Melkote Cheluva Narayana Swamy Temple
Melkote or Melukote is a historic town, located at a distance of 50 km from Mysore. Melkote is situated in Pandavapura Taluk of Mandya district. Melkote is one of the holy places of Karnataka. It is built on rocky hills known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri overlooking the Kaveri valley. Melkote is also referred as Thirunarayanapuram.
The famous South Indian Vaishnava philosopher and teacher Ramanujacharya lived in this town for around 12 years in 12th century AD, and soon after Melkote became a center of learned community called Mandyam Iyengars, who were into scholarship of Sanskrit language, Vedas, and Indian sciences.
Melkote is a popular center of pilgrimage center and has two different temples. The main temple is a square building of large size but very plain is dedicated to Lord Cheluva Narayana Swamy or Tirunarayana. The utsav murthy (metallic procession idol) representing the deity is referred as Cheluvapille Raya whose original name appears to have been Ramapriya. It is believed that the utsav murthy was worshipped by Lord Rama and his son Kusha; hence the name Ramapriya.
On the top of the hill is an attractive temple dedicated to Lord Yoga Narasimha. It is believed that the image of Yoga Narasimha temple was installed by Prahlada. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III presented a gold crown to this temple. The temples of Melkote have made the town a popular tourist attraction.
The temple houses a large pond called as Kalyani Theertha. The temple premises also houses the oldest Sanskrit college named Sri Veda Vedantha Bodhini Sanskrit Mahapathashala. This ancient Sanskrit college in India dates back to 1854. The institution continues to provide instruction in Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy.
Sri Cheluva Narayana Swamy Temple Timings
Morning: 7:00 am to 1:30 pm
Evening: 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Phone Number: 08236-299839
Vairamudi Utsav Or Vairamudi Festival
"Vairamudi" Brahmotsavam is the most important Annual festival in the temple. The procession idol of Cheluvaraya Narayana Swamy is decorated with a diamond crown and taken out in procession. The Vairamudi utsav, which is the chief annual celebration, is witnessed by more than 4 lakh people.
It is believed that the diamond crown is not to be viewed at when it is not worn by the utsav murthy (procession idol); hence every year, on the occasion, the officiating priest takes out the crown from its chest with his eyes blindfolded and then places it on the head of the idol of Sri Cheluvaraya Narayana Swamy.
Other Tourist Places Near Melkote
Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary
Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary was created on 1974 mainly to preserve the wolf. Other mammals found in this sanctuary include leopard, jungle cat, bonnet macaque, pangolin and langur. Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary can be visited throughout the year.
Melukote is 50 km away from Mysore, 25 km away from Pandavapura and 150 km away from Bangalore.
How to Reach Melkote
By Air: The nearest airport is Bangalore.
By Train: Nearest Railhead is Pandavapura, Mandya
By Road: Melkote is well connected by roads. One can reach Melkote from Bangalore by car, by traveling on the Bangalore - Mysore state highway and reaching the Mandya. Just after Mandya, there is a right turn which goes to Melkote.