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The Chamundi Hills (Kannada: ಚಾಮುಂಡಿ ಬೆಟ್ಟ) are located close to the palace city of Mysore in Karnataka, India. The hills lie approximately 13 km to the east of Mysore. Their average elevation is 1,000 metres (3,300 ft).
Patronized for centuries by the rulers of Mysore, the Chamundeshwari Temple is located atop the Chamundi Hills and was renovated during the time of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1827).
Named after the goddess Chamunda, the Chamundeshwari Temple sits atop the main hill, and can be reached by a 12 km ride to its peak at 1063m above sea level. The Temple has a quadrangular structure. A key feature of the temple is a statue of Mahishasura bearing a sword in his right hand and a cobra in the left. Within the temple's sanctum stands a sculpted depiction of the goddess Chamundeshwari. She is seated with her right heel pressed against the lowest of the seven chakras. This cross-legged yogic posture echoes that of the Lord Shiva. Worshipers believe that this powerful yogic posture, if mastered, enables one to have an added dimensional view of the universe. Since the early days of the Maharajahs of Mysore it has been customary to carry the idol of the goddess Chamundi on a decorated elephant as part of the celebrations in the annual Dusshera festival.
The main hill itself features an ancient stone stairway of 1,008 steps leading to its summit. Approximately halfway to the summit is a statue of the bull Nandi, the vahana, or "vehicle" of Lord Shiva, which is 4.9m tall and 7.6m long and carved out of a single piece of black granite. It is about this point in the ascent that the steps become significantly less steep and eventually the climber is rewarded with a panoramic view of the city. From the peak one can see the Mysore Palace, the Karanji Lake and several smaller temples; many of which were constructed by members of the Shirdi Sai Baba movement who used trenchers to lay the foundations.
According to legend, the asura Mahishasura (king of the city that is currently known as Mysore) was killed by the goddess Chamundeswari (also called Chamundi) after a fierce battle. The goddess is also called Mahishasura Mardini. The Chamundi Hills are named in honor of Chamundeshwari.
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 on the hill is the older of the two and is a place of pilgrimage. The car festival and 'Teppotsava' held on the hill attracts a number of devotees.
Transportation is available via bus from Mysore's central bus station to the Chamundi Hills. The Chamundi Hills can also be reached by taxi or other vehicle. Free parking is available close to the main temple. The Nandi and Bull Temple are located on different roads from the main hill road.
- 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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