Nandi hills are a resort at a
distance of about 60km north of Bangalore. Here, are wo ancient temples, the Bhoganandeeswara
temple at the foothills and the Yoganandeeswara hill temple.
The ancient rulers of this region - the Banas
built the Bhoganandeeswara temple in the 9th century. The Chola rulers of
Tamilnadu built the hill temple.
The Bhoganandeeswara temple in the
foothills shows an assimilation of architectural styles of several dyanasties that ruled
the area. The Banas, the Cholas, the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar rulers
made contributions to this temple.
The original shrine is attributed to the Bana
queen Ratnavali. Later on, the Arunachaleswara shrine was added to the
temple complex. The Cholas of the eleventh century added Nandi mandapas
to the temple. The Hoysalas who came in later built an ornate Kalyana
mandapam. The Vijayanagar rulers added shrines to Uma
Maheswara , Girijaamba and Apita Kuchaambal (see Tiruvannamalai).
Local chieftans added two more prakarams to the existing temples. Thus the temple now
consists of three prakarams and a tank.
The Yoganandeeswara hill temple is
attributed to the Cholas of Tamilnadu. The Vijayanagar rulers added a
shrine to Ambal and connected the two shrines with a corridor. The temple's carvings on
pillars and doorways are noteworthy.