Melkote – temple town of Karnataka

Melkote – the temple town of Karnataka is a popular center of pilgrimage built on rocky hills of Yadavagiri (or Yadugiri) overlooking the Cauveri valley. The place attracts tourists from around the world for its breathtaking scenic beauty and its bracing climate. A visit to Melkote is unique in the sense that it gives us a fast hand experience and knowledge of our own cultural heritage in its living form. Historical studies have shown relatively little change in the plan of the town, the type and character of the dwellings and its cultural practice.

This is one of the four sacred places of Vaishnavism in Southern India. Still largely untouched by tourists the place offers a wonderful retreat from the rush of other temple towns of Southern India.

raya-gopura-melkote

Massive entrance Raya gopura

Where is Melkote?

Melkote – the temple town of Karnataka is in Pandavapura taluk in Mandya district. It is about 51 km from Mysore and 133 km from Bangalore.

About Melkote

The picturesque hill town of Melkote is full of shrines and monasteries and is an important centre for devotees of Lord Vishnu. This town gained religious importance in the 12th century AD when the famous South Indian Vaishnava philosopher and teacher, Sri Ramanuja lived in Melkote for about 12 years.

cheluvanarayana-swamy-temple-melkote

Magnificent temple of Cheluvanarayana Swamy

Life in Melkote is centered around the Cheluvanarayanaswamy temple in the town and the Yoganarasimhaswamy temple on the hill overlooking the town of Melkote. It is these temples that have made the town a popular tourist and pilgrimage attraction. These temples have helped to preserve the tradition and culture of the town and at the same time is a repository of all the knowledge. The temple premises houses the oldest Sanskrit Pathsahala in India that dates back to 1853.

In and around Melkote

The temple of Cheluvanarayanaswamy is of prime attraction for tourist and devotees visiting Melkote. The temple, built in the Vijayanagar style, houses some of the most intricately carved pillars and is one of the four most sacred places of Vaishnavism in South India.

temple-yoga-narsimha-melkote

Yoga Narsimha temple on the top of hill

On the top of the hill is an impressive temple of Yoga Narasimha. It is believed that the image of Yoga Narasimha temple was installed by Prahlada. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III presented a gold crown to this temple. This temple and its surroundings present the most panoramic view.
Raya gopura, which is also known as Gopalaraya entrance, is an incomplete structure leading to the hill. It has four tall pillars and has no tower above it. This architectural masterpiece is said to have been built in a day or two.
Melkote temple wildlife sanctuary created on 17 June 1974 mainly to protect the wolf is also a must visit for the tourists… Other mammals found in this sanctuary are jungle cat, leopard, bonnet macaque, langur and pangolin. It is also an ornithologist’s paradise, with numerous species of birds indigenous to the area, .and peacock.
The Thondanur Lake, 18 km from Melkote is a good picnic spot.

How to Reach Melkote?

By Air – Bangalore is the nearest airport of this temple town of Karnataka.
By Rail – Nearest railhead is Pandavapura, Mandya.
By Road – Melkote is well connected by roads from Mysore and Bangalore.

Where to stay at Melkote?

Melkote being not so popular among tourists lacks hotels with modern facilities. There are various Mathas (ashrams) in Melkote where tourists and devotees can stay in lieu of donations according to his or her will. Staying at this ashramas is indeed an unique experience.
The Forest Department and the Public Works Department have a guest house each.
The Academy of Sanskrit Research  (08236-48741/48781) has lovely cottages surrounded by lush green gardens.

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About the Author: Hi! friends, travelling is my passion and my only hobby. High mountains to deep seas, lush green forests to barren deserts, holy places to sites of historical importance, - every beautiful place attracts me the same way. I want everyone to feel the same and so through my writing I intend to take you all to a virtual trip to all those lovely places that I have visited.

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  1. Drogba says:

    Hi , you have a really nice blog , I’m going to put a link to it on my site, so I can probably send you some quality traffic :) Cheers!

  2. Karthik says:

    Ah… melkote …heavenly place !! check out our visit

    2 bikes , 2 riders , 300kms…

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