Shri Dharmaraya Swamy Temple
ShriDharmarayaSwamyTemple is one of the oldest and famous temple situated in Bangalore city. This temple is dedicated to the Pandavas and is unique to the location. The exact historical background of the temple like the name of the builder, date of construction is still not clear. It is believed that the temple was constructed by the Ganga Arasu people, also known as Vanhi Kula Kshatriyas or “Thigalas”. As per the records of the archeology survey department, the temple is about 800 years old.It is also recorded in the history books that Sri Dharmarayaswamy Temple Vimanagopura kalasa was made as a centre point when Bangalore city was built by Kempe Gowda in the 16th century. It is also learnt that the Kempegowda Gopuras were built in the four corners of the city keeping The four towers are the Ulsoor tower in the North-East, The Bellary Road Tower in the North-West, The Lalbagh Tower in the South-East, The Gavipura Tower in the South-West.
Sri Dharmaraya Swamy temple was built in the Sidhikatte lake bed area and it lies below the land level that existed prior to the formation of mordern Bangalore.This old town was once called as Kalyanapuri, a Town of Temples, Ponds & Religious centres. Later, it was named as “Bendhakaluru” and then the name got changed as “Bengaluru”. Karaga is a famous festival celebrated in honour of Mother Goddess Draupadi. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil, which is also symbolic of the power of women. Karaga begins with the flag hoisting ceremony. Interestingly, the Karaga priest has to perform austerities for six months before the Karaga and during this period, he wears his wife’s Mangala sutra. It is returned to the wife during a symbolic marriage ceremony on the 10th day of Karaga. She will not be seeing her husband from the time of Vijayadashami as he will reside in the temple till the Karaga gets over. So when the Karaga procession stops in front of her house, unlike the other devotees, she cannot come out to be blessed.
The temple resembles the architectural features of the Gangas, the Pallavas and the Vijayanagara styles. The garbhagruha is in Ganga style, the vimanagopura is in Pallava style and the mukhamantapa is in Vijayanagar style, which shows the development of this temple in three different ages. The fourth stage of development of rajagopura and sabhangana was taken up in the 20th century. The earlier rajagopura was built well before Kempe gowda founded Bangalore in the year 1530 A.D. Kempe Gowda was an ardent devotee of this temple. Bangalore city was designed keeping this temple as its reference. The temple area was developed as Halasuru pete. This area is also known as Kalyanapuri. The temple had vast area around with a Kalyani & Dharmachatra, which however are not found today. There were Pallavas style carved chambers between prangana & the newly built sabhangana, these carved chambers were removed and replaced by Ashtalakshmi Idols. The study quotes that the vimanagopura which is in the Pallava style matches with that of the Magadi temples & Halasuru temples built by Kempe Gowda.
Sri Dharmaraya Swamy Temple Main Road,
(OTC Road) Thigalarpet, Bangalore -560 002
Courtesy : http://en.wikipedia.org/