Know your neighbourhood - 28: Nelamangala Taluk

Overview: The history of Nelamangala taluk dates back to the Gangas. Manne, around 38 kms from Nelamangala, was the ancient capital of the Gangas under Sripurusha. Several inscriptions, ruins of temples and Jain Basadis have been found in Manne. The place was attacked by the Cholas and was destroyed in the 11th century. major temples are Kapileshwara temple, Someshwara temple, Anjaneya temple and Akka-Tangiyara gudi.


Basavanahalli: Basavanahalli, also known as Koundinyashrama as sage Koundinya is said to have performed penance in this place. A big temple dedicated to Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy along with Lord Garuda (known as wish fulfilling Varaprada Garuda) built by the King Janmejeya is the main attraction in the village. This temple was later developed by the Cholas and then again by the Vijayanagara rulers.


Binnamangala: The Cholas also had their presence in Nelamangala area. Binnamangala village near Nelamangala has a very old Chola temple dedicated to Mukthinatheshwara, which has inscriptions dating back to Rajaraja Chola’s times. The front of the temple has inscriptions in Tamil dating to 1110 AD which mentions about Kulothunga Chola making donations to the temple. Nelamangala town has been mentioned as Nelavangala in an inscription dated 1464 CE, and has several ancient temples, one of them being Kashi Vishwanatha temple from the Vijayanagara period.

Kashi Vishwanatha temple, Nelamangala

Hesaraghatta: Currently popular for vast grasslands, Hesaraghatta had a reservoir served by the waters of Arkavathy river, commissioned by Sir K Sheshadri Iyer, the Dewan of Mysore in the late 1800s. This reservoir used to supply water to the city. There is also a dance village nearby called Nrityagram and also a peacock reserve at Bylekere. The place was earlier called as VyasaGhatta and as per one inscription dated 1532 CE, this was called as Shivanasamudra Agrahara under Kakolu Sthala and belonged to Chelur Chavadi.

Hesaraghatta Lake

Chandramouleshwara temple, Hesaraghatta

Aigandapura: On the way to Hesaraghatta there is a small village of Aigandapura, also known as Aivarakandapura, which has an interesting history of its own, This place was a big agrahara during the Chola rule. It is also believed that the Pandavas spent some time in this village during their exile. Inscriptions have been found here mentioning about the history of this place. Several temples more than 1000 years old have been discovered here. Also in the village of Makali there is a huge imprint of foot, known as Bheemana Hejje or Bheema’s footprints. Around 2 kms from Nelamangala is the temple of Lakshmi Venkataramana which was built during the Vijayanagara rule.


Mahimapura: A small hill in Nelamangala taluk is the hamlet of Mahimapura. A steep climb of 300 steps leads to the Garuda Ranganatha temple, with  architecture typical of the Hoysalas. The legend says that when Garuda was doing penance for eating the corpse of a demon, Lord Vishnu appeared on a mound of jaggery, which is worshipped till date. Inside the temple there are idols of Garuda, Hanuman, and Saint Ramanuja. 

Heggunda: Not far from Mahimapura is the village of Heggunda, offering good trekking options around the city. The main attraction here is the rocky hill called Ramadevarabetta, with a temple on the top. The temple is also a historic structure built by the Hoysalas. Few inscriptions are found here which mention the name of the place as Pokkunda. Several Hero stones can also be seen on the top of the hill.

Shivagange: This is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations around Bangalore. The area has been known since the Hoysalas, with several inscriptions mentioning about grants been made towards the temple. A hillfort was also built by Shivappa Nayak, traces of which can be seen now. Another interesting theory is a secret tunnel which exists connecting Shivagange to Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Gavipuram which is around 50 kms from here.


Sondekoppa: Around 12 kms west of Nelamangala is the village of Sondekoppa, after which one of the gates of Kempegowda’s fort was named. The village has a Kashi Vishwanatha temple, which was built by the Cholas in the 9th century CE. Also next to this temple is another temple complex of Lakshmi, Ganapati and Shiva temple, with a huge tank in the middle.


Yelekyatanahalli: A small village around 30kms north of Nelamangala, has a sizeable Jain population, and has 4 Jain Basadis, all constructed in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Dodda Basadi and Chikka Basadi are found in the village, and Parshwanath temple, Bahubali are located on the top of Brahmagiri hillock.

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