This temple is located on Chamundi Hill which itself is 2-3km southeast of the city centre. The original shrine is thought to have been built in the 12th century by Hoysala rulers while its 40m-high tower was probably built by the Vijayanagar rulers of the 17th century. In 1659, a flight of one thousand steps was built leading up to the 3000 foot summit of the hill. If you think you're fit, you can use these to get to the temple but I chose the more leisurely approach, coming via auto rickshaw. I then decided to take the steps down the hill in order to visit the huge Nandi Statue (see next tip).
A lot of people have already written about this sight of Mysore. Anyway, I will write about my own and recent (April 2007) experiences including my advices.
The sight is at the top of Chamundi Hill, 9 km from the city center. It is the best idea to take a taxi to the top (cc. 300.- Rs), let the taxi go and after looking around walk down the 1000 steps and take a rickshaw (80-100.- Rs) back to the city centre.
The car park at the top of the hill and the area around the temple is heavily-infested with touts and rather pushy souvenir sellers (a rare thing is South India but it's almost as bad as it can get in Agra around the Taj Mahal.) Don't accept their offers, be persistent and ignore them. If you want to buy some postcards, do it around the Maharaja's palace (there are enough sellers there as well) but if you buy something here all the other touts, sellers, beggars, etc. will jump on you. Anyway, is spite of all the hassle the temple is a must-see attraction.
After seeing the temple, look at the godly museum (a small building at the car park) and ASK! for directions for the 1000 steps leading down the hill back to the city. (There are a lot different steps downwards and it's not at all funny to discover that you've taken the wrong steps and you have to go back up.) Taking the 1000 steps downwards takes about 45 minutes and tiring but can be done relatively easily. It is the only way to see Nandi, a 5-meter bull monument (he was the vehicle of Shiva) and is around 1/3 way down. Halfway down you can get some refreshing sugar cane juice pressed right in front of you. Reaching the bottom take a rickshaw back to the city.
Located on a hill near Mysore, it dates back centuries and has been used by kings. The touts are worse here than anywhere I went in South India: as you walk in, one will put flowers on your wrist and later demand money for it and the people who take your shoes will ask for far too much. In the temple, I was given a 15 second tour and it was demanded I give 100 Rupees (I gave 50). Its OK for a brief stop but just be aware that there are many aggressive people who target tourists here.
The Chamundeshwari temple is located on the Chamundi hill and is accessed through a motor able road. Chamundeeswari the tutelary deity of the Mysore Maharajas has been held in reverence for centuries.
The temple is dominated by its towering seven-storey, 40-metres-high gopuram.
No pictures may be taken inside the temple.
The temple is open from 8 am to noon and 5 to 8 pm
A flight of one thousand steps also leads up to the summit of the hill which is at a height of about 915 m. Much of the current temple is the result of renovation efforts carried out in early nineteenth century, although the original shrine is much older.
The temple has large silver gates and golden idols. It is considered to be a very religious temple, where the blessings of the goddess help devotees to fulfill their need. Pilgrims are supposed to climb the 1000 odd steps to the top, to improve their past 'karmas'
This imposing four-sided temple built on the summit of the Chamundi Hills was built in the 12th century; Chamundeshwari was the patron goddess of the wodeyars