Third Largest Statue of Nandi – The Bull in Mysore

Midway through our drive down the Chamundeshwari Hills, we halted to see Nandi – The Bull… a towering statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s vehicle. In India Hindus worship Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva.

Nandi – The Bull

It is a must see sculpture in Mysore Karnataka.

Largest Statue of Nandi The Bull

Largest Statue of Nandi The Bull2

This statue is one of the largest statues of Nandi in India. It is 16ft. tall and 24ft. long, cut out of a single granite stone in 1659. Nandi, vehicle of Lord Shiva is always depicted in ‘about to stand up’ posture. Notice the left foreleg. (You will always find a statue of Nandi – The Bull in front of every Shiva Temple.) Also notice its ears perked up, ever ready and alert to attend Lord’s call. There are fine carvings of the several garlands of tiny bells adorning the statue. This colossal idol of Nandi is on the 800th step of the hill. The idol attracts millions of tourists every year.

Nearby there is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The spiritual minded can offer prayers there. Look out out for the white and ochre striped boulders nearby. You cannot miss it.

Largest Statue of Nandi - The Bull

Legend behind the custom of whispering in Nandi’s ears

Devotees whisper their prayers into the ears of the Nandi bull. The legend behind this custom is: Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva lost her memory. Lord Shiva, very disturbed by this, started meditating along with Goddess Parvati. Nandi bull too decided that he will also be a part of this meditation. This is exactly why he sat in front of Lord Shiva’s idol, and till today the custom is to place a statue of Nandi Bull in front of Lord Shiva’s temple.

During this meditation Jalandhar, an enemy of the Lord Shiva abducted Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva unaware of this continued his meditation. Gods were too scared and did not know how to inform Lord Shiva about this accident. They selected Lord Ganesha to pass this information. Ganesha tried to bring Lord Shiva out of the meditation but he failed. Then He saw Nandi bull and he whispered all that he wanted to in the ears of the Nandi bull. Nandi communicated all that he heard to Lord Shiva. This is how Lord Shiva came out of his deep meditation. Since then this custom has come up that when we whisper something into the ears of t he Nandi the Bull it gets communicated to the Lord Shiva who then fulfills all our wishes.

Nandi - The Bull


Ganesha Idols from Pottery Town, Bangalore
The Ever Popular Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysore, Karnataka

36 Responses to “Third Largest Statue of Nandi – The Bull in Mysore

  • Magnificient! Cut out from single granite stone.

  • Too good.
    I always believe our elders were the best in their work & vision.

  • Again, pure fascination! VERY neat Indrani.

  • Oh wow. That would definitely be something so see. Thank you for sharing!

  • Carved from one block of granite? That is really cool!

  • i need one of those in my backyard! we have a suburb here with indian street names. mysore street is just around the corner!

  • WOW. What an amazing piece of history!

  • wow – I LOVE culture!!!!!!

  • Wouahh !

    Très gros animal…

  • WOW — great pictures!

  • Amazing! Great photos!

  • This is amazing!! Carved from a single stone. These folks are brilliantly creative, BRILLIANT!! Thanks for stopping by my site, Indrani. Have a good weekend 🙂

  • What an enormous beast! Thanks for showing!

  • Wow. I think the thing that amazes me most is that it was built centuries before cranes and power tools and has withstood the harsh weathering effects of time. It’s beautiful.

    The 800th step, eh? Sounds like quite a hike!!

  • Perhaps If i am from India i might take this pic for granted but for me over here, reading this post is a privilege. Thanks for sharing

  • How awesome! Especially when you think that it’s all from one stone!

  • Wow, that is really something!

  • What an awesome old statue. And he’s huge! Its amazing that it was carved out of one stone.

  • Being a Mysorean and being accustomed to see the statue at least once a week, I have always taken the statue for granted. Looking at the comments here, I get a new respect for the statue.

  • It is amazing that as old as it is it still looks beautiful. I doesn’t seem to have been weathered at all.

  • but but but…. apart from the L x B x H details, where’s the accompanying juicy news i-share is renowned for ??????

  • Scrappysue:

    The history of emergence of this bull is fascinating.
    In my younger days on the way up by foot in Chamundi Hills, we were given its fascinating story
    by our teachers standing us up near the Bull.

    There is a very active Kannada meet in Auckland, if you google, Prof MK Vamanamurthy, the patron. A quintessential Mysorean and a brilliant mathematician, knows more about this bull.

    The only other which comes near to this majesty is the Bull in Brihadeeshwarar temple in Tanjore. That is much older than this from the Chola’s period.

  • Hi Indrani! First of all many thanks for your comment on my post of 08.08.08 at 08h08 at Blogtrotter, now in Kos, Greece! It was great to read you there. Second, sorry for the long delay to come here, but August was a terribly busy month, as everybody else seems to be in vacation… ;))
    Anyhow, I found sometime now to land here and enjoy your blog. Great pictures, incredible statue! Also loved to see the post on Chamundeswari Hill and the amazing brinjal…
    Wish you a great weekend!

  • It looks so peaceful and comfortable. Very impressive size!

  • Colossal is always mind boggling. Great pics Indrani. He looks so above it all. And the detail- those sculptors- must have taken years.

  • It is indeed one of the biggest nandi statues in India.The other big nandi is in Tamil Nadu in the Brihadeshwara Temple

  • great pics ..this is one of the biggest nandi statues..the other nandi is in Tamil Nadu in Brihadeshwara Temple

  • Such a beautiful statue.

  • You don’t see that every day.

  • i remember this so much. i went to the nandi with my cousins once…late at night, a beautiful statue…n beutifully captured too.

  • i remember this so much. i went to the nandi with my cousins once…late at night, a beautiful statue…n beutifully captured too.

  • wow, the statue looks truly magnificent!
    thank you for sharing

  • This is what I was hoping to see again this year…

    Lovely pictures…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *