A booming hub for tech, Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) is one of India’s most cosmopolitan cities. In addition to its modern businesslike side, the city has a long tradition of spirituality evident in its large collection of temples, many of which are centuries old. See below for our top picks of temples in Bengaluru.
Located in Basavanagudi and dating back to the 16th century, Bull Temple (aka Dodda Basavana Gudi) was constructed under orders of the Vijayanagara Empire, which at the time ruled much of South India. The temple itself is relatively modest in size, though its 15-foot-tall (4.5-meter-tall) statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull, is one of the largest in existence.
Dodda Ganesha Temple
Just a stone’s throw from Bull Temple, Dodda Ganesha Temple features a huge idol of the elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha. The monument measures 18 feet (5.5 meters) tall and 16 feet (4.8 meters) wide.
Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
Also known as the cave temple, this unique temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was carved out of a single solid rock in the 9th century, making it one of the oldest places of worship in town. As well as a statue of Nandi and an icon representing Lord Shiva, it also features a sculpture of Agni, the two-headed, seven-handed, three-legged fire god.
Established in 1997, the striking hilltop Hare Krishna ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Temple combines traditional and modern architectural styles. It’s not just a center for worship; it’s also a hub of community activity with many food vendors and frequent events, including talks and live music performances.
Kote Venkataramana Temple
Dedicated to the deity Venkateshwara, this 17th-century temple was constructed by Mysore leaders and stands next to the Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace. A typical example of Dravidian temple architecture, it features towers adorned with carvings and sculptures.
Shivoham Shiva Temple
This temple with a huge 65-foot-high (20-meter-high) statue of the god Shiva sitting and meditating in lotus position is a new construction and a popular tourist site on Old Airport Road in Karnataka. Visitors enjoy taking part in the many organized spiritual activities like dropping coins in 108 bowls while chanting Shiva’s name, floating a paper lamp in the water representing the Ganges River, and praying to the elephant god Lord Ganesha while tying a holy thread.