Basava…. Nandi….

Bangalore, in my mind, is associated specially with Nandi the Bull, which is the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The Divine Bull is called Basava in Kannada, and an old settlement of Bangalore is Basavanagudi, which has a temple with a huge monolithic icon of Nandi, on a maginificient rock-face amongst spreading majestic trees….and one of the great philosophers of Karnataka was the illustrious Basavanna, who strove to free people of the mental shackles of orgnized religion and led them into independent, rational thought. And one of the getaways from the city is to the lovely Nandi Hills….

I found this lovely granite statuette of Nandi/Basava at Lalbagh, and loved the image of the bull (surely the height of machismo) with delicate flowers placed upon its head; the colours of the flowers contrasting with the black of the granite.

Decorated Nandi at Lalbagh 16Jun07

I was also struck by the devotion of the people who come daily and decorate the statuette thus. Surely, while we venerate animals in this way as the vehicle of the Gods, there is hope for our wildlife yet…!

2 Comments so far

  1. Prashanth M (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2007 @ 5:04 pm

    Wildlife?! heck no. Same peopl who worship Nandi, will go and hunt deers, tigers etc. But they don’t kill Basava…

    Reason, only basava is representative of Gods not other animals :(

  2. tarlesubba (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2007 @ 6:28 pm

    actually ullas karanth mentioned the same thing too.
    and has used this empathy to some success.

    nice icon of machismo delicate flower contrast chennagide.

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