Friday, July 19, 2024
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Begur, Bengaluru – Bangalore!

ck Begur temple. chola style ck-Begur temple interior stone walls & pillarsMost Bangaloreans are enamoured by the city being founded by Hiriya Kempegowda of the Vijayanagar kingdom popularly known as Kempegowda-I in the year 1537. It was a pleasant surprise to discover in a small village 10 kms from Koramangala that Bangalore did exist in the year 890. This small village called Begur and is just 4 kms right-turn at the Bommanahalli junction on the Bangalore – Hour road.
An old Kannada inscription dated 890 describes a ‘Bangalore-War’ and was discovered by epigraphist R Narasimhachar. This inscription is recorded in Epigraphia Carnatica  Vol. 10 supplementary. This is the earliest evidence of the existence of a place called Bangalore. The stone tablet is in possession of the Karnataka government authorities – the BBMP and is displayed at the Bangalore museum at Mayo Hall.
Begur village today is a haven for realestate development. A beautiful lake around the 1100 year temple stands neglected. Less said about the facilities available here. This village turned town, houses the Shiva temple -panchalingeshwara – Nageshwara temple, built by the Western Ganga Dynasty greatly influenced by the Chola Dynasty. This temple is currently induated with modern constructed temple towers and approachable roads. A lot of Victory stones called ‘Viggal’ can be seen in the temple courtyard in significance to the victory achieved in local battles.
It is ironic to note that the Emperor of Vijayanagar pleased with the activities of Kempegowda-I bestowed a lot of villages in and around Bangalore to him and Begur was one of them.
Begur’s earlier names down the history lanes were – Veppur and Kelele. Even to this day during the month of April -Bramha Rathotsava – temple chariot festival takes place in gusto in this town. On Shivaratri the temple is open the whole night with poojas & prayers. Influence of Jainism is seen in Begur too.
I think we should restore this heritage town along with its temples and lake and mud fort to our future generations. A visit to this temple would just take 2 hours to imbibe the history in you.

Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography
[email protected]

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