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Mahishasura and the story of Mysore

According to history, Mahishasura (Mahi means buffalo, the vehicle of an asura, a demon) ruled the hilly area, till he was defeated by the Goddess Chamun­deshwari, before settling down at the place which later became popular as Chamundi Hill, the abode of the goddess.

The history of Chamundi Hills would be incomplete without narrating the story of Mahishasura; that’s why the statue of the demon welcomes the visitors to the hill.

Venkataramana, a former trustee of the Chamundeshwari Temple and also a retired registrar of the Department of Technical Education points out that the statue of Mahishasura that can be seen now is a replacement of the earlier structure. It was the initiative of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar to adorn the hill with the statue of the demon king, at the fag end of his rule. Govindappa, a known sculptor then, was entrusted with the task.

Unlike monolithic structures seen in other historically significant places, Mahishasura here assumed his shape from mortar, a mix of water, sand, cement and limestone. It took nearly three years for the statues to be completed. It found place at the entrance of the shrine. However, it was only for a few years as Jayachamaraja Wodeyar who succeeded Nalwadi thought of an improvised structure. It was Govindappa again who created the second replica which still stands as one of the tourist attractions at the holy place.

The first replica was shifted then to Maduvana near the palace and it stands there still. For most tourists, it is difficult to think of a photograph of Mysore without Mahishasura in the backdrop.

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