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Dr.Shivakumar Swamiji

Dr. Sree Sree Shivakumar Swamiji

A true Karmayogi

Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Math has no faith in any religion other,than the religion of humanity. He has opened the doors of knowledge to the poor and the oppressed, and provided them with food and shelter. Chethana Dinesh meets the towering personality who dreams of a world where peace reigns unopposed. 
“Buddhi, a high-ranking government officer wants to meet you,” whispers a man in Swamiji’s ears. “Buddhi, we’ll be greatly honoured if you visit our college today,” pleads a bunch of blue-coat clad college lads. “Buddhi, what shall we prepare for prasada today?” the cook wants to know. “Buddhi, a group of people from Jewargi are waiting to seek your blessings,” announces another man. The Swamiji, affectionately addressed as ‘Buddhi’ by people at the math, lifts his head slowly from behind the huge pile of files he is examining and answers them all patiently - “Seat the officer in the room. Alright, I’ll come. I hope you’re all studying well. Prepare anything of your choice. Let the people from Jewargi in because they still have a long journey back home.” 

This is just two minutes in the day of Dr Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Math. Even a few hours with the Swamiji is enough to acquaint us to the 18-hour work schedule of this 101-year-old whose passion for relentless service to humanity can put even a hi-flying professional to shame. 

The Swamiji’s journey on the path of service started as early as 1930 when Sri Uddhana Shivayogi, the then pontiff of the math, initiated him into the viraktashram order. This choice of Sri Uddhana Shivayogi came as a pleasant surprise to Shivanna (as he was then called), who was still pursuing his third year degree course in the Central College, Bangalore. Not the one to be deterred by his special status, the Swamiji vowed to lead the math in the path of progress. And succeeded too. Today the math boasts of 128 educational institutions, offers free food, accommodation and education to over 8,500 students irrespective of their caste, community or religion, apart from the other developmental works it engages itself in. 
But the long journey to sweet success hasn’t been an easy one and the humble 101-year-old doesn’t admit it too. “Daiveche (God’s will),” is all that he has to say. Prod him a little and he says, “I just carried forward the work initiated by my respectable gurus.” 

By ‘Gurus’, he means Adavi Swami, the predecessor of Sri Uddhana Shivayogi, who started the practice of ‘dasoha’ or free feeding in the math at a time when the math had very little or no resources to boast of. Then followed Sri Uddhana Shivayogi, who not only continued the dasoha programme but also started a Sanskrit College way back in 1917, and kept its doors open to students of all communities and religions. That too at a time when even hearing, let alone uttering, Sanskrit words by the members of lower castes was considered a crime. 

With such illustrious Gurus as his predecessors, Sri Shivakumara Swamiji says he knew exactly what to do and did not rest till he achieved what he set out to. “Not that he rests now,” says Mr Renukaradhya, a person who spends most of his time with the Swamiji. “Why should I?” the Swamiji seems to ask, as he says, “Kayakave Kailasa (Work is worship),” one of the philosophies of Sri Basavanna, renowned religious and social reformer of the 12th century. Yes, the Swamiji not only preaches Basavanna’s philosophy but also practices them religiously. 

Way back in 1930, it did not take long for the Swamiji to realise the magnitude of responsibility that rested on his frail shoulders. So, off he went, on foot to the various villages around Kyathasandra, where the math is situated, to collect donations. Be it vegetables, pulses or cereals, the farmers gave him willingly and the Swamiji accepted gladly, to feed hundreds of hungry souls who, deprived of even one square meal a day at their homes, had taken shelter in the math. This donation of farmers, which started thus, continues to this day. The only difference being the farmers willingly visit the math with their donations and offer it to the Swamiji. “The first harvest is always reserved for the math,” says Mr Renukaradhya. 

Feeding over 10,000 people comprising students, devotees and visitors to the math, thrice a day, is no mean achievement. According to members of the math, the monthly expenditure of running the math is close to Rs 30 lakh, met mainly by generous donations from the public. What about the government? “Well, government aid comes in the form of partial financial support in the maintenance of a few destitute children,” say sources in the math. 

The practice of dasoha in the math has gained so much of popularity that many, including former president Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma, admit there is no other institute in the whole of India that is into service to humanity of this magnitude. Regular visitors to the math even wonder if Siddaganga Math is an ‘Akshaya Patre’ and the fire lit in the math kitchen is ever extinguished. 

The idealist and humanitarian Swamiji is quite particular that nobody visiting the math should leave without having food. His parting words to people, at any time of the day, is - “Take the prasada before you go.” Be it a minister of the Cabinet rank or a poor farmer, they have to partake of the same prasada as the math stresses on social equality. 

An otherwise gentle Swamiji, a devout and an ardent disciple of Basavanna, gets all fired up when talking about discrimination of every kind dogging the society. “This nation will not progress unless this meaningless caste system is abolished. Fighting in the name of religion is another social evil. When will it all end?” he asks, a question for which there are no answers. 

But the Swamiji, who has no faith in any religion other than the religion of humanity, has been contributing in his own way for the eradication of social evils like discrimination on the basis of caste and the practice of untouchability by taking needy students, irrespective of their caste, community and religion, under his protective care. 

When the Swamiji assumed the leadership of the math in 1941, after the demise of Sri Uddhana Shivayogi, there were only about 200 students in the math. The ceaseless and untiring efforts of the Swamiji has seen the growth of the math which now has over 8,500 students under its wings. 

One of Swamiji’s fondest dreams is to establish a caste-free society, which was also the dream of Basavanna. The result? There are over 500 Vokkaligas, 69 Muslims, 8 Christians and over 2000 students belonging to the backward communities. 

“The only prerequisite for joining the math is the willingness to study,” say volunteers at the math who also say the Swamiji never denies any needy student an admission in the math. 

Love for children: 

Ask the Swamiji what in life he enjoys most and pat comes the reply - “Being with children.” His love for children is writ large on his face even when he speaks about them. He also makes it a point to enquire after each one of them personally. Concerned about their well-being, he is eager to make them feel at home in the math. 

“His favourite pastime is to sit amidst children in the dining hall. He even admonishes children who, he feels, are not eating enough,” says Mr Renukaradhya. 

The selfless love he showers on them and the deep concern he has for them brings most of these children back to the math, even long after their education. To this day, many employees at the math are beneficiaries of the math’s largesse, who have returned to willingly offer their service to the math to which they owe their very being. 

In the words of Mr K S Shankaraiah, “I was nothing before I came to the math. Belonging to a poor family, education was just a dream, a mirage. Fortunately for me, my admission in the math meant an admission to the world of literates.” 

Mr Shankaraiah, who finished his eduaction at the Siddaganga First Grade College, served as a lecturer in the college and retired as a professor. So are Mr P N Chandrashekaraiah, Mr P V Hucchaveeraiah and many others who are actively into the various administrative tasks of the math, long after their retirement. 

Daily schedule:

The daily routine of students at the math is a healthy blend of education, spirituality and service. Waking up at 5.30 in the morning, these students have a mass prayer at 6 am. Then follows their Sanskrit class that begins at 7.30 am. Sanskrit classes are compulsory for all the inmates of the math as Swamiji considers it every Indian’s birthright to learn the ‘language of the Gods’. Their regular classes are held between 10.30 am and 5.30 pm. Post-school, these children engage themselves in various activities of the math, before assembling for their evening prayers at 6.30 pm. After their prayers is the study time. 

Both the prayer sessions, officiated by the Swamiji, ends with a discourse on good morals and principles that is generally related in the form of stories.

“My endeavour is not just to provide them with shelter and education, but to make them into good citizens too, as the future of our country depends on them,” says the Swamiji. 

The Swamiji’s commitment to the spread of good values is ably supported by over 128 educational institutes operating under the banner of Sree Siddaganga Education Society. These educational institutions, mostly established in the rural areas of the State, range from kindergarten to advanced technical education. 

“Education is the only tool that empowers a human being. It is only through education that people can gain awareness,” says the Swamiji, who emphasises the fact that social awareness is what frees a man from the shackles of blind beliefs, superstitions and, above all, social evils. 

Cattle fair 

The Swamiji, who firmly believes that farmers are the backbone of our society, organises many activities to bring about social awareness among them. One such regular feature during the Mahashivarathri festival is the annual cattle fair when farmers numbering over a lakh converge at the math with their cattle. A massive Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition also forms a part of this 15-day fair and serves as a platform for participants to learn about advancements in the field of agriculture and share their views and experiences with experts in the field. Needless to say, all the participants are provided with free food by the math. 

Developmental works apart, the Swamiji lays equal emphasis on cultural activities too. Cultural programmes are, in fact, seen as effective tools to bring about social transformation. Drama is one such medium the Swamiji adopts to build social awareness and drive in the eternally relevant messages of Basavanna. Every year Basava Jayanthi celebrations are held in villages when the drama troupe of the math travels to the interior parts of the State and stages plays themed on Basavanna’s philosophy. These plays, that run through the night, always has the Swamiji as one of its patient audiences. 

To this day, the Swamiji doesn’t wear glasses! His eyesight is still sharp enough to catch any mistake his accountant has made in the files pertaining to the administrative aspects of the math. His writing too is quite legible. However, the only support he takes is that of a walking stick, but still manages to walk briskly. 

Ask him about the secret of his good health and all that you get is a benign smile that gives it all - hard work, concern for fellow beings and minimal eating habits. 

In recognition of Swamiji’s relentless service to humanity, the Government of Karnataka has recommended his name for the prestigious Bharat Ratna Award. 

But, the Swamiji? Well, celebrations, awards and accolades concern him the least. He continues to toil for the upliftment of the downtrodden, living up to his ideal ‘Kayakave Kailasa’. 

A slice of Swamiji’s life 

A simple man that he is, Sri Shivakumara Swamiji, even at the ripe age of 101, is both a light eater and a light sleeper. He sleeps only for three hours a day, from 11 pm to 2 am. His routine runs like this: 

* 2 am - 3 am: Study. 

* 3 am - 3:30 am: Bath. 

* 3:30 am - 5:30 am: Meditation, pooja and the singing of bhajans, followed by breakfast. 

* 5:30 am onwards: Participating in the prayer session of students, concentrating on the various developmental and administrative aspects of the math. 

* 6 pm - 8 pm: Evening prayer session with students, followed by the singing of bhajans. 

* 8 pm - 11 pm: Devoted to the study of various philosophers. 

The Swamiji, who is known for the meaningful talks he delivers, is forever in demand and hence travels a lot. 

His eating habits are also as simple as the man himself. He only eats one small idli with non-spicy dal and a piece of fruit for breakfast. His lunch is a small ball of ragi and a little rice with dal, while his supper is even lighter. Not in the habit of drinking cofee, tea or milk, he only drinks bevina kashaya (a concoction made of ground neem leaves). 

A learned man that he is, the Swamiji never misses his morning newspapers. Keeping himself abreast of the happenings around the world, the Swamiji admits he is pained by the violence and gore that threatens the world.

Before 1930 

* Year of Birth: 1908. 

* Place of Birth: Veerapura, Magadi Taluk, Bangalore District. 

* Parents: Patel Honnappa and Gangamma. 

* Primary Education: Veerapura & Nagavalli. 

* Secondary Education: Government High School, Tumkur. 

* Pre-University & Graduation: Central College, Bangalore. 

The Math:

Location - About 64 kms from Bangalore on NH 4, the Bangalore-Poona highway. 

Founder - Sri Gosala Siddeshwara Shivayogi. 

Narayana Murthy

Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, better known as N. R. Narayana Murthy, is an Indian industrialist, software engineer and one of the seven founders of Infosys Technologies, a global consulting and IT services company based in India. He is currently the non-executive Chairman and Chief Mentor of Infosys. He was the CEO of the company for 21 years, from 1981 to 2002. After stepping down as CEO in 2002, he has broadened his scope of activities to social services as well as promoting India globally.

Murthy's corporate and social vision has been appreciated globally and he is the recipient of several awards including Padma Vibushan - India's second highest civilian award.

Born into a Kannada Madhva Brahmin family in Mysore, India on August 20, 1946, Murthy graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the National Institute of Engineering, University of Mysore in 1967 after attending government school, and received his master's degree from IIT Kanpur in 1969.
His first position was at IIM Ahmedabad as chief systems programmer , where he worked on a time-sharing system and designed and implemented a BASIC interpreter for ECIL (Electronics Corporation of India Limited).

After IIM Ahmedabad, he then joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune. Before moving to Mumbai, Murthy met his wife Sudha Murthy in Pune who at the time was an engineer working at Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co. Ltd. (Telco, now known as Tata Motors) in Pune. In 1981, he founded Infosys with six other software professionals. He served as president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies, India from 1992 to 1994. Mr. Murthy is the brother-in-law of serial entrepreneur Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande and the uncle of former NASSCOM Chairman and MphasiS chief Jerry Rao

Murthy served as the founder CEO of Infosys for 21 years, and was succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani in March 2002. He is the chairman of the governing body of the International Institute of Information Technology - Bangalore, and was the Chairman of the Governing Body of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of INSEAD, Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Cornell University Board of Trustees, Business Advisory Council of Great Lakes Institute of Management - Chennai, Singapore Management University Board of Trustees and the Board of Advisors for the William F. Achtmeyer Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business. Mr. Murthy also sits on the Board of Governors of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), a graduate school of business located in the Philippines and is also the Chairman of the Board of Members of School of Management , Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) located in Bangkok, Thailand. He is the chairman of the Asia Business Council, an organization headquartered in Hong Kong.
He is also a member of the Advisory Boards and Councils of various well-known universities – such as the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Corporate Governance initiative at the Harvard Business School, Yale University and the University of Tokyo’s President's Council.
Murthy serves as an independent director on the board of the DBS Bank of Singapore. This is the largest government-owned bank in Singapore. He also serves as a director on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India, as the co-chairman of the Indo-British Partnership, as a member of the Prime Minister's council on trade and industry, as a member of the Asia Advisory Board of British Telecommunications plc. and as a member of the Board of NDTV, India. He also serves as an independent director on the board of the European FMCG giantUnilever. He is an IT advisor to several Asian countries. He is also an Independent Director on the board of HSBC.
He retired from his executive position at Infosys on 20th August, 2006. However, he continues as the Non-Executive Chairman of the board .

Murthy has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 2008, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, a second highest civilian award by India and Légion d'honneur highest civilan award by France. In 2000, he was awarded the Padma Shri, a civilian award by the Government of India. He was the first recipient of the Indo-French Forum Medal (in the year 2003), awarded by the Indo-French Forum, in recognition of his role in promoting Indo-French ties. He was voted the World Entrepreneur of the Year - 2003 by Ernst & Young. He was one of the two people named as Asia's Businessmen of the Year for 2003 by Fortune magazine. In 2001, he was named by TIME / CNN as one of the twenty-five, most influential global executives, a group selected for their lasting influence in creating new industries and reshaping markets. He was awarded the Max Schmidheiny Liberty 2001 prize ( Switzerland), in recognition of his promotion of individual responsibility and liberty. In 1999, BusinessWeek named him one of the nine entrepreneurs of the year and he was also featured in the BusinessWeek's 'The Stars of Asia' (for three successive years - 1998, 1999 and 2000). In 1998, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, one of the premier institutes of higher learning in India, conferred on him the Distinguished Alumnus Award, and in 1996-97, he was awarded the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award.

In December 2005, Narayana Murthy was voted as the 7th most admired CEO/Chairman in the world in a global study conducted by Burson-Marsteller with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The list included 14 others with distinguished names such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett. In May 2006, Narayana Murthy has, for the fifth year running, emerged the most admired business leader of India in a study conducted by Brand-comm, a leading Brand Consulting, Advertising and PR firm.
The Economist ranked him 8th among the top 15 most admired global leaders (2005). He was ranked 28th among the world's most-respected business leaders by the Financial Times (2005). He topped the Economic Times Corporate Dossier list of India's most powerful CEOs for two consecutive years – 2004 and 2005.
TIME magazine’s “Global Tech Influentials” list (August 2004) named Mr. Murthy as one of the ten leaders who are helping shape the future of technology. In November 2006, TIME magazine again voted him as one of the Asian heroes who have brought about revolutionary changes in Asia in the last 60 years. The list featured people who have had a significant impact on Asian history over the past 60 years and it included others such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa,Muhammad Ali Jinnah etc.

He was the first recipient of the Indo-French Forum Medal (2003), awarded by the Indo-French Forum in recognition of his role in promoting Indo-French ties. He was voted the World Entrepreneur of the Year – 2003 by Ernst and Young. He was one of two people named as Asia's Businessmen of the Year for 2003 by Fortune magazine. In 2001, he was named by TIME/CNN as one of the 25 most influential global executives, selected for their lasting influence in creating new industries and reshaping markets. He was awarded the Max Schmidheiny Liberty 2001 prize (Switzerland), in recognition of his promotion of individual responsibility and liberty. In 1999, BusinessWeek named him one of their nine Entrepreneurs of the Year, and he was featured in BusinessWeek's 'The Stars of Asia' for three successive years – 1998, 1999 and 2000. He was recently awarded the Commander of the British Order (CBE) by the British government.

Narayana Murthy's trait of plain-speak and honesty has landed him in many altercations with local political leaders. While the political leaders insist that Narayana Murthy was eyeing India's presidential nomination, Narayana Murthy has repeated many times that he has no interest in politics.

His Quotes:

“Our assets walk out of the door each evening. We have to make sure that they come back the next morning.” 
“Performance leads to recognition. Recognition brings respect. Respect enhances power. Humility and grace in one's moments of power enhances dignity of an organisation,”
“The real power of money is the power to give it away.” 
“In God we trust, everybody else bring data to the table.” 
“Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.”
“I want Infosys to be a place where people of different genders, nationalities, races and religious beliefs work together in an environment of intense competition but utmost harmony, courtesy and dignity to add more and more value to our customers day after day.” 

Beautiful Parks in Bangalore

Lalbaugh Gardens :

Lalbagh, for its unique achievement in nurturing the concept of horticulture and aiding the development of horticulture, has earned a pride of place among the gardens of the world and it has come to be regarded as one of the best gardens in the East for its layout, maintenance, scientific treasure and scenic beauty. It is the place of legends and beauty, a place of rarity and wonder, a place of paradise and landmarks. It is an important genetic resource centre for introduction, acclimatization and maintenance of plants; it envisages documentation of the variations available in plants of ornamental and economic value. It is an important centre of dissemination of scientific, technical and popular information on plants including offering of regular courses. It aids the development of horticulture in the state. It is a valuable adjunct to botanic study in educational institutions, a vital lung space of Bangalore, a place of beauty that provides healthy recreation to the public and it provides a venue for people to get close to plants and nature. The garden with well-laid out roads, paths, open spaces, shade and a good collection of many types of plant species attracts a large number of visitors. Lalbagh is well protected with stone walls as enclosures and it has four approach gates. The main gate is at the North facing towards Subbaiah circle, the West gate is towards Basavanagudi, the South gate is towards Jayanagar and the East gate is towards the Double Road. Regarded as one of the most richly diverse Botanical Garden's in South Asia. Lalbagh in the Southern part of the city, was laid out by Haider Ali in 1740. Spread over 97-ha (240 acres) of Parkland, many of its tropical plants were brought here by Haider Ali's son Tipu Sultan. Later, John Cameron, the Garden's Superintendent in the 1870s, imported several more rare species from Kew Gardens in London. Cameron was also responsible for initiating work on Lalbagh's famous Glass House, modelled on London's Crystal Palace and Conceived as a venue for horticultural shows. Surrounded by champaka trees and pencil cedars, the Glass House has played host to several visiting dignitaries. The Entrance to the Park is marked by an equestrian statue of Chamaraja Wodeyar of Mysore. Another popular attraction is the surreal Floral Clock, surrounded by Snow White and the Seven dwarfs. This was a gift from Hindustan Machine Tools, leading Indian Manufacturers of Watches.Biannual flower shows are organized every year in January and August on the occasion of the Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations respectively. Details can be had from the Directorate of Horticulture or the Mysore Horticultural Society Office. The garden is an institution of botanical and environmental importance, a treasure house of our state and nation, an important lung space of Bangalore –it is the duty of every one of us to protect it from deterioration and to keep it clean. Lalbagh remains open daily from 6.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. throughout the year.


From BIAL airport - 40 kms ,
From city railway station - 10 kms
From city bus station - 10 kms

Cubbon Park:
The Cubbon Park, officially known as Sri. Chamarajendra Park, is an historic park, located in the heart of city in the Central Administrative Area. The park provides sylvan surroundings to the State Legislature building- the Vidhana Soudha, the High Court Buildings – the Attara Kacheri and a number of other organizations located along the periphery and within the park which constitute the Central Administrative Area.

The Cubbon Park has a history of over 100 years. It was established in the year 1870 by Sri John Meade, the then acting Commissioner of Mysore. The vast landscape of the park was conceived by Major General Richard Sankey, the then Chief Engineer of the State. As a mark of honour to Sri John Meade, the park was initially named as "Meade’s Park" and subsequently it was called the Cubbon Park. Since the inception of the park, it was developed and improved by adding new structures and features. In the year 1927, the park was officially renamed as "Sri. Chamarajendra Park" to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Sri. Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s rule in Mysore State.

Cubbon Park is under the control of the Department of Horticulture. The Deputy Director of Horticulture (Cubbon Park) is responsible for the administration and maintenance of the park.

Cubbon Park is a public park with many Government organizations, associations and clubs in its locale. The park is open all the time. It has been declared a silent zone between 5.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m.

From BIAL airport - 35 kms ,
From city railway station - 5 kms
From city bus station - 5 kms
Field Marshal Cariappa Park:

The Kariappa Memorial Park in Bangalore was laid out in 1996. This park occupies a portion of the parade ground between M.G. Road and Cubbon Park. This park was laid in the memory of Field Marshall K.M. Kariappa. The 22 acre stretch of the park is divided into six segments. There is also an entrance plaza and a seven feet high monolithic monument of Kariappa. There is also a wonderful man-made waterfall and a pond to attract birds to Kariappa Memorial Park.

The Kariappa Memorial Park of Bangalore is maintained by the various divisions of the Indian Army. Every fortnight six military bands perform at the bandstand, which is an elevated lawn. The lush green grass around the bandstand provide a very comfortable seating place for the visitors. There is also a scientifically created play area constructed for the children in the military style in order to improve the physical capability and mental intensity of the children. The play area of the park consists of burma bridge, tarzan swing, zig zag tunnels, spider webs, sand pits and balance bars.

There is also a 1.8 km long walker's track paved with cobble stone. You will also find around 3000 species of plants on both sides of this track and in other parts of the park. There are both indigenous and imported species among them. No insecticides and pesticides are used in the growth and maintenance of these trees in order to remain eco- friendly.

You can visit Kariappa Memoial Park on Saturdays between 1 pm and 7 pm and on Sundays between 9 am and 7 pm. During other weekdays the park remain open to visitors from 5:30 pm to 8 pm.

Karippa Memorial Park is a wonderful place for family outing.


From BIAL airport - 35 kms ,
From city railway station - 5 kms
From city bus station - 5 kms

Ulsoor Lake:

Ulsoor Lake is situated on the northeastern fringe of the city center, near the busy M. G. Road. The lake was constructed by Kempe Gowda II, during the later half of the second century. Spread over an area of approximately 1.5 square kilometers, the Ulsoor lake of Bangalore is dotted with islands. One of the major attractions of the lake is boating. There is a boat club at the lake, where you can hire cruises with stopovers at some of the islands.

In the earlier times, Ulsoor Lake was known as "Halsur" or "Alasur". The lake also serves as the venue for the Ganesha Festival celebrated in August/September. There is a recreational complex situated near the lake, with a swimming pool, where you can go for a swim. There is also a gurdwara near the Ulsoor lake, considered to be the largest Sikh shrine in the Bangalore city of India. The other famous monuments near the lake include a temple dedicated to Subbaraya and the Kensington Park.

It is said that the area around the Ulsoor Lake was once covered with forest. One day, Kempe Gowda came from Yelahankar chasing game and was very tired. He slept under the same tree where Mandava Rishi is believed to have worshipped God Somesvara. In his dreams, he saw God Somesvara, who told him about a hidden treasure. Kempe Gowda dug up the treasure and from the money, got the famous Somesvara pagoda built in the Dravidian style of architecture.


From BIAL airport - 38 kms ,
From city railway station - 8 kms
From city bus station - 8 kms

Sankey Lake:
Sankey Lake is situated at the Northern Part of the city and is the major source of groundwater in the city. It harbors a rich biodiversity that includes birds, fishes, aquatic plants and microbes. The presence of a biotically diverse and beautiful botanical garden and a forest nursery adjacent to the lake increases the ecological value.

This huge lake is maintained by the State Forest Department. There are boating facilities and a road running on two sides are ideal for joggers and early morning walkers as they can enjoy the cool breeze and fresh air. Many migratory birds visit this lake during winter every year making it a good place for bird watching. You can do a lot of activities when you visit this lake.


From BIAL airport - 30 kms ,
From city railway station - 5 kms
From city bus station - 5 kms

Religious Places in Bangalore

Iskcon Sri Krishna Temple:

-->ISKCON Temple, Bangalore is situated on a seven acre hillock called 'Hare Krishna Hill' on West of Chord Road. ISKCON Temple, Bangalore or the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is a replica of the Gaudiya Vaishnava faith based on the teachings of Bhagvad Gita and the Bhagvad Purana.

ISKCON Temple, Bangalore is also known as Sri Radha Krishna temple and cultural complex. It is well known all over the world for its architectural style. ISKCON Temple, Bangalore at Karnataka attracts lots of global tourists.

ISKCON Temple of Karnataka was set up to mark the birth centenary of its founder Sri Prabhupada. ISKCON Temple, Bangalore is built in neo-classical style thereby mixing the traditional element of temple architecture with modern facilities. The arches of the ISKCON Temple, Bangalore are very well decorated and the illuminated water falls lead you to the heavily designed Rajagopuram.

Within the Rajagopuram at ISKCON Temple, Bangalore in Karnataka lies an open air theater for organizing concerts and festivals. The four temple gopurams combine through glazed glass canopy to form the 10000 square feet hall named 'Hari Naam Kirtan'. This hall of ISKCON Temple, Bangalore is very popular for its painted ceilings.

One of the major attraction of ISKCON Temple in Karnataka are the idols of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha. Apart from these, you must also check out the Vedic museums and exhibition hall that display the facts on religious beliefs. The lecture hall with multiple language translation system where some great spiritual and religious leaders speak on certain spiritual and religious topic is another must visit place within ISKCON Temple, Bangalore.

You can relax and meditate in the beautiful garden in the complex of ISKCON Temple, Bangalore in Karnataka. Moreover, do not forget to watch the multimedia Vedic film shown in the ISKCON Vedic Theater.

More details available on this site.



From BIAL airport - 40 kms ,

From city railway station - 10 kms

From city bus station - 10 kms

Gavi Gangadeshwara temple:

The Gavi Gangadhareswara temple, an unusual cave temple was built by Kempe gowda, founder of Bangalore. This temple, located near Basavanagudi is well known for its architecture & a rare phenomenon .
It has been designed in such a manner that, on the festival of Sankranti, a local festival, the rays of the sun pass between the horns of the Nandi placed outside the temple, illuminating the image of Lord Shiva. This rare phenomenon occurs generally on14 / 15 January every year. It attracts large number of devotees. The precision of the event shows advancement in the technical and scientific knowledge of our ancestors.
The architect of this temple combines 'Vastukala' with astronomy which gifts the world an amazing phenomenon Gavi Gangadeshwara Temple Bangalore is a natural monolith carved cave temple and the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Dedicated to Lord Gangadeshwara and Goddess Honnadevi (i.e., Lord Shiva and Parvati), are two well known shrines. Gavi Gangadeshwara Temple consists of thirty three idols..Gavi Gangadeshwara Temple Bangalore was built by the great Kempe Gowda, who was the founder of Bangalore. The type of construction that was followed while building the picturesque Gavi Gangadeshwara Temple Bangalore was the 'Ancient' type of building temples.The temple is natural monolith carved cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are two famous shrines dedicated to Lord Gangadeshwara and Goddess Honnadevi i.e. Lord Shiva and Parvati. The temple has 33 idols


From BIAL airport - 40 kms ,

From city railway station - 10 kms

From city bus station - 10 kms

Banashankari temple:

-->The Banashankari temple of Bangalore dates back to the year 1915. It was founded by Somanna Shetty, a devotee of Banashankari Amma. He brought a deity of Amma from Badami, in Bijapur district, and installed it inside the temple. Situated on the Kanakapura Road, the temple now comes under the management and control of the Endowment Department of the Government of Karnataka. Given below is more information on the Banashankari Temple of Bangalore, India.

Unique Time and Form of Offering Prayers

One of the unique features of this temple is that the deity is worshipped in Rahukala, considered to be an inauspicious time according to Hindus. It is believed that worshipping Banashankari Amma in Rahukala rids one of all the hardships and paucities in life. There is a large rush of devotees in the temple, especially on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, considered to quite auspicious for doing puja. The prayers are offered by lighting multiple oil lamps in half cut lemon peels, whose pulp has been removed.

Annual Cultural Ceremonies

Three cultural ceremonies are held at the Banashankari temple of Bangalore, every year. The first ceremony, commemorating the birth anniversary of Banashankari Amma, is held on 13th September. The second one is held as a celebration of the Dussehra festival, in October-November. The third, and the last, ceremony is held in the last week of December or the first week of January, to mark the anniversary of the temple


From BIAL airport - 50 kms ,

From city railway station - 15 kms

From city bus station - 15 kms

Bull Temple:

--> Bull Temple is a religious shrine that is unique in itself. Located in Basavangudi, the Temple is positioned at the southern end of Bull Temple Road in Bangalore. The term 'Basavangudi' is derived from the word 'Basava', which means 'Bull'. The special attraction of the temple is a colossal image of bull. The temple is said to have been built by Kempe Gowda in 1537 A.D. Perched at the top of Bungle Hill, Bull Temple is easily accessible from the city of Bangalore through local buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis.

Nandi - the Bull

The temple boasts of a huge image of Nandi (bull) that commemorates the mount of Lord Shiva. The giant image extends to 5 meters in height and 6 meters in its length. The monolithic bull is believed to be much older than the temple itself. The image of 'Nandi' has been made out of a single granite stone. Initially, the color of the bull was grey and gradually, it turned black as devotees apply coconut oil to it. As per the sayings, the river Vishwa Bharathi originates from the feet of 'Nandi, the bull.

Behind this enormous image, there is a Shiva lingam. Like most of the other temples of India, Bull Temple also has a story behind its establishment. It is believed that the temple was constructed to pacify a bull, who tried to gnaw away the entire groundnut grown in the fields nearby. It is also thought that the statue keeps on growing in size further and further. One can see a trident on the forehead of the bull. It is said that the trident was placed here as per the advise of Lord Shiva, to prevent the bull from growing further.

The architectural style of the temple rejuvenates the notion of Dravidian architecture. In the vicinity of this temple, there is a shrine of Lord Ganesha by the name of Dodda Ganesha Temple. The unique feature about this shrine is that the huge image of the Lord is made out of 110 kilograms of butter after every four years. It is amazing to know that the butter never melts. After every four years, the butter deity is broken and distributed amongst the devotees.


Bull Temple
observes a Kadalekaye Parishe (Groundnut Fair) every year. It is held in the month of November or December. In the ceremony, the farmers offer their first harvest of groundnut to Nandi. It is kind of farmer's appreciation and gratitude towards the Bull, Nandi. The sheer size of the Bull attracts people from far and near to this shrine of religious significance.


From BIAL airport - 45 kms ,

From city railway station - 12 kms

From city bus station - 12 kms

Raagi Gudda Anjaneya Temple :

-->The Ragigudda Anjaneya temple is a temple dedicated to Hanuman and is located in the J P Nagar suburb of Bangalore. It also has a Shiva linga and the Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman shrine in the same presinct. The temple is located off the ring road between BTM layout and Jayanagar after the Jayadeva circle flyover. The temple is situated on a hillock (accessible by stairs and a lift). There is a smaller temple dedicated to Ganesh, Surya and Rajarajeshwari at the base of the hillock. The temple has two halls - the smaller one that can be rented for performing small Hindu ceremonies like the thread ceremony, seemantham, etc. and the bigger one for major events like marriage.


From BIAL airport - 50 kms ,

From city railway station - 15 kms

From city bus station - 15 kms

Trayee Brindavan :

Brindavan’ is the Ashram of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba located near Whitefield, a suburb of Bangalore. The Ashram is 24 km from the centre of Bangalore city and is located adjacent to the Whitefield Railway Station. It was inaugurated by Bhagawan Baba on 25th June, 1960. It enjoys the presence of the Divine for about three months during summer every year.

Trayee Brindavan:
This beautiful lotus shaped edifice in yellow and pink was inaugurated by Baba on 26th of April, 1984. It serves as the residence of Bhagawan Baba whenever He is in Bangalore.

Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall: This spacious and elegant hall with an enchanting statue of Lord Krishna in the centre of the dais was built in 1992. This is the venue for daily Darshan and Bhajans as well as festival celebrations held during Baba’s stay in Brindavan. This hall has a seating capacity of six thousand.
Brindavan Campus: The Brindavan Campus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning is located here. The students’ hostel is located within the ashram premises itself, adjacent to Sai Ramesh Krishan Hall.
Sai Krishan Kalyana Mandapam: This building is situated between the students’ hostel and Trayee Brindavan. Inaugurated by Bhagawan Baba on 25th of March, 1999, this auditorium serves as the venue for all cultural programmes and conferences.
Sri Sathya Sai Vriddhashram: About 2 km from the Ashram is located this ‘Vriddhashrama’ or ‘Home for the Aged’ which was inaugurated by Bhagawan Baba on Ugadi Day in 1999. The inmates are provided shelter, food and medical care completely free of cost.


From BIAL airport - 65 kms ,

From city railway station - 25 kms

From city bus station - 25 kms

Jamma Masjid :

The oldest mosque of Bangalore, Jumma Masjid was earlier known as Sangian Jamia Masjid. Situated in the busy K.R. Market area, the mosque is renowned for its beautiful architecture. The prayer hall of the Jumma Masjid stands on an elevated ground and stands adorned with soaring, ornate granite pillars. It is believed that the mosque was built somewhere around 1790. The brick and mortar structure of the masjid has an impressive facade, embellished with elaborate jali-work and floral motifs. Read on to know more about the Jumma Masjid of Bangalore, India.

There are magnificent twin minarets inside the masjid that stretch upto the spherical domes above the balconies. These minarets have been ornamented with a graceful assembly of a large number of pigeonholes. A few years back, a delicate pattern, previously concealed under successive layers of white paint, was discovered inside the Jumma Masjid of Bangalore. The festive season sees the minars as well as the entire edifice of the masjid getting beautifully decorated with lights, adding to its beauty.


From BIAL airport - 45 kms ,

From city railway station - 5 kms

From city bus station - 5 kms

St. Mark Cathedral Church :

St. Marks Cathedral is situated on the busy M.G. Road of Bangalore. The foundation of this cathedral was laid down in the year 1808 and the construction work was completed in 1812. However, it was only in 1816 that St. Marks Cathedral got consecrated by the Bishop of Calcutta. The cathedral was first expanded in the year 1901 and then reconstructed in 1927. The architecture of St. Marks Cathedral is inspired, to quite an extent, by the 17th century St Paul's Cathedral. Built in the colonial style of architecture, it stands adorned with a semicircular chancel, having a huge, magnificent dome. The Roman arches embellishing the walls of the cathedral add to its splendor. Saint Mark's Cathedral boasts of having one of the best-maintained external bells amongst all the churches in the Bangalore city of India. The exquisite woodwork as well as the intricate carving merges beautifully with its elegant ceilings and domes. Even the stained glasswork of the cathedral adds to its beauty.


From BIAL airport - 50 kms ,

From city railway station - 8 kms

From city bus station - 8 kms

St. Mary's Basilica church:

St. Mary's Basilica is situated opposite the Russel Market Square in Shivajinagar, Bangalore. Initially, the basilica was built as a small chapel by Abbe Dubois, in the year 1818. However, later, Reverend L.E. Kleiner got it converted into an ornate Gothic style church. In 1882, St. Mary's Basilica was adorned with a large number of stained glass windows, imported from Paris. However, during World War II, these windows were removed and then again restored in the year 1947, the year of India's independence.

The Basilica has an imposing tower and gothic-style pointed arches. It was only in 1973 that Saint Marys Church of Bangalore was given the status of a Basilica, making it the sixth Basilica in India. The status was awarded through a Papal order by Pope John Paul VI. One of the major attractions of this basilica is the St Mary's Feast, held every year in the month of September. Devotees from far and wide come to Bangalore in September to attend this grand feast.


From BIAL airport - 50 kms ,

From city railway station - 8 kms

From city bus station - 8 kms

Shiv Mandir :

This majestic 65 foot open-air idol of Lord Shiva is located on HAL Air Port Road, behind the famous Kemp Fort. Shiva is portrayed in the posture of Padmasan with the replica of the holy Ganga flowing from his topknot.

Behind the idol is the holy cave.The Cave Yatra is traditionally called the ' Amarnath Yatra'. Within the cave are twelve beautifully decorated Jyotir Lingas. There is the reverberation of "Om Namah ShivShivaya" mantra within the cave. The cave yatra is open to the public from 9 am to 9 pm. It attracts a large number of devotees, especially during festivals like Shivaratri, when four to five lakh devotees come here in a day. Puja services are offered free of charge for everyone.

There is a wishing pool. The priest of the temple says, "Devotees can get their wishes fulfilled by lighting a candle, dropping a coin in the pool and by chanting ' Om Namah Shivaya' seven times."

Ravi Melwani, a well-known business personality and owner of Kemp Fort, who is also a staunch devotee of Shiva, was instrumental in the construction of this idol and temple.

More details on shiv mandir visit - http://www.shivmandir.org.in


From BIAL airport - 60 kms ,

From city railway station - 20 kms

From city bus station - 20 kms

RajaRajeshwari temple:

Rajarajeshwari Nagar received its name from the famous Rajarajeshwari Nagar temple that is located just over one kilometer from the arch. The temple, which was built in the late 1960s, has Jnanakshi Shri Rajarajeshwari as its deity, and is maintained by the Kailasa Ashrama Trust. Devotees can visit the temple between 7.00 AM to 7.00 PM


From BIAL airport - 35 kms ,

From city railway station - 8 kms

From city bus station - 8 kms

St.Patrick's Church:

The church is second oldest in Bangalore (St. Mary’s being oldest). Originally built for Irish soldiers, the church is now frequented by numerous during weekends. It is located at the junction of Brigade road and Residency Road. Apart from the church, its premises has a shrine, plenty of open space - for parking and strolling.

Inside the church, three columns of seats (5 in a row) were teeming with people. Most were dressed in their best. Men were in usual dark suits. Women were more colorful, wrapped in flamboyant saris, frocks, skirts (of all possible lengths) and salwar-kameez. Every seat had a booklet - of lyrics of Carol Service and Holy Mass. We arrived pretty early (10:15 pm) in the hope of getting a front seat only to find that numerous others thought on similar lines and arrived earlier . This meant only a few seats were left unoccupied. Unable to find a front seat, we settled at whatever was available.

On Left and Right sides of the church, live feeds of the sessions was screened. Seating arrangement was really good. In fact, those who were standing at the back, several church volunteers managed seats for them, especially women and children. Standing the back center position inside the church gave a majestic view of the proceedings. We left our much coveted seats and stood at the back.


From BIAL airport - 40 kms ,

From city railway station - 8 kms

From city bus station - 8 kms

Venkataramana Swamy Temple:

The Venkataramana Swamy Temple was built by Maharajah Chikka Devaraya Wodiyar. The temple is 300 years old. Some of the best characteristics of the Dravidian temple art is depicted in the temple. The temple is situated adjacent to Tipu’s summer palace.

The beautiful stone pillar which is supported by lion brackets was ruined by the cannon balls. The flowery stone pillars which are supported by lion brackets have imprints of the cannon balls which struck it. This took place during the third Mysore war. After Tipu Sultan fell the Wodiyar dynasty repaired the temple to its original magnificence.


From BIAL airport - 45 kms ,

From city railway station - 5 kms

From city bus station - 5 kms

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