Kote Temple: Rich in history

BANGALORE: Bangalore is a city of dichotomy which is not just restricted to the pete and cantonment areas. The pete area itself was divided based on communities. Hindus and Muslims have always

Published: 06th April 2012 10:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 10:26 PM   |  A+A-


(File photo)

BANGALORE: Bangalore is a city of dichotomy which is not just restricted to the pete and cantonment areas. The pete area itself was divided based on communities. Hindus and Muslims have always lived in harmony. Despite the duality in all spheres, harmony has prevailed in the multi-cultural city.

The most iconic proof of this harmony is the Kote Venkataramana Swamy temple that shares a wall with Tipu’s summer palace in Chamrajpet. The Kote Venkataramana Swamy temple was built in the 16th century by the Mysore king Chikka Devaraja near the Bangalore Fort.

The Mysore Gazetteer says that an inscription found in Bangalore in 1705 AD states that the temple in the Bangalore fort was erected by Chikka Devaraja and endowed by his son Kanthirava Narasa Raja.

Considering it an important place, Hyder Ali went on to build the Summer Palace behind this temple. The documents maintained by the temple say that the temple enjoyed Tipu’s and Hyder’s patronage.

In the third Anglo-Mysore war, in 1791, when the British army under General Lord Cornwallis was firing at Tipu’s summer palace, a cannon hit the pole in front of the temple (Garuda Stamba) thus saving Tipu’s life.

However, the Mysore Gazetteer says that when the Fort was restored to Tipu in the peace treaty of 1792 he dismantled it, but after 1799, Dewan Purnaiya had it completely restored on its former foundation.

It is however well-known that Hindu temples enjoyed Tipu’s patronage, probably to maintain peace and harmony.

The temple architecture is of Vijayanagar style, says Deputy Director of ICHR, Bangalore Dr S K Aruni. This style is also seen in the Vishnu temple at Balepet. The main deity Vishnu’s idol is now decorated with jewels and finery. Like in other Vijayanagar style temples, animals and Hindu mythology find prominence on the pillars. The carvings of Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara, Saptarishis and Asthadikpalakas can be seen on the temple walls. There is also Girija Kalyana (Parvati’s wedding) depicted on the walls, which is an oddity as this is generally seen in Shiva temples.

The temple has been developed over the years thanks to the government’s undertaking. The other deities worshipped here are Anjaneya and Padmavathi (Vishnu’s consort). During Vrishabha masa (May-June), the annual car festival is taken out where the procession idol on a silver chariot is carried through the main streets of Chamrajpet. Incidentally, the temple is famous for its prasadam — the

sweet pongal.

The Krishnamurthy family, living in Chamrajpet for the last 60 years, is a frequent visitor to the temple. Anoosha Krishnamurthy, a doctor by profession, says that the temple’s old-world charm is its USP.

“It is such a beautiful place that reminds me of the old Bangalore. Old stone temples with their rustic designs have an appeal of their own. Being rich in history, they transform you to an era unknown,” she adds.

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