BANGALORE: One really interesting character trait of Bangalore is the dichotomy, not in a negative way, that has become intrinsic to it.
Glass buildings of corporate concerns, modern apartment complexes, a young population, globalised outlook and living patterns — the city is always catching up with the latest in fashion, technology and every other area.
But in the midst of all the forward march, there are some pockets that can be said, in a literary fashion, ageless, and in a historically correct manner, ancient.
So, it feels like time travel when you leave the rapidly modernising Ulsoor area behind and step into the premises of Someshwara Temple. One of the most ancient temples of Bangalore, and of South India, it was built during the rule of the Chola dynasty (who reigned between the 9th century to the 13th century). The temple is dedicated to Nandi, Shiva’s bull, but what is interesting is that the other gods of the Holy Trinity —- Brahma and Vishnu — are also worshipped here. Other deities, Kamakshamma, Arunachaleswara, Bhimeswara, Nanjundeswara and Panchalingeswara, are also worshipped at Someshwara Temple.
The religious aspect apart, the temple is a vision because of the rich and intricate Chola architecture. It stands as a testimony to the aesthetic heights that the Chola dynasty had achieved. While the main temple was built by the Chola kings, the impressive Rajagopuram and the compound of the temple was built by Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore.
The most important festival that this beautiful, greenery-filled temple celebrates is the Maha Shivaratri in February.
On this day, the devotees get to see the main deity and also a view of the architecture called Pancha Lingeswaras.
Brahmotsava on the full moon day, Kamakshamma Pallaki Utsava in April, when the idol of goddess Kamakshamma is taken out in procession in a palanquin around the temple, and special rituals and ceremonies that are held during Ugadi and Karthik Poornima are other festivals in the temple.