On the banks of Begur lake in Bengaluru is a 1300 year old Begur temple dedicated to the Pancha Lingas. Begur was a Jain settlement and a center of Vedic and Sanskrit studies. The Dravidian style temples were built in the 8th century AD by Kulutunga Raja, of Chola Dynasty and further expanded by Rajasimhanandi of Talakadu Ganga Dynasty.
A little bit of Bangalore history is etched in the inscriptions found on the floor of the temple. It is written that a person called Buttanashetty, son of Nagattara died in the battle of Bengaluru. Nagattara was a Jain and was one of the chief of army in the Ganga dynasty. His daughter Tondabbe was a Jain Muni / saint and had given up her life by Sallekhana i.e. fasting to death. Since then, Begur has been home to many Jain settlements and Basadis / Jain temples.
Though the Begur temple does not have elaborate carvings, the granite temples have a character of their own. Wide shiny stone pillars support the low ceiling inside the temples.
It is believed that each of the Lingas / representation of Shiva have the energy to ward off different nagging problems faced by the people.
The five Lingas are known as:
- Sri Nageshvara with Parvathi, which is the oldest temple and he blesses everyone with anything they ask for.
- Sri Choleshwara Swamy – Cures skin ailment
- Sri Nagareshwara Swamy – Solves business problems and court cases
- Sri Kalikamateshwara Swamy – Blesses with children
- Sri Karneshwara Swamy – Gives good health
Some of the unique features of this temple are that there is an idol of Ganesha with only two hands which is very rare; and an idol of Sooryanarayana / Sun God is installed facing west, in India this is the only place where the Sun god is installed in this direction.
The other idols found are Chamundeshwari, Kaala Bhairava, Vishnu, Chandra, Saptha Matrakeyaru / 7 forms of goddess Parvathi and Kashi Vishwanatha. Special poojas / rituals are performed on Karthika Somvara, Shivarathri and other main festivals and the temple is open from 5 am to 10 pm.
Begur Lake forms the perfect background for the temple with blooming lotus and water birds.
Type of Place: Ancient Temple
Situated: Bengaluru / Bangalore
Distance: 3.6 kms down Begur Road from the Bommanahalli junction on Hosur Road
Transport: Well connected by road
Facilities: Pooja items are sold by hawkers, Rest room is available
Timings: 5 a.m to 10 p.m