History of Chamundeshwari Temple
According to the legends, Chamundeshwari temple was built in the 12th century by the Hoysala rulers and the towers of the temple were built by the Vijayanagar rulers in the 17th century. Later, in 1659 a flight of steps were added to the temple, which leads to the 3000 foot summit of the Chamundi Hill. Initially the temple was built as a simple shrine, but later it got huge popularity after the Maharajas of Mysore, the Wodeyars, came to power in 1399 AD. Hoysala, Vijayanagar and Mysore rulers are the prime contributors for this temple.
Structure and Deities of Chamundeshwari Temple
Chamundeshwari temple is one of the finest examples of quadrangular structure. The temple is built in Dravidian style with main doorway, entrance, Navaranga Hall, Antharala Mandapa, Sanctum Sanctorum and Prakara. The temple has a seven storey tall Gopura decorated with intricate carvings; on the top of that tower there are seven golden Kalashas. The tower also has a small image of Lord Ganesh on the doorway. There is a small tower at the top of the sanctum sanctorum as well. At the temple there are many images of Nandi (the bull mount of Lord Shiva). There is massive granite Nandi on the 800th step on the hill in front of small Lord Shiva temple a short distance away. This Nandi is over 15 feet high, and 24 feet long and around its neck are exquisite bells. The deity is said to be made of gold and the temple doors are of silver.
Festivals of Chamundeshwari Temple
Aashada Shukravara, Navaratri, Chamundi Jayanti and Ammanavara Vardhanthi festivals are celebrated in this temple with huge grandeur. Navaratri is the most important festivalof Chamundeshwari temple. During this festival, the goddess is adorned in nine different styles to depict the nine different aspects of her. On Kalaratri, the 7th day of Navaratri, all the jewels donated by the Maharajas are brought to adorn the goddess Chamundi.
During the month of Ashada, Fridays are considered to be very auspicious, so devotees flock to Chamundeshwari temple during Aashada Shukravara festival to offer prayers to the goddess. Chamundi Jayanti is celebrated on the anniversary of the consecration of the utsava murthy of the Goddess by the Maharaja of Mysore. On this festival, the deity is taken around the temple in a golden palanquin.
Visiting Information to Chamundeshwari Temple
Chamundeshwari Temple is located at a distance of 12.8 km from Mysore. The temple can easily be reached by bus from Mysore. Regular buses are available by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation to reach the temple.