Go on a Spiritual Journey in Bangalore
The hi-tech city and the Silicon Valley of India also has a spiritual side to it. With temples, mosques, churches, cathedrals, and gurudwaras, Bangalore reflects its true cultural and religious diversity.
Here’s a list of top 10 sites in Bangalore where you can discover your spiritual and religious self.
St. Mary’s Basilica
Of both historical and religious significance, the St. Mary’s Basilica dates back to as far as the 17th century. Once a humble chapel, the present day church was built 1882 and is the only church to gain the status of a ‘minor basilica’. St. Mary’s Basilica is one of the most sacred sites for the followers and believers of Christianity. Every year, on September 8th, the church celebrates its most holy event – St. Mary’s Feast, when thousands of pilgrims and visitors come to take part in festivities and chariot processions.
St. Francis Xavier Church
Built in 1852, the St. Francis Xavier Church is an important religious site for the Catholic population of Bangalore. This also used to be a smaller church, later developed into the imposing structure as we see today, and was regarded as a cathedral in 1940. Highly revered by devotees, the St. Francis Church remains a prominent place of worship and pilgrimage for its devotees.
St. Mark’s Cathedral
The oldest Anglican chapel of Bangalore, The St. Mark’s Cathedral is a prominent religious site on the famous M.G. Road. Established in 1812, the church reflects a distinct colonial architecture style, which you can see from its stone carvings, stained glass, and elaborate woodwork. A quiet and humble place of worship, this cathedral is yet another significant religious site for its devotees.
This Dravidian temple sits on the Hare Krishna Hill in North Bangalore. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this is one of the largest ISKCON temples in the world. A significant religious, spiritual and cultural center for the Vaishnavas and followers of Krishna, the ISKCON Temple of Bangalore draws visitors and devotees from all across the world. Besides the regular prayer sessions, ISKCON temple is also known for its spiritual discourses, recitals and learning sessions. You can visit the temple during its prominent festivals like Rathayatra, Gaura Purnima or Janmashtami and experience the festive spirits of ISKCON.
Also known as the Nandi Temple, this sacred place in South Bangalore lends its name to the road on which it resides. The biggest temple of its kind, in the whole world, this site enshrines a massive stone idol of Nandi- Lord Shiva’s vahana. The 4.5 meters high and 6 meters wide monolithic statue of Nandi was carved out of a single rock of granite, which renders an awe-inspiring view of the deity. The temple itself dates back as far as the 16th century and flaunts the traditional Dravidian style of architecture. Don’t miss out on the Annual Groundnut Fair or the Kadlekai Parishe, held at the temple every year in the month of November.
Dodda Ganesha Temple
Right next to the Bull Temple, sits this most famous and sacred Ganesha Temple of Bangalore. The temple got its name (Dodda = ‘huge’ in Kannada) from the humongous stone idol of Lord Ganesh reaching 18 feet in height. Discovered and established by Kempegowda, the Dodda Ganesh Temple is a significant Hindu pilgrimage site in the city.
Halasuru Someshwara Temple
The oldest temple in the city, this place of worship is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A work of the classic Vijayanagara architecture, the temple emanates an unspeakable divine aura that engulfs the pilgrims and even the visitors. The sculpted deities, the carved towers, and pillars also contribute to the hallowed atmosphere.
Bangalore’s oldest mosque, Jumma Masjid is the perfect place that defines ‘order among the chaos’. Nestled within the bustling KR Market, this five-storied structure boasts pristine marble exteriors and interior and twin minarets. This is one of the most sacred and revered mosques for the Muslim community of Bangalore. To experience its real architectural grandeur, visit the Jumma Masjid during Eid or other festivals when bulbs light up the façade in its true glory.
Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara
The huge gurudwara near the Ulsoor Lake in Bangalore is the main place of worship for the Sikhs in Bangalore. But, as their religious and cultural belief, the gurudwara is open to all visitors and devotees to come and offer prayers and feast on the sacred meal (Langar). The temple also has accommodation facilities for pilgrims and travelers from outside. Besides being a religious site, Shri Guru Singh Sabha also houses a school, medical center and a cultural hall for festive celebrations and religious discourses.
For those seeking ultimate peace and discover their spiritual self, this Buddhist Temple is the place to be. Exuding an oriental charm and calming ambiance, the temple offers space and place for meditation, discourse, and spiritual education. A replica of the Bodhgaya Temple, the Mahabodhi Society of Bangalore is one of the most prominent sites of spiritual learning. The highlight of this place is the huge Bodhi tree on its premise, which is believed to be the sapling of the original tree, under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment.