Visit to Someshwara Temple Halasuru (Ulsoor), Bangalore

More than a week back British Prime Minister Theresa May visited Someshwara Temple Halasuru in Bangalore. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The news surprised me. She is second among foreign leaders to visit this Hindu Temple in Bangalore. Prior to her in 2012 Canadian PM and his wife visited this temple. They even exchanged garlands and reaffirmed their marriage for the second time. And I was like – my own city and I haven’t visited the temple yet! Definitely it must be a significant one. So the following week, that is last Sunday I rushed there to make up for my ignorance.

Faith is like that – It brings people from miles away to reaffirm what one believes! I was impressed and touched beyond words when I saw the local newspapers splashed with pics of her in Indian attire, Saree. British PM Theresa May walked in to the temple bare feet, led by two main pujaris (priests of Hindu temples). She offered her prayers in the most traditional way.

Main Gopuram of Someshwara Temple

Inside Someshwara temple Complex

At Someshwara Temple Halasuru Bangalore

History of Someshwara Temple, Halasuru

Several historical records mention this temple belongs to Chola period. Chola reign extended from 3BC to 12AD. When exactly, in which year it was built is not mentioned anywhere. At least I could not trace it out. Please do update if any of you happen to know the exact year. There are several legends around this temple connected to its origin.

Legend: Kempe Gowda, while on a hunt, rode far away from his capital Yalahanka. Being tired, he rested under a tree and fell asleep. The local deity Someshwara appeared to him in a dream and instructed him to build a temple in his honor using buried treasure. In return the chieftain would receive divine favor. Kempe Gowda found the treasure and dutifully completed the temple.

This was published in the “Gazetter of Mysore” in 1887, by Benjamin Lewis Rice.

entrance-to-main-shrine-someshwara-temple-halasuru

Tour of Someshwara Temple Halasuru, Bangalore.

Bangalore has several Someshwara Temples (dedicated to Lord Shiva). The one British PM visited is in Halasuru (Ulsoor) 37kms from Kempegowda International Airport. And this temple is 6kms from the place I stay. As I approached it through the narrow by lanes of Halasuru, I could see the gopuram (gate of temple) peeping out slowly. The high rise buildings around has dwarfed the temple. Residential houses have come up close to temple boundary wall. It is mighty impressive that more land around the temple has not been devoured by land sharks here yet. (BTW, Halasuru is also famous for being the first British military station in 1807)

The temple has long wooden doors in a granite frame. This is beautifully carved with female celestial beings.

One factor I would like to highlight is: While it was chaotic right outside the temple, once we stepped inside the temple complex it was very peaceful and serene. The high boundary walls kept the chaos outside, opens the temple courtyard to the vast sky above as if directing all prayers upwards. I liked the peace there. It was hard to believe this is part of Bangalore city. People around believe the temple is very jagrut… meaning temple with a caring God and if prayed with a sincere heart your wishes and desires are fulfilled!

Someshwara Temple Halasuru Door frame

Someshwara Temple Halasuru Door Frame

Temple Complex Dotted with Shrines

Today this temple figures  top in the list of places to see in Halasuru, Bangalore.  Tour time of this temple can take half an hour to one hour. It is the smaller shrines there that can take time if you pause for longer in each of these. The entire temple area is dotted with several smaller shrines. I counted at least 7 of them dedicated to different Gods. This is excluding the idols embedded on the wall itself which too are worshiped with flowers and incense sticks. Luckily for me the temple wasn’t crowded. People had lined up at the temple office to purchase tickets for offering prayers to the main idol.

We proceeded inside towards to the sanctum. Right at the entrance to the sanctum is a huge Nandi (bull, Lord Shiva’s vehicle). It is made of brass and shines like gold. I saw the devotees whispering their prayers into Nandi’s ears. It is believed when Nandi recommends your prayers to Lord Shiva they are answered quickly! The main idol here of Lord Shiva in the form of lingam.

nandi-at-someshwara-temple-halasuru

Nandi at Someshwara Temple Halasuru

After offering prayers here we did a pradakshina (circumambulation) of this holy sanctum. And throughout this pradakshina path we saw several idols, I lost count of them. The walls are sculpted with several images. Photography is strictly prohibited in the interiors. The congregation hall is lined with several carved pillars in rows. Devotees usually sit here after offering prayers and that day too it was no different. I too sat for a while with the intention of meditating on God.

We paused a bit in the cool shade of the hall we did pradakshina of the main temple. The complex housed these small shrines:

  1. Kammakshanavara Temple
  2. Sri Veeranjaneya Swami Sannidhi
  3. Navagraha statues housed in a special room
  4. Peepal Tree
  5. Sri Natya Ganapati
  6. Sri Bala Ganapati Swami Sannidhi
  7. Sri Bheemeshwara Swami Sannidhi.

And at one corner there were toilets too for men and women.

Someshwara Temple sculptures

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Location and Address:

Ulsoor Road, Someshwarpura, Ulsoor, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008

Someshwara Temple Open Timings:

Someshwara Temple Halasuru is open on all days. Mornings – 6AM to 12.30PM. Evenings – 5.30PM to 9PM.

How to reach Someshwara Temple Halasuru

Bangalore International airport is connected to all cities. The distance to Someshwara Temple Halasuru is 37kms can be done in a taxi or local public transport. So is the Bangalore City Junction Railway Station. This distance is 7.5kms. You can reach the temple in a taxi or by local public transport.

someshwara-temple-halasuru-gopuram

Travel Tips to Temple:

  • Leave your footwear at the chappal stand and not at the door of the temple.
  • Wear modest clothes. No shorts allowed even for men.
  • Photography allowed in the temple complex but not in the interiors of the temple.
  • If you believe in making offerings at temples, keep those loose coins ready. There are more than 10 shrines inside.

someshwara-temple-halasuru.

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55 Responses to “Visit to Someshwara Temple Halasuru (Ulsoor), Bangalore

  • I live the fact that theresa may beat you to visiting the temple in your own city! The architecture is so beautiful and I love the clothing by the way! Ree love30

  • I have no words for that gate, how intricate and how beautiful. There is so much culture and history in Someshwara temple and I’m fascinated even by just looking at the photos. I’m sure the Britist PM feels the same. But it closes pretty early huh, 12PM. I guess when I go there I have to be really early.

    • 12 noon is not late at all. Ideal time to visit any temple is very early – say around sunrise. That is the best time to catch the Abhishekam (ritual bath), alankaram (decoration) etc.

      Cheers

  • Having lived in bangalore for almost a decade, even I never happened to visit this temple!! Now, you have got me interested . will visit soon…so true that faith knows no bounds..

  • In fact I have never heard abt this temple 😕 thanks for sharing pics and ur experience 😊

  • Beautiful temple. Thanks for the all photos.

  • The Architecture is definitely of Cholas, that much I can tell…

  • I’ve always loved India for the religion and the culture. Even in Southeast Asia, their temples are richly detailed. So is their literature and rituals. I’m amazed at how rich they are, so I can only imagine how rich it can be in India itself.

  • Wonderful to know about this temple… very intricately carved and well maintained… and your pics have given us a virtual tour

  • Lucky girl ! I would have loved to be her travel companion ! What a beautiful temple !

  • Always good to know of Temples like this and a bit notes to it.

  • Thanks for this interesting blog and the pictures. I will definitely try to visit soon.

    PS: Why should one keep loose coins for donating ? Why not notes ? 🙂

    • Indrani Ghose
      11 months ago

      Ha ha yes… notes too… why not! 🙂 Thank you for the visit and comments Vish.

  • Great architecture! Incredible India 🙂

  • What a detailed post!! I also got the same thoughts as you when I read the news about British PM visiting this temple. But, I haven;t yet visited the temple. Soon will make a plan .. your post inspired me to do one.. thanks for sharing..

  • Yogi Saraswat
    11 months ago

    And I was like – my own city and I haven’t visited the temple yet! It happens usually , we do not want to go , or could not go to our nearest famous place . I could not go to Akshardham after making countless efforts. Beautiful pictures indeed . I was not aware about Canadian first family’s visit to this place.

  • Maniparna Sengupta Majumder
    11 months ago

    Wonderful architecture. Thanks for sharing the pictures… 🙂

  • We can see real Indian Beauty in this temple. Thank you for share this photos. Will surly go there.

  • Frankly speaking, I pass this temple almost daily on my way to office. Yet I am yet to go inside. While quite often we plan to go to exotic faraway places, how much we miss what is near.

  • There are so many stories behind every temple and every place. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Beautiful works of architect, go to know about the visit of famous personalities,will love to visit.

  • What a beautiful temple and I love how foreigners are being inclined to Indian culture & tradition 🙂

  • Beautiful temple and great captures. I had the exact same thoughts when the British prime minister visited the temple. Will plan a visit soon and exchange notes !

  • So passionate about culture, history and architecture!
    Beautiful clicks of the impressive piece of architecture!
    Very informative article, thanks for the share.
    TC, keep smiling 🙂

  • WOW, what a place! And haha we know exactly what you mean by not seeing things in your own city, I expect we always think beauty is only in far away unknown lands, even if there is beauty on our own door step. Glad you got out an enjoyed some of your cities amazing culture and history, we intend to do more of that when we return to London some day. After our year in the Americas we’re off to India so thank you, this is certainly now on the bucket list. Happy travels, Candace and Spencer (www.360honeymoon.com)

  • I love visiting temples, looking forward to seeing the differences between the ones I’ve seen in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia.

  • The details here are simply exquisite! Really enjoyed these photos. I also found the legend and history behind this temple to be rather intriguing. Lately we’ve been trying to explore our own city more to experience what it has to offer!

  • The gate to the temple is really beautiful, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s funny how we often miss places in our own backyards. For me, I met a lot of people while traveling around-the-world that had seen more of the U.S. than I have. I’m glad you found some motivation to see this beautiful temple.

  • That is such a lovely temple. You know I find that sometimes we have the nicest things on our backyard and we totally ignore them.

  • Woowww… what a beautiful temple, so much history and faith in one place.
    Thanks for sharing all the details, I have never been to India and I’m amazed by the richness of its culture and religion.
    Cheers,
    Nat

  • Really great post, these pictures and the detail of the temples are absolutely stunning! I’ve never been to India, but it’s on the top of my bucket list for exactly these reasons!

  • Really love the architecture of all the temples in India. The sculptures and design is very detailed and wonderful.

  • What a detailed introduction to Someshwara Temple Halasuru (Ulsoor), Bangalore! The intricate artistry is truly stunning. Once again I am amazed at the historical creativity and talent of humanity.

  • I am also pretty surprised to see that the Britihs PMvisited this place given that hse is still relatively new on her position – in any case, that looks good on her political account. 🙂 India seems to have so many interesting and unusual things to offer I finally have to visit it.

  • I’ve never seen so many shrines in one place! Beautiful photos and write-up!

  • It looks like a beautiful temple. I can see why Theresa may went there 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing Indrani. When I read about the UK PM visiting this place, I also felt exactly the same way! I am yet to visit 🙁

  • Interesting and the temple looks beautiful. Why do you think it is that only two world leaders have visited this place?

    • Indrani Ghose
      11 months ago

      Hi Jennifer, Google has info only on these 2 leaders. 🙂 Thanks for the visit and comment.

  • Wow! The place looks amazing! What camera are you using? The settings must be specific? Anyway, I love how you angled the shots and how the pictures turned out. What an amazing adventure. I wish I could also visit this place. 🙂

  • Have visited the location so many times but never had the opportunity to discover this gem of a temple. It looks quite intriguing.Thanks for sharing

  • Unfortunately I didn’t make it to Bangalore when I was in India. This temple looks incredible though!

  • I love in a toeristic city. And there’s a lot things I haven’t been to yet. Even though I would visit it if I were on holiday haha. It’s just the way it goes. Nice to read more information about the temple. I can imagine why people want to visit!

  • I love in a touristic city. And there’s a lot things I haven’t been to yet. Even though I would visit it if I were on holiday haha. It’s just the way it goes. Nice to read more information about the temple. I can imagine why people want to visit!

  • Hi Indrani. Though I live in Bangalore I had not heard of this temple till I read articles about the British PM’s visit all over the local newspapers. I have been thinking of visiting it someday but postponing because it takes quite some time to reach Halasur from where I live. But this article came as a nudge. I m surely making a visit shortly. Loved reading your article, as always 🙂

  • Love the pictures! The temple shows so much history. Will include this on my bucketlist!

  • You noted how people outside the people tend to make the place a little noisy but glad that you also said the temple itself if serene and peaceful. Visitors of the place will surely still enjoy going there because of its peacefulness.

  • We have been to Bangalore so many times but never been to this temple. Bangalore has some of the beautiful historical temples which are lost in the bustling IT city of Bangalore as we know today. Someshwara temple looks impressive and would love to make it next time we visit.

  • Beautiful pictures! Did you understand why those prime ministers chose this specific temple amongst all the temples in Bangalore?

  • That temple is the same as what I have found in Malaysia!

  • been hearing great reviews about Bangalore! I really want to visit there. I am wondering if temples are same in other countries? I mean the Hindu temples? the gate of this temple is kind of similar to the ones o found in KL?

  • am very happy to hear from this article………….yeah, british PM visited our temple….”proud to be an indian”

  • Am equally guilty.live not too far from Ulsoor.This weekends plan is set thanks to you.

  • I definitely have no words for this historical hindu treasure! I feel it’s such amazing to be able to find such a place and be able to attest it makes you feel something inside. I do believe all kind of beliefs is able to bring people together and that’s what it’s all about! I’ve been reading so much review about Bangalore, but it’s so good to be able to read such a good article!

  • Wow what an incredible sight to see! I love visiting places that are rich in culture and history. The architecture and artistry in the building and carvings are magnificent. This will surely be added to my bucket-list. I love how you shared some background info about it, too. Thanks for sharing!

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