The worst (so the best) attraction in Bangalore: Shiv Mandir
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Bangalore, as you may already know it, is not the most touristic city of India… A short history, no major holy places and a recent wild and fast urban developement are some of the explanations. Though, when looking further than MG road, we still find some pretty interesting places here and there more for the experience than for there historic tag. Among them, one of our favourite is Shiv Mandir!
Located just a few minutes away from Indiranagar, where we live, on Old Airport Road, our visitors rarely escape this mandatory visit. It’s for their own good of course. Shiv Mandir is a bit like if someone had wanted to create a cheap amusement park dedicated to Hinduism. Because Shiv Mandir is before everything a proper Hindu temple with priests, holy music, idols and all….Except that a few details will make you quickly understand that you’re not in one of those centuries-old temple. First of all, its location says it all. Shiv Mandir is hidden behind one of the worst mall in Bangalore, Total Mall. You even have to go through the basement parking lot to enter!
Then, right at the entrance, if you were having a little doubt about a certain commercialization of religion, it will disappear. You can either pay a few rps for a standard ticket and queue with the other “pilgrims” or take a “full-package” at 150 rps and jump the queue. Take the full package, it’s important. Not only to overtake all the crowd, also because this “golden” ticket will allow you to participate to a combination of different activities all more fun and quirky than you could expect. Yes, you’ll be guided through a path allowing you to enter some kind of tunnels, mokeups of the most holiest Hindu places and with light and sound effects that will make you think that the crapiest amusement park you’ve been too before was finally pretty realistic. Concerning Shiva statue, it’s as grandiose as the above picture can make you expect!
The craziest finally? Hindu visitors remain serious and faithfull in this decandent place.
Not to be miss!
PS : we lied to you, there is worst than Shiv Mandir, the “Bull Temple”, but here, it doesn’t really worth getting there…