svayamvrita-pati talv-ady-aganita-guna-gana-vibhushana-
vibhu9hita-vibhuti srimad-Ej^yappa-arasar pagevar ellamam nih-kshatram madi Gangavadi
tombhattaru-sasiramuman eka-chchhatra-chchhayeyol aluttam ijdu Bira-Mahendranol kadal endu
Ayyapa-Devange samanta-sahitam Nagattaranam dandu veldode Tumbepadiyol kadi kalegam imb
alidode aneyoj ant iridu sattod adara keld Ereyapam mechchi Irugange Nagattara-vattam gatti Bempur-
ppanneradumam sasana-baidham kalnad itan aviiv endode || Berapuru Tovagiiru Puvina-Pullimangala
Kutanidu-Nalluru Nalliiru Komarangundu Tggaluru Dugmonelmalli-Galafijavagilu Sajamu
Elkunde Paravuru Kfidale initumam polainere-sahitam ittan Ereyapam sevucharan Naga[ttal range
maugajam aha sri

Date about 890 AD
Be it well. When,—a spotless moon in the sky the Ganga-kula praised in all the world, the
self-chosen lord of the Lakshmi of sovereignty over the earth decorated at her waist with a z me of
the wide circle of the waters of the ocean, his greatness adorned with the ornament of these and a
host of countless virtues,—srimad Erejarjparasa, having made all his enemies powerless, was ruling
the Gangavadi Ninety-six Thousand under tbe shadow of one umbrella :—on ordering Nigattara
along with his feudatories  and the army to Ayyapa-Deva in order to fight against Bira-Mahendra, fighting in Tumbepadi when the battle was losing ground, going close up among the elephants, he
slew and died.Hearing that, Ereyapa was pleased, and binding the Nagattara crown on Iruga, gave
him the Bempur Twelve, secured by a sasana, as kalnad. Those are as follows :—Benpuru,
Tovaguru, Puvina-Pullimangala, Kutanidu-Nalluru, Nalluru, Komarangundu, I'jrgaluru, Diigmonelmalli-
Galanjavagilu, Saramu, Elkunde, Paravuru, Kudal. Thus rauch, with the fields and
boundaries, did Ereyapa give for the dutiful Naga[tta]ra. Great good fortune,

P:S: A Very useful link

Update:During my second visit to the temple I learnt from the priest that there are two other temples of the same antiquity and style at Nandi Hills. i.e.Bhoganandeeswara temple and Yoganandeeswara Temple.

I have not personally visited these temple at Nandi Hills but will like to do the same in near future. I would appreciate if anyone can share more detailed info and experience on these temples at Nandi Hills.


Anonymous said...

Good one Swami..........

KK said...

Swami has been visiting so many places of heritage in an around Bangalore. It is really good that he has started this blog. Look out for his space for more wonders on our Garden City...

Unknown said...

Its great Swami... Good to know the Temples in and around us which are very ancient.......

Unknown said...

this is a great blog add old mosques,churches,gardens and palaces.ok

Vinni said...

Good effort to depict a different angle of bangalore which seldom any one can observe because of the hi-tech impression on the city.

Unknown said...

Good one Swami..Explore more about ancient Bengalooru let people like me to know more about 'Namma Bengalooru'.

Anonymous said...

Now some renovations going on this Temple.. Nice to know this ancient temple is being preserved.

Now the connectivity to this temple also much better from Hosur road and Bagur Road.

The Bagur lake proximity is something which gives an amazing look in the evening..there's lots of lotus flower also..also there is much tourism options as well.. hope temple wil l regain its fame..

BHARATH said...

Excellent work and Best information about the Temple

injamaven said...

Your photo above, Swami, made me thing that it was going to be an extremely large temple. It isn't but it is lovely. Beautifully carved. Thank you for introducing me to it.

Swami said...


My Pleasure, Indeed it must have been a very grand temple. If you see the life size Sapthamathrika panel and The famous Begur Stone in Bangalore Museum..

It will give you the scale of grandeur it might have possesed.

Nguyen Duc Hai said...

Thanks Swami for your research

Arun Visweswaran said...

Lovely writeup. I am always on the lookout for such places of historical interest.


Ashwath said...

what a peaceful temple. historic and almost 1300 yrs old. wonderful. I am a regular visitor to this lovely temple.

Unknown said...

Hi Swami, Thanks a lot for the information on the Begur temple..
Even I am a travelling freak and I do visit lots of ancient temples.
With regard to the temple near Nandi, I have visited couple of times there. Its one of the ancient and beautiful and big temple and the kalyani is owesome..
Its near Nandi hills itself., Any body can guide you to visit that place. I think from Hebbal it should be around 40 kms...

Happy travelling...

Swami said...

I have visited the temple many times now . You check 2 albums on my photography page http;//

Kartik Srinivasan said...

Hi Swamy,

Really informative post and appreciate the inscription and translation towards the end. Would like to know, where to find the contents of the inscription mentioning "Bengaluru" - there is some talk of a war also I believe.
Thanks again,