The Big Bull Temple (or Dodda Basavana Gudi in Kannada) is a temple exclusively for the worship of the sacred bull (also called Nandi) in Hinduism, which is Lord Shiva's Vaahana (or mode of transport). Inside this temple is a huge stone monolith idol of this Nandi, which is continually covered in new layers of fresh butter each day before worship.
It is situated in Bull Temple Road, or Basavanagudi area of Southern part of Bengaluru city (South Bengaluru). The temple is situated inside a park called Bugle Rock.
Dodda Basavana Gudi is said to be the biggest temple to Nandi in India and the world.
The Big Bull temple was built in 1537 by Kempe Gowda - a chieftain under the Vijayanagara Empire - who also founded and fortified the city of Bengaluru. He built the temple in the Vijayanagara architectural style.
The temple building consists of a shrine fronted by a porch in Vijayanagara style. The tower (vimana) existing over the shrine was constructed in the early 20th century and is adorned with Saivite motifs.
The temple is named after the large granite Nandi (bull) monolith inside its primary shrine (garbhagriha). This is one of the largest Nandi Murti (statues) in the world, with a height of about 15 feet and length of 20 feet. This huge Nandi is placed on a plinth and it has become blackened from years of being rubbed with charcoal and oil and other things during worship.
The area around the temple also comprises of a Ganesha temple (god with an elephant head) called Dodda Ganesha temple. A garden (Bugle Rock garden) close to which the bull temple is located falls behind the Dodda Ganesha temple. This garden gets its name from a bugle call made on top of a very large rock formation to alert the nearby dwellers. There is also a water tank within this area, with motifs of famous people from Karnataka.
The Dodda Basavana Gudi is open to visitors all through the week.
Times to visit the temple is from:
There is no entry fee – all visitors can enter the temple free of cost.
Photography of the main idol inside is prohibited.
The Big Bull temple is 10.1 km away from Bangalore Cantonment railway station, and around 40 km away from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International airport.
It can be reached by road or by boarding Bangalore’s Namma Metro on the Green Line serving Basavanagudi and getting down at National College station, from where the temple is less than 2 km away.
Other attractions in Bengaluru near the big bull temple include: