District: Bangalore Rural
Temple: The Venugopalaswamy Temple
Devanahalli, a suburb, featured in the news a lot after it was announced by the government that the new and improved Bangalore International Airport would be coming up there. The name literally means ‘the abode of gods’ and has plenty of temples to its name, including the Venugopalaswamy temple in the Bangalore rural area.
Venugopalaswamy Temple – Overview
The fort in Devanahalli housed the erstwhile rulers of Mysore like Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The fort surrounding the township has numerous temples within its walls, like the Nanjundeswara temple, Chamundeswara temple, Veerabhadraswamy temple and the Ranganathaswamy temple. The temples in Devanahalli were built in different eras but mostly are of the Hoysala architecture.
Venugopalaswamy Temple – History
Though the scale of the temple is small, its size doesn’t detract people from marveling at the architectural intricacies of the temple with its pillars and frescoes decorated in the Hoysala tradition. It is a miniature version of the mega complexes that the temples in Belur and Halebid are, and is as detailed as the other two in its carvings and statues. There are two statues of Lord Vishnu at the sides of the gopuram which are believed to be of the Ganga era.
Venugopalaswamy Temple – Architecture
Though the temple is relatively small, the Rayagopuram is tall with the two statues of Lord Vishnu on both sides carrying distinctly different tools and weapons and with different expressions that provide a startling contrast. The temple, despite its size has a spacious inner Prakara and also has a navaranga, mukhamantapa and a typically small garbhagriha.
The Prakara has niches adorned with intricate stucco work that are very popular with tourists and a must see to any visitor. The mukhamantapa’s pillars are beautifully decorated with intricate carvings. The outer walls of the temple, made of stone, are cover in frieze, depicting various scenes from the Ramayana. The northern and southern walls narrate the entire Balakandam.
Venugopalaswamy Temple – Religious Significance
The temple’s presiding deity Lord Venugopalaswamy is present in a standing posture as opposed to his reclining posture; the deity is in styled in the Vijayanagar tradition while the shikara is in Dravidian style, standing testament to the amalgamation of the two chief cultures in these parts.
Every April there is a temple festival called an Utsav, on the Chaitra Poornima day; for this festival the entire temple is cleaned and washed, which has led to some damage to the frescos. Such cleaning and maintenance are funded by the collections in the temple itself, where donations are offered by the devotees.
How To Get To Venugopalaswamy Temple
The temple is on the Bellary road on NH – 7; once you cross the city limits, the temple town of Devanahalli will about 30 km away; and the temple will be one of the first buildings that you will see on your right when driving from Bangalore.
Thanks to its increased connectivity to the main city of Bangalore, the temple can be easily reached. The onus is on the government to improve the temple’s tourist visibility and maintain the facilities to attract tourists to this beautiful temple.