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Uttanahalli’s charming temple    
Some three km from Chamundi hills, on the Mysore-Nanjungud road, is Uttanahalli. Located adjacent to Uttanahalli is Ramanathagiri, also called ‘devi betta’. Atop this hillock is an ancient temple dedicated to goddess Jwalamukhi Tripurasundari. Uttanahalli hill temple also has the udbhava murthy (self-manifested) Shivalinga worshipped as Ramanatheswara. According to mythology, the younger sister of goddess Chamundeshwarai, Jwalamukhi,  made Uttanahalli her abode  intending to assist her elder sister   in killing the demon Mahishasura. The east-facing Chamundeshwari temple is atop the hills and west facing  goddess Jwalamukhi temple is situated at the foothills.

Historically, Uttanahalli temple has stone inscriptions dated 1225, and this 800-year-old heritage temple was patronised for centuries by successive rulers of the Wodeyar dynasty. Goddess Jwalamuki was worshipped as their family deity for more than five hundred years.

It is said that king Yaduraya became a staunch devotee of the deity, attributing his war victory (against a scheming and powerful chieftain Karugahalli Maranayaka) to the blessings of goddess Jwalamukhi. The popular three-day annul jathre along with the car festival of Uttanahalli temple is held in the month of March. During the jathre, girls offering poojas to the hill deity has been an age-old tradition followed by the locals.

S V Upendra Charya

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