Sunday, May 3, 2009

Melkote Temples

Melkote (High or Superior Fort) is located in Mandya district of Karnataka state in India. It is in a hilly area comprising of the oldest rock formations on the earth's crust. It is a a religious and a pilgrim center for Hindus, and is home for various famous temples and ponds. The origin of the town is lost in antiquity, but it rose to cultural and religious importance in the 12th century AD when the great philosopher and teacher, Sri Ramanuja lived in the town for twelve years.

Some of the well known temples of this place are:

Sri Cheluvanarayanaswamy Temple

This temple is located at the center of Melkote. The temple complex has a main unit consisting of a Garbhagraha and an Ardhamandapa, a narrow pillared corridor, a Mahamandapa and a small Mukhmandapa. There is a large courtyard surrounded by a prakara wall with a broad pillared closures on its inner and outer sides. The main area of temple where deity of Sri Cheluvanarayanaswamy is located is a very plain square building of large dimensions. The Utsavamurthi is a metallic image, representing the deity can also be seen here in this hall. According to a legend, this image was lost and was recovered by Sri Ramanujacharya. On the strength of epigraphical evidence, that the presiding deity of this temple was already a well known object of worship before Sri Ramanujacharya worshiped at the shrine.

In the narrow pillared corridor, the pillars are carved beautifully. The carvings on the pillar are very unique. No 2 pillars of the corridor are identical. The uniqueness of the each of pillars can be seen in the above snap.

In the above snap one can see beautifully carved sculpture Lord Ganesh on the pillar.

The timings at the temple are, 8.30am to 12.30pm,and 4.00pm to 8.30pm. During Saturdays and Sundays, the timings will be from 8.30am to 1.30pm. and 4.00pm to 8.30pm.

Sri Yoganarsimhaswamy Temple

This temple is located at the top of the hill. People can climb the steps from the ground level which is approximately 500 steps to the top. If not they can go by their light motor vehicles till the half way almost nearer to the temple. Still from here there are approximately 250 steps to the top.

The temple is at the height of 1777mtr from the mean sea level is a creation of Hoysala times with a beautiful image of seated Yoganarasimha with Yogapatta. A panoramic view of the surrounding vast area can be had from here. Thia is one of the 7 holy centres of Narsimha woorship. A huge drum donated by Tipu Sultan and a bell donated by the Mysore Parakalamatha can be seen here.

The timings at the temple are, 9.00am to 1.00pm and 5.30pm to 8.00pm. During Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, the timings will be from 11.00am to 2.00pm and 5.00pm to 8.00pm.

Note Photography is strictly prohibited inside both the temples but people can carry their cameras along with them.

How to Reach There

This place is located interior to the Bangalore - Mysore 2 lane highway in the right side while going towards Mysore. Just after crossing Mandya one can see a road on the right and directions are available on highway. It is 37kms from this highway and from Bangalore it is around 130kms. The roads are very good and people do drive here at good speed.

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