Ghati Subramanya is an ancient Hindu temple on the outskirts of Bangalore near Tubagere, Doddaballapura. It is 60 km from the city and is a popular pilgrimage centre besides being a rather perfect getaway for the weekend.
Almost ten years ago, we visited this temple en route from the Nandi Hills, where we went for a picnic. This time, we made a trip to Lepakshi, and on the way back, passed the Ghati Subramanya temple and decided to visit it again.
What really happened was this. We expected to spend the day at Lepakshi and the neighboring sites, but as luck would have it, the temple suddenly got news of a VIP visiting and evacuated the place. So we visited the huge Nandi bull sculpture nearby and a couple of other temples under construction and had lunch. It was time to decide what to do next.
Our cab driver suggested Ghati Subramanya temple, which was en route home and we thought, why not? We had heard that the temple complex had been renovated. So off we went! Of course, on the way, we passed yet another Shiva temple under construction that had a small board written in Kannada that none of us could read. That didn’t stop us from wander around the massive statue surrounded by the 1000 shiva lingas. With no one else around, it was serene and we explored without pressure.
Then we were on our way to Ghati Subramanya temple.
Ghati Subramanya Temple
I love temples and almost didn’t recognize this one, this time around!
What a change! The temple has been renovated. And there is a huge garden at the back. And what a garden!
Here is the entrance to the temple.
People flock here in thousands and the presiding deity, Sri Subramanya, son of Shiva and Parvati, is particularly popular with the Tamil population of Karnataka. It is also an important center in South India for snake worship. Subramanya or Kartikeya is fondly referred to as the “Tamil God”.
At the entrance is this beautiful shrine.
What is unique about this temple is – the main deity “lord Kartikeya“, shares the sanctum with “lord Narasimha“. Mythology has it that both idols emerged from the earth – not created or sculpted by anyone.
The idol of lord Karthikeya with a seven headed cobra is made from a single stone. While the sculpture of the Lord Subramanya is positioned towards the East, Lord Lakshmi Narasimha stands at the back of the same idol, facing the West. The devotees can see Lord Lakshmi Narasimha via a strategically placed mirror. The temple is particularly special for those who seek the Lord’s blessings so they may bear children.
Behind the temple, in its garden is this huge idol surrounded by the snake plaques of devotees.
An interesting ritual here is of installing idols of snakes. One can see thousands of these near the temple. And when I say thousands, I mean literally!
These are behind the temple in a sort of garden. The snakes are carved onto stones and installed under a massive peepal tree and this is where people pray for favors. They tie little cloth cradles to the branches of the tree, symbolic of babies.
The temple serves free lunch to everyone every day, pretty much like most temples in the South India.
We were stunned to see how the temple had changed – as in developed.
Snake plaques for as far as the eye could see.
I somehow found it quite enchanting
You don’t have to be religious to visit this temple. It is worth seeing just for its beautiful architecture and historical significance, and of course, the peaceful surrounding landscape and other places to visit nearby, like the Nandi Hills.