from here & there - A temple on the hill

from here  & there - A temple on the hill

Male Mahadeshwara Swamy Temple, nestled amongst green rolling mountains in Chamarajanagar district, makes for a scenic weekend getaway. Located about 200 km from Bengaluru, the drive to the temple is an experience in itself, especially during the monsoons when the mountains are crowned with wispy clouds.

The chill of the winds, the sound of the forest and the green of the new shoots are refreshing. The temple is steeped in history and there are many tales about its establishment. A major centre of pilgrimage for Veerashaivas and the tribals from the surrounding forests, the sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses a linga and the deity is revered as Mahadeshwara. Here, the shrine faces west.

The tiger is considered as the vehicle of the deity, which could be because the region around the temple, which was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2012, has a good population of tigers. The temple is also famous for folk songs composed in praise of Mahadeshwara and one can find groups of folk singers singing them in the temple premises. One can also see people playing cymbals as they sing. There is a provision for devotees to pull a small chariot around the main temple.

The town around the temple is small and has only a couple of small eateries near the bus stand. Drive out this weekend and experience the monsoon magic of Male Mahadeshwara Hills.

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