Chamundi hills, the abode of Sri Chamundeswari is about thirteen-kilometers from Mysuru. The temple is located at the top of Chamundi Hills. ‘Chamundi’ or ‘Durga’ is the fierce form of ‘Shakti’. She is the slayer of demons, ‘Chanda’ and ‘Munda’ and also ‘Mahishasura’, the buffalo-headed demon.
She is the Kula devatha [patron deity] of the Mysore Maharajas and the presiding deity of Mysore. For several centuries, people of Mysuru have held the Goddess Chamundeshwari, in great reverence. During the reign of Bola Chamaraja Wodeyar IV [1572-1576], the king adopted the Goddess as the Kula devatha of their Wodeyar dynasty.
Sri Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar (1659-1673) constructed 1008 steps to climb the hill for the pilgrims. On the step-walkway, there exists an old cave temple for Lord Shiva. In front of this temple, he installed a gigantic Nandi statue sculpted out of single stone. The ornamentally sculpted Nandi is a feast to the visitor’s eyes. Here Nandi Bhagavan is known as “Dodda Basava”. In Kannada, “Dodda” means big.
Apart from the step walkway, there is a road path to visit the temple. Today the Nandi statue is at the junction of road and step-walkway to the hill top. We can see many devotees use the step-walkway to go to the hill top. They apply turmeric and kumkum in each step while climbing the hill.
Not far away from this junction, the summer palace of royals known as “Rajendra Vilas palace” and a temple for Sri Anjaneya is also present.
Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III had built a summer palace for Wodeyars of Mysore in the year 1822. In the year 1827, he planned and executed the renovation of Chamundeswari temple. He built a mammoth seven tired raja gopuram with seven golden kalasam for the temple and contributed jewels and chariots for the Goddess. Sri Anjaneya who wards off obstructions and ensures success of any mission had been installed by him in the Chamundeswari temple.
As one climbs through the steps to the hill top, few steps after crossing the Dodda Basava, a small temple for Sri Anjaneya is seen. Sri Anjaneya is facing Rajendra Vilas Palace.
[Kindly read “Sri Anjaneya Swamy of Sri Chamundeshwari Temple, Chamundi Hills, Mysuru” article on our web site for more details.]
In those days while Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III was renovating Chamundeswari Temple, he had installed Sri Anjaneya in this step-walkway. Darshan of this Sri Anjaneya was always sought on his way from Rajendra Vilas palace to Chamundi Hilltop. This can be seen from the fact that the deity is facing Rajendra Vilas palace and the temple is on the outer side of the step-walkway. Thus initially, only a small vigraha of Sri Anjaneya with an arch around was installed. At latter stage, the arch was enlarged with other art work around using mortar and plaster. Subsequently, a small room was built enclosing the Sri Anjaneya deity to protect from wild animals.
The murtham of Sri Anjaneya is about three feet tall made of hard granite stone. He is in a walking posture with His left foot forward and the sculpted in ‘ardha shila’ style. Lord is facing Rajendra Vilas palace which is in the east.
Lord’s both lotus feet are adoring nupuram and thandai. He is seen wearing dhoti in kacham with a waist cloth tied and a combat dagger is also seen held in the waist belt. His left hand adorning a bracelet is seen resting on the left hip. His right hand adorning a bracelet is seen raised and holding ‘chutamani’ signifying victory. Lord is wearing ‘yognobavedham’. He is wearing two malas and an ornament with pendent which adore His bosom. The tail of the Lord rises above His head and a small bell is seen near the end of tail. Significantly the bell is seen turned upward [normally the bell is seen hanging at the end of the tail]. Lord is wearing ear-studs [kundalam] and His kesam is pleated and neatly tied. His eyes are glowing and emitting karuna on the devotee.
Sri Anjaneya of this kshetra holding ‘chutamani’ of Sri Janaki mata demonstrates to us that success is assured in all righteous endeavors. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III believed HIM and had achieved success in his life. Let us pray to the Lord of this kshetra and be assured of accomplishments in all our just endeavors.
Ed: January 2020
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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.