Seven hill ranges collectively known as the MM hills or Male Mahadeshwara Hills is a major pilgrim centre for Lord Shiva. The Hills is located in Chamarajanagara. The place is famous for the Mahadeshwara Temple. Here Lord Shiva is in the “Swayambhu” form which means self-manifested.
The temple draws several pilgrims from Tamil Nadu as well as Karnataka. The temple lies amidst the thick jungles of the hill ranges. MM Hills is not only a major devotee point but also a major tourist attraction spot too, with its unadulterated beauty.
Mahadeshwara- An incarnation of lord Shiva
Mahadeshwara is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. Legendary stories claimed that the Saint Mahadeshwara came to the hills about 600 years ago, to perform atonement and then remained there with the Shiva lingam, continuing to offer atonement in the temple’s garbhagriha in the form of lingam.
Saint Mahadeshwara was believed to be travelling to the forests of MM hills on a tiger, hence the name Huli Vahana was given to him. He performed miracles and worked to save the saints and others villagers who lived in the proximity. The unending miracle sagas are sung by the localities in their village folk songs in the Janapada style.
Pooja Timings at Mahadeshwara Temple
- Abhisheka timing: 5:30 am to 7:30 am, 10;30 am to 12:30 pm, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
- Jathra & Special Days: 4:00 am to 6:00 am and 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm with Special Abhisheka Poojas
- Maharudrabhisheka Seva: 10:30 am to 2 Pm which happens on Thursdays except for special days.
The Legend of Mahadeshwara
The tale of Mahadeshwara is sung across by the devotees of Saint Mahadeshwara. According to the legend, Mahadeshwara was born to a dainty virgin woman Uttarajamma, during the Kaliyuga. The saint was supposedly from Srishaila and had moved to the MM hills. He was popular for the several miracles he had done in all those villages he visited.
Later he decided to move into the thick forests of MM hills. The uninhabited forests were surrounded by seventy-seven peaks in seven circles. Saint Mahadeshwara went into the forest to save the saints who were captured by a king Sharavana who performed black magic. The forests were only inhabited by some indigenous tribes and wild animals.
The seven peaks that were identified by the legendary stories were: Jenumale, Anumale, Pachchemale, Kanumale, Pavalamale, Kongumale and Ponnachimale. All together they are known as Male Mahadeshwara hills or MM hills. The tribes became his disciples and led a disciplinary life thereafter. The Archaks of the temple were from these tribal families who continue to do their service to the temple generation-to-generation
Mahadeshwara Temple Establishment at MM Hills
The Temple of Mahadeshwara was built by a Rich Landlord Junje Gowda. Later the management of the temple was done by the Sri Salur Matt, another establishment by Saint Mahadeswara himself until 1953, when it was handed over to Madras Government. After the formation of Karnataka Government, the temple authorities passed over the power to the trustee committee founded by the Muzaria Department and appointed by Karnataka Government.
Kamsale – The Devotees of Mahadeshwara
A group of folk singers Kamsale performs near the temple singing the tales of Mahadeshwara and his miracles. The group got their name from the usage of Kamsale in their singing. Kamsale is a round shaped two bronze plates that are used to keep the rhythm flow. The group keeps singing and dancing near the temple most of the time. The singers are the devotees who vowed their life for the Saint Mahadeswara.
Forest Wealth and Tourism at MM Hills
The dense evergreen forests of these seven hill ranges are an impeccable source of attractions for nature lovers. The MM hills have abundant resource of flora and fauna that attract many adventure lovers to these forests. The alluring beauty has always been preserved well and is a great resource of sandalwoods and many kinds of endemic species. MM Beta or MM hills is a catchment area by the river Kaveri in the northeast and River Palar in the South.
Trekking at MM Hills
MM Hills is an ideal destination for trekking. There is a trekking path from MM Hills to Palar. While trekking through the forests you are sure to spot elephants and the breathtaking beauty of the wild will blow you away.
How to Reach MM Hills
MM hills are around 150 km from Mysore and 210 km from Bangalore. Buses can be availed from Bangalore to MM Hills as well as from Mysore. KSRTC runs buses to MM hills from both Bangalore and Mysore.
Mysore railway station is the nearest station to MM hills which is 130 km from MM hills. Tourists can hire a taxi or a bus from the railway’s station in Mysore to reach MM hills.
Bangalore Airport is the nearest airport to MM hills for both local and International tourists. The airport is around 173 km from the Hills. From Bangalore, one can avail a taxi or a bus to MM hills.