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Melkote… Vedic Philosophy !

city kemp Melkote Town. View from hilltop Yoga Narasimha Temple city kemp Melkote. Chaulanarayana Temple below the hill city kemp Melkote. Hilltop Yoga Narasimha Temple city kempRamanuja was a theologian born to a Tamil Brahmin family in the village of Sriperumbutur in Tamil Nadu..  Where former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assasinated. Ramanuja was seen as a leader who expounded Vishishtadvaita  – school of Vedic Philosophy. Early in the 12th century Ramanuja stayed at Melkote for 12 years. Melkote is the birthplace of Jayalalitha – the ‘controversial’ former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Ramanuja propagated Shri Vaishnavism thoughout South India opposing ruling kings – the mighty Kolatunga I -a fanatical worshipper of Shiva. Ramanuja found refuge in this town of Melkote for 12 years under Mysore Kings.The Hoysala Jain kings were impressed by his thoughts and teachings.
Melkote is 36kms from Mandya. Melkote is a temple town standing immune to the stride of time. It’s situated with a sharp turn off right turn after Mandya crossing a railway crossing. Melkote is in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district. This place is also known as Thirunaryanapuram  and Yadugiri over looking the Cauvery valley.
At the base of the hillock of Yoga Narasimha temple is Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple with a center for Sanskrit Academy and beautiful ponds – Akka… Tangi … kola. The sweet and non-sweet water ponds, which serves water for the temple deitys abhisheikams. This place is scenic… worth on the way to Mysore. Puliyogare – tamarind rice is a delicacy… worth getting a ready mix from here from the local vendors. At the base temple… Rayara Gopura is worth visit… an incomplete temple built over night by Jakanacharya is a little hard to believe – local fables are worth hearing.
Atop the hillock..  Treading 150 steps for the physically fit is the Yoga Narasimha temple… scenic beauty from above… half way through or..  Down below. This place is a religious dose for Vishnuites. Beautiful place at dawn and dusk – photographers delight. Historians envy and of course… religious prostration geographic area.
This place has had it’s onslaught of Muslim invasion. The Hoysala kings retired to this area..  tired of fighting.
The foothills of this land is fertile and added to the patronage of the Cauvery river from KRS dam via Pandavapura… this is garden of Eden.
Worth a lesson in history – with a stop by tour.

-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography
[email protected]

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