The Chamundi temple above the Chamundi Hills is the most famous temple in Mysore, as the goddess, Chamundi or Chamundeshwari is the presiding deity of Mysore. She is the Tutelary deity that the Mysore royal family held in high esteem for hundreds of years. Initially, the temple was small, but in recent centuries, as a result of assistance and development by the Mysore Maharajas, it became a Big temple.
In ancient times, humans and animals were often sacrificed in this temple, but it was stopped in the 18th century. The temple of Goddess Chamundeshwari is a Shakti Peetha or powerful energy centre, and one of the eighteen Maha Shakti Peethas in the world. It is also called Krouncha Peetham because the area where it is found was known as Krouncha Puri in the Vedic period.
The holy temple of Goddess Chamundeshwari is situated on the hill of Chamundi. It is located 13 kilometres from Mysore or Mysuru city as it was originally called. The heritage city is notable for the Chamundeshwari shrine, which is slaughtered by the demons Chanda and Munda as well as the invincible demon king Mahishasura.
“Om Shriman Chamundesvardivaya Namah”
History of the temple
The Skanda Purana, the ancient sacred scripture, speaks of a sacred place known as Trimuta kshetra which is believed to be surrounded by eight hills and Chamundi Hills is one of those eight sacred hills. Some time ago, the hill was also known as Mahabaladari to attract Lord Shiva, who is worshipped at the Mahabaleshwar Temple, the oldest temple situated on the eight sacred hills of the region. However, the hill was later named Goddess Chamundi to honour her. Goddess Chamundi is a manifestation of goddess Parvati, the divine husband of Shiva. The temple of Goddess Chamundi has the most blessed powers, which is why a large number of people do pilgrimage throughout Karnataka and all over India every year.
The 1,000-year-old Chamundeswari temple, a great legacy of Karnataka, was small in size. 1399 AD her fame spread everywhere. The Wodeyar clan ruled the Mysuru state. Because of he became fondness for Devi worship, the Wodeyars accepted Goddess Chamundeswari as their guardian. In 1659, 1,000 stairs were built to reach the 3,000 feet high hills where this temple is located.
Art and Architecture
The gem in Chamundi Hills, the crown of Mysuru, is like heaven. Its forests are full of fauna, avifaunal wealth and flora. For the architecture of the Chamundi temple, it is a quadrilateral built in the Dravidian style. It has the main gate, an entrance gate, Navaranga Hall, Antharala Mantapa, Sanctum Sanctorum, and Prakara.
A huge seven-tier gopura (pyramid tower) is located at the entrance and a vimana (small tower) can be seen above the sanctum sanctorum. Seven golden urns (sacred kalasha) are placed on the summit (the tower at the entrance).
Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in 1827 AD. The temple was renovated and the Blessed King installed Sinha-vahana (mount of a lion), cars for the deities and many other valuable items for the temple. The cars donated by the king are still used during special religious occasions and major events.
Before the Chamundeshwari temple, a huge statue of the demon Mahishasura holds a sword and a snake in his hands. The town of Chamundi is very close to the pilgrimage site. There are a large number of facilities for the well being of pilgrims in and around the temple. Devotees can enjoy free food within the facilities of the temple which the administration organizes daily. Free drinking water and facilities are available for special bidding and travel from City Bus Stand to Chamundi Hill.
Hotels nears Chamundeshwari Temple
For devotees and pilgrims keen on extending their stay on the Chamundi Hill, a guest house good for accommodating twenty tourists is present near the temple.
How to Reach Chamundeshwari Temple:
Buses ply regularly from Mysore to Chamundi Hills and Chamundeshwari Temple.while on a bus tour one gets to see the lush green hills and beautiful roads. Chamundi Hills is hardly 12 kms from Mysore which is just a 15 mins drive. The Mysore bus stand is the popular spot for boarding the bus for Chamundi Hills. Other than these tourists can also prefer travelling by a private cab which will be convenient and easy.