Chamarajeshwara temple in ChamarajaNagara is an ode to the love, care, and respect of a son towards his father. The late Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar (MKW), the Maharaja of the Mysuru kingdom, got Chamarajeshwara Swamy Temple built in 1826 in memory of his father Chamaraja Wadiyar, who was born in Arikutara town in 1774. The town was renamed Chamarajanagar in the early 19th century.
The Shivalinga present in the garbha gudi (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple was brought from Sringeri. The then pontiff of Sringeri Mutt presented it to MKW and the temple was named Chamarajeshwara. MKW got an idol of Goddess Kempananjamba installed on the left side of the Chamarajeshwara Linga, in memory of his mother.
The temple architecture is breathtakingly beautiful. It has a 70-foot high five-tier raja gopuram with five glittering brass kalashas at the top. The temple has stone carvings of many gods and goddesses. At the entrance to the temple, there is Lord Ganesha on the left and Goddess Chamundeshwari on the right.
The temple has two mantapas — Mukha-mantapa (open pillared hall) and Nandi mantapa. The mandapas and Garbhagudi (sanctum sanctorum) have elaborate carvings of motifs of gods which ignites spiritual thoughts.
The kings took care of the temple well
The temple was wealthy and well-funded during the rule of the Wadiyars. MMK who often visited the temple along with his wives presented exquisite ornaments and Jewellery to Lord Shiva. He also donated the revenue collected from 13 villages to the temple to meet the administrative expenses.
Iconic Ratha (Chariot)
The 180 years old chariot has been beautifully handcrafted and that explains how the kings gave importance to art and architecture. Every year the famous rathotsava (car festival) is celebrated during Ashada month, which usually falls in July. There is a belief that during the rathotsava if any newly-wed couple throws a pair of bananas at the chariot, it would bring them fortune and blessings.
The first chariot festival was held on the occasion of Ashada Purnima in 1836. Since then the chariot festival has not been stopped even once till 2017. In February 2017 when one of the wheels was partially burnt by a miscreant, the chariot procession was stopped as it is considered inauspicious to use burnt materials for religious purposes. However, since 2017 the deity is being taken in procession through manual means – on the shoulders of devotees during car festival.
However, this has not deterred the devotees who continue to throng the temple seeking divine intervention during Rathotsava.
- Morning 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM
- Evening 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
- Morning 7:30 AM and 10:30 AM
- Evening 6:00 PM
- Maha Rathotsava – Every year in Ashada month
- Girija Kalyana – Every year in June
How to Reach
- By Air: Bengaluru International Airport – 135 km
- By Train: Chamarajanagar Railway Station – 1.5 km
- By Bus: Bengaluru – 185 km