Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva
Situated by the road about 3/4th the way to the hilltop of Chamundi Hills, this magnificent statue of Nandi is an iconic landmark of Mysuru, a picturesque city about 100 miles west of Bengaluru and the capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore.
It is 16 feet high and 24 feet long, which makes it the third-largest Nandi statue in India. Most Nandi statues in India are part of the Shiva temples and are typically placed in the courtyard directly facing the garbhagriha (inner sanctum). However, this statue is stand-alone and is not part of any temple. Although there is a small cave temple behind the statue, likely built after the Nandi statue, Nandi is the main deity and is worshiped independently.
Commissioned by Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar (1627–1673), the thirteenth Maharaja of Mysore, the Nandi statue was carved out of a single rock that existed in its current location. It rests on a 4 feet high vedike (platform), with a pradakshina patha (circumambulation path) for devotees to go around it.
Exquisitely carved and decorated with garlands and necklaces, the Nandi statue is a work of art with great attention paid to detail.
– Statue of Mahishasura atop the Chamundi Hills
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