In ancient India, temples were typically built near a water source. They would be built on the banks of rivers, beside streams and lakes or have tanks adjacent to them. The Kalyani tank is one such water tank that stands in Melukote in the Mandya district of Karnataka.
This ancient temple tank has a history spanning over 1000 years and is considered o be the largest of 108 temple tanks in the district.
Quick Facts About The Kalyani Tank In Melukote
- Best time to visit: February to April
- Timings: All Day
- Entry Fee: Free
- Visit Duration: 1 hour
Legends Of The Kalyani Tank
According to the Isvara Samhita, Lord Krishna took on the avatar of Lord Varaha when he lifted the earth out of the universal ocean. While doing so, a few drops of the water on his body fell on top of a hill at Melukote. This led to the creation of the Kalyani pond.
The Kalyani is also mentioned in the Padma Purana. According to the legends of the Matsya Purana, Lord Vishnu’s carrier, the eagle- Garuda carried white clay from Lord Vishnu’s planet, Svetadvipa and deposited it at the Kalyani.
The Significance Of The Temple Tank
It isn’t just by chance that our ancient temples were built near water sources. In ancient times, temples were a place of refuge and many people lived around the temples. The temple tank served as a source of water for them.
Water is also believed to have the ability to absorb positive energy. Hence, when priests chant, the energy released is absorbed by the water. Devotees of these temples believe that bathing in these waters will give them this energy.
Structure Of The Kalyani
The Kalyani is a huge tank surrounded by corridors held up by stone pillars. Each pillar has been beautifully carved. Between the pillars and the tank are a series of steps leading down to the water. The temple tank is connected to the other 107 tanks in the vicinity through a network of canals.
Restoration Kalyani Tank
In January 2019, Infosys announced a project to restore and renovate the Kalyani tank. This will include desilting the tank, removing waste and cleaning it, reconnecting the existing canals and building a compound wall around the tank. This endeavor will improve the quality of water in the tank and help restore the natural ecosystem.
Temples Nearby Kalyani Tank In Melukote
This temple is dedicated to Thirunarayana or Lord Vishnu. It is believed that many years ago, Lord Narayana came to Melukote in response to Brahma’s penance.
The main idol stands in front of the temple. On the right is a separate small shrine dedicated to CheluvaNarayana. This deity was worshipped by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. There is also a number of Vaishnav maths around the temple.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Narasimha. He can be seen seated in a yoga asana and hence the name. The deity is almost 3 feet tall and has gold hands and feet and a gold crown.
It is believed that this deity was installed thousands of years ago. Beneath the temple is a small cave where the devotee of Lord Narasimha, Prahlada is said to have meditated when he brought the idol here.
How to Reach the Kalyani Tank, Melukote
At a distance of 53 km, Mysore is the closest airport. From here you can hire a cab to visit the temple tank.
The closest railway station connecting the temple tank is at Mandya. This is at a distance of 73 km.
Melukote is well connected to other cities in Karnataka by road. Mysore is a 1-hour drive away while Bangalore is about 3 hours away. Most people choose to hire cabs but buses also ply regularly.