• chamundi hills

Chamundi Hills | my favorite Hindu story

Chamundi Hills in Mysore is THE hotspot of Karnataka. My tour guide from goMowgli said it’s basically sacrilegious to visit Mysore and not climb the hill, see the Chamundeshwari temple and giant Nandi, Mahishasura statue, and hear the ancient story.

I was being a lazy butt, so we drove to the top and on the way the story was told to me. I enjoyed it so much and knew I couldn’t tell it to you the same way it was told to me so asked my guide, Sunil, to please type it up for me so you could hear it the same way I did.

chumundi hills guide to mysore

The Story of Chamundi Hills, Mysore

Before we get to the story, we have to set the context about Indian Mythology.

In the pantheon of gods here, we have the Holy Trinity: Brahma the creator, Vishnu the protector and Shiva the destroyer. These are the 3 gods that keep the universe working. Also, the 3 gods have 3 wives to help them out in their duties. Shiva’s wife is Parvati and both of them live in the Himalayas.chumundi hills guide to mysore

The legend of Mysore goes something like this:

There was a demon king in South India who fell in love with a Buffalo lady and they got married. They had a son who had a special quality – He could turn into a buffalo or a demon whenever he wanted. And true to his character, his name was Mahishasura – meaning the demon who is a buffalo.

Our demon was very ambitious and thus he meditated Brahma’s name for many years after which  Brahma became very happy and came in front of him and asked for a wish. M asked for immortality which Brahma promptly refused and asked him to ask for something else. So M asked Brahma to make him so powerful that no man can kill him. In a moment of stupidity, Brahma granted him the wish.

So M started killing the gods and conquering the world. The gods got very worried and went to Brahma for help. Brahma refused to help as he had already given M his word. The gods could not find any help from Vishnu either.

So they did the long hike up the Himalayas and went to meet Shiva. Shiva said he wished he could help but he could not as he was a man himself. At this moment, Parvati overheard the conversation and detected a loophole in Brahma’s boon. The deal was no man can kill him – a woman can though.

However, she was not warrior and she needed weapons to go kill M. So all the gods started giving her their powers and weapons. Suddenly she had so many weapons that she did not have enough arms to hold them!

So she grew more arms to hold them. Somebody even gave her a lion, on which she sat and did the long hike to South India.

Here, she fought M on top of a hill for 10 days, after which she killed him. These 10 days represents the battle of good over evil and is celebrated as the festival of Dasara all over India. This avatar of Parvati is called Chamundeshwari  or Chamundi and the hill on which she fought is now known as Chamundi Hill.

The capital of M is the present city of Mysore. It was originally called Mahishana Ooru – meaning, the city of Mahisha and over a period of time it changed to Mysore.

chumundi hills guide to mysore

Feature image is via , the tour company I was with to see Chamundi Hills.

 

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2016-10-13T09:51:19+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

9 Comments

  1. Soniya November 26, 2015 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    You have your own interesting way of story telling :)
    There are other different stories also on why we celebrate Dusshera. The message from all three stories are the same “Victory of Good over Evil”.

  2. Betsy November 27, 2015 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing the story!

  3. [email protected] training delhi November 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Nice and interesting story to read. Glad to read this story from you.

  4. TFWgirl November 27, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Super informative story Rachel. I’ve been to the Chanmudi Hills before, but totally missed the mythology of the place.

  5. Simran Kaur September 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Find interesting, Nice to read your story thanks for sharing with us..

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