BENGALURU: The city police is all set to welcome the thousands of devotees expected to throng Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Gavipuram in South Bengaluru, who want to witness a unique phenomenon on Makar Sankranti.
In the evening, the temple premises will be barricaded and a security force of 300 men will be present to ensure that no commotion takes place when devotees come to watch sunlight pass through an arc between the horns of Nandi and fall directly on the linga inside the cave, thus illuminating the main idol.
“Nearly 25,000 people are expected to arrive at the temple from 5pm onwards. We are providing 300 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men for security in and around the temple,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Bengaluru South, Annamalai K.
Rays from the sun will fall on the Sivalinga for a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes as it passes between the horns of the Nandi. A temple priest explained that every year on this day, many devotees are eager to witness this celestial event. “It is believed that all our sins are washed and fresh light will be seen in life if we witness it,” he said.
According to authorities at the temple, large tents will be put up to house visitors, with TV monitors broadcasting live images to be put up outside to screen live visuals from inside the cave. “We come here every year. Now, my 10-year-old grandson is interested in this phenomenon,” said Ramakrishna N, a devotee.
While many believe that it is a religious phenomenon, in 2008, P Jayanth Vyasanakere, K Sudeesh and B S Shylaja from Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bengaluru, published a paper, ‘Astronomical Significance of the Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple in Bangalore’.
The team studied the phenomenon in this temple for over three years and concluded that this occurrence happened twice a year: November 30 or December 1 and January 14 or 15. However, the earlier occurrence has not been paid much attention to.
The team found that the temple entrance is not oriented towards the east, like most temples are, thereby showing that this space was created for a purpose and the phenomenon is proof of the technical excellence of ancient architects.“While researchers agree that this is a scientific phenomenon, the alignments of the arch, Nandi and the windows were created to make the sunlight fall precisely on the deity, making it a man-made marvel,” said Jayanna, a member of amateur astronomers association.