Melkote (Melukote) is located in Pandavapura taluk around 35 km from Mandya city, which is the headquarters of Mandya district. The place is also known as ‘Thirunarayanapuram’ and land is formed from some of the oldest Earth’s crust. People believes that vaishnava saint Sri Ramanujacharya stayed here for long time and made it as prominent center of culture and education. The Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana became a follower of Sri Ramanujacharya. It is built on rocky hills known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri overlooking the Cauvery valley.
Distance: Around 130 km from Bangalore and 51 km from Mysore.
Places To Visit In Melkote
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple:
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple deity is Lord Cheluva-Narayana Swamy or Tirunarayana or Lord Krishna. The Wodeyar Kings of Mysore were special patrons of this temple and has bestowed special offers and protection. Raja Wodeyar in 1614 adopted Vaishnava religion and offered a gold crown set with precious jewels known as Rajamudi. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III also presented one such crown known as Krishnarajamundi. There is another crown — Vairamudi or Vajramukuta, which seems to be older than the other two crowns but no one knows where from it came. The annual festival of this temple is known as Vairamudi festival and it draws lakhs of people.
Vairamudi Brahmostava is an annual festival which gathers more than 3-4 lakh devotees of Lord Cheluva Narayana. Thirunarayana Puram another name for Melkote adorns a festive grandeur on this day when the Lord adorns the legendary diamond studded crown, the Vaira Mudi. It is also believed that Lord Krishna Himself presented this crown to Cheluva Narayana. The Lord is taken in procession on the golden Garuda with his divine consorts Sridevi & Bhudevi, around the main streets of the city.
Yoga-Narasimha Swamy Temple:
On the hill nearby is the temple of Yoga Narasimha. On the top of the hill is an attractive Melkote Narasimha temple dedicated to Lord Yoga Narasimha. It is believed that the image of Yoga Narasimha temple at melkote was installed by Prahlada himself. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III presented a gold crown to Lord Yoga Narasimha.
Library & Sanskrit College:
There is a library maintained by Yathiraja Swamigalu of Melkote which has many works in Sanskrit and other languages. The Sanskrit college was established around 1853, known as Sri Veda Vedantha Bodhini Sanskrit Mahapathashala is a renowned centre of learning Vedic knowledge.
If you are interested in Sanskrit then read more .
Kalyani or Pushkarani:
The temple has a large pond known as kalyani teertham or pushkarani. The stones banked steps and structures around are beautiful and it has featured in many movies.The temple infrastructure boasts of a large pond called as Kalyani. The beauty of the steps leading to water and the mantapas built all around.
Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary:
Just 5 km away from Melkote town is the Melkote Temple Wildlife
Sanctuary. The temple sanctuary was erected in 1974 mainly to protect from the wolfs. It has two parts ‘Mudibetta’ and ‘Narayandurga’. Mainly short dry plants feature this area along with other wildlife like — spotted deer, bonnet macaque, leopard, jungle cat, black buck, wild pig, langur, Indian fox etc. One can also spot numerous birds and even peacock at times.
Thondanur Lake is situated around 25 km from Melkote on Pandavapura road. It is said
that water never dried up here. The water is so clear here, that Tippu Sultan called it ‘Moti Talab’ (pearl lake). The fresh water body can be a nice place to spend time in late afternoon or before evening, while enjoying the sunset.
If enough time to spend, you can also visit,
Kengal Hanumanthiah Temple just after Bidadi : One of the oldest temple in Karnataka.
Maloor Temple just after Channapatna : This ancient and pretty temple is said to have witnessed several miracles. Worshipping Lord Navaneetha Krishna here is supposed to mitigate ‘Putra Dosha’ and ‘ Sayana Dosha’.
Best time to visit Melkote is throughout the year.
Journey time: 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours from Bangalore and around 45 minutes from Mysore
Where to eat: Either eat at Mandya city or on the highway.
Where to stay: Either stay in Mandya, SriRangapatna or Mysore.
How to reach there:
From Bangalore via road
One can reach Melkote from Bangalore by car/taxi, by travelling on the Bangalore Mysore state highway and reaching the Mandya town. Just after Mandya, there is a right turn which goes to Melkote. Alternatively, one can take any of the numerous trains that go from Bangalore to Mandya and then take a bus/taxi from Mandya to Melkote. You can board the KSRTC bus upto Mandya and then any city or private bus. There are some buses which go directly from Bangalore to Melkote.
From Mysore via road
There are buses that go from Mysore to Melkote. Alternatively, one can catch a bus that goes from Mysore to Tumkur (and onwards) and get down at a place called Jakkanahalli Cross. Melkote is around 6 km from there. Bus start from Platform No.2 of Mysore Bus Stand. From Jakkanahalli Cross lots of share auto’s pay charge around Rs.6/per person. Self Hire autos charge around Rs.50 until Chelvanarayanan temple.