Just 3 hours from Bengaluru is located, the ancient town of Melukote aka Thirunarayanapuram. Perched on a rocky hill there are so many factors that make this place a desirable destination for tourists who want to explore sites that offer an insight into the past of human culture, heritage, and tradition.
What Is So Special About Melukote?
One of the greatest pride of the place is the presence of a reputed Sanskrit University. The great saint Sri Ramanujacharya lived here for 12 years during the 12th century. And more importantly, it was also the site of shooting for the famous Priyadarshan movie “Bhool Bhulaiya” starring Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan in the lead and many other Kannada movies.
Another specialty of this town is Iyengar Puliyogare, a traditional delicacy prepared by boiling tamarind and rice and adding some local spices. The dish is very delicious and is offered to the local gods as prasadam.
Where To Visit?
1. Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
Highly popular Hindu temple, every year thousands of pilgrims visit the Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple. Located on the Yadavagiri and Yadugiri Hill, Lord Vishnu or Cheluvanarayana is the presiding deity of this temple.
The temple has a lot of wealth in the form of jewels and riches which were offered by the local Mysuru Kings. Every year, the wealth from the treasury is removed during the Vairamudi festival for decorating the Lord Vishnu idol as well as the other deities in the temple premises. Pilgrims thrive in hundreds to witness this festival.
The temple as the name suggests is that of Lord Vishnu’s half-man and half-lion avatar of Narasimha installed by his devotee Prahalad. The father of Prahalad was a demon called Hiranyakashipu who tried to kill his son through various ways for his devotion towards Lord Vishnu. Eventually, the Lord took the avatar of Narasimha and killed Hiraynyakashipu.
Located on the top of the Yadugiri Hills, the temple offers beautiful scenic views of the entire Melukote town. Importantly, even the great avatars like Lord Krishna and Rama are believed to have worshipped the god here.
This site has a direct connection with an incidence in Ramayana. According to mythology, Lord Rama with his strike of an arrow sprouted a spring of water for quenching the thirst of his wife Sita.
Melukote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary
Covering an area of 50 sq.km, the Melukote temple wildlife sanctuary is known as the habitat or rare and endangered species including grey wolf and black buck. The place looks beautiful with its natural landscape of deciduous trees and natural rocks.
The place is a photographer’s delight with many lensmen visiting this sanctuary simply to capture the lovely birds and butterflies at this sanctuary.