We lived here in this wonderful place in early fifties along with our parents. Initially we stayed in Temple Street and then moved to West Park Street. Temple Street which runs between eighth cross and Kadu Mallikarjuna Swamy temple gets its name since it starts from the Mallikarjuna Swamy temple. Although many internet sites suggest that this temple is in Sampige road the fact is it is in temple road. The main entrance to this temple is from Temple Street only. In the recent past Temple Street one, two etc has come up due to expansion of the locality. The entire locality gets the name “Malleswaram” from this Kadu Mallikarjuna Swamy temple which was constructed during 17th Century.
As the name of the temple suggests [“kadu” in Kannada language means forest] this entire place must have been forest from the time Venkoji, the step brother of Chatrapati Sivaji consecrated Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy here. Sri Kempe Gowda developed the Bangalore city which was originally confined to localities known more popularly as ‘Pete’. [ie. in and around the present City market/Majestic area]. Plague epidemic had hit Bangalore [confined to ‘Pete’ then] during nineteenth century. The then Maharaja planned the expansion of Bangalore by developing areas like Malleswaram, Basavangudi, etc. With Tata Institute [Indian Institute of Science] at one end Malleswaram locality became quite an attractive place for people to move in.
A well planned area with grids of roads called main roads running south to north and cross roads running from east to west constitute Malleswaram. Activity in the Main Roads after Margosa Road used to be negligible. With trees on both sides of the roads, it used to be a pleasure to walk on these roads. I still remember going from Temple Street to Malleswaram Railway Station as a child for watching the running train. Since the railway station was at a slightly lower level than the road, we would watch the moving train’s top from the road. We have to wait for quite sometime to get to see the train, since we will be going there by the early evenings which is not the time that trains will pass through Malleswaram station. We will just be playing around the place till the train came. The station master who will be sitting alone in the station will chat with us and would be kind enough to offer us water from the pot kept in his room.
Present Local Library at Sampige Road, as well as the Post office at the East Park Road used to be a vegetable market those days. [Present vegetable market was a part of a play ground where my elder brother and his friends used to play cricket.] The area between East Park Road and West Park Road, from eighth cross up to eleventh cross was ear marked for temples besides a playground. [Presently this play ground area is a well maintained park]. My activity in the evening hours was confined to playing in this play ground and going to the nearby temples. [See also ‘Vayusutha ya Namo Namaha’].
Those days, when we were just six to eight years old, we were given the freedom of going out alone and playing in the play ground – at a distance from our house - without any escort –quite unlike these days. As a boy of six years old I used to come to the play ground adjacent to the Ganesa Temple on the hillock. Playing till dusk and then visiting one or two of the nearby temples before returning home was a routine. Anjaneya temple in Sri Raghavendra Mutt, Anjaneya Devasthanam in Sri Venugopala Swamy temple, as also in the Ganesa temple are the places we [we because there will be at least one friend with me] normally visited. The forms of the deities of these temples are virtually enshrined in my heart and mind. Recollecting those forms even now gives me serenity of thoughts as also courage to face challenges in my life.
After a long time I visited Malleswaram recently. At first, I went to see the house where we lived and found that nothing had changed in the house except that a big building had come up in the open ground which was then there in the front of the house. Next I went to see the house in the West Park Road and found nothing had changed except that a first floor had been built in the fornt house.
I visited Sri Ganesa Temple first then Sri Raghavendra Mutt Anjaneya temple next and then Sri Venugopala Swamy temple.
This time around when I visited Sri Raghavendra Mutt I noticed many things had changed – more buildings had come up within the compound with lot of activity. I would like to record some of the things which I had missed noticing in the Sri Anjaneya Swamy temple which I used to visit during my childhood. Firstly the temple of Sri Anjaneya Swami  is older than Sri Raghavendra Mutt [1944-45] here.
Sri Anjaneya Swamy temple is in the Nirruti corner [south-western quarter] of this complex and the temple is north facing. Worshipping the Lord in this position will save the devotee from death, destruction and dissolution.
‘Predishtapana’ of Sri Anjaneya Swamy had been performed during Shalivahana samvasaram 1832, which corresponds to 1900 AD. There is a stone inscription declaring this in the temple premises. The temple had been constructed in a land measuring 180 feet by 147 feet, donated by the then Municipality free of cost vide G.O. dated 2nd April 1909. There is a slab in the front of the temple which gives this detail.
The temple has a Dwaja stamba. Walk past the concourse after Dwaja stamba, the main temple of the Lord Sri Anjaneya Swamy is there. The temple consists of a Garbhagraham and a five feet path around of circumambulation. Devotees can have dharshan of Sri Anjaneya Swami as they walk along from the Dwaja stamba. The Predishtapana of Lord is done at a particular height, so that the devotees can have a clear dharshan of the Lord even from a distance.
Lord Sri Anjaneya Swamy of Malleswaram, at Sri Raghavendra Mutt premises, is about four feet tall made of hard granite stone. He is in a walking posture and the carving is of ‘ardha shila’ type. Lord is seen walking westward with His left lotus foot adoring nupuram and thandai in the front. His right lotus foot is seen slightly raised from the ground. His left hand adorning bracelet is seen resting on the left hip and in his hand he is holding the stem of sowgandika flower. The flower which is in full blossom is seen above His left shoulder. He is wearing ornaments which adore His bosom. With His raised other hand He showers blessings on His devotees. The tail of the Lord raises above His head with a curved end which is adorned with a small beautiful bell. Lord is wearing ear-studs and His kesam is neatly tied. Small crown adorns His head. His eyes are glowing and emitting karuna on the devotee. With such bright glowing eyes Lord of the kshetra is a figure to be meditated upon.
Come to Malleswaram to have dharshan of the Lord Sri Anjaneya Swamy who dispels the fear of death and destruction and showers blessings, bestows Mangalam.
Ed [March 2014]
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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.