Nandi temple, Bangalore - one of the largest monolithic stone bulls in the world!!

Nandi temple,

Temple interior with Nandi idol, Nandi temple, Bangalore.

There is a Nandi temple dedicated only to Nandi  (Basava in Kannada meaning bull),  Lord Shiva's vahana in Basavangudi a suburb of Bangalore city. It was built  1537 during the reign of Vijayanagara by the local ruler, feudatory chief named Kempe Gowda. He was the one who founded  the Bangalore city. The temple being a small one, built in Dravidian style, the Nandi in the sanctum is carved from one stone - monolithic. The gopura/ tower was built in the 20th century, however the porch appears to have Vijayanagara style. 
One of the biggest Nandi idols in the world, Nandi temple, Bangalore
The legend  has it that centuries ago, Sunkenahalli, as Basavanagudi was known then, was a fertile agricultural land and mainly groundnuts crops were raised here. In the same area, there lived a wild bull that used to  go on an eating spree and devoured the groundnut crops, causing heavy loss to the poor farmers. At last, the farmers became quite upset and one of them, in his anxiety to drive away the animal for good, hit the bull with a club. The adamant bull refused to budge and sat down, soon to become motionless and frozen into a stone, much to the amazement of the farmers.
Nandi temple, Bangalore. The temple entrance
The villagers were in for more surprise as the stone bull had begun to grow in size. This being worrisome, the villagers prayed to lord Shiva and planted a trident on the bull's forehead to  check the further growth. They also realized that there was some kind of divinity involved in a live-bull turning into a stone bull that kept growing. A small temple was built in the same spot dedicated to the bull to appease it. Subsequently,  Kempe Gowda, the local ruler built a much bigger temple. The stone bull - 'Nandi' measuring 4.5m high and 6.5m long is believed to be one of the largest sculptured  stone bulls in the world.  There is  a small Linga  enshrined in the temple. The farmers began to offer lots of groundnuts -Kadalekayi to the bull enshrined here. 

This Bull temple is  now a famous venue for the famous 'Kadalekayi Parishe' (groundnut fair).  Since then, the Kadalekayi Parishe has been  held every year during Karthika month (November-December) and it attracts devotees from  all over the state and the groundnut merchants never miss this fair.   Bull temple is believed to be the source of the Vrishabhavati river.  Priests say that,  the spring originates at the feet of Nandi. Bull temple goes by the name of  “Shri Dodda Basavanna Gudi” - abode to Nandi (bull). carved out of a single granite stone.

 An interesting fact about this temple is the presence of a stone flag-mast (Dwajasthambam). Normally, the temple flag-mast is made of metal. This stone mast made out of a single block of rock is a rare one.  Octagonal in shape, it stands tall in front of the temple tower.  On the temple premises  there are shrines  dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant head God, and  Lord Shiva, where a Shivalinga is present and believed to be swayambhoo or self -manifested one.  As mentioned earlier, Bull temple is believed to be the source of the Vrishabhavati river.The word "nandi" means "joyful" in Sanskrit and this one is one of a kind in India and is inside the park called ''Bugle Park'' which got its name  from a bugle call made atop the large rock outcrop  to alert the nearby dwellers in case an enemy raid.