, is about 60 km from Bengaluru in Nandigram, situated in the foot hills of Nandi Durg, in Chikkaballapur district. The temple is surrounded by 5 hills: Brahma Giri, Vishnu Giri, Skanda Giri, Divya Giri and Nandi Durg a.k.a Nandi Hills. There are also 5 rivers which flow here: Pinakini, Palar, Papagni, Arkavathy and SuvarnaMuki.
Two of the three forms of Lord Shiva, Arunachaleshwara (childhood) and Bhoganandishwara (youth) temples are in this complex, while Yoganandishwara (renunciation stage) temple is atop Nandi Hills. Between the twin temples of Arunachaleshwara (North) and Bhoganandishwara (South) is the small shrine of UmaMaheshwara ( Shiva Parvathi wedding). In front of Arunachaleshwara is a furious form of Lord Ganesha, called Ugra Ganapati or Simha Ganapati. Two small Devi shrines, of Apita Kuchamba and Girijamba are behind the main shrines.
This ancient Dravidian temple was built in early 9th century ( 806 - 810 AD) by the Bana Queen Ratnavali and subsequently extended by several dynasties: Rashtrakutas, Nolambas, Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pallavas and the VijayaNagara Kings. Bhoganandishwara shrine built by the Banas, seem to have been extended by the Cholas. A small statue of Rajendra Chola exists here. Arunachaleshwara temple is believed to be been built by the Gangas, while the Kalyana Mantapa ( Marriage Hall) supported by 4 ornate pillars in front of the Uma Maheshwara temple displays the intricacy of Hoysala Architecture. Vasantha Mantapa and the Kalyani were built by the Vijayanagara King, while the gopuras ( towers) were built by the Pallavas. Each extension exhibits different architectural style, all of which seem have blended beautifully. The complex also has a Thulabara Mantapa and 2 Nandi Mantapas. Carvings other than Uma Maheshwara shrine are not very intricate. Further, blobs of cream and red paint of a possible renovation have filled up and covered some of the finer carvings. The temple is important only because of the historical significance of each dynasty leaving its imprint of architectural style.
Temple Pond and Courtyard
The temple complex has a vast green courtyard and a picturesque stepped pond called the Shringi Tirta, built by Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagar empire. Shringi Tirta is said to be the source of South Pinakini (South Pennar) river. As per legend, the pond was created when a thirsty Nandi pierced his horns ( Shringa) into the earth. During festivals like Maha Shivaratri and Diwali and the month of Kartika, steps of the pond are lit up with thousands of lamps. Wheels of an ancient stone chariot lay in the courtyard. A fine architecture which certainly deserves to be maintained better by the ASI which is currently preserving this monument.