Melkote is the temple town situated in Mandya district of Karnataka state in India. The main temple, also known as Thirunarayanapura, is built on rocky hills called as Yadugiri or Yadavagiri overlooking the Kaveri valley.
Lord Vishnu is worshipped in different forms across the world and Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is one of the many temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is located about 156 kilometers from Bangalore and about 48 kilometers from Mysore.
The spiritual significance of Melkote is described in different Vedic scriptures such as Naradiya Purana, Matsya Purana, Ishwara Samhita as well as Kashi Mahatmya. Melukote is also praised as Badrinath of South India
Melkote contains two ancient temples in which Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple has two very ancient deities of Lord Vishnu and Yoga Narasimha Temple which houses ancient deity of Lord Narasimha. All these deities have come down to this planet Earth through the hands of the great devotees of Lord as well as different incarnations of Lord Vishnu Himself.
A number of inscriptions and records of the place speak of the land grants and gifts to this shrine. Perhaps the fort on the hill was built during Hoysala period. The renovated temple has a beautiful gopuram.
This majestic temple is built on a rocky hill known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri rock overlooking the Cauveri valley. Melkote Bus stand is just at the foothills of Sri Yoga Narasaimhaswwamy Temple. It is a small hill with around 400 steps.
And there is a motorable road reaches us somewhere above the midway of the hill. Autos and Cars can go upto this point and from there, it would be hardly 150 steps to reach the temple through these 150 steps are bit steeper.
There are refreshments available (tender coconut, mangoes, cucumber, butter milk, water, etc.,) throughout the way and visitors can rest and replenish themselves anytime.
The temple has a huge drum that was donated by Tipu Sultan. It has a beautiful bell that was donated by the Mysore Parakalamatha. During the rule of the erstwhile Wodeyar Kings of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III had donated a gold crown to the temple deity.
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is over 1000 years old. The carvings, the intricacy and the manifestation of the engravings on the temple are simply commendable. Every godly sculpture standing erect here holds high the ethics of Hinduism and prove being a piece of historical evidence to the generations to come.
The Temple is an ultimate masterpiece of crafstamanship when it comes to its sculptures and pillars built in the Dravidian Style of architecture. The temple architecture incorporates a large pond constructed near the foothills. Just next to the main steps of the temple is the very famous pond called the Pancha Kalyani. It is a pond built of stone and is in the shape of a stepped well which includes a huge mantap called the Bhuvaneshwari mantap. The main deity of the temple is placed in a square structured platform in the main sanctum of the temple.
Darshan timing at Melkote Temple
Cheluva Narayanaswamy temple 7:30am-1:00pm, 4:00pm-6:00pm and 7:00pm-8:30p. On weekends, the morning timing is 8:30am to 1:30pm.
Puja (Nithyakatle)at Yoganarasimha Temple is from 9-10 am. Abhisheka is from 10-11am. Darshan is from 11am-1pm and 5:30-8pm. On weekends, the darshan timing is 11.00am to 2.00pm and 5.00pm to 8.00pm.
Stay at Melkote Temple
While Melkote is a prominent tourist place in Karnataka, there are no hotels. However, Sanskrit Academy at the base of Roya Gopura has cottages. Each cottage has 2 bedrooms, living room and a kitchen. For more details, visit Sanskrit Academy Melkote.
How to reach Melkote Temple :
- By Air – Bangalore International Airport is 133 kms away.
- By Train – The nearest railway station is Mysore, 53 kms away.
- By Bus – Many government and private buses are available from Bangalore and Mysore.
Distance from Bangalore is 150 kms and from Mysore 48 kms.