Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Male Mahadeshwara Hills

MM Hills Temple Gopuram
Male Mahadeshwara Hills is situated about 150 km from Mysore and is a sacred place, with its famous Shiva temple. Mahadeswara, as lord Shiva is called in this place, is a deity worshipped by one and all in the surrounding places. Amidst dense forest, the temple attracts not only the pilgrims but also nature lovers.

The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Male Mahadeshwara is located in South end of Karnataka state, in the Chamaraja Nagar District. It is a very popular & holy ancient temple, surrounded by 77 hills in the Eastern Ghats. The Lord Sri Mahadeshwara is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is a very famous Shaiva piligrim centre. The Lord Sri Mahadeshwara's miracles are beautifully sung by the village folk in Janapada (folk) Style. The height of the hill is about 930 m(3000 feet)above the sea level.

Mahadeshwara is the family god of the hill tribals Soligas, Jenu Kurubas, Kadu Kurubas and also Kuruba Gowdas of Mysore and Chamarajnagar districts.. But, historical evidences suggest that saint Mahadeshwara must have lived during the 15th century. Further, he was the third head of the Haradanahalli Math.[. About 600 years ago, Sri Mahadeshwara Swamy came here to perform penance and it is believed that he is still performing penance in the temple's Garbha Gudi in the form of Linga. The Linga, worshipped now in the Garbha Gudi, is a self developed (Swayambhu) one. Sri Male Mahadeshwara Swamy was moving on a tiger known as Huli Vahana (Tiger as a vehicle) and performed a number of miracles around the hills to save the people and saints living there. The area of the temple surroundings is 155.57 acres. In addition, the temple has lands at Talabetta, Haleyuru & Indiganatha Villages. The temple was built by a rich Kuruba landlord called Junje Gowda.

Story of Mahadeshwara

Ughe Anni Malaya Mahadeshwaranige, Ughe Anni huli govugala kataluva jaga dodayanige. Ughe, Ughe.

Lord Male Mahadeshwara was born in the Kaliyuga. He chose his mother as Uttrajamma. He learnt in Saluru Mutt at Male Mahadeshwara Hills. He has many legends which could are narrated on his name. To name one of them is Sankamma Kate. This narrates about the devotion she had on the Lord. Male Madheshwara narrates the adventures and achievements of a spiritual hero of the Shaiva people of southern Karnataka. Probably he lived in the 14th century. According to the story Mahadeshwara was born to a fair coloured virgin woman. Shiva incarnates himself on earth as Mahadeshwara to destroy an evil king called Shravanasura.

A pilgrimage to Malai Mahadeswara temple also includes a holy dip in the "antaragange", a stream flowing from a perennial source.

Poojas at the TempleApart from being a pilgrimage, M.M.Hills possesses natural beauty in the form of large tracts of forest area. The beautiful landscapes of hills and valleys are covered with extensive forests. These forest types vary from evergreen forests in Ponnachi Boli to Dry deciduous forests in most other parts. M.M.Hills is bound by river Kaveri to the north-east and by river Palar to the south. Thus, it forms an extremely important catchment area for both these rivers.

First Pooja: 5.30am
Rudrabhisheka: 6.00 am to 8.00 am and 10.30 to 12 noon.
Archana: 6.30 pm and 8.00 pm.
Sankashta Chathurti Poojas are performed on New Moon and Full Moon day of every month. Deepavali and Maha Shivaratri are very famous here.

For devotees and pilgrims there is Dasoha Bhavana, where Anna Dana (free food) offered through out the year. One can find accommodation and lodging at guest houses at MM Hills. There are many temples and shrines near by MM Hills

The forests of M.M.Hills have been famous for wonderful regeneration and stock of sandalwood and bamboo. The forests are inhabited by a variety of animals, birds and reptiles. They are found in large numbers too. Elephants are the most prominent species. This last estimate puts the population of elephants at more than 2500 in the district, which includes Bandipur National Park too. Frequent sightings of guars (Indian Bison), sambars, spotted deer, jackals, sloth bears, porcupine, etc., apart from rare sightings of tigers, leopards and wild dogs are possible in and around this area. The Male Mahadeshwara Reserve Forests, has an approximate area of 39361.45 ha and has few small villages like Ponnachi, M.M.Hills, Kombadikki, Kokkebore, Doddane, Tokere, Tholsikere, Palar, Gopinatham,Indiganatham, etc., as enclosures within the reserve forests

Route : Bangalore - Mysore – Kollegala-Kamagere-Hanur-Gowdahalli-Maha Madheswara Beta (M.M.Hills / Madhewara Malai in Tamil)-Mysore - 210 Kms
Trek to Palar from M M Hills is famous and takes about 2 days. One has to trek to Nagamale (1000m) via Indignata (874m), a hill which has a huge rock split into two portions which resembles a Linga guarded by a snake. On the next day the trek will begin from Nagamale to the Parasalnatham (654 m) then Palar. This route has scenic view and one can enjoy the nature bounty.

Contact details:

Deputy Conservator of forests,
Kollegal Division
Phone: 08224-252027
Fax: 08224-252027

Note to Trekkers:
One has to carry food and water. The villagers in the area are helpful but there is no electricity at Indignatha. The first day will be more rigorous and tough. Beware of wild animals and take necessary precautions. MM Hills has food facilities.

The MM Hills has been on the map for sandalwood smuggling, elephants poaching. Veerapan, a dreaded smuggler, was shot dead here.

How to reach:

By Road to M M Hills:
From Bangalore: - 210 kms
From Mysore: - 130 kms
From Palar to Mysore via M.M. Hills by bus - 160 kms
From Palar to Bangalore via M.M. Hills, Kollegal by bus - approx 270 kms
From Palar to Bangalore via Mettur, Darmapuri by bus - approx 290 km

Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Nearest Railway Station: Bangalore

Highways Touched : SH 212, SH 209

Eco-Trek: M M Hills to Naaga Male
Operated by: The Eco - Development Committee reporting to Kollegal Forest Division, Karnataka Forest Department

Trek-in-brief: This is a difficult but very rewarding two day trek. An important pilgrimage place - Male Mahadeshwara Hills is the start point. You go through beautiful and mythically mentioned landscapes. You will pass through the lands where the legendary bandit Veerappan had hideouts at various points. The first day's stop will be at Naagamale. Second day you will start trekking towards Palar on the beautiful paths endowed with ample beauty of nature.

Difficulty level: Very Difficult

Must watch or know about:
  • This is a difficult trek. Enthusiasts are advised to be physically fit to undertake this eco trek path
  • Look forward to staying with the warm and loving people of the forest on your night halt at Naagamale. This may open up a few more perspectives towards living.
  • Mythological importance of M.M. Hills
  • See the Shiva temple at Naaga male, where it is believed that a serpent in the form of a rock guards the linga from the rays of the morning sun
  • Scenic landscapes. One of the best photo-ops in all these eco treks we have planned for you or for that matter anywhere in the world
  • Shola forest patches at the top of Ponnachi Boli
  • Elephants, Bears, Deer and Panthers can be sighted
  • More than 50 kinds of birds have been recored as observed in these areas
Route details:

First day: M.M. Hills - Heliyur - Indiganatham - Tekne, Naagamale (first day halt in the evening)
Second day: Naagamale - Parasalnatham - Palar (Night halt or disperse)


Day one: Start from M.M. Hills at 8:30AM. Six hours of trekking to reach Naagamale. Night halt at Naagamale

Day two: Destination Palar. Start from Naagamale at 8:30AM. Six hours of trekking to Palar.

Distances and Duration:

Number of days: Two days
Number of night halts: One night at Naagamale. If needed extra night halt at Palar.
Total distance to be trekked: 24 kms
Distance to be covered on the first day: 14 kms - from M.M. Hills to Indiganatham to Naagamale
Distance to be covered on the second day (To Palar): Eight kms - from Naagamale to Palar

Facilities: Your first night halt is at Naagamale. There are no guest houses or camp sites at Naagamale. Here you have to stay with the hospitable locals. This is part of the local people development initiatives of the forest department.

There are forest department guest houses at M.M. Hills and Palar which can be availed of by paying according to tariff

At M.M. Hills you can stay at the Malai Mahadeshwara Temple guest houses that have to be booked in advance. Please visit for more details

How to reach M M Hills (the start point):
From Bangalore: Travel to M.M. hills by bus - 210 kms
From Mysore: Travel to M.M. hills by bus - 130 kms

How to depart from Palar (the end point):
To Mysore: Travel via M.M. Hills by bus - 160 kms
To Bangalore: Travel via M.M. Hills, Kollegal by bus - approximately 270 kms
To Bangalore: Travel via Mettur, Dharmapuri by bus - approximately 290 kms

Contact details:
Deputy conservator of forests,
Kollegal Division

Phone: 08224-252027
Fax: 08224-252027

Please check the links above for the route map and tariff. Also, check the photo gallery for this route.

Important note: Please ensure that you do read the guidelines and be prepared accordingly if you have got a route booked. We insist on following certain norms which have to be imposed upon one and all due to the nature of our work.


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