Top 5 religious places in Bangalore!
Bangalore is a culturally very diverse city and this can be further strengthened based upon the presence of religious spots of almost all the major religions. Here’s the list of top 5 places of worship in Bangalore.
Bangalore is a multi-religious cosmopolitan hub with more than 1000 temples, 400 mosques, 100 Churches, 40 Jain mandirs, three Gurudwaras, two Buddhist Viharas and one Parsi Agiari spread across the city. Not only are these religious places revered amongst the devotees, but also significant from architecture point of view. Here’s the list of top 5 places of worship in Bangalore.
The Bull temple of Bangalore is dedicated to Nandi Bull, the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva. Situated in Basavanagudi, this temple has been built in the Dravidian style of architecture. Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore, got the Bull temple built during his time. This temple counts amongst the oldest temples of the city and draws devotees from all over the country. There is huge idol of Nandi Bull inside the temple, measuring 4.5 m in height and 6.5 m in length. This idol is said to have been carved out of a single rock. The bull also has a small iron plate on its head. As per the tradition, this plate prevents the bull from growing. Providing a great backdrop to the statue are the idols of God Surya and Goddess Chandra, on their chariots. It is believed that the Vishva Bharti River originates at the feet of this statue.
The legend goes that the Bull Temple was built to appease a bull that used to consume and destroy all the groundnuts and peanuts cultivated in this area. It is also said that after the temple was built, the bull stopped damaging the crop. As a celebration of this incident, the farmers of Basavanagudi organized a Groundnut Fair (Kadalekai Parase), near the temple. This fair continues till date and is attended by the people of Bangalore in large numbers.
The oldest mosque of Bangalore, Jumma Masjid was earlier known as Sangian Jamia Masjid. Situated in the busy K.R. Market area, the mosque is renowned for its beautiful architecture. The prayer hall of the Jumma Masjid stands on an elevated ground and stands adorned with soaring, ornate granite pillars. It is believed that the mosque was built somewhere around 1790. The brick and mortar structure of the masjid has an impressive facade, embellished with elaborate jali-work and floral motifs.
There are magnificent twin minarets inside the masjid that stretch upto the spherical domes above the balconies. These minarets have been ornamented with a graceful assembly of a large number of pigeonholes. A few years back, a delicate pattern, previously concealed under successive layers of white paint, was discovered inside the Jumma Masjid of Bangalore. The festive season sees the minars as well as the entire edifice of the masjid getting beautifully decorated with lights, adding to its beauty.
St. Mary's Basilica
St. Mary's Basilica is situated opposite the Russel Market Square in Shivajinagar, Bangalore. Initially, the basilica was built as a small chapel by Abbe Dubois, in the year 1818. However, later, Reverend L.E. Kleiner got it converted into an ornate Gothic style church. In 1882, St. Mary's Basilica was adorned with a large number of stained glass windows, imported from Paris. However, during World War II, these windows were removed and then again restored in the year 1947, the year of India's independence.
The Basilica has an imposing tower and gothic-style pointed arches. It was only in 1973 that Saint Marys Church of Bangalore was given the status of a Basilica, making it the sixth Basilica in India. The status was awarded through a Papal order by Pope John Paul VI. One of the major attractions of this basilica is the St Mary's Feast, held every year in the month of September. Devotees from far and wide come to Bangalore in September to attend this grand feast.
Near the Ulsoor Lake stands the elegant and white Sikh Gurudwara. Opened on 13 April 1946, it is the main Sikh temple in Bangalore. Having been renovated recently, the temple looks resplendent with marble floors.
The Sikhs have a unique belief: all human beings are one. Devotees from all religions and communities are welcome to the temple. The prayer hall is large and well-ventilated. It can accommodate about 500 devotees at a time. Special prayers are offered every Sunday and the temple wears a colourful look.
Nearly a thousand people from all religions come here to worship. Bhajans and kirtanas are sung in praise of Guru Nanak and Guru Granth Sahib. After this, meals (vegetables, dal, chapatis and payasam) are served to all. There is a school, a medical centre and a function hall in the premises. The temple also provides accommodation (a day's stay) to the tourists. The Sri Guru Singh Sabha manages the affairs of the temple, but it is the devotees who sponsor free medical consultancy and Sunday meals.
This place is unlike anything in the city, and reflects oriental charm and spiritual ambiance. The intention of this society is to teach, and spread the wisdom of Lord Buddha. The Buddhist Temple is magnificent with daunting Gopuras. The main hall can accommodate about 800 people and functions like discourses and mediation sessions are held here. There is a community hall where social functions, artistic, cultural shows, seminars and study activities are held.
This temple is an exact replica of the Buddhagaya Temple, and what takes the breath away is the architecture, beautiful murals and awesome statues in the shrine. There is a huge Bodhi tree, and is a sapling of the original tree was Buddha used to mediate. You can feel a great spiritual serenity here, and is an ideal place to meditate, and recharge your chakras. Every Sunday there are discourses, and is an edifying experience. The senior monks speak on subjects ranging from Suttas, meditation, Karma, death and rebirth.