Lord Vishnu is worshipped in different forms and Cheluvaranarayana Swamy is one of them. A small hill named Yadavagiri or Yadugiri in Melukote is known for housing ancient the Cheluvaranarayana Swamy Temple.
This age-old temple got a lot of prominence under the patronage of Mysore Wodeyars. The visit of Vaishnava Saint Sri Ramanujacharya also brought more importance to Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple in Melukote.
How To Reach The Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is located in the town of Melukote, which is situated in the Pandavapura Taluk. Melukote is around 56 km from Mysore and about 148 km from Bengaluru.
By Bus: KSRTC Buses and private buses are available from Bengaluru to Melukote. Pandavapura Railway Station, which is around 26 km from Melukote, is the nearest railway station to the place.
Best Time to Visit Melukote
Melukote is an year-round destination however October to February is the best time to vist Melukote. During this time, it a visual treat to see the lush green landscapes surrounding the hill.
History of Melukote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
Melukote which is also known as Thirunarayanapura has been mentioned in some literary texts. The Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple was developed under the patronage of Mysore Wodeyars. Later, Sri Vaishnava Saint Ramanujacharya came to Melukote and settled here for 12 years. During this time, the temple became a popular Vaishnavaite shrine.
The Legend of Melukote Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
According to the legend, when Sri Ramanujacharya came to Melukote, the idol of Cheluvanarayana Swamy had been lost. So, he decided to search for the lost idol of Cheluvanarayana to bring it back. During the search, he found out that the idol was in the kingdom of the Emperor Muhamad Shah.
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
PC: Prathyush Thomas
Sri Ramanujacharya went to the Kingdom only to find out that the idol was used as a doll by Mumhamad Shah's daughter. Angered by this, Ramanujacharya took the statue and came to Yadavagiri.
He soon realised that the emperor's daughter had also followed him till he reached Melukote, as she was really fond of her doll. Unfortunately, the princess died after reaching the town.
Sri Ramanujacharya later built a temple in her name after realising her unconditional love and devotion for the doll. Even to this day, Bibi Nacchiyar Temple can be found near the Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple.
Melukote Temple Pond
PC: Ranganatha C
The Shrine of Cheluvanarayana Swamy
Cheluvanarayana Swamy, a form of Lord Vishnu, is also worshipped as Thirunarayana or Cheluvappilly Raya. It is one of the prominent Sri Vaishnava shrines in Karnataka.
Major Festivals That Are Held in The Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
Sri Vairamudi Brahmotsava is one of the major annual festivals that is celebrated in this Melukote temple. A fair is also conducted around the temple premises during this time. Special poojas are performed during other Hindu festivals like Vaikunta Ekadashi, Gokulashtami, Ramanavami, Deepavali, etc.
The Melukote Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple is one of the famous architectural marvels in Karnataka. Hence, it also serves as one of the weekend getaways from Bengaluru. Not only this, the temple complex has also been used as film shooting location. Bollywood film 'Rowdy Rathore' has shot some song sequences at Melukote.