Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple (ಗವಿ ಗಂಗಾಧರೇಶ್ವರ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನ) also Gavipuram Cave Temple, an example of Indian rock-cut architecture, is located in Bangalore in the state of Karnataka in India. The temple is famous for its mysterious stone discs in the forecourt and the exact planning allowing the Sun to shine on shrine in certain time of the year.

Temple

The ancient temple was cut out of monolithic rock probably in the 9th century. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva.The Deity in the main shrine is Shivalinga, in the front of the temple there is also Nandi sculpture. The temple contains also a rare idol of Agni, the God of fire.
There are other idols inside including the idol of Agnimurthi, which has two heads, seven hands and three legs. Those worshipping this deity believe it will cure one of all eye defects.
This is one of few temples in Bangalore dedicated to Shiva and is visited by hundreds of devotees during Shivaratri.

Illumination of shrine by the Sun

Thousands of devotees come in middle January every year on Makar sankranti Day to this cave temple. This is a special day when the sunrays fall on the Sivalinga for one hour as it passes between the horns of the Nandi. Such was the knowledge of architecture and astronomy that the ancient sculptors could craft the horns of the stone bull outside the temple so that the sun's rays would pass through its horns and light up the deity Shiva Linga inside the cave. Comparison of contemporary structures and earlier drawings by Thomas Daniell and William Daniell show that earlier the temple has less structures and the Sun illuminated the shrine in summer and winter solstice. Also today the Sun illuminates Shivalinga two times per year - from 13 to 16 January in late afternoons and from 26 November to 2 December.

Protected temple

The temple shrine is a protected monument under the Karnataka Ancient and Historical Monuments, and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1961.


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Courtesy: Wikipedia

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