Situated at the foothills, in the Nandi village, stands a large Shiva temple complex, arguably one of the oldest in Karnataka. Built in the 9th century by the Nolamba dynasty, and augmented by the Rashtrakutas, Bana rulers, Ganga dynasty, Cholas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara Empire, it has been shaped by almost every powerful kingdom of the South. The result? A subliminally fascinating temple complex, replete with elegant statues carved in stone.
Whether you're a tourist with religious inclinations or a traveller with a historic bent, this temple will keep you occupied for a good two hours. Entering the expansive but underwhelming lawns, you catch a glimpse of the chariot and stone chariot wheels beside the Navaratri mantapa, opposite a small dedication to the Nagas. It's only when you walk through the elaborately sculpted arch that one can grasp the subtle beauty.