Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple (Melkote)

Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, Deity Worshipped by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna (2024)

Discover the spiritual haven of Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, where ancient heritage meets divine tranquillity. Immerse yourself in the sacred atmosphere of this revered temple, nestled in the heart of Karnataka, India. Explore its rich history, intricate architecture, and spiritual significance. Experience the divine blessings of Lord Cheluvanarayana as you embark on a soulful journey through this cherished religious landmark. Join devotees from far and wide seeking solace and spiritual enlightenment at Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple.

Melkote, a revered religious enclave adorned with some of Karnataka’s most exquisite temples, lies just 150 kilometres away from Bangalore, making it an ideal destination for a memorable day trip. Among its illustrious temples, the Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple is a prominent symbol of Melkote’s spiritual heritage.

Despite my longstanding desire to visit Melkote, unforeseen circumstances thwarted previous plans. However, determined to fulfil this aspiration, I recently embarked on a one-day journey to explore the divine allure of Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple and the myriad of other treasures that Melkote holds within its sacred embrace.

PIN for later reference – Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, Deity Worshipped by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna

Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple - PIN for later reference
Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, Deity Worshipped by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna – PIN for later reference

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About Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple

Perched atop the rocky hill in Melkote town, overlooking the picturesque expanse of the Kaveri valley, stands the revered Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple, also known as Thirunarayanapura. This sacred sanctuary pays homage to Lord Vishnu in the enchanting form of Cheluvanarayana Swamy, whose affinity for beauty is legendary.

Legend has it that Cheluvanaraya Swamy was revered by both Lord Rama and the illustrious kings of the Surya Vamsa and Chandra Vamsa dynasties, including Lord Krishna. This divine lineage renders the deity truly unique and revered by devotees.

Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple (Melkote)
Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple

The temple, crafted in the elegant Dravidian architectural style, boasts ornate pillars and intricately carved sculptures adorning its facade. Its distinctive dome-like roof is adorned with meticulous depictions of various deities, adding to its divine grandeur.

One day in Melkote

Ancient inscriptions in Old Kannada, dating back nearly a millennium, adorn the temple walls, offering glimpses into its storied past. References to the deity as “Ramapriya” and mentions of the illustrious Wodeyar dynasty, who ruled Mysore for over five centuries, further enrich the temple’s historical tapestry.

Inscriptions at Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple
Inscriptions in Old Kannada at Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple

Notably, the temple’s most prized treasures, including the renowned Vairamudi (Vajramukuta) and Krishnaraja-mudi crowns, were generously bestowed by the benevolent Mysore King Raja Wodeyar, symbolizing the enduring bond between royalty and divinity.

Vairamudi Brahmotsava

The Vairamudi Brahmotsava stands as an annual highlight in the vibrant calendar of Melkote. Central to this grand celebration is the revered Vairamudi, also known as Vajramukuta, a splendid crown adorned with shimmering diamonds.

Spanning over 13 days, typically during the balmy months of March or April, this festival enthrals devotees as the deity dons the legendary diamond-studded crown. The culmination of this festive extravaganza is marked by a majestic procession through the streets of Melkote, showcasing the divine splendour to the fervent crowds.

An intriguing facet of the procession is its nocturnal nature, with locals firmly believing that the crown must be shielded from the sun’s rays. In a solemn tradition, even the head priest refrains from gazing upon the crown with unaided eyes until it is placed upon the deity. Consequently, the priest veils his eyes with a cloth while bestowing the crown upon the Lord, ensuring the sanctity of this revered ritual.

How to Get to the Sri Cheluvanaraya Swamy Temple?

Situated in the quaint town of Melkote within Karnataka, the Sri Cheluvanaraya Swamy Temple beckons pilgrims and travellers alike. Accessible from Bangalore, the bustling capital city, Melkote is approximately 150 kilometres away.

  • By Air – For those preferring air travel, the closest airport is in Mysore, though it’s worth noting that not all airlines serve this smaller airport. From Mysore Airport, the temple is approximately 69 kilometres away.
  • By Road – Alternatively, the road journey from Bangalore to Melkote takes approximately three hours, traversing towards Mysore. En route, travellers can also explore the rare Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple in Channapatna, which is dedicated to Bala Krishna.
  • By Public Transport
    • Train – For those relying on public transportation, Pandavapura railway station serves as the nearest train hub, located about 25 kilometres from Melkote. Refer to the IRCTC website.
    • Bus – Additionally, numerous buses ply between Bangalore and Mandya, with Mandya situated roughly 40 kilometres from Melkote. Opting for Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses is advisable for seamless travel.
  • By Taxis – Travelers seeking convenience can also opt for outstation taxis, readily available for booking through taxi providers or online platforms like MakeMyTrip. A round trip from Bangalore, including an eight-hour journey, typically costs around INR 4500. Extending the journey to include nearby attractions such as Mysore can transform the visit into a delightful weekend getaway.

Visitor Information

  • The Sri Cheluvanaraya Swamy Temple observes varying opening hours throughout the week:
  • Weekdays:
    • Morning: 7:30 AM to 1 PM
    • Evening: 4 PM to 6 PM
    • Night: 7 PM to 8 PM
  • Weekends:
    • Afternoon: 3:30 PM to 6 PM
  • Entry to the temple is free of charge. However, for those seeking a swift darshan experience, an express fast darshan ticket is available at just INR 50 per person, purchasable near the temple gate.
  • As a place of worship, visitors are requested to dress modestly and remove footwear before entering the premises. Photography is prohibited inside the main sanctum (Garbagruha), where the deities reside.
  • Outside the temple, local street vendors offer a variety of delicious delicacies, with the tangy Puliogre (tamarind chutney) being a must-try.
  • Please exercise caution with personal belongings, as the temple vicinity is home to several monkeys.
Vendors at Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple
Street vendors

Closing Notes

Undoubtedly, the Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple is one of the most captivating architectural marvels I’ve encountered in Karnataka. Its mesmerizing design left me spellbound during my visit. Exploring both the temple and the charming town of Melkote was an absolute delight, and I wholeheartedly recommend anyone exploring Karnataka to dedicate a day to experiencing the enchantment of Melkote.

Also, Read Sree Someshwara Temple at Shivanasamudra

Have you had the opportunity to visit the Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple? I’d love to hear about your experience. Feel free to share your thoughts by reaching out to me at

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Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, Deity Worshipped by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, Deity Worshipped by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna

    PIN for later reference - Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, Deity Worshipped by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna
    PIN for later reference – Sri Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, Deity Worshipped by Lord Rama and Lord Krishna