Rich in tradition and culture

One of the oldest temples of Bangalore, the Someshwara Temple stands not-so-tall in the busy area of Halasuru. Apparently fighting for some breathing space, the temple that once boasted of hav

Published: 25th February 2012 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:02 PM   |  A+A-

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One of the oldest temples of Bangalore, the Someshwara Temple stands not-so-tall in the busy area of Halasuru. Apparently fighting for some breathing space, the temple that once boasted of having the tallest gopura (tower), is now hiding behind skyscrapers and even the Metro rail line.

The Someshwara temple is nothing short of an architectural museum.

In the book Idu Namma Bengaluru (This is our Bangalore), author and historian Suresh Moona says that the idol in the temple is said to have been installed by Sage Mandavya to perform penance. It was then famously called the Mandavya Kshethra. The discovery of the temple is attributed to Immadi Kempegowda’s (Kempegowda II) ancestor Jayappagowda, who was on a hunting expedition in Ulsoor, then a forest.

According to a legend, he was resting under a tree when an auspicious omen directed him to take out the idol buried in the ground and build a temple around it. Jayappagowda woke up and did indeed find the idol. He went on to give life to the ruined remains of the Chola temple and reinstalled the idol within it.

His descendants Kempegowda I and II renovated the temple during their respective reigns and gave a new shape to the temple.

As a result of various renovations, seen over the centuries, the temple is a mixture of various architectures, ranging from the stone-carved pillars of the Cholas to the concrete and cement walls of new houses being built for different deities.

The regal temple was meant for royal worship, the testimonial of which is the grand scale on which the temple was renovated. The first pleasing assault to the eye is the Raja Gopura, fit for a king’s patronage, and is a magnificent sight to behold. The colours add to the magic created by the talented sculptures.

The Gopura and the entrance below are etched with deities all along its walls.

The second thing that strikes the eye is the stone steps leading up to the temple and the unfolding beautifully carved pillars that come to life and grab your attention. Warriors on horses, halfhuman half-animal deities, and the lifestyle in those days decorate the walls and pillars of the temple.

However, there are two unique pillars that stand out -- these pillars have another small pillar carved in them. This Chola style architecture can be also seen in the Ranganatha Swamy temple at Balepete.

At the entrance to the temple, on either side are Ganga and Yamuna.

Another carving — that of a man carrying a jackfruit on his head — indicates that jackfruits were an integral part of life in this area. It is because of the abundance of jackfruit found here that the name Halasuru was coined.

As you go further in, a bronze covered Nandi dutifully sits in front of the lord.

Devotees whisper their wishes into Nandi’s ear who will convey them to Lord Shiva.

The main idol Shivalinga is a source of great vibrations. People believe that this idol is very powerful and hence, the temple is an important place of worship.

The outer walls of the main temple and the adjoining Kamakshamma temple have detailed carvings of Nava Nathas and Girija Kalyana. The Temple has recently been in news for its fight against encroachments. But, the government has stepped in and many renovation works and conservation activities are in progres

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