If there is just one temple you should visit while in Bangalore, make it Ragi Gudda Anjaneya Temple. This is one temple that does not only offer a picturesque sanctuary for worshippers but also an opportunity to help the people through its charitable foundation. Ragi Gudda provides free education with daily meals to more than 1,000 students. Teachers are professionals who volunteer their services for free. Also, there is a medical center that conducts free medical consultation and use of different laboratories and testing facilities. The foundation also runs a library and convention hall, and offers free language classes, yoga classes and music lessons.
The temple is revered by locals as a very helpful social center in the area. For a small fee, the temple rents out two halls, a small and a big one, to local events such as weddings, conventions, and minor Hindu ceremonies such as thread ceremony, seemantha, and so on.
Located in the Jayanagar 9th Block suburb on a hillock, the Ragi Gudda Anjaneya is a temple dedicated to Hanuman, a powerful Hindu deity that is worshipped by the people to get health, wealth, happiness, success in life and magical powers. According to legend, the Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara, who make up the Hindu Trinity or Thrimurthi, visited the area and decided to stay here permanently. To fulfill this desire, they changed themselves into three big stone pillars. Another legend tells of a big heap of “ragi” (a food grain) that was actually a stone, thus the name “Ragi Gudda”.
It was constructed in 1969 by a group of young and dedicated worshippers. They were encouraged by the locals until they were able to build a small temple in the name of Hanuman. It was registered in 1972. Through the years, the temple on the hillock has grown into a big temple complex of Lord Sri Ganesha, Lord Sri Seetha Rama Swamy, Sri Rajarajeshwari, Bhagavathi, and Navagrahas, covering a total land area of 5 acres. Nearby is a smaller temple dedicated to Navagrahas, Rajarajeshwari and Ganesh. An important Hindu festival, the Sri Hanumajjayanthi is annually celebrated in Ragi Gudda, lasting for 12 days and attracting about 35,000 devotees on the 12th day.
As you visit this interesting temple, you will see important religious features and pieces of furniture. Near the temple entrance is a water fountain called Hanuman Dhara. It is nestled among huge rocks and old trees, and not far away is a man-made waterfall. The sight is beautiful and sacred, but what the temple is really known for are the 9.75-meter monolithic blocks that are carved into the images of the Hindu Trinity. This is a rare sight that is highly revered by devotees, since nowhere in the city can one see the Thrimurthies together in one colossal platform. Those who see this sight consider themselves blessed. Another temple attraction is the Pushkarni pond from which water is drawn to be used for several temple requirements.
Ragi Gudda Anjaneya Temple is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 8.30 p.m., and until 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. You can take several public buses from the Bangalore bus station going to the 9th Block or JP Nagar, 4th phase.