India is a teeming with places of worship. There are places of worship at every street corner in this vast and diverse nation.
As a traveller, one is forced to select a few because of the constraints of time and convenience.
Here are some of the important temples in southern Karnataka.
Temple Deity: Sri Chamundeshwari
Location: The Chamundeshwari Temple is located on the top of Chamundi Hills about 13 km from the palace city of Mysore in the state of Karnataka in India. The temple was named after Chamundeshwari or Durga, the fierce form of Shakti, a tutelary deity held in reverence for centuries by Mysore Maharajas.
Brief History: The original shrine is thought to have been built in the 12th century by Hoysala rulers while its tower was probably built by the Vijayanagar rulers of the 17th century. In 1659, a flight of one thousand steps was built leading up to the 3000 foot summit of the hill. In the temple are several images of Nandi (the bull mount of Shiva).
There is a huge granite Nandi on the 800th step on the hill in front of a small Shiva temple a short distance away. This Nandi is over 15 feet high, and 24 feet long and around its neck are exquisite bells. The temple has a seven storey tall Gopura decorated with intricate carvings. The deity of the goddess is said to be made of gold and the temple doors of silver.
The temple offers free lunch to devotees daily from 12.30 PM to 2.30 PM.
Temple Timings: 7.30 AM to 2 PM, 3.30 PM to 6 PM and 7.30 PM to 9 PM.
Accommodation: Hotels are available for stay in Mysore.