Mysuru: Statue of Mahishasura on the Chamundi Hills

Statue of Mahishasura on the Chamundi Hills located near Mysore in Karnataka, India

Statue of Mahishasura atop the Chamundi Hills

Statue of Mahishasura
Built during the reign of Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar (1627 – 1673), the thirteenth Maharaja of Mysore, this majestic statue of Mahishasura is an iconic landmark of Mysuru (formerly known as Mysore) and a major tourist attraction.

The legend has it that Mysuru owes it name to Mahishasura, a demon who lived in the Chamundi Hills near Mysuru. He was capable of shape-shifting from the human form to a buffalo and vice-versa. Goddess Durga slayed him in an epic battle that lasted nine nights in the Chamundi Hills and saved the devas (demigods) and common people from his evil deeds. After this feat, she acquired the title of Mahishasuramardini (slayer of Mahishasura) and a temple was built atop the Chamundi Hills to honor her. Because of this temple, she is also known as Chamundeshwari, the goddess of Chamundi.

Goddess Durga is worshiped widely in India and Southeast Asia. Many festivals in India commemorate her victory over Mahishasura, and these are Navaratri, Durga Puja, Garba, to name a few. In Mysuru, the home of Mahishasura, the Navaratri festival – popularly known as Mysore Dasara – is celebrated with pomp and pageantry for nine nights (i.e., ten days).

Mahishasuramardini Sculptures
Durga as Mahishasuramardini (Slayer of Mahishasura) installed in a devakoshta of the Durga Temple in Aihole, Karnataka, India
Durga as Mahishasuramardini (Slayer of Mahishasura) on the outer wall of the Somanathapura Keshava Temple
Durga as Mahishasuramardini on the outer wall of the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu in Karnataka, India
Statue of Durga as Mahishasuramardini standing in the Shiva Temple at Prambanan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

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