(Last Updated on : 16/10/2019)
Located in the Hanur taluk of Chamrajanagara district
of southern Karnataka
, the Male Mahadeshwara Hills is a popular nature and pilgrimage tourism
site. The prime attraction of the place is the sacred and ancient Malai Mahadeshwara Hill Temple
which attracted tourists and devotees from all around.
Legend of Male Mahadeshwara Hills
Associated to the hills is the legend of Lord Male Mahadeshwara, who was born in the Kali Yuga
to a fair maiden, called Uttarajamma. The Male Mahadeshwara Hills gets its name from the Lord, whose name is now inscribed on the hills. It is believed that Lord Male Mahadeshwara was guided by the then pontiff of Suttur Mutt and Kunthur Mutt. Before his arrival on the hills, Lord Male Mahadeshwara travelled around and visited Srishaila, where he performed several miracles.
Upon his arrival on the Male Mahadeshwara Hills, which was then covered with dense forest, surrounded by 77 peaks in 7 circles and lacked proper human civilisation and the Lord noticed the presence of the evil king Shravana, who practised black magic. Shravana had imprisoned the saints and it was Lord Male Mahadeshwara who defeated the evil king and released the saints from their captivity.
It is said that Lord Mahadeshwara established a Mutt here to look after the religious and cultural affairs of the people of this area. It is also believed that through his miracles, he enlightened and uplifted the hill tribes and made them his disciples. The people coming from these families have become hereditary 'Archaks' of the Mahadeshwara temple.
Male Mahadeshwara Hillss Temple in Male Mahadeshwara Hills
The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Male Mahadeshwara is a very popular Shaiva pilgrimage centre. This ancient temple draws lakhs of pilgrims from the states
of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
. The area of the Sri Male Mahadeshwara temple surroundings is 155.57 acres. In addition, Male Mahadeshwara Hills Temple has lands at Talabetta, Haleyuru and Indiganatha villages.
Standing at an elevation of almost 3000 ft, the Male Mahadeshwara Hills Temple complex was built by a rich Kuruba Gowda landlord called Junje Gowda. Amidst dense forest, the temple attracts not only the pilgrims but also nature lovers. Lord Sri Mahadeshwara is believed to be the manifestation of Lord Shiva or Mahadeva
. He is worshipped as the family God of the hill tribes of Male Mahadeshwara Hills like Soligas, Jenu Kurubas, Kadu Kurubas, Kuruba Gowdas of Mandya district
, Mysore and Chamarajnagar districts.
Nature Tourism in Male Mahadeshwara Hills
Male Mahadeshwara Hills also possesses natural beauty in the form of large tracts of forest area. The beautiful landscapes of Male Mahadeshwara Hills and valleys around the hills are covered with extensive forests
. These forest types vary from evergreen forests in Ponnachi Boli to dry deciduous forests
in most other parts.
Male Mahadeshwara Hills is bound by the Kaveri River to the north-east and by the Palar River
to the south. Thus, it forms an extremely important catchment area for both these rivers
. The forests of Male Mahadeshwara Hills have been famous for wonderful regeneration and stock of sandalwood and bamboo
and are inhabited by a variety of animals
are the most prominent species in Male Mahadeshwara Hills and as per the latest estimate, the population of elephants are more than 2500 in the district, which includes Bandipur National Park
too. Apart from rare sightings of tigers, leopards
and wild dogs
, the animals which are frequently seen are the guars or Indian bison
, sambars, spotted deer
, jackals, sloth bears and porcupines
. The Male Mahadeshwara Hills Reserve Forests has an approximate area of 39361.45 hectares and has a few small villages, which are worth visiting like Ponnachi, M.M. Hills, Kombadikki, Kokkebore, Doddane, Tokere, Tholsikere, Palar, Gopinatham, Indiganatham, etc., as enclosures within the reserve forests.
Visiting Information on Male Mahadeshwara Hills
are at a close proximity at a distance of 210 km and 150 km respectively from the Male Mahadeshwara Hills. The Chamarajanagar railway station
is the closest at a distance of almost 111 km and the Mysore Airport
is the nearest at a distance of 143 km from Male Mahadeshwara Hills.