The district of Bellary is a cultural hub where religion and history co-exist in mutual augmentation. While the fort is situated in the heart of the city, The Shri Guru Kottureshwara stands at a short distance of 102 kms.
The waning numbers of Veerashaivas chronicle the incarnation of Lord Nandi as Guru Kottureshwara, to protect them. On Lord Shiva's orders, Lord Nandi disguised as an ascetic and descended upon this shrine. He was pelted with stones on first sight, but eventually, the villagers came to realize his miraculous clouts. The temple of Shri Guru Kottureshwara is categorized into four shrines (Muttas) namely: Darbar Mutta or Doda Mutta (Big shrine or the king's assembly), where Lord Kottureshwara is said to have addressed the masses; Murkal Mutta, where Lord Nandi presided; Gachina Mutt, the Lord's meditation ground; and, Thotal Mutta, where the Lord blessed one of his devotees with an immediate child.
Shri Guru Kottureshwara Temple reaches the peak of its grandeur on the occasion of Rathotsava and the Guru Kottureshwara Theru Festival in the month of February. The Lord presides inside a palanquin or 'ratha' which is said to move its first few steps by itself. This is followed by offerings of milk, garlands and fruits to the Lord, and 'prasadam' in the form of 'dana' or charity. Another remarkable festival is the Karthikotsava, held in the month of December. The temple is illuminated with diyas or lamps for six weeks, making it look like a gigantic torch.
The temple is said to enshrine the idol of a living legend, Guru Kottureshwara, and is hence considered to behold miraculous powers. With no entry fee and prasadam available in the form of 'dana', pilgrims are not discriminated against at the doorsteps of Guru Kottureshwara's place. The Shri Guru Kottureshwara Temple remains open during timings 4:00 AM - 10:30 PM and can be visited anytime, preferably, the dawn and dusk.