Temple: Thirunarayanapuram Temple
Thirunayanapuram Temple – Overview
The Thirunarayanapuram temple is ideally located on the Cauvery banks of the Mandya district. This temple is a very popular Vaishnavite temple and as per mythological stories, the Sanatkumaras brought the idol of Sri Narayana and installed it at Melkote, hence the name Thirunarayanapuram.
The temple celebrates an annual festival and devotees flock here in huge numbers for the Vaira Mudi Utsavam. Thirunarayanpuram is also known as ‘Dakshina Badri’.
Thirunarayanapuram temple – History
This is the only temple which has a separate sannidhi for Selva Pillai (Sampath Kumaran). During the annual festival, both the Utsavar and the Moolavar deities are seen together. The temple prakaram is very big and it is one of the ancient temples of South India. It is said that Lord Rama offered his prayers to Thirunarayanan. The deity is also called as Chelva Narayanaswami. The principal goddess worshipped here is Yadugiri Nachiyar and her name stands for ‘hill goddess’.
There have a lot of significant contributions by the Hoysala kings, the Wodeyars and the Vijayanagara kings to the temple. The temple is also referred to as Dakshina Badri. The Narada Purana clearly talks about the temple. Thirunarayanapuram is one of the four Swayambu kshetrams and hence it is considered to be very holy and it is believed that whoever prays with devotion will benefit.
Thirunarayanapuram Temple – Mythology
The history goes this way – Ramanuja was driven away from Srirangam by the Chola kings. This is when he came to Thondanur which is close to Thirunarayanaram. It was during this period that the Jain King Bitta Deva’s daughter attracted a disease and Ramanuja used his spiritual powers to cure the disease. He noticed that he was short of holy ash for curing the disease. Lord Narayana himself appeared in Ramanuja’s dreams and told him to look for this ash in a pit close to the hill. Ramanuja then accompanied by Bitta Deva came to Thirunarayanapuram and was able to trace the moolavar Lord. This was then consecrated in the temple.
Thirunarayanapuram Temple – Facts
It is said that childless couples who offer their genuine prayers to Thirunarayanan and bathe in the Kalyani Pushkarni for eight days will surely be blessed with a child.
Thirunarayanapuram Temple – Festivals and Celebrations
The annual Araiyar Sevai is a festival of dance and music and this temple is one amongst the four Vishnu temples that organize this festival. The Ashta Theertotsavam festival is also celebrated during the Kartik month and is a popular festival. The Vaira Mudi festival takes place during the month of April every year and is the best time to visit the temple.
How to Reach Thirunarayanapuram
Tourists can reach Melkote from Bangalore in two hours if they take the Mandya Jakkanahalli route. It is about 150 kms from Bangalore. There are a number of state run buses that operate on this road. The closest airport is Bangalore. From Bangalore, there are trains that come up to Melkote.
Melkote can be reached from Bangalore even by taxi or car. The Bangalore Mysore State highway is the fastest way to reach the town of Mandya. Also there are passenger trains that ply from Bangalore to Mandya.