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Published: April 19th 2017
We arrive at what appears to be a market rather than a Hindu temple at the top of Chamundi Hill just outside Mysore, but most of the goods for sale are items that can be used as offerings at the temple. There are garlands of flowers, brightly coloured powders, colourful strings and coconuts. There are also special blessings baskets containing a combination of these things.
The name of the temple is Chamundeshwari and the present tower of a building is covered in carved figures mostly dedicated to Shiva, the god of destruction. There are many depictions of Nandi the bull that Shiva rides upon, the biggest of which stand 15 feet high carved from granite.
We watch worshippers bring their offerings to a stone trough where, after placing their bananas, ghee candles, coloured powers, flowers and the like, they say a silent prayer and then throw a whole coconut into the trough. If when it breaks the coconut is fresh all is fine, if not a new coconut will be found!
We also watch monkeys retrieving cartons of juice from the rubbish bins which they drink the dregs of using the straws. They haven't yet learnt to put
the straw back in the carton again once it falls out. The monkeys are also clambouring all over the scaffolding that's covering the temple at the moment so that restoration work can be completed.
After getting our fill of the temple and associated stalls we make our way down the 1000 steps that take worshippers up to the temple and in our case down to the waiting minibus. Each step has been decorated with red and orange dots of coloured powder.
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