Monday, August 27, 2012

Chamundi Hill, Mysore

With an open window of 3 hours in the city of Palaces - Mysuru - I had to think fast and clever. An SOS call later I had made up my mind. A third visit to Chamundi Hills seemed to be the most viable plan - with a twist. The idea was to climb the 1008 steps to the top and probably come back down in a bus. But as it turned out, the tables were turned and I had to do the opposite. Apparently the city buses do not go to the foot of the hill where the steps begin. That meant I was dropped at the top of the hill on the doorstep of Sri Chamundeshwari and a thousand hawkers. Since I was, ritually-speaking, not allowed to enter the temple - because of a death in the family - I wandered around the temple taking pictures and gobbling tender coconut water. Curiously, this is the third time I've been to Chamundi Hills but couldn't get into the temple. Now that’s a travel jinx that might take long to break, going by past experiences.

Apart from the Temple there’s also a statue of Demon King Mahishasura. If you are wondering what a demon king is doing in a place like this, then let me enlighten you that this demon was the ruler of Mysuru who was killed by Godess Chamundeshwari for wrecking havoc on people’s life. This is also why Goddess Chamundeshwari earned the title "Mahishasuramardhini" - Slayer of Mahishasura. Other attractions include a huge Nandi Statue and the Rajendra Vilas Palace (which I completely forgot to check-out).

With time running out for a personal appointment in Srirangapatnam, I started hurtling down the steps at a feverish pace – only to have suffer from aches the next day. By the time I reach ground zero, needless to say I was out of breath and energy. This feat of running down the steps can be achieved in less than 15 minutes. Surprisingly I saw quite a few people walking up the steps – some pilgrims, some morning walkers. So whether you are high on devotion or a fitness freak, climbing the steps of Chamundi Hills is what you should be doing in Mysuru on a bright and sunny Sunday morning.

Getting-there: City Volvo buses available from Mysore City stand to the peak of Chamundi Hills.

Must-Do: Try to go-up or come-down the 1008 steps. Gobble king-sized tender cocounts. Shopping at the hawker's market.

Must-Don't: Overdo the walking of steps. wandering in the hills after-dark (leapords have been spotted here in the past). Littering.

My Rating: 5/10


  1. Mysore always fascinates for more than one reason. Chamundi is a good exercise altogether.

    A nice write up again from your staple. Good to see your road bloke on the road again.

    Ya as you said, climbing up or down is always advisable late in the morning and early to the evening.

    Nice explanation on the chamundi, mahishaasura and ofcourse mysore.

  2. Thank you Srikanth.

    Yes Mysore is a magical place, full of palaces and glorious history.

    Hoping at least the next time, I can get inside the temple. :)

    Anyways so that completes 100 posts from the Road Bloke staple :)

  3. 11 Be careful while running down the steps. I still remember during my childhood days I was running down the steps in Taratarini temple in Odisha and could not stop. Finally I had to hold on to someone. Fortunately, we didn't hurtle down into the ravine or further down the steps.

  4. Congratulations for the 100 glad you achieved this feat faster than....leave it..

    Congratulations once again..keep coming in...:-) waiting for more..

  5. Thank you Sabyasachi for visiting my blog. I must say that Im a fan of your Indiawilds blog. I totally concur with your views on wildlife conservation and a particular blog on tiger/wildlife tourism.

    And yes, running down those stair can be very risky after a while, but of course I was careful. :)

  6. Hahaha Srikanth... I know what your unfinished comment is... :D

  7. Nice captures and well written. Its a beautiful place.

  8. Nice one dude..

    Actually I wasn't too keen a temple goer till a frind told me of this amazing perspective.. he says tat temples are the way the ancient architects used to communicate with the present generations secretly... supposedly, there are writings on carefully hidden walls that indicate things of huge consequences.. of course, I never believed him for a long while but then when the huge gold haul from the Sree Padmanabha Swamy kovil in Trivandrum came out, I was like WoW!

    Very interesting post and great pics, Kishan :)

  9. have been to Chamundeshwari temple this May and liked it very much and was also lucky to have a darshan of the deity..We went there by personal vehicle and also never heard about the 1008 sounds very exciting..

  10. Interesting perspective R-A-J. Indian temples have a lot of appeal in them, whether or not you are a believer. Each temple has a story to tell, with its own set of mythological significances.

    Which is why I never miss a chance to go to a significant temple.

  11. Thank you Ranita for visiting my blog.

    I must say I saw quite a number of women climbing up the stairs and some of them applying kumkum and chandan on each of the 1008 steps. Quite a task if you ask me, to bend and apply them at every step.

  12. I've been up there several times. I've always loves those rides up and down. I took the steps just once and that time, I had lot of girl-company. We were busy chattering and giggling all the way down that I didn't feel the exhaustion. (you should try THAT next time haha!)
    You made me all nostalgic with this post of yours, Kishan. 5/10? C'mon you can give it more that that. :D I give you a 9/10 for the post. :)

  13. Thanks D. And I should try what? Chattering and giggling with girl-company while taking the stairs? :D

    The 5/10 rating because Ive still not been able to get inside the temple and see its aesthetics, architecture and devotion quotient. The day I do that, I'll blog again and revise the ratings :)