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About Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysore


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The Chamundeshwari Temple is a traditional Hindu temple located on the eastern edge of Mysore at the height of 1000ft on the Chamundi hills. Dedicated to and named after goddess Durga, the temple also has statues of Nandi and Mahishasura, the demon. Being one of the oldest temples in the palace city of Mysore, the temple is a must-visit attraction for the travellers. The Chamundeshwari Temple is considered as a Shakti Peetha and is one among the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas.

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There are two options for the visitors to reach the Chamundeshwari temple, either by steps or by driving through the interwoven valley road. The temple showcases the fierce form of Shakti, a tutelary deity that was held in reverence for centuries by the Maharajas of Mysore; hence deriving its name from goddess Durga. The idol of goddess Durga here is adorned every day and worshipped by a number of priests. The deity is offered a variety of fruits, coconuts and flowers to show respect and reverence.

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Located atop the Chamundi hills, the temple is usually not too crowded. The Chamundeshwari temple also has statues of the demon Mahishasura; you can even see the enormous statues from the way driving up to the temple. The temple also has a Nandi statue, which is that of a cow and holds great importance in the Hindu mythology. The view from the temple is stunning, as you can see many significant structures of the city including the Lalitha Mahal Palace. The temple has also been declared as the No Plastic Zone, thus making a huge contribution to the conservation of our environment by curbing the use of plastics and dumping of hazardous materials.

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This temple, of great antiquity, has a background of over 1,000 years. It was built as a simple shrine but later gained immense popularity due to the divinity of goddess Durga. It gained a lot of significance after the Maharajas of Mysore, the Wodeyars, came to power in 1399 AD. The credit for major contributions for this temple goes to three dynasties- Hoysala, Vijayanagar and Mysore rulers. Placed on the top of the Chamundi hills, the Chamundeshwari temple is one of the most popular and ancient temples of Mysore. According to history logs, the original shrine was built in the 12th century by the Hoysala rulers, with the towers being built by the Vijayanagar rulers of the 17th century. Further, a flight of one thousand steps was built in 1659 that leads up to the 3000-foot summit of the Chamundi Hill.

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The Chamundeshwari temple exhibits a quadrangular structure. It is built in Dravidian style, consisting of the main doorway, entrance, Navaranga Hall, Antharala Mantapa, Sanctum Sanctorum and Prakara. There is a beautiful seven-stage pyramidal tower at the entrance and a small tower on top of the sanctum sanctorum. On the top of the tower placed at the entrance, there are seven golden Kalashas. The tower at the entrance also has a small image of Lord Ganesha on the doorway. The doorway is silver-plated and has the images of the Goddess in different forms.

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As one enters inside, on the right-hand side is a small statue of Lord Ganesha. After a few steps; there is a flagstaff, the footprints of the Goddess and a small statue of Nandi, facing the sanctum sanctorum. This temple is of great antiquity and symbolises the crown of Mysore. The Nandi statue is considered to be built by granite and is placed on the 800th step on the hill. It is adorned with metallic bells around its neck and measures about 15 feet high.

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Besides the Chamundeswari temple, there are many alluring sites nearby. One can see Mahabaladri, Narayanaswamy temples and Mahishasura and Nandi statues. There are few other interesting spots on the Chamundi Hills. Among them, the Lalitha Palace is one. It belongs to the Mysore royal family. The Maharajas used to make a short stay in this Palace whenever they visited the hills. Built on the hill-top, it offers an attractive bird eye view of Mysore city and far off places. Lalithadri Palace was built during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV.

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The opening hours of the temple are as follows- 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM, 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM. These are the Darshana and Pooja timings at the temple.

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While the timing for Abhisheka is 6:00 AM to 7:30 AM and 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Although on Fridays there is a change in the timings, i.e., 5:00 AM to 6:30 AM.

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The temple also offers free meals known as Dasoha for the devotees daily from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM.

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Chamundi Hills offer the best panoramic view of the Mysore city during the months of September to October. Although, the weather is quite pleasant throughout the year; the temple is highly flocked during the months of September and October due to festivals of Dussehra and Diwali. The temple can be visited in the dawn as well as at dusk.

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Sri Chamundeshwari Temple is declared as No-Plastic Zone. Hence, devotees are requested not to bring the plastic carry bags. Dumping of plastic wastes is strictly prohibited in the surrounding hilly area.

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Places to visit in Mysore

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