Melukote is famous for Sri Cheluva Narayana Temple built beautiful at the top of a hill and holds as one of the top spiritual places as saint Ramanujacharya lived in this town for 12 years, after which it became a prominent centre of Sri Vaishnava tradition.
Facts and Figures Back in the time, Melukote was also known as Narayanadri, Vedadri, Yadavari, Yathishaila and Tirunarayanapura. Later, it was named after the temple of Narayanaswami which was built in a hilltop and guarded by fort walls. At the height of 3,589 ft above sea level, this temple is constructed on Yadugiri, a hill-range of granite rocks.
People of Melukote have not celebrated Diwali since last 200 years, as on 10th of November, 1790 which was also marked as Naraka Chaturdashi (Indian Calendar) more than 800 Mandyam Iyengars were brutally killed by Tipu Sultan. So instead of celebrating the festival of light, they mourn the deaths of the Brahmins.
Regional HighlightsVairamudi Brahmotsavam is the annual festival, celebrated with the procession of Lord Cheluvanrayana Swamy through the alleys and streets of Melukote. Named after the famous diamond crown, the Vaira Mudi, this festival has attracted over 40 thousand devotees in the past.
After the saint Ramanujacharya lived in Melukote for over 12 years in the early 12th century, it has been a spiritual hub for Srivaishnavism, and countless Iyengar Brahmins had migrated to the region, founding the Mandyam Iyengar community.
TransportationTo reach Melukote, one can board a bus from either Bangalore (133 km) or Mysore (51 km). The nearest railway station is Mandya railway station which is about 50 km from the town. The nearest airport is Bangalore airport.
Best time to visitMelukote is accessible throughout the year. Any day will be perfect to plan a road trip to this place as the weather is pleasant all year round.
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple The most famous attraction of Melukote is Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple. Believed to be worshipped by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna and their many generations, Cheluva Narayana holds a special place in the heart of Hindu devotees throughout the country; it welcomes thousands of tourists and devotees annually.
Academy of Sanskrit Research One must visit the Academy of Sanskrit Research when in Melukote, at least to witness the enormous collection of Sanskrit Vedas and manuscripts. Founded in the year 1977, it now houses over 11,000 manuscripts and 35,000 books.
Yoga Narasimha Temple Dedicated to Lord Yoga Narasimha, this beautiful temple is built at the top of a hill. According to the legend, it is said that Yoga Narasimha temple was constructed by Prahlada in Melkote, which was then maintained by many generations.
Melukote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary Founded in the year 1974, Melukote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary is known as a paradise for ornithologists, housing over 200 species of birds. Along with the birds, it is home to wolves, jungle cats, leopards, bonnet macaques, langurs and pangolins. Sanctuary also grew the vast number of Cycas circinalis, but it is observed to be decreasing.
Pushkarani Pond A huge pond surrounded by temple complexes with a series of steps heading towards water and beautiful mandapas are built all over. This pond's beauty has attracted a large number of tourists and also seen in many films.
The Raya gopura Popular among history lovers, Rayagopura is a structure with detailed and intricate carvings. Rayagopura means a gateway or the royal tower, started during the Vijaynagar empire but the construction was never completed. Now in ruins, it has been featured in many Indian movies.
Food at MelukoteWhen in Melukote, you have to indulge yourself in the yumminess of Puliyogare. This spicy and tangy rice will take your taste buds to another level. While heading back home, do pick up some of their chutneys to enjoy with your meals.
Where to EatYou can try Maddur vada and idli at the famous Maddur Tiffany or can have another wholesome meals or snacks with the best coffee at any restaurants or mess as there are many humble eateries you can try which are run by locals.
This beautiful town offers an abundance of history, rich culture and ancient architecture and yet has not been on the list of must-visit places in Karnataka. We hope you do visit Melukote and share your stories with us.