Tranquil Reverie

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ageless Antiquity

A two hour drive which spans 90Km on the Bangalore-Mysore highway and 35Km on well maintained country roads takes you to Melukote or Thirunarayanapura. Melukote (Melu means high or superior and kote means fort) is located in the Mandya district of Karnataka, on the hills of Yadavagiri, midst the lush green paddy fields fed by the benevolent river Kaveri. Sri Ramanujachari, an acharya (saint) of the Srivaishnava sect of Brahmins is said to have made Melukote his abode for 14 years during the 12th century. Patronised by the kings of Mysore, Melukote is a seat of Vaishnavism, a centre for spiritual learning and a town frozen in time.

The following are some of the prominient places in Melukote.
Cheluva Narayana Temple : The Cheluva Narayana or Thiru Narayana temple is one of the two prominent temples at Melukote. The garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum) is laid between a pillared corridor. Cheluva Narayana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is the main deity in the temple. The intricate carvings on the stone pillars of the temple, which according to the priests is over a thousand years old are impressive!
Yoga Narasimha Temple: While the Cheluva Narayana temple is in the foothills, the Yoga Narasimha temple is on the top of a rocky hill. The canopy of the trees, the coolness of the breeze and the refreshing butter milk are few things which makes the arduous climb up the hill seem efforless. One can get a nice panoramic view of the town from the hill top.
Raya Gopura : The Raya Gopura or the Gopuralayas entrance is an incomplete structure leading to a hill. Built during 16th century by the Vijayanagara kings, the Raya Gopura consists of four majestic pillars and many smaller pillars with no roof. This impressive monument has been featured in many movies including the Mani Ratnam flicks Dalapathi and Guru.
The Kalyani : The kalyani or the pushkarani is a stepped water tank in the vicinity of the temple. The devotees take a holy dip in the kalyani before entering the temple. Several pillars and other interesting structures surround the periphery of the kalyani at Melukote.

The Yoga Narasimha temple on the hill top.



The Raya Gopuras.



The decorative exterior of the Cheluva Narayana Temple.



An arrangement of fresh lotus buds.



A carving on a pillar of the Raya Gopura.



Lotus flowers, incense sticks, cocunuts and bananas are offered to the Lord.



Many South Indian movies have been shot at this Kalyani.



A beautiful structure beside the Kalyani.



The pillared corridor in the Cheluva Narayana temple.

5 Comments:

Blogger Dew Drop said...

Lovely :)

Deepa

9:16 AM  
Blogger bhanu pratap said...

Rarely we go to such historical places and rarely we remember the story behind them. Its a nice way to showcase such "Ageless Antiquity".

2:50 AM  
Blogger zoxcleb said...

:-)

7:32 PM  
Blogger Raam Barani said...

Seems to be a pristine place. Loved the pictures & the description.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Ashok Patil C said...

I have been following your blog ....its really well organized and set. Photos are amazing and I appreciate the effort in collecting all those info. Keep it up :-)

2:44 PM  

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