Perched atop a hill
13km outside Mysore city, and 12the century
Dravidian temple dedicated to
the tutelary deity of Mysore and of here royal
house, generally regarded as an incarnation of
Paravathi or Durga. One account claims that
the goddess slew two demons, Chanda and Munda,
so winning for herself a name combined of both, but
the more usually accepted version speaks of her as Chamundi - Mahishasura - Mardini, the slayer of
She is therefore the household
deity of the town named in (Maheshapura)
commemoration Mahisha (buffalo), uru (town) her
image on the hill bestrides a lion, and has twenty
hands. It is said that Raja Wodeyar (about
1600 AD) intended to build a gopura, and for that
purpose erected four large pillar posts, which were
removed when the present gopura was built by
Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. He built the gopura
with golden finials, and set up statues of himself
and his 3 queens in the presence of the goddess.
In 1827 he made arrangements for festivals and
processions. In 1843 he presented the
simhavahana and other cars.
The Sacred Bull
Half a top of the hill you may reach the bull in
few minutes. Fashioned says the legend, in one night
out hte the basalt of the hill, this recumbent
colossal Nandi gigantic 25 ft long and 4.8 meter (16
ft) tall monolith of Nandi (sacred vehicle of Lord
Shiva) was a gift to Dodda Deva Raja. Adorned with
ropes, chains, bells and jewels of stone, the bull
with half shut eyes which seem, in yogic fashion is
a marvel to watch.
Also close to the temple stands
a gigantic statues of the demon Mahishasura. The hill gets its name from
the Goddess Kali or Chamundi, the consort of
Shiva and she is the family deity of the
Maharajas of Mysore.
The Chamundeswari Temple is a fine quadrangular
structure with a high 'gopuram' (tower) and 'dwara'
(entrance) which is a visible landmark from many
miles. 'Mahishasura' was killed by Goddess 'Chamundi'
and hence she was given the name 'Mahishasura
Mardhini'. The Goddess is seated on a lion, killing
the buffalo-headed demon with her trident.
The hills is 3,489 ft, above the
sea level and is 12 Km from Mysore City. An
energetic visitor will be well repaid by climbing up
the 1000 steps, fashioned about 300 years ago, and a
good motorable road leads to the top of the hill.