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The Chamundi Hills (Kannada: ಚಾಮುಂಡಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟ) are located in South India, close to the prominent palace city of Mysore, Karnataka. These are among the eight most sacred hills of South India. The average elevation of these hills is around 1,000 metres (3,300 ft).
The temple has always been patronized by the rulers of Mysore. In early days, the Maharajas of Mysore would decorate the ceremonial Dasara elephant during the annual Dasara festival. It is customary that the idol of Goddess Chamundi is taken on an elephant, since the seventies.
A panoramic view of the city can be seen from the top of the hills. Amongst the other landmarks, one can see the race course, the Lalitha Mahal palace, Mysore Palace, Karanji and the famous Kukkarahalli lakes.
The hill owes its name to the goddess Chamundeshwari who was once a family deity of the royal family. This temple was renovated and the beautiful tall tower was built during the time of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in 1827. The temple is a fine quadrangular structure. A statue of Mahishasura with a sword in his right hand and a cobra in the left is an attraction.
The main idol of the goddess inside the sanctum sanctorum is serene and beautiful. Try to concentrate on the full idol instead of concentrating upon the face only, the way most of us usually do. The goddess sits in a posture wherein the right heel of her pious foot is pressing the lowest chakra of the seven chakras basically sitting cross-legged in a yogic posture the same posture that Lord Shiva sits in. The powerful yogic posture which, if mastered, enables one to have a third dimensional view of the universe which is mastered by the couple Shiv and Shiva, also known by the name 'trikaldarshi'.
The Chamundi Hills are near Rajendra Vilas, formerly the summer palace of the former royal family, now a hotel.
Chamundi's main hill, features a long stone stairway leading to the top of the hill. This ancient stairway has approximately 1,008 steps; the lower 600 steps are significantly steeper than those above. A Local monarch, Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar directed the steps' creation in 1664 along with the installation of the statue of Nandi. En route to the top, the steps pass the large statue of Nandi the bull; the statue is about 4.9 metres (16 ft) high and 7.6 metres (25 ft) in length. Nandi is the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva.
The top of the hill has a few attractions - the Mahishasura Statue, the Chamundeswari Temple, and a few other temples nearby. The Rajendra Vilas palace was previously a popular hotel there, but it is now closed to the public. The palace is now being renovated and provides a panoramic view of Chamundi Hill, Chamundi Temple, and the beautiful city of Mysore.
The main Chamundi Hill is about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the east of Mysore and there is a 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) road leading to the top of the hill. The height of the hill is about 1,063 metres (3,488 ft) above sea level.
According to legend, the demon Mahishasura, king of the city that is currently known as Mysore, was killed by Goddess Chamundeswari (also Chamundi) after a fierce battle. The goddess is also called Mahishasura Mardini. The hills are named after the goddess, and a temple honors her in the hills. The temple has a beautiful 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. It 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. Other options to get to Chamundi Hills are by taxi or your own vehicle, you are able to drive right up to the main temple and you may park for free. 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
- Karnataka State Gazetteer 1983
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