Temples of Karnataka - Chamundeshwari Temple

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)

The Chamundeshwari temple is located on the top of Chamundi Hill which is about 3 kms from Mysore City. There are about one thousand steps to the hill.

The temple is believed to be built in 12th century by Hoysalas while its tower being just 300 years old is built by Vijayanagar kings. The main deity of the temple is Chamundeeswari or Durga, the fierce form of Shakti or the incarnation of Parvati. Even the hill which was previously called as Mahabala Parvata gets its name as Chamundi hill because of the temple.


The temple has a fine quadrangular structure of Dravidian style with seven storeys and a splendid 40 mt high gopura or tower at the entrance with intricate carvings. The sanctum has the idol of Chamundeshwari made in solid gold. The silver plated doorway has the images of the goddess in many different forms. There is a jewel Nakshatra-Malike with 30 Sanskrit shlokas inscribed on it. The statue of the demon Mahishasura of about 16 foots is located near the temple.

The legend has it that goddess Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi hill killed the demon Mahishasura and saved Mysore. So this goddess is also lovingly referred as the goddess of Mysore. Even the city of Mysore gets its name to the goddess who killed the legendary demon Mahishasura. This temple is patronized by the royal family of Mysore wadayars. In Dasara, there are various special pujas and services are offered to the goddess apart from the rathotsava or car festival.

At around 800th step on the hill, there is a huge monolithic statue of Nandi of about 16 feet high and 25 feet long. It has meticulously designed ornaments of delicate anklets around its legs and the magnificent pendant bells around its neck.

 

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