The Chamundi Hills (Kannada: ಚಾಮುಂಡಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟ) are located close to the prominent palace city of Mysore in Karnataka, India. The Chamundi Hills are among the eight most sacred hills of South India. The average elevation of these hills is 1,000 metres (3,300 ft).
The Chamundi Hills are named after the goddess Chamundeshwari (deity of the Royal Family). The main Chamundi Hill which carries the Chamundeshwari Temple atop is approximately 3 km to the east of the city of Mysore. The temple is a 12 km ride from Mysore city that leads to the peak of the Chamundi Hill at 1063m above sea level. From the top of the hills a panoramic view of the city can be seen with key attractions that include the Mysore Palace, the Karanji Lake and several smaller temples. The Rajendra Vilas, a palace hotel located on one of the Chamundi Hills, gives a clear view of the Chamundeshwari Temple as well as the city of Mysore.
Chamundi's main hill features a long stone stairway (approx. 1008 steps) leading to the top of the hill. This ancient stairway's lower 600 steps are significantly steeper than those above. Halfway along this route stands a statue of the bull Nandi, the 'vahana' (vehicle) of Lord Shiva. Nandi's statue is approximately 4.9m tall and 7.6m in length.
The Chamundeshwari Temple, patronized for centuries by the rulers of Mysore, is located among these hills. It was renovated during the time of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1827). It has a fine quadrangular structure. A statue of Mahishasura with a sword in his right hand and a cobra in the left is a key feature of the temple. Within the temple's sanctum stands a sculpted depiction of the Goddess Chamundeshwari. Seated, her right heel is pressed against the lowest of the seven chakras. This cross-legged yogic posture echoes that of the Lord Shiva. It is believed that this powerful yogic posture, if mastered, enables one to have an added dimensional view of the universe. Since the early days of the Maharajas of Mysore, it has been customary that the idol of Goddess Chamundi is carried upon a ceremonially-decorated elephant as part of the celebrations in the annual Dusshera festival.
According to legend, the demon Mahishasura (king of the city that is currently known as Mysore) was killed by the Goddess Chamundeswari (also Chamundi) after a fierce battle. The Goddess is also called Mahishasura Mardini. The Chamundi Hills are named after the Goddess Chamundeshwari and a temple honoring her is located on the hills. The temple has an idol of the Goddess Chamundeswari.
According to mythology, this rocky hill was known as Mahabalachala. There are two ancient temples on the hill, the Mahabaleshvara and the Chamundeshvari; the Mahabaleshvara temple in the hill is an older one and is a place of pilgrimage. The car festival and 'Teppotsava' held on the hill attracts a number of devotees.
Transportation is provided. The bus travels from Mysore's central bus station to Chamundi Hills. The buses are administered on a regular basis. The Chamundi Hills can also be reached by a taxi or other vehicle, and it is possible to drive right up to the main temple where free parking is provided. The Nandi and Bull Temple are both located on different roads from the main hill road. KSRTC Volvo buses run frequently between Mysore and Chamundi Hills.
- City Bus Stand
- Hardinge Circle
- Gandhi Vana. Police Parade Ground
- Race Course. Mall of Mysore
- Administrative Training Instt
- SDM IMD
- Chamundi Hill
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