BENGALURU: Tucked away from crowded Shivajinagar is the nondescript 150-year-old Sri Ekambareshwara Swamy Temple that has a Shiva lingam believed to have brought from Varanasi (then Kashi). One could easily miss the signboard while passing through Arunachalam Mudaliar Road as the temple has a small door and there’s no grand structure. But the structure which was renovated recently, would surely grab the eyeballs now.

Jayaram Jayasurya, an NRI, has p ooled in money and given a facelift to the temple with the help of devotees.

“It was erected by my great great grandfather Veeraswamy in 1867. He was a businessman at the present Commercial Street area. It is said he brought the Shiva lingam (about 1 foot high) from Kashi on a bullock cart in a journey that lasted for six months,” he added.

The temple built with stones and giant slabs lost its glory over the years and several buildings mushroomed around it. “Since it’s below the road level, whenever it rained muddy water entered the premises. With the help of some devotees, my mother started renovation work. I continued it after I returned from the US six years ago,” he added.

Jayaram said they wanted to avoid painting the walls to retain the structure’s original glory, but maintenance has become a major concern. “We have installed a brass cover to the sanctum sanctorum; the monumental tower at the entrance has also been renovated. The temple is under private maintenance and we hope to continue the legacy forward,” he added.

Renuka Devi, an employee with the health department, said she and her family visit the temple regularly. “Recently, we celebrated Mahashivaratri in a grand manner. About 10,000 devotees visited the temple during the week,” she added.