Shri Dharmaraya Swamy Temple is one of the oldest and most famous Hindu temples of the city of Bangalore, in Karnataka, India.
The Dharmarai Swamy temple was built over eight hundred years ago by Thigalas, one of the oldest social groups in the region, who tilled the soil and grew vegetables and flowers.
The temple displays the architectural features of the buildings from the Western Ganga Dynasty, the Pallava Dynasty and the Vijayanagara Empire. The temple can be more than 800 years old, the first buildings in existence before the Current city of Bangalore was established by Kempe Gowda I in 1530 when he built a Mud fort here. The temple is built in the Dravidian style, with Gopuram, an ornate monumental entrance. The deities worshipped here include Dharmaraya, Krishna, Arjuna, Draupadi, and Bhim. The Karga festival is celebrated during the months of March and April.
The temple is also the starting point of the annual Karga festival, during which the priest, dressed as a woman, carries the karaga (a three-foot-tall pot Draupadi symbol) over his head and dances through the old city’s streets in a procession.
Mythology states that Draupadi formed an army of soldiers called Veerakumaras, after the Mahabharata war, to fight a demon named Timirasura. When the Pandavas were ascending to heaven, the Virkumaras asked them to stay back. She promised them that she would return to the earth once every year. The ten-day Karaga marks the homecoming of Draupadi.
The Karaga makes an interesting stop, at the Tawakkal Mastan Dargah, explains Dasharathi. The legend goes that Mastan Saab, a Muslim saint, was once hurt during the Karaga procession. Priests cured him by applying vermilion to his wounds. The grateful saint then asked the procession to stop at his grave after his death.
Dasarathi says, “The tradition is still practiced today and it reflects religious brotherhood.”
On April 9, 2009, Shankar Narayan, as president of the Dharmaraya Swamy temple trust and Karaga festivities, became the first woman to lead the festival carrying the ritual pot.
how to reach Sri Dharmaraya Swamy Temple
At a distance of 36 km, Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore, is the nearest airport.
Since it is situated around the center of the city, the major station of Bengaluru – the KSR City Railway Junction – is merely 5 km from the temple.
The Dharmaraya Temple is well connected to other areas of Bengaluru and also to other cities and towns by road