Male Mahadeshwara hills or MM Hills are seven hill ranges. Located in Chamarajanagara, the hills collectively are famous as Lord Shiva’s major pilgrim center. According to mythology, Lord Shiva in this temple is self-manifested or Swayambhu. Every year pilgrims from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu visit the Male Mahadeshwara temple situated amidst thick jungles. Apart from being a pilgrim center, the place also draws tourists for its unadulterated beauty.
Here are the top 10 things to know about MM Hills and temple:
Incarnation Of Lord Shiva
According to popular belief, Mahadeshwara is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The stories say that around 600 years ago, a Saint Mahadeshwara came to MM Hills and performed atonement. The saint stayed in the temple and continued to offer atonement in the garbhagriha or the lingam.
2. Saint Mahadeshwara Traveled On Tiger
There are many stories and beliefs attached to Saint Mahadeshwara. One of the popular belief says that Saint Mahadeshwara traveled to the MM Hills forests on a tiger. That is why the saint was also called Huli Vahana. The villagers sing the miracle sagas of Saint Mahadeshwara in Janapada style in their songs that tell how the saint saved the villagers and saints who lived near the area.
3. Built By Kuruba Gowda Landlord
Junje Gowda was a rich Kuruba Gowda Landlord who built the Male Mahadeshwara temple some time during the 15th century.
4. Lord Male Mahadeshwara Born To Fair Colored Woman
A legendary tale says that a fair colored woman, Uttarajamma in Kalyuga gave birth to Lord Male Mahadeshwara. According to his religion, he was a Veerashaiva Lingayath.
5. Received Spiritual Guidance From Suttur And Kunthur Mutt
The young saint Male Mahadeshwara received guidance from Suttur Mutt and Kunthur Mutt. He came from Srishaila to the hills of Male Mahadeshwara. The dense forest here is surrounded by 77 peaks in around seven circles.
6. Male Mahadeshwara Saved Saints From Black Magic
Even though the place was not safe the young Male Mahadeshwara went to the forest six centuries ago to save saints performing penance in the jungle. An evil king, Shravana was known to possess lots of black magic power and he made these saints captive. Saint Male Mahadeshwara destroyed Shravana’s magic powers and saved local tribals and saints from his clutches.
7. The Holy Place Of Shravana Boli
The place where Shravana held the saints captive is called Thavasere and is considered a holy place. Even the place where Shravana lived is considered to be a holy place and is called Shravana Boli.
8. Seven Peaks Form M.M Betta
Traditionally, there are seven identified peaks that include Jenumale, Anumale, Pavalamale, Pachchemale, Kongumale, and Ponnachimale. Together all these seven form the M.M. Betta.
9. Lord Mahadeshwara Established Mutt
According to a legend, the Lord Male Mahadeshwara established a Mutt in this place for taking care of all the religious and cultural affairs in the region. The legend further says that through his miraculous powers he uplifted and enlightened the local tribal people who later on became his disciples.
10. Evolving Tourist Destination
The Male Mahadeshwara Hills and the temple is rapidly evolving as a well-known tourist destination in the district of Chamarajnagar. The place is easy to access with well-developed roads. Visitors can enjoy a stay in separate villas on making a small payment. The shops in the vicinity sell pooja items and local craft items.
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