Melukote – A Place Where Eternity Dwells
A trip from Mysore to Melukote takes one to the land graced by Sri Ramanuja or Ramanucharya. Melukote, also known as Tirunarayanapuram gained the status of pilgrimage for the followers of the Ramanuja, the South Indian Vaishnava saint, preacher, and philosopher. Situated at about 50 km from the city of Mysore, it is a temple town cocooned in between ancient rock formations. It became religiously and culturally important from 12th century AD when Ramanuja spend around 12 precious years of his life in here.
The Cheluvanarayanaswamy temple and the Yoganarasimhaswamy temple overlooks the town of Melukote and it is around these temples that the pilgrimage is centered. Melukote near Mysore experiences visitors all year round but the pilgrimage is spilled by people especially during the Vairamudi Brahmotsavam festival that takes place in the months of March and April. Teppostsava and the Tirunakshtram or birthday celebrations of the associated saints of Melukote are other major festivals in Melukote.
The temples also incorporate Angamani festival which is basically a folk festival but this mingling allows the temple to be a part of the folk culture too. It is home to the oldest Sanskrit Pathshala or Sanskrit school in India dating back to 1853 situated within the temple premises. The school is still in operation and provides education in Sanskrit and Indian philosophy thus retaining the traditional and cultural heritage of the place. The old world charm still lives here and a trip from Mysore to Melukote is one of the most nostalgic excursions from Mysore.