Bull Temple

Basavanagudi Bull Temple

Bull temple


  • Nandi statue - 4.5m high and 6.5m long
  • Sun and the Moon Gods behind the bull
  • 17th century inscription at the base
  • Ganapati Temple
  • Bugle Rock Park
  • Kempe Gowda's watch tower
  • Event: Kadalekayi Parishe ( groundnut fair)

Bull Temple

,   is atop the Bugle Rock in Basavanagudi, Bengaluru, India. Basavanna Gudi means Bull Temple in the Telugu language. The Bull Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva's Vahana (vehicle), Nandi, the revered bull.

Bull temple was built during the 16th century, in the Dravidian style of architecture, by Kempe Gowda I, the founder of Bangalore. The bull in its sitting position, measures 4.5 m in height and 6.5 m in length. The huge granite monolith ( carved out of a single stone), has blackened due to worshippers applying oil on its surface. The bull has a small iron plate on its head. The bull is flanked by the idols of God Surya ( the Sun) and Goddess Chandra ( the Moon), on their chariots. A 17th Century inscription at the base of the structure mentions about a stream called Vrishabhavathi that originated here seven or eight decades ago. The current tower (vimana) over the shrine was constructed in the early 20th century and is adorned with Saivite figures and motifs.

As per legend, a bull used to destroy the groundnut crops, enraging a farmer who hit the bull with a club. The bull sat stunned and was suddenly transformed into a stone. The shocked farmers then decided to build a temple to appease the bull, but were shocked to see that the bull was growing taller! The worried farmer then prayed to Lord Shiva who advised him to retrieve a trident buried a few feet away from the bull and place the trident on the forehead of the stone statue to stop it from growing. As a tradition, the farmers of Basavanagudi organize a Groundnut Fair ( Kadalekayi Parashe), near the temple, during November and December, offering their first harvest to the bull.

Adjascent to the bull temple is a unique temple, called Dodda Ganeshana Gudi, which means Big Ganesha Temple. The idol of the deity is made out of 110 kg of butter after every 4 years. Amazingly the butter never melts. At the end of every four years, butter is distributed among devotees.

The Bugle Rock Park and Kempe Gowda's watch tower on the rock are worth seeing. The rock is 3000 million years old and is contiguous to the Lal Bagh rock. During Kempe Gowda's period, at sunset a sentry would blow the bugle and hold a torch which was visible from the other watch towers. Many rocks have hollowed cavities which were used for lighting lamps.

Bull Temple
Travel info:
Timings: 6 am - 8 pm
No entry fee
Location: Bull Temple Road
N.R.Colony, Basavanagudi
Bengaluru, Karnataka, INDIA
Transit Point:
Bull Temple Road bus stop