Basavanagudi: Interesting places to explore
Basavanagudi is a popular region of Bangalore and is famous for its magical Bull Temple and its old world feel. Here’s a list of places you can explore in Basavanagudi.
Basavanagudi is a residential area in Bangalore. The residential area is located in South Bangalore and borders Jayanagar. The name "Basavanagudi" refers to the Bull Temple that is located here. It is a monolith statue of the Nandi Bull. Basava in Kannada, means Bull and Gudi means temple. Hence, the name Basavanagudi.
Basavanagudi is one of the oldest areas in Bangalore. It is the replica of the Bangalore of yore, with wide tree lined avenues dotted with houses. Commercialization has taken a toll in this area with excessive tree felling to introduce residential and business structures. Lalbagh, falls as part of Basavangudi. This area is the cultural capital of Bangalore with predominant kannadiga population and lot of festivities. It had very old traditional houses and is famous for shooting Kannada television soap operas. It is also housed lot of temples like Bull temple, Ramakrishna ashram and Shankar Matt. Every year two day fair of peanuts is held near dodda ganapathi temple of Basavanagudi calle Kadlekai Parishe which translates to Groundnut Fair. Lot of different kinds of groundnuts are exhibited and sold during this time. If you are new to Bangalore and want to explore this part of the city, here are some of the interesting places to visit.
Indian Institute of World Culture
The Indian Institute of World Culture was founded on 11 August 1945 in the suburb of Basavanagudi. The prime object of the Institute is to foster the growth of a truly cosmopolitan spirit among citizens of all nations. It bases this on Universal Brotherhood, and faith in the universal moral law of Karma. These ideals do not belong exclusively to any one age, climate, nation or creed. For the achieving of these ideals, public lectures are regularly organized on relevant and contemporary topics. These are blended with programs of music and dance to enrich the cultural life. On an average, one hundred and fifty programs are organized yearly, with not less than two programme each week.
The institute maintains a General Library of over 40,000 volumes, to satisfy one of the needs of the community. A separate Children's Library has been established for the younger generation. Both these have become very popular and useful over the years. Its Magazine Section regularly receives over 400 periodicals.
The Bull Temple is one of the oldest temples in Bangalore dedicated to Nandi, the mount of lord Shiva. This 4.5 meters tall and six meters long monolithic bull is supposed to be older than the temple housing it. It is believed that the source of the river Vishva Bharti originates at the feet of the statue. The Bull Temple is famous for the myth it carries and the monolithic deity of Nandi, the celestial bull, carved out in the typical Dravidian style of architecture.
The temple was built by Kempe Gowda in the 16th century. The image has been carved out of single granite rock. The original colour of Nandi bull was grey which has now turned black due to the application of coconut oil by the devotees. On weekends, musicians present their concerts at the temple. The monolithic deity in this temple, Nandi, draws devotees from all over the country.
The place got its name as Kempe Gowda's watch tower stood on the rock that warned the people of the city to the advent of intruders by a bugle call. The huge rock, a rare phenomenon, is 3000 million years old and has attracted world geological interests. Bugle Rock has generated wide interest among the scientific community. Kempe Gowda II (who came to power in 1585), the feudal ruler of Bangalore, is credited with building four watchtowers setting limits for Bangalore's expansion, which included a tower on the Bugle rock as it commands a panoramic view of the Bangalore city.
It is said that at sunset a sentry would blow the bugle and hold a torch which was visible from the other three watch towers (one on the southern bank of the Kempambudi tank on the West, the second near Ulsoor Lake in the East and the third tower adjoining Ramana Maharshi Ashram on Bellary Road, namely Mekhri Circle in the North). This was done to not only inform people that everything was safe at that location but also meant to give a warning bugle call to alert the citizens of any intruders into the city. This landmark spreads over an area of 16 acres.
Gandhi Bazaar is a street bazaar and draws huge crowds on weekends. On a festival days, such as Sankranti, Ugadi or Diwali, Gandhi Bazaar has more lively shopping interactions and is a place to be a part of. On any given day of the year, the Bazaar opens at six in the morning and closes at nine in the evening. Amongst the shops that are very unique to a Bangalore Bazaar are the Granthige stores i.e. shops that sell Pooja items.
The other shops to look out for are the ones that sell local Kannadiga dry snacks, such as Holige (which is similar to the Maharashtrian Puran Poli), Jaggery & Peanut balls and Pickles. These often have name boards that say, ‘Dealers in Condiments, Dry fruits and General Home products’. As you walk along the main Gandhi Bazaar road, you will also see vendors stringing flowers into garlands with their dexterous hands. The jasmines (mallige), tuberoses, marigolds, asters and roses are coupled with leaves to make garlands for the temple deity or for a wedding ceremony. Gandhi Bazaar sits on land that has been an important part of Bangalore’s history.
Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre
Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre started in the year 1986 caters to more than 400 regular swimmers from different age groups at various levels. The Centre works full time and has got the status of a professional Aquatic Centre. The object of the Centre is to develop excellence in Swimming Sport by providing all round support and training to build the best human qualities to make them good citizens of the country.
Summer camps are open to all children aged between 5-16 years without any prior exposure to the swimming. Camps are conducted at a stretch (24 classes) with Wednesdays as the weekly holiday. Each session lasts for one hour. Every year two summer camps are conducted during the month of April and May. Swimmers can continue further training after the camp by enrolling as regular swimmers under various programs available at the pool.