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Male Mahadeshwaara Temple

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Male Mahadeshwaara temple – is a must-visit place for anyone to chase away darkness from life and illuminate it with spiritual light.

Saint Mahadeshwara (SM) – An incarnation of Lord Shiva

Male Madheshwara on MMH is a pilgrim town located in the Hanur taluk of Chamarajanagar district of southern Karnataka. The town is located about 150 km from Mysuru and about 210 km from Bengaluru. 

Around 600 years ago, there lived a saint by the name of Mahadeshwara, who came to Male Mahadeshwara Hills (MMH) in search of a sacred place to do intense penance for God-realization and the betterment of humanity. MMH has a dense forest area surrounded by seventy-seven peaks in seven circles. It was not a safe place for human habitation 600 years ago, it is so even today. Yet the saint was relentless in pursuit of GOD and was seen fearlessly meditating while tigers and other wild animals roamed freely around him. He was so courageous that he was often seen riding a tiger inside the jungle, thus demonstrating his phenomenal wild-animal-taming abilities.

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The divine qualities of the saint made the folklore conclude that the saint was none other than the incarnation of Lord Shiva, who descended on the earth to free up people from their miseries. There used to be a Lord Mahadeshwara temple on MMH which was of antiquity and was in dilapidated condition.  Its Garbhagudi had a millennia-old self-manifested (Swayam prakata) linga. Many times, the people saw the saint deeply absorbed in meditation inside the Garbhagudi, by the side of this Linga. 

SM saved Rishis from evil Shravan

The people believe that the young saint was initiated into asceticism by the then pontiffs of Suttur and Kunthur Mutts (Veerashaiva Lingayat Mutts) and was guided spiritually by them. Later on, the saint was sent to MMH to save many rishis who were doing penance in the deep jungle. 

There was an evil king by the name of Shravana in the deep jungle who was harassing these rishis.  A few of them were taken captive by the evil king.  People believed that Shravana possessed abundant black magic power using which he was harming the rishis. 

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Folklore says that the saint destroyed the black magic power of Shravana and freed the imprisoned saints. The place where they were kept captive is a holy place by Thavasere. The place where Shravana lived is called Shravana Boli. 

SM civilized the tribes

Also, Bede and Soliga tribes were living in small groups in many areas of MMH devoid of human civilization. They were living like animals, and they needed reform.

The young saint brought the rays of civilization into the lives of these tribes. He enlightened and uplifted them and made them his disciples. Later he established the Srisalur Math, gave lingadharan to the hill people, and converted them to Veerashaivias.

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Seven peaks of MMH

According to tradition there are seven peaks identified in the legend – Anumale, Jenumale, Kanumale, Pachchemale, Pavalamale, Ponnachimale and Kongumale. These seven peaks together form the Male Mahadeshwara hills. The saint, also referred to as Lord Mahadeshwara, established a Mutt at MMH to take care of the religious and cultural affairs of the people of that area. The people from these families have become hereditary ‘Archakas’ of the Mahadeshwara temple.

Male Mahadeshwara temple on MMH

The Mahadeshwara Temple was renovated by Junje Gowda, a Rich Kuruba Gowda Landlord a few centuries later. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva in linga form. The temple is well developed now with all amenities and is under the direct administrative control of the Karnataka government.

The temple with the Lord shiva in the form of udhbava (self-manifested) linga is very pious and has a lot of spiritual power. As per the folklore, Lord Mahadeshwara is there to wash devotees’ lives off their past sins, free them of their miseries and bless them with happiness. However, the condition is, that the seekers of the Lord’s grace should visit the temple with utmost devotion and faith.

Latest infrastructure developments

The government of Karnataka in cooperation with the Malemahadeshwara Swami Development Authority (MMDA) is building a 108 feet statue of Saint Mahadeshwara raiding tiger. The statue is a part of the Rs. 20 Crore heritage project, which is likely to see completion and inauguration in 2022. 

Temple timing

Mala Mahadeshwara Timings, Darshan, Opening and Closing Hours.

Timings – Puja/ Darshan Details

  • 5:00 am        Temple Opening Hours
  • 5:30 am – 7:30 am    Abhisheka
  • 7:00 am – 6:00 pm    Huli Vahana

Basava Vahana

Rudraksha Mantapa Seva

  • 7:30 am – 10:30 am    Darshana
  • 10:30 am – 12:30 pm    Abhisheka
  • 10:30 am – 2:00 pm    Maharudrabhisheka Seva on Thursday
  • 12:30 pm – 6:30 pm    Darshana
  • 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm    Abhisheka
  • 7:00 pm        Golden Car procession
  • 8:30 pm – 9:00 pm    Darshana
  • 9:30 pm        Temple Closing Hours

Mala Mahadeshwara Timings might change on festival days.

Temple Darshan and Abhisheka timings might change on special days.

No afternoon lunch break. Abhisheka tickets can be purchased on arrival at the counter for the same-day Pooja.

Temple address

Area Development Authority, Malai Mahadeshwarabetta, Kollegal, Karnataka 571490, Contact number: 082252 72128


For those who are on the lookout for boarding and accommodation with modern facilities, there are few accommodation complexes. 

  • Mahadeshwara Bhavana,
  • Gurudarshini,
  • Giridarshini,
  • Shivadarshini, etc.

How to reach there?

The MMH is well connected with Mysuru and Bangaluru cities. Regular KSRTC busses ply between Bangaluru ~ Mysuru ~ ChamarajaNagara ~ MMH. 

One can even take a train to reach ChamarajaNagara, and from there one can either hire a private taxi OR take the KSRTC bus to reach MMH.

One can drive off to MMH from Bangaluru or Mysuru and the journey will be fun only.

Places to visit nearby:

  • Hoganekal falls
  • Sri Saalur kshetra
  • Sri Nagamale kshetra
  • Kodu Gallu kshetra
  • Sri Tappasare kshetra
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