Indira S. Somani, journalist, PhD

Siva Mandir in Bangalore

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This is a 65 foot statue of Lord Siva.  I was kind of in shock when I saw it, because the entrance to this place felt like a hidden path from a busy street. You walk along this long corridor and through a handful of shops, and then all of sudden this giant statue of Lord Siva appears.  It has a pretend backdrop of the Mount Kailash (Himalayan mountain) and a small body of water in front, which is supposed represent the Ganges river.  This (Mount Kailash) is considered to be a place where Lord Siva resides and a place of eternal bliss.  Construction of this statue began in 1994 and was completed in 1995.  In 1996 Mount Kailash was installed and Lord Ganesha, which is at the entrance was installed in 1998.  When you enter, you have the option of picking up 108 coins and dropping them in each bucket repeating the phrase Om Namah Shivaya.  I opted to just go to the shrine of Shiva and start filmming.   It’s a beautiful statue, and I’m glad I got to see it upon my second day of arriving in India.  I hope to capture some unique temples on this journey.