The summit of this 1,150 m hill commands a breathing view of Mysore, which looks like an oversized garden nestling in the valley below. The hill is named after Durga (Kali Mata), the consort of Shiva and the tutelary deity of the Wodeyar family. The peak is accessible by a motor able 13 km road, but is only 4 km via 300 year old flight of 1,000 steps leading to the temple.
Built in the twelfth century, the temple is a fine reprehensive of the Dravidian school of architecture. In 1827, Krishna Raja Wodeyar III renovated the temple considerably and furnished it with a `vimana’ or tower over the sanctum sanctorum. The temple gopuram is 40 m high with seven stories. Several ancient inscriptions detail the gifts the Wodeyars lavished on the temple and also narrate how Chamaraja Wodeyar IV miraculously escaped being stuck by lightning while he was worshipping here. On the way to the temple is a mortar statue of Mahishasura, the demon vanquished by Goddess Chamundeswari Devi.