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Climbing Chamundi Hills - A Flight of 1008 Steps

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When you visit Karnataka, you will be suggested not to miss Mysore.

And more enthusiastically, people share their experience of climbing Chamnundi Hill via 1000 odd steps which is a thrill and offers a spiritual satisfaction.

climbing chamundi hills 1000 steps

The city of Mysore spreads on the foot of Chamundi Hills. The view is as though Chamundi Hills stand protectively over the city of Mysore.

Chamundi Hill as seen from Mysore Palace grounds

This sacred hill holds one of the largest sacred Dravidian Temple dedicated to Sri Chamundeshwari Devi, the goddess of Mysore. 

Legend says she slew two demons, Chanda and Munda, thus her name. But, more commonly there are mythological stories narrating that she killed Mahishasura, the demon in a fierce battle that spanned for 10 days. Hence, Devi Chamundi is also known as Chamundi Mahishasura Mardini, meaning the one who killed Mahishasura.

Reaching atop Chamundi Hill

Reaching atop the hill can be done by climbing steps or walking or via the motor-able road. There are city buses plying from top to bottom and into to the town several time a day. 

There are private auto-rickshaws available for hire.

climbing chamundi hills

There are people who walk all the way through the road and reach the top of the sacred hill. The road is scenic filled with greenery. One gets to see various views of Mysore throughout the stretch of the road.
If you plan to climb, then you better be informed about the 1008 steps that take you to the top of the hill.

Climbing Chamundi Hills, a flight of 1008 steps

Many people begin climbing from the foothill at the crack of dawn; some devotees of the deity, some fitness enthusiasts, some in groups of chatting friends, some newly married couple, there are also kids accompanying their parents in the climb. 

For some, it is an every weekend family event.

devotees and fitness freaks climbing chamundi hill

You will also find old buddies joining together every Sunday to tread up till Nandi idol. Some make it a point to cover up till the top.

People of all age climb this flight of 1000 odd steps and reach the hill top in their own distinctive pace. Some take as less than 15 minutes while some go the slow way taking about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

vermillion and turmeric applied to each step

Throughout the route of the steps one can witness the devotion for the goddess. Coconuts, camphor, vermillion all such spiritual items are offered at each step while climbing up.

The initial steps, say from 1 to about 400 are steep and requires high energy and effort. Some go bare foot, while some put on their flat pump shoes.

300; the steps are very steep.

Nandi on Chamundi Hills

At about 650 steps, you get to see Nandi, the huge colossal statue which is about 15 feet tall and 25 feet wide towering over everything. The intrinsic carvings on Nandi are beautiful and worth staring at for long hours.

chamundi hills nandi statue at 650 steps

nandi statue large bull mysore
 Nandi, huge monolithic bull at Chamundi Hills

Nandi was installed by Doddaraja Wodeyar. It was this very Maharaja who set up the flight of these steps to the top of the hill.

At this point (near Nandi) you will find small stalls that sell hot coffee/tea, sugar cane juice, spiced fruits and other refreshments.

vendors near nandi statue mysore
vendors near Nandi statue

The climb after passing the Bull statue is fairly easy.

Mysore city views from the Chamundi Hills

The climb offers great views of Mysore city. On a clear sunny day, you will be able to see race grounds, Lalitha Mahal palace, the Mysore Palace and even Karanji Kere and Kukkarahalli lake.

There is a great spacious view location at about 900th step. People often prefer to relax and spend time here.

900 steps covered !!!!!!

Mysore city view from Chamundi Hill at 900 steps

wild flowers chamundi hills

Chamundi Hill top

After the climb of the 1000 steps and walking further a few yards, you reveal yourself into the first glimpse of the temple.

Chamundi Hills - 1000 steps of climb

climbing chamundi hill by foot
 Walking few more yards to reach the temple

first glimpse of Sri Chamundeshawri Temple

Vendors outside the temples are a great treat to watch. The tender coconuts are huge and feel heavy on the rumbling stomach. The colorful flowers for offering at the temple are a visual treat.

street vendors at chamundi hilltop

flower offerings at Chamundi temple

The queue to the darshan can be very long and exhaustive. Fridays and other festive days are extremely heavy with local devotees and pilgrims.

Sri Chamundeshwari Temple

Sri Chamundeshwari Temple Mysore

Sri Chamundeshwari Temple Ornate Tower

You should know before climbing Chamundi Hill
  • Preferably start early in the morning. As early as possible.
  • Avoid beginning with empty stomach. Eat or carry some light food or drink so that you don’t drain out within few initial steps.
  • Initial 400-500 steps are tough
  • First timers take your own comfortable time and pace with ample breaks in between wherever needed.
  • Do not risk climbing with bare foot.
  • Fridays, holidays, Hindu auspicious days and festive days are always packed with visitors/devotees/pilgrims. Be prepared for the rush at the entrance of the temple.
  • Strictly avoid dark hours as there have been sighting of leopards and other dangerous animals.
  • No selfie sticks, as it can be really annoying. 
  • Temple timings (open for darshan): 7.30 AM to 2.00 PM, 3.30 PM to 6.00 PM, 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM 

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