Standing on top of a hill at a height of 1777 metres above the sea level, Yoga Narasimha Temple is a historic temple in the town of Melukote. The architectural beauty, serene surroundings and religious significance make Yoga Narasimha Temple one of the main pilgrim centres of the region. This majestic temple is considered to be one of the seven holy centres devoted to the worship of Narasimha.
The temple boasts of an impressive architecture with intricate carvings on the pillars. It is believed that the idol of Yoga Narasimha Temple was installed by Prahlada, son of Hiranyakashipu himself. It is also believed that the temple finds reference in the Vedic literature that dates back to thousands of years.
Built on rocky hills known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri overlooking the Cauvery valley, Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is a famous pilgrim centre located in Melkote. The presiding deity is Cheluva Narayana Swamy, a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple is richly endowed, having enjoyed the special patronage of the rajas of Mysore.
Vairamudi Utsav, which is the chief annual celebration of the temple, is held during the months of March-April and is witnessed by lakhs of pilgrims. The temple premises also house the oldest Sanskrit college named Sri Veda Vedantha Bodhini Sanskrit Mahapathshala, which dates back to 1854.
The famous temple infrastructure of Yoganarasimha Swamy Temple and Chevula Narayanaswamy Temple in Melukote has a large pond called Kalyani. The beauty of the steps leading to water and the mantapas built all around are such that its beauty has been captured in many Indian films!
Special functions, such as Kalyanotsavam, are conducted in this Kalyani during the Vairamudi Utsav conducted here. It is surrounded by mantaps/sanctums with very beautiful intricate carvings on the walls, which resemble the Vijayanagara style of architecture.
Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in Melkote created on 17 June 1974, primarily to house wolves. The sanctuary is named after the famous Melkote temples situated on the border of the sanctuary, which houses the jungle cat, leopard, bonnet macaque, langur and pangolin.
It is also an ornithologist's paradise, with around 200 species of birds indigenous to the area. The landscape is rocky, with tropical dry deciduous and scrub vegetation. It has been also known for its once abundant cycas circinalis species.