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Traditional Arts in Bangalore

Karnataka is known for its beauty and grace in many ways. South India is well known for its temple traditions and considering Karnataka, one cannot help but mention something about its beautiful temples, which date back to the 16th century.

In Bangalore
Iscon temple ISCON-Sri Radha Krishnachandra Temple has already become one of the most popular and sought after destinations in this region. The beautiful temple building and surroundings, the gorgeous deities of the Lord, and the pure spiritual atmosphere make the pilgrimage a lasting memory. The steady increase in the tourist inflow, both domestic and international, has inspired the state's tourism department to include ISCON in its city tour itinerary. The state public transport corporation has introduced special services connecting the temple to different parts of the city. Since inaugration, the ISCON temple has over 4.5 million visitors. At present, there are an average of 54,000 people visiting every week.

BULL TEMPLE A typical Dravidian style temple, built by Kempe Gowda. It has a mammoth monolithic bull 4.5m height and 6.5m long. The Nandi bull is revered for being the vahana (vehicle) of Shiva. The popular story is that the temple was built to appease a vagrant bull, which persisted in devouring all the groundnuts grown in the surrounding fields despite the villagers' best efforts to keep it at bay. The handsome Bull Temple was built and the bull apparently took the hint and stayed away from the groundnuts. The thankful farmers continue to hold a Groundnut Fair (kadalekayi parishe) near the temple premises every year, to show their gratitude.

Gavi Gangadareshwar temple SRI GAVI GANGADARESHWARA TEMPLE Every year on 14th/15th January (Makara Sankranthi day) a ray of sunlight passes precisely through the horns of the stone bull outside the temples to illuminate the deity inside the temple. This unique phenomenon attracts a large number of devotees.

DHARMARAJA TEMPLE The temple, housing two exceptionally fine images, one of Sri Dharmaraja Swami, the hero of the epic Mahabharata, and the other of Lord Krishna, is best known for its association with Bangalore's colourful Karaga festival. The Karaga, a symbol of Draupadi, is kept in the Dharmaraja temple. On the day of the festival, usually falling in March/April, it is carried in a procession, which starts at 02:00 hrs and returns 06:00 hrs after covering a distance of 20-25 kms. Only members of the Thegala community of gardeners may carry the deity on their shoulder. Interestingly, a visit to the dargha of the Sufi Saint Tawakkal mastan is a 'must' for this Hindu-oriented procession, which attracts people of all ages and religions by its earthy exuberance and hypnotic music.

VENKATARAMANASWAMY TEMPLE This 300-year old temple, built by Maharajah Chikka Devaraya Wadiyar, displays some of the best features of Dravidian temple art. The ornate stone pillars, supported by splendid lion brackets, still bear the imprint of the cannon balls, which ruined portions of the temple during the Third Mysore War (1790-1792). After the fall of Tipu in 1799, the Wadiyar dynasty restored the temple to its original grandeur. Maharajah Chikka Krishna Devaraya is said to have performed his thanksgiving puja at this temple before holding at Tipu's Palace in 1811.

NrityagramaNRITYAGRAM DANCE VILLAGE  Hesaraghatta the rural district of Bangalore India's only village for classical dances. Winner of the best "Rural Architecture Award", designed by Gerard da Cunha winner of the "Architect of the Year", conducted tours with explanation of India's philosophy, culture, lecture/demonstrations in dance, and vegetarian lunches (chemical free, home grown vegetables).

Nrityagram conducts the Vasantha Habba or the festival of spring. Leading musicians (like Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia) and dancers from all over the country participate and this brings the students as well as the connoisseurs and common man in touch with the best musical talents in the country. You can also stay here overnight to get the feel of this rustic Indian charm.


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