A famous abode of Goddess Durga in Karnataka. The deity of this temple is the family deity of the Maharajas of Mysore. This Temple is the focal point of famous Dasara celebration in the month of October-November.
Legend is that, earlier, this place was ruled by a demon called Mahishasur. He used to terrorize the people; suffocated, they prayed to Goddess Durga. The Goddess came to the earth, killed the demon and took abode at this place.
The name Mysore is derived from the name of Mahishasur, that is ‘’mahishuru’’- the land of Mahishasura which later became Mysore.
The original temple dates back to 12th century AD to the Hoysala period. It is believed, Sri. Sankaracharya ame here and worshipped this Goddess.
The present temple owes much to the patronage of Mysore Maharajas and the Royal family of Mysore. In 1659, Sri. Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar, then Maharaja of Mysore, built 1000 steps leading to the hill temple situated about 3450 feet above the sea level.
He also built a huge Nandi or Bull statue on the 300th step. This Nandi is about 15 feet high and 24 feet long at the base. The ornamental bell on the neck of this bull is a master piece in sculpture. Sri Dodda Devaraja also built the huge Mahishasura statue that attracts devotees on the final step to the temple.
In the 19th century AD, Sri Krishna Raja Wodeyar , built the present Gopura. He also made arrangements for the Dasara Celebrations as we see it today. There is a statue of him inside the temple, together with three of his wives.
Chamundi hill is 13 Kilometers from the famous Mysore palace. The hill offers a panoramic view of the city of Mysore, especially in night.