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Bhoganandishwara Temple, Nandi

DISTRICT: Kolar; TALUK: Chikballapur
LOCALITY: Nandi (Lat. 13° 23' N; Long. 77° 42' E)
APPROACH: AIRPORT: Bengaluru; RAILWAY STATION: Nandi; BUS STATION: Nandi

Inscriptions of the Nolamba ruler Nolambadiraja and the Rashtrakuta king Govinda III (806 AD) and copper plates of the Bana ruler, Jayateja and Dattiya (810 AD) refer to the construction and grants to the Siva temple at Nandi.  Nandi formed part of the Bana-Nolamba territory during 4th  to 10th  centuries AD.  Epigraphs indicate that it was under the rule of Cholas followed by Hoysala and Vijayanagara. However, the foundation of the present village is attributed to one Baire-Gouda of Avati in the late medieval times. The chieftains of Chikaballapur, Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan held sway over the area. A regiment of the British military was stationed from 1799 to 1808 AD between Nandi and Sultanpet.

The Bhoganandisvara temple is architecturally one of the most important specimens of Dravidian order datable to circa 9th to 15th century AD. Enclosed in its own prakara measuring 112.8 m x 76.2 m with double mahadvara, this complex consists of twin temples dedicated to Siva as Bhoganandisvara (north) and Arunachalesvara (south). Between the two is a small intervening shrine. Each temple consists of a garbhagriha, a sukanasi and a navaranga.  Both sukanasi and navaranga are provided with sculptured jalis. Both temples have individual nandi mandapas in front. In between the two shrines is a kalyanamandapa built of black stone intricately carved with creepers and birds, even excelling the meticulously worked Hoysala specimens. The prakara has two Devi shrines and other related structures like vasantamandapa, tulabharamandapa and a square stepped tank.