The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Male Mahadeshwara is located in South of India, its in Chamaraja Nagar District, Karnataka State. 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 Style. The height of the hill is about 3000 feet from the sea level. About 600 years ago, Sri Mahadeshwara Swamy came here to perform penance & it is believed that he is still performing penance in the temple’s Garbha Gudi in the form of Linga. The Linga, worshiping now in the Garbha Gudi is a self developed one. Sri Male Mahadeshwara Swamy was moving on a tiger known as Huli Vahana (Tiger as a vehicle) & performed a number of miracles around the hills to save the people & saints living there.
The place, Sri Male Mahadeshwara Hills has become a Universally famous pilgrim center. Millions of Devotes, visit this temple every year for getting the blessings of Sri Lord Mahadeshwara Swamy, the presiding deity of this place. According to legends, young saint came from Srishaila to this part of the state. In his boyhood he has spiritually guided by then pontiff of Suthur Mutt & Kunthur Mutt. He is said to have performed several miracles in his life, in these places. Afterwards he went to the hillside. It is a dense forest area surrounded by Seventy Seven hills to seven circles. It was not a safe place for human habitation. It was about 6 centuries ago the young saint went to the forest area, to save the saints who were performing penance and taken to bondage by a person known as Shravana who pocessed abundant black magic power. Apart from this there were tribes living here and there in small groups who were devoid of any rays of human civilization. It is said that this Lord Sri Mahadeshwara destroyed the black magic power of Sravana and got released the saints who were in his prision. The place where they were kept in prison is also a holy place, called “Thavasare” & the place where Shravana lived is called as “Sravana Boli”. There are several places of historical interest in this area to which the devotees often pay their visits. The miracle activities of Sri Lord Mahadeshwara Swamy have been sung by the devotees even to this day. The voluminous literature of folk songs in Kannada language is published by research scholors. It is said that there are folk songs in Tamil language also, but necessary effort is not made to collect & publish them. More devotees are coming from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & other states also. This area was included in Madras State (now called Chennai) prior to 1956, ie., before the re-organization of States of India. Subsequently it has become part of the Karnataka State.
It is said that the saint Lord Mahadeshwara established a Mutt here for looking after the religio-cultural affairs of the people of this area. It is also said that, he has transformed the attitude of the hill tribes & made them his disciples. The people coming from these families have become hereditary Archaks of this temple. The temple was under the control & management of Sri Salur Mutt established by Sri Lord Mahadeshwara till it was handed over to the Madras Government in the year 1953. After the formation of Karnataka the Administration of the Temples is done by the trust committee, appointed by the Karnataka Government under the Muzrai Department.
More devotees will gather in the festival of Mahanavami (Dasara), Deepavali, Karthika, Shivarathri, Yugadhi & Sravana. there will be Jathras in the above said periods. The Government of Karnataka & Tamil Nadu provide special bus facilities at the times of the Jathras.