One of the places we wanted to visit was one of the 8 sacred mountains in India – called Chamundi Hill, just outside Mysore. we jumped on a local bus and took the drive up to the top. we feel quite at home in temple complexes now so we shed our shoes, got some offerings and joined the others who made the same pilgrimage.
Some history from the web: Chamundi’s main hill features a long stone stairway leading to the top of the hill. There are 1,180 steps in all, with the first 600 steps being steeper than those higher up. En route to the top, the steps pass the large statue of Nandi the bull; the statue is about 16 feet high and 25 feet in length. Nandi is the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva. This Nandi is over 15 feet high, and 24 feet long. Local monarch directed the steps’ creation in 1664 and the installation of the statue of Nandi.
According to legend, the demon Mahishasura, king of the area that is currently Mysore, was killed by the Goddess Chamundeswari (also Chamundi) after a fierce battle. The hills are named after the goddess, and a temple honors her. The temple has a beautiful idol of the goddess. Chamundeeswari, or Durga is the fierce form of Shakti who vanquished the demon Mahishasuran.
BELOW: here is Kelley and Joseph are getting their thread-like ‘bracelet’ and mark on the forehead (tilak) from on of the priests you can see lined up outside the temple.
part of the lure of this temple is that there is a carved statue of Nandi (Shiva’s companion) about halfway back down the mountain. there are 1000 steps that can be walked so we walked down. on the face of one of the steps was a small pictured tile and offering….
Here is Nandi in all his glory. you can see how big he is by the people standing in front.