Chamundi Hills: Mysore's best-known health bestower

Chamundi Hills: Mysore's best-known health bestower

Chamundi Hills: Mysore's best-known health bestower

Like the devout, for whom the lofty Chamundi Hills is sacred, for fitness enthusiasts of all ages, it’s a destination that guarantees good health.

Taking the steep climb through the steps at the crack of dawn from the footpoint, off the Mysore-Nanjangud Road, is routine for many such fitness freaks, irrespective of weather, for the past several years.

While some tread up to 600 steps (till the Nandi idol) out of the total 1,000 steps, there are a few others who reach the top without fail.

A V Murthy, now 55, and a resident of Gowrishankar Nagar, has found it a better way to remain healthy ever since his student days. He and his wife Mamata are among the regulars who have been climbing the Hills for not less than 20 years, albeit with intervals.

So are Honnegowda, a retired water inspector of Vani Vilas Water Works (VVWW), the wrestler father-son duo of Ganesh and Chetan, and Dr Vishwanath of Sarada Vilas College to name a few.

Vishwanath told Deccan Herald that being a resident of Ramakrishna Nagar, located six km away from the foot of Chamundi Hills, he finds it the only natural way to remain fit, unlike the modern day fad in gymnasium and aerobics.

This has been the habit for traditional wrestlers for years. He describes it as a perfect method to keep cardiovascular ailments at bay. For starters, he has a piece of advice: rest a while after every 100 steps. He points at a group of senior citizens, whom he says are more regular than others.

While most prefer to wear loose fittings with pump shoes, there are people like Lalit who do it barefooted with ease. Explains Lalit, “I find it more easy without shoes, even in slippery and slushy stairs, as it had turned up on Thursday, owing to heavy rain on Wednesday night.” Apart from these, it has been on the job chart for the commando wing of the City Armed Reserve to climb the Hills regularly.

According to most climbers, abundant greenery and well-preserved ecology producing oxygen in large quantity come in handy.

Though there are places on both sides of the steps to rest for some time, it is only after reaching Nandi that people find a better place to exercise, before resuming their walk upwards or downwards. While coming down, the tightened muscles feel it easy. Some prefer to run, while others do it with care.