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Melukote in Mysore

One of the famous sacred places in Karnataka, Melkote, is located around 51 km from Mysore. Overlooking the Cauvery Valley, this pilgrim center gets various names from mythology, including Thirunarayanapura, Vedadri, Yathishaila, Narayanadri, and Yadavagiri.

It has temples built on a rocky granite hill, including some of the earth’s oldest rock formations- Yadavgiri. Melukote is famous for housing several temples and Vairamudi, a unique festival.

History of Melkote

Melukote was a famous religious site for Sri Vaishnava followers. Legend has it that during the first half of the 12th century, there was rivalry between the Vaishnava and the Shaiva sects in the Southern region. The then rulers of Tamil Nadu- the Cholas used to mistreat the Vaishnavas.

The leading preacher of Vaishnavism, Sri Ramanujacharya, escaped and was allowed to stay in exile at Melkote by King Vishuvardhana, the then-Hoysala King. Though he was a Jain, he was largely influenced by Vaishnavism and converted to the same.

Later, during the 14th century, Muslims defeated the Hoysala rulers, and Melkote was plundered. However, Vijayanagar rulers restored the place later.

Attractions in Melkote

Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple

Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is a square-shaped temple devoted to Lord Cheluva-Narayana Swamy or Thirunarayana. Along with the metal idol of the presiding deity, the temple also has other temples, such as idols of Yadugiri Ammal and Alwars.

This temple has received rich gifts from Maharajas of Mysore, its patrons. Tipu Sultan had gifted an elephant to the temple. Some other endowments include a Gold crown with semi-precious stones by Raja Wodeyar and Krishnaraja Wodeyar, along with a third crown.

Yoganarasimha Swamy Temple

Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple is a stunning shrine built on a hilltop with several legends connected to it. It is said that Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, and his brother Balaram were worshiped here during different times. The temple complex has a huge pond called Kalyani, with steps leading to the water. There are mantapas around the pond.

Sanskrit Pathshala

This temple is called Sanskrit Pathshala as it is home to India’s oldest Sanskrit Pathshala in India, dating back to 1853. Even today, this School continues to provide teachings in Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy.

Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary

Founded on 17th June 1974, Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary was made to save the wolves in the region. Other animals spotted here include langur, leopard, pangolin, bonnet macaque, jungle cat, and avifauna.

Festivals of Melkote

Vairamudi Festival

The most famous festival, Melkote, is held in March/April when Cheluvaraya Narayana Swamy temple becomes the event venue. At the time of this festival, the process idol of Narayan Swami is adorned with a beautiful diamond crown and is taken out in a procession. During the town’s main festival, pilgrims visit the people in lakhs.

Some Other Festivals

Though Melkote receives a decent footfall of pilgrims all year, during the Vairamudi Brahmotsavam festival, organized in March/April, the place bustles with heavy tourist activity. Other festivals include the birth celebrations of popular saints of Melkote. Angamani is another famous festival here, a folk festival of the region.

Places to Visit Near Melkote

There are several places near Melkote that cater to different travel preferences and interests. On top of that, these attractions will be under a few kilometers in diameter. Here is the list of tourist attractions near Melkote in Mysore.

  • Melukote Kalyani
  • Raya Gopura
  • Shri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
  • Akka Tangi Kola
  • Shri Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple


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  • Adults
    ( Age 13 above )
  • Children
    ( Age 2–12 )
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