The Bull Temple (Dodda Ganeshana Gudi) was built in the 16th century in typical South Indian Dravidian style, and is one of Bangalore’s oldest temples. The locals call it “Dodda Basavana Gudi” (Big Bull Temple), named after the gigantic 15-foot high and 20-foot long statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull.
Visitors to the temple first pay their respects to Ganesh, the elephant-headed god at the base of the hill before climbing the many steps to worship the huge monolithic statue of Nandi at the top. Carved from a single enormous slab of granite, this is one of the largest statues of Nandi in the world.
One of the most important annual festivals celebrated at the Bull Temple is the “Peanut Festival” which happens every November. Peanut farmers from villages on the outskirts of the city come to the temple to offer their first crop of peanuts to Nandi the bull before selling the rest. The streets adjoining the temple are closed to traffic and take on a festive atmosphere: huge piles of peanuts are bought and sold and a variety of vendors sell trinkets, balloons and snacks to the crowds of people who come to take part.
The temple is located on Bull Temple Road in
Basavanagudi, South Bangalore, next to Bugle Rock Park. It is open daily
from 6am–1pm and 4pm-9pm. Bugle Rock Park next door to the temple is
also worth a visit for its beautiful majestic trees.