Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Chamundeshwari Devi

                Chamundeshwari temple is one of the sacred Ashtadasa Maha Shakti peethas located in Mysore of Karnataka. It’s called Krouncha Pitham because the region was known in Puranic times as Krouncha Puri. And the one of Shakti Peethas is related to the mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati’s self-sacrifice, Shakti Peethas are divine seat of Shakti because of the falling of body parts of the clay of Sati Devi, and when the Lord Shiva brings it and walk in sorrow. It is believed that the hair of Sati Devi has fallen here when lord Vishnu has cut her corpse with his Sudarshan Chakra. Every temple has shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava.

Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple is located on the heights of Chamundi Hills at 3,489 feet , 13 kilometer away  from the palace town of Mysore in the state of Karnataka. The Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple was named when Chamundeshwari or Durga, the fierce type of Shakti, a protective god control in reverence for hundreds of years by Mysore Maharajas. In the sanctum sanctorum is the stone statue of the Goddess, ‘Mahisha Mardhini.’ Having ‘Ashta Bhujas’ or eight shoulders, she is in a seated posture. According to the local legend, the image was established by sage Markandeya and hence it is said to be very old. In the ‘Antharala’ prior to the sacred sanctum sanctorum are the images of Lord Ganesha on the left side and of ‘Bhyrava’ on the right side.

The Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple has a polygonal shape structure. The Gopura or pyramidic tower at the (doorway) is elaborately adorned in the Dravidian vogue and has a small sculpture of Lord Ganesh on the main entrance. And the Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple entrance door way is silver-plated and has the pictures of god in different forms on that. As one passes through the main gate, on the right hand side could be a little statue of Lord Ganesh, the remover of all obstacles. Climb a number of steps and there’s a flagstaff, the footprints of the god and a little Nandi statue in front of the Garba Gudi (where is the main statue is installed). Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple was built with big granite rocks and inside the Goddess Chamundeswari idol adorns with Gold and jewels and Pattu sarees. In this temple very large halls are built with good attractive sculptures.

Maharajah Krishnaraja Wodeyar reconstructed this Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple in 1827 and engineered the big tower on that. He additionally gifted the Chamundeshwari Temple with a large wood chariot called the Simha Vahana that is now used during the Rathotsava or car festival.

             On prime of the sanctorum is a small tower or Vimana that may be seen from Mysore Chamundeswari Temple outside. During the festival 10 days, of Dasara festival special prayers are offered to the god. The Vedas are chanted in the temple and varied music performances are control here. When Dasara, on the auspicious Ashwayuja Pournime and Rathotsava and car festival is held during the Jathra or annual festival on high of the Hill. This is followed by Theppotsava (floating festival) that’s held in the night. Most famous festivals attract many more thousands of devotees. The Mysore Chamundeeswari temple is found on a hill in the locality of Mysore and is accessed through a motorable road.

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


Mahishasura Mardini is the incarnation of Goddess Durga who had taken birth to kill the asura king Mahisasura. Mahishasura was the king who ruled the kingdom of Mahisha or Mahishaka. According to Hindu Puranas, Mahisha was the son of an asura King Rambha who had fallen in love with a beautiful female buffalo named Shyamala. Shyamala was a princess who became a water buffalo due to the curse. Rambha due to his magical powers took the form of a male buffalo and by their union Mahisha was born with the head of a buffalo and human body. Mahishasura has the magical power to take the form of buffalo and human according to his wish. In Sanskrit language, Mahisha means Buffalo.

Mahishasura ruined the life of humans and conquered Earth (Prithvi Lokam) as well as Deva Loka (Swarga Lokam) by attacking Lord Indra, the King of Devas. All Gods and Goddess approached Lord Vishnu for a solution. Thus the powers of Trimurtis - the Trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahadeva - joined together for the creation of Goddess Durga (Mahamaya).

Goddess Durga was incarnated with ten arms, each having different warriors with Lion as her vehicle and possesses the power to destroy the demon rakshas Mahisha. Durga Maa went to fight with Mahisha and at the end of the fierce fight she got victory over Mahishasura. The battle raged for nine days and nights. Finally on the tenth day of Ashvin shukla paksha, Mahishasura was defeated and killed by Durga.  Thus Durga got the name Mahishasuramardini (The one who killed demon Mahisha). As Goddess save the world from the demon, Durga came to be known as the Mother of the Universe who embodies the primeval source of all power.


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