Mysore, Jan 24: The Mysore administration has banned public from going to Chamundi Hills from 10 pm to 5 am after miscreants desecrated the huge Nandi statue on Wednesday night. A mentally unstable person has been taken into custody for the sacrilege.
The 15 ft high and 24 ft wide Nandi, made out of a single rock in 1659 during the reign of King Dodda Devraja, was damaged, its main rudraksha garland was thrown out and its cloth cover burnt.
The Mysore Nandi (bull), the mount of Lord Shiva, is the third largest in India. The largest Nandi is at Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh.
Since 2006, a joggers-inspired organisation called 'Bettada Balaga' has been performing mastakabhisheka of the Nandi every year. During the 'Karthika masa', the idol and its surrounding area are lit with thousands of lamps. Tourists visiting the hills have a stopover at the Nandi statue with some performing puja and others take pictures of the huge monolith.
The hill was earlier known as Mahabaladri denoting the location of Mahabaleshwara (Shiva) temple on top. It was the most prominent temple of the time. The shrine of the consort, goddess Chamundeshwari, was located nearby. When the Wodayar kings (the last dynasty to rule Mysore, before independence) took goddess Chamundeshwari as the guardian deity of the royal family, the hill was renamed as Chamundi Betta (Chamundi Hills) in 17th century. The small shrine of Chamundeshwari became a big temple.
The hill top is about 10-12 km drive from Mysore city.