Cheluvarayaswami temple, Melukote

Image source: Dineshkannambadi

Melukote is one of those towns where we can find every nook and corner showcases our heritage and erudition. It is at an altitude of about 900 meters above the sea level.  This town was once considered the knowledge storehouse by scholars and musicians. One can find that whole town life revolves around two main temples Cheluvarayaswamy and Tiruanrayana.

There is Yoganarasimhaswamy temple on a hill overlooking the main temple.  There are numerous legends and myths attached to this place. It is believed that Rama, Krishna and Balarama worshipped here at different timezones.

History Of Melkote

During the Saint Ramanjacharya’s time the place was known as Yadavagiri or Yadavadri. It is also associated with Ramanujacharya, renowned saint. When Muslims raided the temples during that period, Ramunujacharya was instrumental in restoring the deities.  It is also believed that one Muslim princess joined the saint and merged with the idol. Hence the temple also has an idol of Bibi Nachiyar.

Apart from the temples, this place has been a haven for Sanskrit scholars. There is a century old Sanskrit college and 28year old Academy of Sanskrit Research. In this premise lie the two 30 feet pillars, Rajdwara, a classified monument believed to be 1,000 years old.

Legend behind this is that the famous sculptor Jakkanacharya challenged his rivals to build entrance to Melkote in single night. Here rivals cheated by sounding the gong just past midnight when it actually supposed to sound at 5 am. Upset by this Jakkanacharya left the place leaving an unfinished pillar. To this day the pillars look unfinished and ravaged by time.

One can visit this place anytime of the year, en route to Mysore.

How to reach: On Bangalore-Mysore Road one has to take a right turn after Mandya, go past Pandavapura and take on Melukote.
Distance: From Bangalore 160 kms, Mysore 60 kms.
Nearest Town: Mandya
Nearest Railway: Mandya
Nearest Airport: Mysore Airport.

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