Friday 16 November 2012

The underground temple of Malleswaram

Can you believe it that a temple complex was excavated almost intact just a decade ago from one of the most happening places in Bangalore.
The place was Malleswaram and the 17th Cross in the area is one of the busiest hubs of the area. It was 1997 and a mound was being dug by to level the ground.
The workers first came across a small stone structure. When they began digging a little deeper, they came across a spire of a temple. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials were immediately informed and when  they dug up the area, they found a 7,000 year-old temple of Nandeeshwara almost intact.
Even today, when locals and temple officials tell you the story behind the excavation, you cannot help but marvel at how an ancient temple was buried under the sands of time. How could it have been buried for so many years without anyone knowing about it. Besides, how did it escape the attention of developers and civic and ASI officials for so long.
Temple officials says carbon dating of the structure has revealed it to be 7,000 years old.
The temple and the courtyard is in good condition even today. The courtyard is supported by pillars. The statue of  Nandi is carved out of black granite and its eyes are painted in golden colour. When the temple was first excavated, people saw water coming or rather flowing from the mouth of the Nandi to the idol of Shiva or  the Linga beneath.
The water continues to flow  even today and the water is crystal clear.
The Linga is also carved out of Black granite. There are steps leading from the Sanctum to a small Kalyani or pond. There is even a whirlpool in the centre of the Kalyani. The whirlpool is at least 15 foot deep. How the Kalyani gets water is a mystery.
The locals say part of the water to the Kalyani comes from the Sankey Tank which is nearby. There is also a belief that Shivaji contributed in some way to the construction of the temple. This is because Shivaji and his father Shahaji are closely associated with the Kadu Malleswara Temple which is almost opposite this temple.   
There are some inscriptions that are believed to be older than the temple structure.
The Lakshmi  Narasimha Temple near the Kadu Malleswara Temple is another ancient structure.
If you are visiting Bangalore for the first time, check out these temples along with other temples. There are several eateries in Malleswaram such as Janata Hotel, CRT, Bun World, Halli Mane to name a few where you can eat good food. The Mantri Mall on the land where Raja mill once stood is also worth a visit as is the Sankey Tank and the TTD complex where there is beautiful idol of Balaji or Srinivasa. You can book tickets and seves at the TTD counters here. The TTD complex is situated adjacent to the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall.
Malleswaram is easily accessible either by bus or taxi, auto.      


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thank you for this wonderfull Info , will Definately Visit this Place

  3. Hello,
    Thanks for the update given by you on Nandeeshwar temple. I have been to the temple out my interest about its antiquity. In spite of such historical importance of this monument, there is not even a note from ASI or any Govt authority. It will be great to have one such depicting more about the monument which will all visitors.
    Thanks and regards
    Sanjay K Das

    1. India is known to treat its culture and heritage with disrespect and the lack of ASI signboard or any other departmental intervention on the Nandeshwara Temple indicates this. Apart from this temple, Bangalore has several other structures dating to the Cholas and Vijayanagars but they are yet to be protected properly. APart from ASI taking over such monuments, they should make them tourist friendly by installing information boards, providing guides and protecting them from encroachments and defacement,

  4. Visting this temple today......

  5. can u please give me the exact location of the temple. I have enquired about it in malleshwaram but no one seems to know about it.