Malai Mahadeshwara Hill Temple is dedicated to Lord Male Mahadeshwara Swamy, the incarnation of Lord Shiva. According to Indian Puranas, Malai Mahadeshwara Hills are formed by seven hills and they are Anumale Hill, Jenumale Hill, Kanumale Hill, Pachchemale Hill, Pavalamale Hill, Ponnachimale Hill and Kongumale Hill.
History of Sri Male Mahadeshwara Swamy
It is believed that Sri Mahadeshwara Swamy came here to perform penance in Malai Mahadeshwara Hills. People believe that he is still performing penance in the temple's sanctum sanctorum in the form of a Shiva Lingam. Male Mahadeshwara Swamy used a tiger as his vehicle and performed number of miracles around the hills to save the people and saints living here.
Rituals of Malai Mahadeshwara Temple
The main festival of the temple is Maha Shivratri (February/ March). Special pujas are conducted at this time. During Diwali festival a grand celebration can be seen in Malai Mahadeshwara Hills. Malai Mahadeshwara Hill is one of the holy places for shaivaits (followers of Lord Shiva). Pilgrims who visit here take a holy dip in Antaragange (Ganges from deep), near the temple. The water of this stream comes from the ground throughout the year and the origin is not known yet.
Devotion to Male Mahadeshwara Swamy
The singers who perform the epic story of Male Mahadeshwara Swamy are called Devara Guddas and Kamsaleyavaru. The song and the dance are together called Kamsale. The artistes are brought from the Haalumatha Kuruba Gowda community and are initiated into this profession very early in their lives. They have to lead a very routined life, as required by the tradition. People who are devoted to Saint Mahadeshwara Swamy are supposed to perform Kamsale.
The dance is a part of a 'deeksha' or oath, which is taught by a teacher or spiritual guru. Kamsale artists are illiterates and have no printed literature. They learn the songs verbally and participate in fairs, which are held in Mahadeshwara Betta during Diwali, Shivaratri and Ugadi festivals. There is a popular folk song named ‘Badawara devaru Madappa Chellidaru Malligeya’ that illustrates the devotion and worship of Lord Male Mahadeshwara Swamy.
Visiting Information to Malai Mahadehswara Temple
Male Mahadeshwara Hill can easily be reached via Bengaluru. Direct buses are available from Bengaluru to the Mahadeshwara Hill.