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.
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.
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….