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Melukote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is worshipped here as Thirunarayana or Cheluvanarayana Swamy. Cheluva Narayana means the deity who loves to deck up and He was so beautifully decked up. Melukote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is built on granite rocky hill that comprises some of the oldest rock formations on earth known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri overlooking the Cauvery valley in Melukote town, Mandya district in Karnataka is 3000 feet’s above Sea level capper. Melukote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple has situated About 52 Km from iconic Mysore palace and 40 Km from Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary and 145 km from Bangalore. Melkote is also referred as Thirunarayanapuram. This place is also rich with Natural & Environmental beauty attracting hundred & thousand’s of pilgrim’s daily.
Melukote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple dates back to the 12th century during the period of Vaishnava saint Ramanujacharya who had stayed in this region for 14 years, later developed by Hoysala and Vijayanagar kings. The Utsava Murthy of the temple is believed to be existing since the period of Rama and the Surya vamsa kings which was later handed over to Krishna also. So its unique that it's worshiped by both Rama and Krishna.
It is a sacred pilgrim center for Sri Vaishnavas. Legend has it that in the early 12th century was the time of great rivalries between Shaiva and Vaishnava sects in South India. Vaishnavas were persecuted by the Cholas, who were the rulers of Tamilnadu at that time. Sri Ramanujacharya, the leading preacher of Vaishnavism had to escape from Chola rule. He was allowed to live in exile at Melkote by then Hoysala ruler Vishuvardhana. Influenced by Sri Ramanujacharya, Vishuvardhana who was Jain converted to Vaishnavism. During the 14th century, the defeat of Hoysala Kings against Muslim forces saw the destruction of Melkote. The town was plundered by the invaders. It was later restored during Vijayanagar rule.
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 to 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.
The temple has a beautiful gopura. There are shrines of Ramanuja, idols of Alwars and Yadugiriamma in the temple. The temple has rich endowments and has the most valuable collection of jewels as it had the special patronage of the Mysore Maharajas. The Mysore King Raja Wodeyar (1578-1617 A.D.) presented a Gold Crown set with precious stones known as Rajamudi. Tipu Sultan donated a Nagari and elephant to the temple. The Mysore King Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1799-1831) presented a Crown set with precious stones known as Krishnarajamudi. There is another Crown in the temple called Vairamudi. All these three crowns are used to decorate the utsavamurthy during the annual Jatra usually held during March-April visited by lakhs of devotees.
According to the legends, Lord Rama and his son Kusha worshipped Lord Narayana here. Therefore, the processional idol, Sampath Kumara is also known as Ramapriya. Sri Ramanuja, the great Vaishnava Acharya, stayed in Melkote for 12 years. During this time, the processional idol was lost for some time and upon knowing that the idol is in the possession of the Muslim emperor, Muhammed Shah, Sri Ramanuja decided to go there. Impressed by Sri Ramanuja, Muhammed Shah granted permission to take the idol back to Melkote. The daughter of Muhammed Shah followed Sri Ramanuja as she was attached to the idol because she used to play with idol as a toy. When she reached the temple and saw the idol installed there, she collapsed in front of it and breathed her last. Moved by her death and being so involved with the idol of Nayarana, Sri Ramanuja had an idol of her installed at the temple. Even today she is worshipped along with the main deities as Bibi Nachiyar. The idol of Bibi Nachiyar can be seen at the foot of the main idol and also beside the processional idol, Sampath Kumara.
Sri Vairamudi Brahmotsavam
This is the most important annual festival of the melukote temple which falls during March-April (in the month of Meena) on the day of Hasta Nakshatra of Meena month. The ten-day festival is concluded with holy water dipping (Avbritha) of deity in the tank of Kalyani. The famous crown Vairamudi has got a unique history. This crown was originally being placed on the lord Aniruddha mutry in Patala Loka. The demon king Virochana son of Prahlada who use to worship the deity along with angels became greedy and snatched away the crown and hid the same in his palace in Paatal.
Lord Garuda, the famous eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu the crown and look it into his custody after conquering Virochana. While Garuda was bringing back the crown he saw Sri Krishna in Gokul and placed the same on the lord of Krishna. Sri Krishna came to know the history of the crown with his Devine vision placed the crown on the idol of Sri Chaluvarayaswamy which Sri Krishna himself was worshipping as a surprise the crown was perfectly matching with the deity. Garuda performed Utsava for Sri Chaluvanarayana as per the instruction of Lord Sri Krishna. Since then the famous crown Vairamudi is being praised and visited by thousands of people every year.
Vairamudi Utsava falls on the fourth day during nine-day festival preceding Meene maasa Hasta nakshatra the birthday of Lord Srimannarayana Swamy. The deity with Vairamudi is taken procession around the temple in four main roads is rotated in all directions. So that all the people can have the Darshan of lord and Vairamudi. Lakhs of people gather from all over the world to write the famous festival Vairamudi. Previously the Vairamudi crown was kept under safe custody in the treasury of Mysore palace as a personal property belonging to the royal family. Now it is preserved in Mandya district treasurer under the custody of Karnataka Govt.
On the morning of Vairamudi day the crown is taken out from the treasury brought in procession with state honor will be worshipped by people throughout the way in the tripe at melukote Even today Vairamudi along with Rajamudi is taken in procession as per old age tradition On the 4th day of nine-day Festival the Utsav deity will be advanced with Viramudi, The precision state by 9 pm and Continuing up to early morning 3 Am. At the end of the procession, Vairamudi will be replaced by Rajmudiforthe next 5days of the festival. People can have the darshanam of Vairamudi once in a year when it is placed on the head of Lord Narayana. No one is permitted touch (expect priest) the crown.
One more Interesting history being connected with Vairamudi is as follows. Sri Rama Pattabhishekam which was originally to conduct on Meena-Pushya day got stalled due to kaikeyis various plan. Now again Sri Ramanujacharya Known as re-incarnation of Laxmana has arranged crowning festival on the same day for Lord Ramapriya is really surprising.
Melkote Raya Gopura
The Raya gopuram also called as Kote Vasil is the actual temple entrance built by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. The four incomplete pillars of Raya Gopuram of Melkote look stunning. There are much folklore around this structure, one of them being: a sculptor was challenged to complete the construction of pillars and tower over it in one night. The sculptor and his team seemed to be doing well when his opponents fearing the sculptor would win, rang the morning bells at two in the night instead of five in the morning. The sculptor abandoned his work and the pillars stand incomplete to this day. Suffering from the Muslim invasion of the 14th century, the temple and the surrounding historical artifacts lay in ruins. Recently, the government of India has taken efforts to renovate the temple and its historical surroundings.
Akka Tangi Kola
Akka Tangi Kola means Elder Sister, Younger Sister ponds These beautiful twin tanks are described as sister’s ponds and according to traditional accounts, where one of the sisters was very eager to create the pond whereas the other agreed to join her hesitatingly. That’s why one of the water is crystal clear and very sweet to drink whereas the other pond is somewhat slushy and very salty. The pond is filled with fishes and small turtles were basking in the sun.
Kalyani or Pushkarani
The temple infrastructure boasts of a large pond called as Kalyani. The beauty of the steps leading to water and the mantapas built all around is such that it has been captured in many Indian films.
Melukote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary
Melukote is also the location of the melukote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary. This Sanctuary was created on 17th June 1974 mainly to protect the wolf. Other mammals found in this sanctuary are jungle cat, leopard, bonnet macaque, langur, and pangolin. It is also an ornithologist's paradise, with numerous species of birds indigenous to the area.and also if walk in the early morning you will see the peacock.
Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple Darshana Timings -
- 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM
- 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
- 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Special Days [Saturday, Sunday & Govt Holidays] -
- 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM
- 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM
- 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
|January to December|
|Monday||7:30 AM to 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM|
|Tuesday||7:30 AM to 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM|
|Wednesday||7:30 AM to 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM - 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM|
|Thursday||7:30 AM to 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM|
|Friday||7:30 AM to 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM|
|Saturday||7:30 AM to 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM|
|Sunday||7:30 AM to 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM|
|Last Admission||Afternoon 01: 15 PM | Evening 05:45 PM and 07:50 PM|
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Food or Snacks
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