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The Legend of Basavanagudi

A long time ago, Basavanagudi was known as Sunkenahalli village famous for its groundnut fields. It was here that the foundation of Bengaluru’s
future was laid. As the altar of art, culture, and intellectualism, Basavanagudi emerged as one of the city’s most important locations. Over the
years this quaint place steeped in a magical tradition became the treasury of many stories told even today.


The story of the mysterious bull dates back many decades. Legend has it, the bull destroyed groundnut crops year after year. Upon such continuous frustration an enraged farmer struck the bull with a club, turning it into a statue. Later, as a tribute to this miraculous incident, the local farmers built The Bull Temple dedicated to the divine bull. The area became known as Basavanagudi (Basava: Bull; Gudi: Temple). A groundnut fair is still held every year in homage to this gloriously mystical legend.


Built in the 16th century by Bengaluru’s founder, Kempe Gowda, Gavi Gangadhareshwara is an architectural marvel and one of the city’s oldest temples. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the entire temple was carved out of a natural cave into a single monolith. Every year on Makar Sankranti a unique phenomenon is observed. The day’s last sun rays pass through the arc between Nandi bull’s horns and falls directly on the linga inside the temple’s inner sanctum, illuminating it. An occurrence that remains inexplicable to this day.


Basavanagudi’s Bugle Rock park holds the massive Bugle Rock believed to date back 3000 million years. Being one of the world’s oldest land formations, Bugle Rock is a historical wonder and is recognized as one of 26 important geological monuments of India. An interest to cultural and archeological communities, Bugle Rock was an important checkpost long ago when sentries held torches and blew bugles to alert the citizens.


Basavanagudi’s rustic and picturesque backdrop brought inspiration to RK Narayan, writer of the classic Malgudi Days. He derived the word ‘Malgudi’ for his novel series from the word ‘Basavanagudi’. Eventually, Basavanagudi became the hub of famous Kannada intellectuals, writers, and thought leaders of yesteryears.

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