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).
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, which is approximately 13 km to the east of the city of Mysore, with a 12 km ride to its peak at 1063m above sea level. The Temple 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. 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. Worshippers 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 Maharajas of Mysore, it has been customary to carry the idol of the goddess Chamundi upon a ceremonially-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 through the climb, one comes across 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 climb is rewarded with a panoramic bird's eye view of the city at the peak. One can spot key attractions from here including the Mysore Palace, the Karanji Lake and several smaller temples, many of which were constructed by members of the Shirdi Sai Baba movement using trenchers to lay the foundations.
According to legend, the demon 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 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 on 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 available via bus. There is a bus from Mysore's central bus station to the Chamundi Hills. The buses run on a regular basis. The Chamundi Hills can also be reached by 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 located on different roads from the main hill road. KSRTC Volvo buses run frequently between Mysore and the 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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