Yoga Narasimha Temple at Melukote, Karnataka

Yoga Narasimha Temple at Melukote, Karnataka.

Yoga Narasimha Temple at Melukote, Pandavpura Taluk in Mandhya  District of  Karnataka is one of the centers of pilgrimage  in this state and there is a popular Vaishnavite temple  dedicated to  Yoga Narasimha - one of the forms of Lord Vishnu.  The majestic  temple  is atop  the Yadugiri rock and is being visited by lots of devout Hindus who are drawn here because of its religious significance beefed-up by the serene surrounding and  temple architecture. This temple is one of the  seven holy centers devoted to the worship of Narasimha- half human and half lion form of Lord Vishu who took the avatar to kill the unruly, arrogant and  inhuman ruler Heranyakashyapu. The temple overlooks the town of Melukote.

Yoga Narasimha Temple at Melukote,

Here the main deity -  an idol of Narasimha is  in a seated position with the Yogapatta or Yogamudra  Normal puja protocol is being followed here  as in other Vishnu temples. Every year the Narasimha Jayanthi  festival is celebrated  with devotion and religious fervor.

The temple was built during the Hoysala  period. One fact that can't help attracting our attention is the presence of a huge drum donated by  none other than Tipu Sultan, the then ruler of Mysore. In 1785 he also presented elephants to the temple.  The temple bell  was donated by the Mysore Parakalamatha. The temple is richly endowed and the rulers of Mysore,  the Wodeyar  family made immense contributions  by way of  donating  gold and  gems-studded jewels.  In 1614, the Mysore Maharajah Raja Wodeyar (1578–1617)  adopted the Srivaishnava faith and  handed over to the temple and the Brahmins at Melkote, the estate granted to him by Vijaynagar king Venkatapati Raya. He presented the gold crown to the temple.The erstwhile  ruler of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III had donated a gold crown to the temple deity besides Vairamudi, another  gold-diamond -studded crown to the deity.

Drum donated by Tipu Sultan.Yoga Narashimha temple,Melukote,
Here in the temple there are beautifully carved stone images of various deities  and the pillars in the mantap are ornate and well designed.The entire architecture of this temple bears testimony to the superb workmanship of the skilled workers who were involved in the temple construction work. To reach the temple we have to climb about 300 steps carved on the hill slope.

The temple has several legends associated with it. One of the significant  beliefs regarding the idol of Yoga Narasimhar is that it  was installed by Prahalada  himself, son of Hiranyakashapu whom the lord killed.

Melkote is an important pilgrimage center for the  Srivaishnava sect. because  early in the 12th century, the famous  Advaita philosopher and  Srivaishnava saint Sri Ramanujacharya, who hailed from Tamil Nadu, stayed at Melukote for about 12 years.  Melukote is the birthplace of Jayalalithaa, who  has again formed the  new  ministry in consecutive terms in the state of Tamil Nadu after winning the recent Assembly election held in May, 2016.