Wednesday 30 October 2013

Here, ghee turns into butter

There are several temples in Bangalore dedicated to Someshwara and the most famous of them all is the one in Halasuru or Ulsoor. The Someshwara Temple at Ulsoor is one of the most magnificent temples in Bangalore and though its origin is shrouded in mystery, we know that the Cholas, Kempe Gowda and other dynasties have contributed to its  construction.
Interestingly, there is another temple dedicated to Someshwara and this too was built by the Cholas. The Cholas had defeated the Gangas and they overran the Ganga provinces, including Bangalore. They built several temples, including those dedicated to Someshwara.
Since the Cholas were followers of Shaivism, they built temples for Shiva not in their country-Thanjavur and surrounding areas-but also in the lands they conquered. Thus, when they set foot on Bangalore, they ensured that the area had temples dedicated to Someshwara or Shiva.
If the Someshwara Temple in Halasoor is well known, the one at Agara in Sarjapur is not all that popular though it dates back to more than a thousand years.
This is the temple of Someshwara Swamy and it is located at Agara on the Sarjapura Main Road. This structure has a recorded history dating back to around 850 BC and that would make it 1200 years old.
As the name Someshwara Swamy itself suggests, the temple is dedicated to Shiva or Eshwara. Both the temple and the deity is dated to the Chola period. Unlike other temples dedicated to Someshwara, the idols here self manifested. This means that the idols were not man made or sculpted by men. The idols appeared on the earth on their own.
Such idols are called Swayambhu or self manifested. Here, the idols of Shiva and his son, Ganapathi, are believed to be Swayambhu or self manifested. Hence, this temple is considered to very holy.  
But the most unique fact of the temple is that when the priest performs abhisheka to the Someshwara Swamy idol in the morning, the ghee used transforms into butter. Such a phenomenon has never been reported in any temple in Bangalore and the only such similar event can be seen at the Shiva Temple in Shiva Gange in Tumkur district.
There is no scientific explanation on how ghee transforms itself into butter only during the morning abhisheka or pouring of water and other ingredients on the idol in the morning to sanctify the idol.
The temple can be entered from the main gateway, which is rather barrow. Such entrances were common in ancient ages and they were built to ensure that people who came bent down in submission to the God.
There is a symbol of the Chola dynasty within the temple. The Vimana of the temple has sculptures of avatars of Shiva. The number “five” is sacred to Shiva. One of his most important mantras has five syllables (namah śivāya). Shiva's body is said to consist of five mantras, called the pañcabrahmans. The forms of God, each of these have their own names and distinct iconography: such as Sadyojata, Vanadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusha and Isana. All these five forms are represented on the Vimana Gopura of the temple.
The vehicle of Shiva is Nandi and she is placed in front of Shiva’s idol. A temple dedicated to Goddess Parvathi has been constructed next to this temple. The temple compound houses smaller temples to Ayyappa  and Shani who is one of the Navagraha deity.
The family of Gundappa Dixit have been taking care of the temple for more than 400 years. The temple draws huge crowds during Shivaratri and Karthika Maasa when queues stretch for miles.
The temple is surrounded by a garden and since it is on the main road, it is easy to locate. It is oasis of calm in the midst of maddening crowd. If you ever get struck in traffic jam at Agara or at Sarjapur road, park your car and spent some time in this holy place.

The idols is believed to help people who pray for succor from illness, marital or medical problems. The priests of the Someshwara Swamy temple say that couples who have not had children have come and prayed here and many among them have come back with their children. Hence, this temple is popular with    couples for offering prayers to beget a child. 

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