On the seventh day of Navratri, the form of Goddess we worship is Chamundi Devi. One among many temples of Maa Chamundi is in Mysore city of Karnataka state – Chamundeshwari Temple. And today I am going to share my experience as well as sprinkle some tips to travel better. I remember my childhood days when Chamundeshwari Devi was worshiped during Navratri, I always used to ask my mother about her, and mother used to narrate to me the stories related to the Chamundi Devi. I knew the Goddess since then and came to know about the hill named after her, Chamundi Hill, during my visit to South India.
I conceived the idea of visiting this holy and revered place. On the very next day, departed for the temple route with a feeling of faith in the mind and the form of mother in the heart. As the bus was climbing up the hill, some very enchanting and fascinating scenes became visible. Originally it used to be a small temple. Later the Mysore Maharajas have continuously contributed to its expansion and this is the form of the present temple (pic below). It is also said that once animals were being sacrificed here, which stopped in the 18th century. This temple was maintained and patronized by the ruler of Mysore.
This temple is one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas. It is about a thousand years old. It was first built by the king of the Hoysala dynasty in the 12th century. In the 17th century, the king of the Vijayanagara Empire built its upper part. In fact, Chamundeswari Maa is considered as the Kuldevi of the Wodeyar Empire. Built-in Dravidian style, Chamundeshwari temple touched my heart and mind. Undoubtedly craftsmen were skilled at those times. From the front of the temple, some small idols of mother and some lions can be seen carved along.
A 1000 steps for the temple were built by Dodda Devraj Wodeyar in 1659. During his reign, a huge statue of Lord Shiva’s ride Nandi was also constructed, which is 16 feet in height and 25 feet in length. It is considered to be one of the largest statues of Nandi in India. You will find captivating hanging bells around Nandi’s neck.
In 1827, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III renovated the temple. It was during his reign that the entrance to the temple was built. Krishnaraja Wodeyar also presented a lion-shaped vehicle for the temple, called the ‘Simha-vehicle’, as well as many other vehicles that are now presently used for religious and temple processions. . There is also a 6 feet tall statue of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in front of the sanctum sanctorum, which is worth noting. Statues of his three wives, Ramvilas, Lakshmivilas, and Krishnavilas, are also located on either side of him.