The Shiva temple located on the Old Airport Road behind Kemp Fort (now a mall) in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It is one of the most famous temples in the city, with its remarkable 65-foot-tall statue of Lord Shiva. Lakhs of devotees, both national and international, visit the temple throughout the year. The temple is also the abode of a 32-foot-high idol of Lord Ganesha.
The founder of the temple--a nationally renowned author, singer and philanthropist known as R. V. M.--had a vision one morning during his "thought time" to erect a huge idol of Lord Shiva that will usher hope, faith and belief in generations to come. RVM had no land or sufficient money to build such a temple at that time; however, it was as if after that dream, everything fell in place. He got a piece of suitable land, and his family business flourished, making his dream come to reality. That is how the construction of the temple and the 65-foot-tall statue of Lord Shiva started in 1994. Surprisingly the sculptor of the idol, Kashinath, did not make a blueprint or drawing of the statue; neither did he use measuring tapes. It was only his bare hands that shaped the marble paste to create such a vibrant idol of Lord Shiva.
The temple was inaugurated in 1995 by Sri Shankaracharya of Shringeri, who is considered as the spiritual representative of God, on the auspicious day of Maha Shivaratri. Unexpectedly, lakhs of devotees visited the temple on that day, making it a grand event while the city came to a standstill. Since then, the temple has become a favourite spiritual destination.
There is no roof on the temple and it is built in such a way that it seems Lord Shiva is sitting in Mount Kailash facing the Manasarovar, with the infinite sky above Him. The birds chirping and the colourful flowers all around enhance the appeal of the place. Different spiritual events and activities are conducted in the temple premises, such as the light and sound show conducted thrice every evening, at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. The show, with light music, spiritual dialogues and pleasant light-effects, creates a surreal atmosphere that is quite stimulating. Devotees believe that problems get solved and prayers answered by touching the feet of the Lord. There is a practice of dropping a coin in the Manasarovar and chanting the mantra "Om Namah Shivaya" seven times while making a wish.
Daily aartis are conducted at 8:30 in the morning, 7:30 in the evening, and 11:45 at night.
Special programs and activities are conducted on every Monday, considered to be the special day of Lord Shiva. It is famously known as "Somvaar Ka Tyohaar". Aarti is held every two hours; bhajans are played throughout the day, with live bhajans in the evening. R. V. M. himself sings bhajans from 10:45 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Thereafter, mid-night Aarti is performed and special prasad is distributed among the devotees.
Some of the spiritual activities of the Shiva temple include:
- 108 Om Namah Shivaya Yatra: 108 coins are dropped one by one in bowls while chanting the Shiva mantra. It is believed that by doing this, one's wish get fulfilled.
- Paap Naash Diya: It is believed that if one lights up a diya (small earthen lamp)from the Diya Spot and immerses it in the Ganga that flows from Lord Shiva's jatha (hair) in the temple, one's sin is washed away.
- Vighanaharan Thread: The Lord Ganesha is called Vighnaharta, which means "problem solver". Offering prayers to the Lord Ganesha in this temple and tying a holy thread is believed to remove problems from one's life.
- Pahadi Shiv Dham Yatra: This is a highly innovative artificial structure launched by the temple authorities on Maha Shivaratri in 2010. Devotees get a feel of climbing the Himalayas while covering Haridwar, Kedarnath, Badrinath and finally Amarnath.
Other activities performed are "havan" or "homa"; milk abhishek, that is, bathing the Shiva Ling with milk; Miracle Point, where a coin is dropped in the Manasarovar while chanting the Shiva mantra seven times; Navagraha Puja, where the gods of the nine planets are offered puja; and ganga snan,
Souvenirs include rudraksh mala, kum kum box and wall clocks with pictures of the Lord, laminated photos, Linga models, key chains, night lamps and Shiva chimes, to name a few.
The temple is open 24 hours.
Location and how to reach
The Shiv Temple is located on the Old Airport Road behind Kemp Fort (now a mall) in Bengaluru, Karnataka India. Regular BMTC buses ply from Majestic, the central bus stand at Bengaluru. Hired cars can also be availed. The city of Bengaluru is well connected with other metro cities of India by rail and air. Many international flights come directly to Bengaluru city. The city is also approachable from most of the important cities and towns of South India by road and rail.
Last Updated on : 26/10/2013