A days outing from Bangalore…Part-2

This is in continuation of this picture post

Date Mar 22, 2008.

From Kokrebellur, we drove down to Melkote. Its one of the most venerated places of Vishnu worship. Ranks up there along with Sri Rangam and Kancheepuram.

Driving down the countryside, we drove back in time, and soon saw the hilltop temple of Narsimha, Melkote.
   
Here is a picture of the temple.

 Melkote is a little temple town in Pandavapura region of Karnataka. The town is also known as Tiru-Narayanapuram, after the presiding deity of the temple town. And our first stop was the temple of that deity – The Tiru-Narayana temple… also known as Selva Narayana temple, the temple of Narayana of Glorious Wealth. Who is also known as Sampath-Kumar.And we had arrived at Melkote during the time of the famous Brahmostavam. Purely by happenstance.And when we reached the temple of Selva Narayana, we were told that the Lord had left on the festival procession, and would be camping near the Pushkarini water tank. So there we went. Lots of pilgrims had gathered there. Many were sitting on the steps of the tank.

            

     
And heres another picture of the Pushkarini. The lateral side of the tank. The tree in the background was striking to see..
           
     
And now, a little note about Melkote.
    
The great Sri Vaishnava sage, Sri Ramanajucharya, had established the temple here. He had come to this area, in order to get away from the persecution of a Saivite Chola King. When he came here, to this region of Mysore-Melnadu, he cured the daughter of the local Hoysala monarch, King Bitti Deva, who was suffering some ailment that seemed beyong any remedy. The King then adopted Sri Vaishnava faith, and was renamed as Vishnuwardhana by the Acharya. This King then built five great Vishnu temples – the Channiga Narayana temple at Belur, Nambi Narayana temple at Thondanur, Keerthi Narayana temple at Talakad, Veera Narayana temple at Gadag and Chelva Narayana temple at Melkote.Today, at Melkote, the Utsavar (the ceremonial icon of the temple) had been brought to the temple tank. In a pillared hall near the tank, worship was being offered to a small idol, and the main Utsava-idol was in a shrine in the hall.
                  
        
The small idol that was being worshipped was perhaps ten inches or so in height. Here is a close up picture of that idol.

After the rituals of worship were completed, the priests took that idol down the tank steps, and the idol was given a ritual bath. Lots and lots of devotees jumped in as well…some swam, while some were content to stand and take a dip in the waters. Yours truly joined the latter group. Felt really wonderful. Sky was overcast. Weather was wonderful. The atmosphere was electric. This was heaven.

The Brahmostavam at Melkote is an annual festival. On the first day of the festival, the idol is adorned with ‘Vairamudi[ – a priceless crown, whose origin is so ancient, that it is a part of mythology. Hundred thousand and more pilgrims gather at Melkote to have a glimpse of the Lord wearing the Vairamudi. This adornment is on display only for a day. On the day that we had come to Melkote, the Lord was adorned with Rajamudi – another spectacular crown, made of Gold and inlaid with precious gems. This crown was given to the temple by King Raja Wodeyar who ruled here during the 16th-17th century AD.

Here is a picture of the Utsava idol – Lord Selva Narayana with his consorts. See the Rajamudi crown on the idol of Tirunarayana in the middle.

After Darshan, we had lunch at the house of one of the priests. Delicious.

Around 3 pm, we went to the main temple that had reopened. Here is a picture of one of the carvings in the temple, Narsimha in a pillar.

Then we climbed up the hill, to visit the Narsimha temple on top. It was a stiff climb, and left us quite breathless. It started raining as well, more than a drizzle, but not very heavy either. Sharing one umbrella between the two of us, taking shelter here and there, we made our way up. Here is a picture from somewhere up there….

We had darshan of Lord Narsimha, and collected a packet of Tamarind-rice as Prasada. We climbed down, and even as we reached the car, the skies really opened up and it started really pouring…
        
Driving back to Bangalore, we visited Thondanur…where Ramanujacharya had stayed… a nice village with some beautiful temples… The main temple of Nambi Narayana had just closed. We could have Darshan of Lord Parthasarathi though, in the temple opposite the Nambi Narayana temple. Wading through the rain water, having Ekanta darshan, seeing the idols in the sanctum sanctorum in the light of the Aarati… Felt so peaceful…
                  
Then on the way back to Bangalore, we halted at Srirangapattinam and had darshan of Sri Ranganatha. Panguni Uttiram festival had just concluded, and the temple had fine decorations…
      
Somewhere along the way, in the sugarcane counrtryside, we spotted a little workshop where they were crushng cane…We stopped by, had a tall glass of sugarcane juice each, and boiught some freshly made ‘gud’ (jaggery)…Life is sweet…
   
Night, by 9 pm, we reached Bangalore….
   
A fine days outing….Starting early morning from Bangalore…Bidadi-Dhyana Peetham…Aprameya Swami temple just past hennapatna …. Kokrebellur… Melkote…. Thondanur… Srirangapatna… Back to Bangalore by night… 
    
Try it sometime… Cheerio… 
  

 

 

4 Responses to “A days outing from Bangalore…Part-2”

  1. Srinivasa Says:

    Have you reduced the font size? The earlier size was soothing

  2. gkamesh Says:

    srini

    wordpress doesnt make it easy to change fonts…this one just happened by itself..I tried fixing it, and ave up as not worth thr trouble…

  3. Latha Says:

    Thanks for sharing. The idols are Bhakthi inspiring

  4. CN Vasudev Says:

    Your posting was very informative and nice pictures. Thanks for bringing it to us. We plan to have a couple of day trips from Bangalore later this year and Melkote is part of the plan. Any other suggestions are welcome.

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