Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple near Bangaluru, a famous cave rock-cut monument, Karnataka


Gavi_Gangadhareshwara temple.

Unlike Maharashtra, Orissa and other states north of the Vibdhya mountains,  rock-cut temples occur in a few places in the southern India. In Tamil Nadu good examples are the Mallapuram temple complex near Chennai and the rock fort temple complex in Tiuchi city, both built by the Pallava dynasty and others.  In Karnataka, the Badami cave temple complex,  consisting of both  Hindu and Jain cave temples located in Badami,in the Bagalkot district in northern part of the state is a world famous one. This post is about Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple also called  Gavipuram Cave Temple, close to Tumkur, near Bangaluru city. 

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Cave Temple, Bangaluru, an interesting place to visit. is  an example of Indian rock-cut architecture,  and is located  close to Tumkur near  Bangalore  city. India. The  rock-cut shrine, set in a serene scenic area,  is a protected monument under the Karnataka Ancient and Historical Monuments, and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1961. Well-known for a unique rock disc in the front, the temple is planned in such a way as to allow the sun rays to fall on the shrine  during  certain time of the year. 

Built in the 16th century by Kempe Gowda I, the founder of the city,  Gavi Gangadhareshwara Cave Temple is one of the oldest temples in in this region.  Kembe Gowda constructed this rock cut temple after release from  his long imprisonment for 5 lyears  by Rama Raya. A striking feature of this temple is the presence of  four monolithic pillars, representing Damaru, Trishul and two fans on the patio. They give solid support to the roof. It is said a visit to this temple will cure eye  problems.  There are a few natural springs nearby called Kanva Theertha, Agasthya Tirtha, Pathala Ganga and  Kapila theertha . Sharadamba Temple and Sri Honnadevi temple are  near-by. The temple is accessed through a series of  rock steps. It is part of four-faceted hill called Sivaganga. God Shiva in the south and Nandi in the east. The others are God Ganasa and snake god Naga  respectively in the west and north.

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple

The presiding deity in this natural cave rock cut temple is God Shiva carved out of a monolithic stone. In the court yard occur many fine sculptures - most of them are monolithic. The giant disc of the Sun and the Moon are supported by two monolithic pillars. Atop the other two pillars, you will see  a number of Nandi at the top,  a feature not found in other temples. On the day of Makara Sankaranthi, this place is over crowded as  it  is an important religious event. Besides, on this day in this temple there occurs a rare and unusual phenomenon.  The sun rays fall on the Shiva linga for one hour as it passes between the horns of the Nandi. The drawings done by Thomas Daniell and William Daniell  way back  show the Sun illuminated the shrine in summer and winter solstice