For those who cannot visit the Chamundeswari temple in Mysore or the Mookambika temple in Kollur, there is respite. We have the ancient temple of Bandi Mankalamma located on the BEML road near the New Tippasandra post office, Bangalore East.
The temple has an old worldly charm to it. The goddess is decorated in sarees of different colours on different days. The way the Goddess is decorated during the Navratri festival is to be seen to be believed. During Navaratri, “Prasad” is distributed everyday.In the temple precincts, different kinds of dolls are arranged as part of the “golu” celebration.There are 3 priests in the temple who do look bored at times but they unfailingly prepare the Prasad even on normal days. There is an accommodation facility for them behind the temple along with a large kitchen.
The temple is lively and has excellent vibrations only because it is less glamorous and less posh than other temples in the vicinity.In fact, if you enter the temple, you will feel as though you are entering the temple in a village and not in a city like Bangalore which is the Silicon Valley of India. The temple retains a strong South Indian flavour and this is where it is a major source of attraction. On Tuesdays and Fridays, between 430 and 530 pm, ladies congregate at the temple to read the Lalita Sahasranama.
As soon as one enters the temple, one notices the sanctum sanctorum that is located bang opposite the entrance. Though two separate queue arrangements have been made (presumably for male and female devotees), the rule is not strictly enforced. Credit has to be given to the priests for decking up the goddess like a new bride everyday. Some devotees who have had their wishes fulfilled have gifted a few mementoes to the goddess like silver sword , a gold nose ring or a sari. As you walk around the Bandi Mankalamma temple, there is a navagraha too.
Those who wish to get rid of their negative emotions visit the temple, pray to Bandi Mankalamma and offer a lemon. The priests handover the lemon back to you after the pooja. You are expected to make a juice out of the lemon and consume it. Some devotees also place the lemon in their pooja room. The belief is that as the lemon dries, your problems also dry up.
So, friends, if you happen to visit Bangalore, do not forget a visit to this ancient temple. A temple that is simple and yet charming because of its simplicity. A goddess who looks fierce but is a child at heart. A sincere prayer to Bandi Mankalamma is always heard by the Mother. Notable is the fact that it is also one of those temples whose precincts are open to devotees at an early hour in the morning.
I do not mind repeating it here that, in the end what matters is faith.The Bandi Mankalamma temple appeals only because of the old worldly charm it possesses. The radiance and glow on Bandi Mankalamma’s face is incredible. So, how do you notice this glow on the Mother’s face ? All that you need to do is to pray to her with utmost devotion and have a strong belief in her healing powers.