A temple dedicated to the Vahana (mount) of Lord Shiva – the Lord Nandi.
There is an interesting legend behind the origin of this famous temple. Once upon a time a bull used to damage the groundnut crop that used to be cultivated around the present temple. Suffocated, one day, villagers had beaten on bull’s head. To their surprise, the bull immediately sat on the ground and became a stone statue of Nandi as we see it now!
Villagers were baffled and worried. They realized the bull is Lord Shiva’s vahana- Nandi. So they started worshipping Nandi to get good harvest of ground nut every year.
This practice continues even now. There is a festival called ’ground nut’ festival in this temple which celebrates the harvest of ground nuts, usually in November-December every year.
It is believed, earlier the statue of Nandi used to grow every year. On seeing this, the villagers prayed to Lord Shiva to stop its growth further. Lord Shiva appeared to them, asked to dig a nearby place where they can see a trident beneath. The villagers dug the area and found the trident.
Lord Shiva now asked the villagers to place the trident on Nandi’s head. On doing that, the growth of Nandi had stopped. This trident can be seen even now on Nandi’s head.
The present temple goes back to 1537. It is built by Sri.Kempe Gowda, the Governor of Vijayanagara Empire, who founded the city of Bangalore.
The monolithic Nandi statue is about 15 feet in height and 20 feet long- being one of the biggest Nandi statues in the World.
There is also a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva nearby and idols of God Surya and Chandra is placed near to the Nandi’s statue.
Basavangudi is within the Bangalore city limits.