Chamundi Hills is located 13 kilometres east of Mysore. The hill is crowned by a temple known as the Chamundeshwari Temple. The hills and the temple above it are named after the Goddess Chamundeshwari. These lush green hills offer a spectacular trekking experience, scenic beauty and a chance to visit the Chamundi Temple.
Quick Facts about the Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysore
- Main Deity: Goddess Chamundeshwari
- Best Time to Visit: October during the Dasara
- Temple Timings: 7.30 am to 9.00 pm
- Entry Fee: Free
- Visit Duration:1-2 hours
Overview of the Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysore
The Chamundi Temple is one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas. Thus it is one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations in South India. The temple is built at the top of a hill with 1008 stone-cut steps leading up to it.
It is dedicated to the Goddess Chamundeshwari who is believed to be an incarnation of Shiva’s wife, Parvati. The temple was originally built as a small shrine and grew to its current size under the patronage of the Mysuru maharajas.
The Architecture of the Chamundeshwari Temple
The temple is built in the Dravidian style of architecture and features a quadrangular structure, imposing entrance and 7-tier gopuram crowned with seven gold Kalashas.
The Sanctum Sanctorum is also topped with a Vimana or small tower. A small image of Lord Ganesh can be seen in the doorway to the main entrance hall.
This doorway is silver plated and also features a number of other images of the different forms of the Goddess. A 6-foot tall statue of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III stands within the ‘Antharala’ along with statues of his three wives.
A statue of Mahishasura with a cobra in one hand and a sword in the other is also housed in the temple. A stone statue of the Goddess Chamundeshwari stands within the sanctum sanctorum. They portrayed her in a seated position with 8 arms.
The original shrine was constructed in the 12th century while the 1008 steps leading up to it were added only in the 17th century. In 1827, it was repaired by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III who presented the temple with several jewels and vehicles that are used on special religious occasions.
Legend of the Chamundeshwari Temple
There are many myths and legends about the Chamundeshwari temple. According to one of them, once upon a time, a buffalo demon named Mahishasura lived in the area.
After years of penance, he had been granted a boon by Brahma that he could not be killed by a man. With this confidence, he began harassing the humans and the Gods.
Shiva’s wife Parvati noticed a loophole in the boon and was granted powers by all the Gods in the heaven to make her strong enough to fight Mahishasura along with a lion as her vehicle.
With these powers, she took on the form of Chamundeshwari. The battle between Chamundeshwari and Mahishasura lasted ten days. At the end, Mahishasura was defeated. This victory is celebrated as the festival of Dasara across India.
Chamundi Temple, Mysore – Sightseeing
The Nandi Statue
A statue of the Nandi bull sits halfway up the hill. This bull is believed to be the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The statue is almost 5 meters tall and has a length of 7.6 m. The entire statue is carved out of single black granite rock. A small temple devoted to Lord Shiva is a short distance from the statue.
This temple dates back to 950 AD and is the oldest temple here. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and houses statues of Mahishamardhini and Dakshina Murthy along with images of Parvathi, the Sapta Matrikas and Nataraja.
How to Reach Chamundi, Mysore
The closest railway station connecting Chamundi is at Mysore. This is at a distance of merely 13 km.