Ragigudda and 9th Block Jayanagar

One of the large temples in the city is the Anjaneya temple at Ragigudda, in South Bangalore. This temple has grown from a small idol on a hilltop, about 30 years ago, to a very large tourist attraction. A fair-sized market has also sprung up in Jayanagar 9th block, a few minutes’ walk from the temple.

A very important feature of this temple is that it is open to everyone, regardless of caste, colour or creed.

Here are some sights and scenes from this lovely temple:

Here’s the gate that used to be the main gate of the temple, but which now shares the duty with another gate because of the increasing crowds:

Ragigudda Temple Gate

The authoriities have built many pathways to regulate the huge crowds that come during festival times.

Here’s the second (now the main) gate of the Ragigudda Temple; if you look closely within the gates, you can see the man-made waterfall called Hanuman Dhara which has helped put the temple on the tourist map of the city:

Ragigudda Hanuman Dhara (4)

At the front, one can see the little bags in which one puts footwear and which is then stored by the temple authorities while one takes darshan. This is a free service and works very efficiently indeed.

On entering, there are many shrines; to Ganapathi, Durga and the Navagrahas at a lower level, and to Hanuman with a Maragatha Lingam and idols of Rama,Seeta and Lakshmana on the sides, and flanked outside by idols of Karthikeya and Pancha Mukha Anjaneya. Photography is prohibited at this point, so I only got some extrenal photographs:

Ragigudda...various shrines in the dusk

The temple runs many activities; there is a Kalyana Mantapa which can be hired for weddings; the authorities run a school for children of the area, there is a Yagyna Kundam to conduct ritual sacrifices, and there is a hall where cultural functions such as Yakshagana or music concerts. Yoga classes and Sanskrit classes are often conducted in the campus, too. A veritable bastion of cultural and religious pursuits!

In this picture we can see the temple Ratha, painted and ready to be pulled by the devotees during the next Rathotsava or Temple Car Festival.

Temple Ratha, Ragigudda

We can also see the basketball goal for the children of the school , behind the Ratha!

Almost outside the temple gates, and for almost as long as the temple has been in existence, are a variety of services; here is an astrologer who must be good, I think, because I have seen this board for over twenty years now!

Astrology, Ragigudda

Don’t miss the poster on the pillar that promises a “Golden Opportunity”!

And here are the flowers, coconuts and other materials required for the worship, being sold in this colourful street stall:

Flowers, Ragigudda

At the 9th Block market, a stone’s throw away, too, a splash of colours meets the eyes. Here’s a shop that sells a variety of plastic toys in a rainbow of colours:

9th Block  Toy shop

Lot of carts are pushed in every morning, selling vegetables and, in this case, a variety of colourful fruits:

9th Block Fruit Cart

Nearby, too, are many shops which sell our ethnic “fast foods” such as Chaat and fruit juices. Here is a stall serving Paani Puri to its patrons:

9th Block Balls fruits pani puri

As I finished my visit and turned to leave, I glanced back at the temple tower amongst the trees, with its flag flying, as if casting its benison over the entire area in the gathering dusk….

Temple flag, Ragigudda

The Ragigudda Prasanna Anjaneya Temple is very well-run and is a lovely green spot which serves as a social focus in the area. Indeed, a lovely landmark in south Bangalore!

4 Comments so far

  1. Rao (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

    Nice post indeed, except for one jarring comment.

    I’m a little taken aback by this statement – “A very important feature of this temple is that it is open to everyone, regardless of caste, colour or creed.”
    I was under the impression that the temples in a big city like ours don’t discriminate anyone on any basis or prevent someone from entering the temple.

    Such practices may be prevalent in remote places and villages, where the level of tolerance/awareness is low, but certainly not in Bangalore, I hope.

  2. Ravi (unregistered) on May 26th, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

    Lovely photoessay marred by perhaps that line about ‘caste, colour or creed.’ Did you really mean to say ‘religion’ actually? I say this because a) I’d been to the Tanjore temple last fortnight or two and there, people of all nationalities are allowed *except* in the main sanctorum and b) the temple authorities have framed a letter of appreciation received from Gandhiji years back commending them on allowing *everybody* into the temple for worship.

  3. NRIBrahmin (unregistered) on May 27th, 2007 @ 2:28 am

    Only brahmins must be allowed inside main sanctorum. Other caste people(I mean SC/ST/OBC folks) can’t understand/not fluent in sanskrit. So there is no chance that they can even take that job !!

  4. Anon (unregistered) on May 28th, 2007 @ 11:56 am

    “Regardless of caste, colour or creed” Wow! Pls don’t create a casteist divide at temples. Tomorrow, we may land up with reservations there as well… for entry. AFAIK, 99.99% of temples do not discriminate! So, please watch you language before posting the next time!

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