‘Chamundeswari’, who is
popularly known as “Chamundi’, is intimately associated with the
religious and spiritual faith of the people of Mysore. This has been
over several centuries. More so because she is the home deity of the
Mysore rulers and the focal point for the ‘Navaratri’ festivities.
The Wodeyars of Mysore have venerated her with great devotion since the
beginning of their dynasty in 14th century. They and the people of
Mysore have kept their faith in the Goddess, whose divine grace they
believe fulfill their hopes and aspirations and provides happiness and
With this staunch faith, both the rulers and the people of Mysore have
been worshipping her with ardent devotion. Hundreds of devotees from all
over India and abroad visit the Chamundi Temple and seek the divine
blessings of the Goddess.
Chamundeswari is seated on a lion and with a trident in her right hand
she is piercing the body of monster Mahishasura, the buffalo-headed
demon, who was causing hardship to the people in the area of Mysore long
ago. The monster’s head is being severed by the Goddess with a sword.
The buffalo is lying near his body.
Unable to bear his torture, all Gods together prayed to Goddess Parvathi,
the consort of Shiva, to destroy the powerful demon. They offered her
all their powers and weapons. Taking birth as Chamundeswari, Parvathi
killed the demon, with the mighty powers of all Gods in her. The heroic
deed of the Devi is explained in 'Devi Bhagvatha', a sacred work.
There are several sacred works or Puranas praising the Goddess and
describing her heroic deeds, with some slight modifications. These are
read or recited on auspicious occasions. They recite the ‘Slokas’
praising her. The Goddess bestows happiness and peace on all those who
worship her with ardent devotion. She guides them to attain the supreme
state of consciousness.
Carrying these beliefs, hundreds of devotees from across India and
abroad visit the Chamundi Temple and worship the Goddess. On the sacred
Tuesdays and Fridays, large number of devotees visit the temple and seek
her divine blessings.
Sri Chamundeswari Car Festival (Rathothsava)
After the 10-day Dasara, the annual ‘Jathra’ of Chamundeswari takes
place. On the auspicious ‘Ashwayuja Pournami’, a ‘Rathothsava’ or car
festival is conducted during the Jathra on the hill. Maharaja
Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, who repaired this temple in 1827, also gifted
the temple with a large wooden chariot known as ‘Simha Vahana’ (Lion
Chariot), which is used during the Rathothsava. Scion of the Mysore
royal family Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wodeyar will be present on the
occasion and draws the chariot in a symbolic manner, as per past
traditions of the royal family. After this, the chariot is taken round
Sri Chamundeswari Floating Festival (Theppothsava)
This is followed by ‘Theppothsava’ or a floating festival in the night.
The procession idol of Chamundeswari is placed in a boat and taken round
in the Devi Kere tank, which is close to the temple. Hundreds of people
witness the floating festival amidst colourful illumination.
All these celebrations attract devotees by the thousands. The
‘Rathothsava’ and ‘Theppothsava’ of the Goddess are conducted in
pleasant and stimulating morning and evening hours.