The giant image of Nandi (Bull) is located at the top of Chamundi hills in Mysore. More than 350 years old, this is one of the oldest icons in Mysore. The Nandi is portrayed in sitting position with its left foreleg folded in an about to get up posture. While the image is in great proportions, the finer details are executed equally brilliant.
You can see many sequences of bells and garlands dexterously carved over the Nandi. With his ears pointed in rapt attention, the expression on the face is something not to be missed.
The whole image sits on a 4 feet or so high platform. According to Hindu mythology Nandi is considered as the vehicle (mount) of Lord Shiva, the lord of destruction. In front of every Shiva temple, on the court facing the shrine, you can see the image of a Nandi. About 16 feet in height and 24 feet long, this Nandi atop the Chamundi Hills is the third largest in India.
The creation of this colossal image is attributed to Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar (1659–1673) on of the illustrious Maharajahs of Mysore. It is the same maharajah who also commissioned the 1000 stepped stairway to the hilltop.
Originally this was a colossal boulder. The image of the Nandi was carved out of this boulder in situ. When you visit this Nandi just look around to see similar boulders around this site. In fact right behind the Nandi image is small cave temple under an overhanging boulder dedicated to Shiva. These boulders are painted with white and ochre stripes.
And yes I climbed the steps to the Temple at the Top!