Visiting Melukote as I outlined in one of my recent posts is akin to taking a journey back in time. A quaint charm and oodles of antiquity lend the town ,which is replete with courtyard houses, ancient temples, stepped tanks and various other monumnets, a unqiue vibe. The soul of the town also known as Thirunarayanapura, is however, the majestic Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is also known as Ramapriya here.
A massive structure, the temple has several pillared hallways, intricate sculptures and is known for its architectural brilliance.
Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the carvings on the pillars are awe inspiring to say the least.
The carvings are elaborate, ornate and depict several subjects from mythology.
A highly sacred place for Vaishnavas, the utsav murthy of the temple is said to have been stolen but found by Sir Ramanujacharya around the 12th century. A shrine of Sir Ramanujacharya also exists in the temple.
Dating back to over 1000 years, the temple was highly patronized by the Wodeyars who were the royals of Mysore. Richly endowed by them, the temple has a very valuable collection of jewels which are bought out on ceremonious occasions like the annual Vairamudi festival. The latter is attended by a whopping 4 lakh people each year. A culturally rich festival that has a high mythological significance the Vairamudi Brahmostava takes place in the Phalguni month (around March-April).
A perfect day trip from Bangalore, Melkote is a must visit if you are fan of ancient architecture, literature and heritage. A town which is indeed a cornucopia of antiquities, there is plenty of things to see and do in Melukote. For more details refer to my article here.