Melkote temple

Welcome to the spiritual oasis of Melkote, a quaint town in the heart of Karnataka that cradles the soul-stirring Melkote Temple. Steeped in history, adorned with intricate architecture, and enveloped in a serene aura, Melkote Temple is a timeless pilgrimage destination. Join us on an enriching journey through this sacred abode, exploring its historical significance, architectural marvels, and the spiritual tapestry it weaves.

Introduction to Melkote Temple:

Melkote, also known as Thirunarayanapuram, is a small town located in the Mandya district of Karnataka, India. It is famed for its two prominent temples – Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple and Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple. Melkote is not merely a collection of ancient structures; it’s a living testament to the rich cultural and religious heritage that has thrived in this region for centuries.

Historical Significance:

Founding Legends: The history of Melkote dates back to the 12th century when the great sage Ramanuja, a proponent of Sri Vaishnavism, established the Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple. Ramanuja, deeply moved by the deity, is believed to have installed the idol of Lord Cheluvanarayana, bestowing divine grace upon Melkote.

Vijayanagara Influence: During the Vijayanagara Empire, Melkote gained further prominence as a center of learning and culture. The kings of Vijayanagara, particularly King Krishna Deva Raya, were patrons of Melkote, contributing to the architectural splendor and spiritual vibrancy of the temples.

Key Temples in Melkote:

  1. Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple:
    • The Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, stands as the main attraction. The idol of Lord Cheluvanarayana, adorned with jewelry and finery, is a symbol of divine grace and benevolence.
    • The temple architecture is a blend of Dravidian and Hoysala styles, featuring intricately carved pillars, mandapas, and a majestic tower.
  2. Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple:
    • Perched on the sacred Yadavagiri Hill, the Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
    • The deity is in a unique yogic posture, and the temple architecture showcases Hoysala influences, characterized by ornate carvings and detailed sculptures.

Architectural Marvels:

  1. Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple:
    • The main sanctum of Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple features a three-tiered tower (vimana) adorned with sculptures and intricate carvings.
    • The hall leading to the sanctum, known as the Navaranga, is supported by ornate pillars depicting mythological scenes.
  2. Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple:
    • The Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple is an architectural gem, with a stepped pyramid-style tower and finely sculpted pillars.
    • The idol of Yoga Narasimha in a seated yoga posture is a rare and revered representation of the deity.

Spiritual Practices and Rituals:

  1. Utsavas and Festivals:
    • Melkote comes alive during festivals, especially the Vairamudi Utsava, where the deity is adorned with the famous Vairamudi crown. This grand celebration attracts devotees from far and wide.
  2. Aradhana at Ramanujacharya Brindavan:
    • Devotees also visit the Ramanujacharya Brindavan, the resting place of Sage Ramanuja, during his Aradhana. Special rituals and discourses mark this occasion, fostering spiritual growth and knowledge.
  3. Cultural and Religious Gatherings:
    • Melkote serves as a hub for cultural and religious gatherings, including discourses, bhajans, and educational programs that propagate the teachings of Sri Vaishnavism.

Pilgrimage Practices:

  1. Circumambulation (Pradakshina):
    • Devotees often engage in circumambulation around the temple premises, a practice known as pradakshina, as an expression of reverence and devotion.
  2. Offerings and Prayers:
    • Visitors participate in ritualistic offerings and prayers, seeking the blessings of the deities for health, prosperity, and spiritual well-being.

Visiting Melkote:

  1. Timing:
    • Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple Timings – 7:30AM-1PM, 4PM-6PM, 7PM-8:30PM
    • Sri Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple Timings – 9:30AM-1:30PM, 5:30PM-8PM
  2. Dress Code:
    • Modest attire is recommended, and visitors are expected to dress respectfully. Devotees may need to adhere to specific dress codes while entering the sanctum.
  3. Footwear:
    • Shoes are not allowed inside the main temple sanctums. Devotees and visitors usually remove their footwear before entering the inner sanctums.
  4. Photography:
    • While photography is often allowed in the outer precincts, it may be restricted in certain areas, especially within the sanctum. It’s advisable to check with the temple authorities regarding photography guidelines.
  5. Cultural Sensitivity:
    • Visitors are encouraged to be culturally sensitive and respectful of the religious practices and sentiments of the devotees.

Exploring Melkote Beyond Temples:

  1. Kalyani (Pushkarini):
    • The temple complex includes a beautiful stepped tank known as Kalyani or Pushkarini. Devotees believe that a dip in this sacred tank purifies the soul.
  2. Melkote Fort:
    • Explore the Melkote Fort, which offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding landscape. The fort has historical significance and adds to the cultural tapestry of Melkote.
  3. Melkote Wildlife Sanctuary:
    • Nature enthusiasts can explore the Melkote Wildlife Sanctuary, known for its diverse flora and fauna. The sanctuary is home to various species of birds and provides opportunities for bird watching.

Local Cuisine:

  1. Puliyogare:
    • Indulge in the local culinary delights, with Puliyogare (tamarind rice) being a popular dish. Many local eateries and restaurants offer authentic South Indian cuisine.
  2. Coconut Laddu:
    • Savor the Coconut Laddu, a sweet delicacy that is often offered as prasadam (religious offering) at temples.


A visit to Melkote Temple is not just a journey into the heart of religious devotion; it’s an exploration of a cultural and architectural legacy that has withstood the test of time. The temples of Melkote stand as guardians of spiritual wisdom and cultural richness, inviting visitors to partake in the sacred ambiance that pervades the town. Whether you’re a pilgrim seeking solace, a history enthusiast delving