Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Majestic Monolith

Let's first take a look at how this magnificent monolith looked in the late 1920s in the first picture followed by succeeding pictures of how it looks today. Observe the Doddakere with water in this picture.
(Click on pictures to enlarge).

The following pictures were taken today when I went there unplanned.

Viewed from the adjacent road.

A closer look at the Bull in a couchant posture.

From the other side.

Its rear.

As children, we used to crawl in the gap underneath its left leg upon instruction from the elders and we found it a thrilling exercise. "Those who passed that way would be blessed" was the belief!


I reproduce here from the book "Mysore City" by Constance Parsons (1930) some excerpts about this Sacred Bull.

Descending (by the footpath) past the little lake (where is it now?) of Herekere, constructed 350 years ago (now almost 430 years ago) by Bettada Chama Raja Wadiyar V, you may reach the Bull in a few minutes. (A motor road, branching off from the 'Douglas Rice Circle' also leads to it.) Fashioned, says legend, in one night, out of the basalt of the hill, this recumbent, colossal Nandi (the vehicle of Siva) was a gift of Dodda Deva Raja, who reigned from 1659 to 1672; a valiant and pious king, who defeated enemies on all sides of the little kingdom, which he greatly extended and which he divided into four equal parts.... ...

Over 25 feet long and 16 feet high, adorned with ropes, chains, bells and jewels of stone, the Bull - from the days when in England Cavalier and Roundhead fought for mastery - his lain, massive, calm, instructable; with half-shut eyes which seem, in yogi fashion, to be closing in meditation. The carving, declared by Mr. Rice to be 'in no way extraordinary', is bold and by no means without beauty. It is neither coarse nor finicking, and nothing could be more suitable for its exposed position and the distance from which it must be viewed.

Nearby is a small stone lamp-post, erected by a European and lighted, as part of the daily ritual, by the Brahmin priest in charge.


We had been to the Hill in April 2008. Here are some pictures in the Webshots Album.

A trip to Chamundi Hills


There are a couple of superstitions that have floated around since many decades. There would be doomsday if this sacred bull stands up on its legs or if it opens its mouth and makes a call!

From the crude telescope I had made using torchlight covers, toy magnifying glass and eye-pieces from toy binoculars I used to focus this Nandi Bull from the balcony of our house in the mid 1970s. At that time, the view was clearer as trees had not been an obstruction.


1 comment:

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

This is my favorite, our cute Nandi Bull on Chamundi. I remember going under his leg as a child too. What fun those days. It is said that when Pralaya comes, Nandi will stand and bellow and run down the hill! Thats what I'd heard as a child!