Melkote Western Fortress of Vaishnavism

Melkote is a famous and popular Vaishnava Temple in Karnataka.

Melukote in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district, Karnataka, in southern India, is one of the sacred places in Karnataka. The place is also known as Thirunarayanapuram. It is built on rocky hills, known as Yadugiri, Yaadavagiri and Yadushailadeepa, overlooking the Cauvery valley. Melukote is about 51 km (32 miles) from Mysore and 133 km (83 mi) from Bangalore.(wiki)

This temple was the abode of Sri Ramanujacharya,who espoused the Qualified Non Dualism, Visishta Advaitha,Visishtadvaida,.

He had to flee from the Chola kingdom, Sri Rangam due to persecution from the king and some Vaishnavas and Shaivas.

One may add here that there no mention of Shaivas and Vaishnavas in the Vedas, and as such, in my opinion,the difference between them, to say the least,is not what Vedas say.

Be that as it may,

During middle ages in India there was resurgence of Jainism and Buddhism in South India.

The Main and Buddhist monks had a great day in running the administration as they had the ears of the King’s.

And both Shaivas and Vaishnavas were persecuted.

This continued till Mahendra Varma Pallava( who followed Jainism and later promoted Hinduism) And Pandya King Nedumaran.

Nedumaran was brought back to Hinduism by his sister Mangayarkkarasi and Saint Thirunavukkarasar.

Then internecine feud between Shavias and Vaishnavas were on.

It was during one of these periods,when Sri Ramanujacharya had to flee from SRI Rangam to Melkote.

I shall be writing on Sri Ramanujacharya and Visishtadvaida in a series of articles.

The Ruling Deity Thiru Narayanan(Tamil) and Cheluva Narayana in Kannada(which means Beautiful Narayana).

Truly the Moolavar is beautiful beyond description.

I can recall only Rajagopaswamy of Mannarkudi,as near to this Moolavar in Beauty.

Now to the name Melkote.

Mel kottai in Tamil means the Western Fortress.

The eastern fortress of Vaishnavas is Sri Rangam,which is the second Divyadesa,the first being Thirupparkadal,in Vaikuntha,which is Celestial.

So the Easter Fortress of Vaishnavism is Sri Rangam and West, Melkote.

While Sri Rangam is a Divya desas,Melkote is an Abhimana Sthala,the Loved Abode.

More on Melkote.

Over the last 1000 years, Vijayanagara kings, the Hoysalas and more recently the Wodeyar dynasty have made significant contributions to this temple.
Dakshina Badri
The ThiruNarayanan Temple is also referred to as the ‘Dakshina Badri’. A reference to this is found in 12 chapters under the topic Yadava Giri Mahatmiyam in the Narada Puranam.

One of the four Swayambu Kshetrams

ThiruNarayanapuram in Melkote is one of the four famous Swayambu Kshetrams, the others being Srirangam, Kanchipuram and Tirupathi.
Araiyar Sevai
One of the other highlights at this temple is the continued performance of the Araiyar Sevai, an artistic song and dance enactment of the Naalayira Divya Prabandham. This is one of the four Vishnu temples in India where Araiyar Sevai is still performed, the others being Srirangam, Srivilliputhur and Azhvaaar Thirunagari.
Archakas of Melkote
A special mention must be made of the archakas of ThiruNarayana Perumal temple. In these days of short cuts every where, these Bhattars follow every pooja ritual with a commitment that is sublime...

Vaira Mudi Festival in the Tamil Calendar month of Panguni is the most important festival at this temple and attracts several thousand devotees. On the 6th day of the Brahmotsavam, Selva Pillai is adorned with a diamond crown and taken on a street procession.
Ashta Theertotsavam during Raja Mudi Brahmotsavam in Karthigai is another popular festival.
Thai Punarvasu festival – This is a special festival commemorating Ramanuja’s arrival in Thiru Narayanapuram on the Makara Shukla Punarvasu day
Krishnaraja Thirunaal (9days), Aadi Pooram (for Thaayar)are a few of the other important utsavams at the ThiruNarayanan temple in Melkote.
Prarthana Sthalam
Childless couples who bathe in the Kalyani Pushkarani for 8 days and offer sincere prayers to ThiruNarayanan are said to be blessed with a child.
Quick Facts:
Moolavar : Thiru Narayanan
Goddess : Yathu Giri Naachiyar
Utsavar : Selva Pillai (Sampath Kumar)
Utasava Goddess: Kalyani (Selva Nayagi)
Temple Time : 730am-1pm, 4pm-6pm and 7pm-830pm
Contact : S.Narasaraja Bhattar
Contact Telephone number: 94487 54696, 94488 13124 or 08236 298 913
How to reach
Take 6222 Chennai Mysore Kaveri Express, Get down at Pandava Pura (715am arrival)
Take Tumkur bound bus and get down at Jakkanahalli junction (about 15kms from Pandava Pura)
Auto from Jakkanahalli to Melkote temple (about 5kms) will cost Rs.50/-.
One can reach Melkote in 2 hours from Bangalore ( about 135kms) via Mandya- Jakkanahalli.

Reference and citation.

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