Chamundi Hill's Species :-
The vegetation of Chamundi Hill comprises of 442 species of flowering plants spread over 91 families (Sadananda & Sampathkumara in prep.). The trees here are armed with thorns, stunted and slow growing. A vast area is covered with bushes of Pterolobium hexapetalum, Toddalia asiatica, Rhus mysorensis, and Ziziphus oenoplia forming impenetrable undergrowth. Nine different micro-climatic regions of floristic importance with some species specificity are recorded here. These include, plants of the plains (Syzygium cumini, Tamarindus indica), foot hills (Cochlospermum religiosum, Boswellia glabra, Commiphora caudata), slopes (Shorea talura, Garuga pinnata), plateaux (Gmelina arborea, Pterocarpus marsupium, Santalum album), valleys (Mangifera indica, S. talura), hill-tops (Diospyros montana, Holarrhena pubescens), Ponds or pools (Hygrophila schulli, Limnophila indica), tanks (Aponogeton natans, Centella asiatica, Eclipta alba, Bacopa monnieri, Utricularia spp.) and significant evergreen scrub at higher elevations (Canthium dicoccum, Plecospermum spinosum) ( Rao & Razi 1981). In the forest, leaf fall begins with arrival of summer. Herbs, shrubs and grasses dry up, converting the entire hill into a dry twigs and thorns country except for pockets of evergreen scrub, exposing many difficult-to-see, winter migrants and breeding birds. Mid-summer and pre-monsoon showers settle the dust. The entire area turns verdant with different shades of green by the end of the monsoon period. Retreating monsoon ensures greenery till the beginning of winter. The vegetation cycle is the main source for bird diversity.
Observations & results :
During 11 years of observation (1996–2006) based on random visits—on an average once in 2–3 weeks—39 species of birds belonging to 44 families were recorded from the reserved forest. It is noteworthy that 11% of the 1,225 bird species reported from
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Chamundi Hill's history :-
Maharaja Dodda Devaraja built a flight of one thousand steps in the year 1659 that leads up to the summit of the hill, which is actually at a height of about three thousand feet.
It is said that Chamraja Wodeyar IV had worshiped in this famous Chamundi Hill Temple Mysore. He worshiped here in the year 1573 and he was miraculously saved from a lighting hit. After years, Krishnaraja III (late 18th century) had built and constructed the temple tower and presented the Nakshatramalika jewel with sanskrit verses inscribed on it. The Hoysala ruler Vishnu Vardhana of the 12th century and the Vijayanagar rulers of the 17th century were associated with the Chmundi Hill and the
Chamundi Hill's Puranic history :-
Chamundi Hill's Puranic history says that has it that that the demon Mahishasura, the king of the area that is currently Mysore, was killed by the Goddess Chamundeswari (also Chamundi) after a fierce battle. The hills hence got their name and a temple of the goddess was built on the top. The goddess is also known as MahishasuraMardini meaning She who slew Mahishasura. The temple has a very beautiful idol of the goddess wearing a garland of skulls. The temple has always been patronised by the rulers of Mysore. In earlier days, the Maharajas of Mysore would ride the ceremonial Dasara elephant during the annual Dasara festival, but after India gained independence, the idol of Goddess Chamundi is taken on an elephant.
Chamundi Hill's Today :-
A panoramic view of the city is seen from the top of the hills. Among other landmarks, you can see the race course, the Lalitha Mahal palace, Mysore Palace, Karanji and Kukkarahalli lakes. At dusk, the view of the city is especially beautiful, and on Sunday evenings and during the Dasara festival, the illuminated Mysore Palace glitters like gold.
There a long stairway leading to the top of the hill. There are around 1,000 steps in all, and climbing the first 400 or so steps takes some effort. En route to the top, the steps pass the large monolithic statue of Nandi the Bull. Nandi is the vahana (Vehicle) of Lord Shiva. Climbing gets easier soon afterwards.
There are regular buses plying to the Chamundi hills from the central bus stand.
The top of the hill has a few attractions - the Mahishasura Statue, the Chamundeswari Temple, and a few other temples nearby. The Rajendra Vilas palace used to be a popular hotel earlier, but is now closed to the public. The palace is now being redone and provides a panoramic view of Chamundi Hill, Chamundi Temple and the city of Mysore.
Climbing Chamundi Hills :
Climbing the steps of Chamundi Hills is a popular way of keeping fit among the locals in Mysore. The main set of 1000 steps takes anywhere between 12 to 30 minutes to climb depending on an individual's fitness levels and provides an excellent way to increase cardio vascular fitness. Some individuals climb only till the Nandi which is about 700 steps, then run on the downhill road to the other side of Chamundi hills for about 2 Kilometers and climb another set of 600 steps to the top. This set of steps at the back of the hill is not very well known but provide an excellent challenge for fitness. Groups of youngsters also tend to trek through the jungle and thickets of the Chamundi Hill Slopes to the top. However in recent years, this has reduced due to stories of leopards residing in the jungle slopes. Sometimes leopards have been sighted near the roads during late evenings leading to the top and have been photographed providing a sense of additional thrill to people who seek adventure walking up the slopes.
Proposed KSRTC P & TAC at Chamundi Hill :