Home Travel A wonderful visit to the Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple – Navaneetha Krishna in Dodda Mallur

A wonderful visit to the Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple – Navaneetha Krishna in Dodda Mallur

by Vidya Sury August 21, 2012 35 comments
Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple at Dodda Mallur

One of the things on my wish list is to see as many places as possible in India. The rich beauty of our monuments always takes my breath away. This Sunday, 50 of us from our apartment condo hired a luxury coach and went on a picnic to Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple at Mallur, Somanathapura and Talakadu.

Here’s a pic of our bus.

See the open flap at the back? That’s where we carried our food and snacks.

Vidya Sury Coach Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple

We started at 5.45 am. Our itinerary was to visit three places, with breaks for breakfast and lunch. We planned to return home by dinner time. It was a great trip and a fantastic time was had by all. There were lots of children and adults, mostly women. The majority of women were Grandmas.

So once we took off, about fifteen minutes later, we had a sandwich as a stopgap snack until breakfast, as we planned to visit the Sri Aprameya Swamy temple where Aprameya and Baby Krishna are the deities.

A view of the temple from the side

Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple
About the Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple – Navaneetha Krishna Temple

The 11th century Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple was built by King Rajendra Simha of the Chola dynasty on the banks of the Kanva river in Dodda Mallur village, en route to Mysore, around 3 kilometers from Channapatna in Karnataka, India. The riverbed is a major portion of the village, and is also called Maraloor  or Manaloor or Sand City. Later it colloquially became Mallur. It is believed that the temple has no strong foundation since it is built on sand, similar to the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur.

Also read A fabulous trip to  Channapatna

Another story behind the name Mallur

Legend has it that in a battle, King Sarangadhara’s limbs were chopped off by his enemies and he was thrown into the Kanva River, which flowed near Mallur. Even though he was in pain, the king kept chanting the holy names of Narayana and reached the Sri Aprameya Swamy temple. When he stood before the deity, his limbs grew back. In Tamil, “mulaithuru” is to grow and the place came to be known as Mulaithuru. Gradually it became Mallur.

Temple architecture

The architecture is Dravidian style. The five-tiered Raja Gopura depicts the epic Dashavatara. The main entrance of the temple is about 30 feet high, with a tall deepa sthamba or pole in front, made of a single stone. The temple is built in such a way that for part of the year the sun’s rays at sunrise fall directly on the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Aprameya Swamy.

How did the temple get its name?

The temple gets its name after the Chola general, Aprameya. Other names for the temple are Sri Ramaprameya Temple, Sri Ambegalu Temple and Navaneetha Krishna Temple.

Also known as the Ayodhya of the south or Dakshina Ayodhya, Chaturveda Mangalapura, the main temple’s deity is Lord Aprameya in the sanctum, with four arms. The upper hands hold the Panchajanya conch and Sudarshana chakra, and the lower hands hold the Kaumodaki mace and Padma (lotus). The idol of Sri Aprameya Swamy is made from saligrama shila. ‘Prameya’ means measurable. ‘Apremaya’ means one who is immeasurable, namely, Vishnu.

There are separate sanctums for Mahalakshmi or Aravindavalli, Navaneetha Krishna, Vaikuntha Narayana Swamy in the temple.

Ambegalu Navaneetha  Krishna

Navaneetha krishnaThe charming baby Krishna’s idol is said to have been established there by Sage Vyasa. Ambegalu Navaneeta Krishna is in the crawling position with butter in hand. It is believed that this is the only temple with Krishna in this pose. (ambegalu means crawling). Childless couples pray for children and offer silver swings to Navaneeta Krishna when their wishes come true. The idol of Navaneetha Krishna is enchanting and adorned with jewelry.

The legend goes that Sri Rama stayed here, and worshipped the deity.

Other info:

  • The temple is roughly 60 kilometers from Bangalore city and accessible by bus and train. From Channapatna, it is an easy autorickshaw ride. You can also get private vehicles.
  • You can also club a visit to Channapatna with the temple as it is just 3 km from here.
  • The temple is open daily from 8 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Entry is free, but you can cuddle the baby Krishna for a fee.
  • Rest rooms are available at the side of the temple.
  • The nearest airport is Bangalore airport and the nearest railway stations are Bangalore railway station and Mysore railway station.

The Temple’s entrance

Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple entry

Inside the temple – these are the “vehicles” of the deity – there is a sort of celestial garage with elephants and horses, too.

Vidya Sury The Vehicles Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple

A Yali – a mythical creature

Vidya Sury Yali Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple

An elephant

Vidya Sury Elephant Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple

As soon as we entered the temple, this solid brass snake was on the right representing Adisesha, Lord Vishnu’s erm….bed. He reclines on the snake with the head of the snake protecting him. Krishna is an avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Vidya Sury Adiseshan Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple

On the left was this solid brass (or copper?) Garuda – another of Vishnu’s vehicles.

Vidya Sury Garuda Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple

Outside, there were lots of shops selling these. I bought copper and brass bracelets and a set of wooden bangles.

Vidya Sury Shop Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple

I found this very interesting twisted tree trunk outside.

Vidya Sury Tree Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple

After we left the temple we looked for a place to park and have breakfast. And had it in this lovely coconut grove. We spread our mats. Got the food out and distributed it in paper plates and dug in.

What fun we had on the bus! En route to the temple, we had a lot of song and dance. I tell you, it is hard to jump and make those dance moves in a moving bus! But the highlight of the morning was playing this song at full blast and dancing to it. I was amazed at the enthusiasm of the Grandmas – they rocked the floor – er…I mean – the aisle with their moves. Go on – crank up your own volume and listen to this – it is one of the hottest songs in Bollywood and what is termed as an “item” number.

After breakfast, we set out to visit Somanathapura from where we headed to Talakadu. Fascinating places with a lovely story behind them. I’ll post the next set of pictures on Thursday. So see you then!

And now, I am off to Unknown Mami’s to see where the others linking up to this Sunday In My City linky are taking me.

Have a great week ahead!

Featured image of the Sri Aprameya Swamy Temple credit: Kiranravikumar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Betsy at Zen Mama August 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm

You painted a beautiful picture with your writing Vidya! I felt like I was you as your toured the temple and had the picnic. And now as I write this comment I’m listening to the music that rocked the bus and I’m imagining all the grandmas rocked the aisles. Just out of a movie! Not a movie made in the US either. Sounds so fun!!!

Thank for this great start to my morning!

Vidya Sury August 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm

🙂 We had a lovely time, Betsy. Do come back on Thursday – I’ll be posting photos of the temple we saw at Somanathapura. Breathtaking. I couldn’t get enough of it.

It is a specialty of the women in our building. There’s a lesson there. 😀 Hugs!

My Inner Chick August 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Your passion of life is beautiful. I love that you want to see, observe & do everything.

You are an angel on earth.

Fabulous song. I am dancing now.

I love all things Indian!!

Luv U Xxxx

Vidya Sury August 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Isn’t it a fun song, Kim? 😀 I am glad you’re dancing. I listen to a whole bunch of these and love them! Hugs, am glad you’re here to share it with me!

Zephyr August 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm

You do seem to have had a great day and also seem to have enjoyed the grandmas’ capers on the bus and off it. Waiting for more of the picnic. 🙂

Vidya Sury August 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Such great fun, Zephyr. Very enjoyable day! 😀 I’ll be posting again on Thursday – with the Somanathapura photos. :D. If you had come along we could have talked nonstop 😀

Harleena Singh August 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Seems like you had a wonderful time Vidya!I do remember the picnics we had as kids, or when we were in college, though it all took a back seat after marriage.But it must be so much fun to be with people your age or even Grandmas as enthusiastic as you mentioned. 🙂 Guess they really had a great time – as they all look so happy in the last picture.Thanks for sharing more about yourself with us, and I always do love the way you manage to capture such beautiful pictures on your trips. 🙂

Vidya Sury August 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Harleena! We are a diverse age group. In fact, during this picnic, I spent most of my time with a 76-year old lady who was fun to be with.

I know how picnics take a backseat…in fact this is why we arrange this every year at least once. Great memories . I remember the first picnic, when we moved into the apartment 12 years ago 🙂 A monkey jumped at me and scratched my hand!

Thank you for dropping by!

carolynhughesthehurthealer August 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm

What a fun trip! I wish I could have come too!

Vidya Sury August 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Oh Carolyn, I wish you could have come too! Hugs!

Keetha Broyles August 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

What a great idea to go together to hire a bus for a sightseeing day. Who organized this trip?

Vidya Sury August 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

We have a Youth Club in our condo – we are all members. 🙂 We organize activities for children and adults and celebrate every festival together with some program. This was our annual picnic, Keetha. Sometimes we have two. We also have a grand New Year’s Eve party every year. 😀 Oh, I tell you, I am in love with the elderly ladies in our building. They speak fantastic idiomatic English, are broad-minded and ultra cool.

elle August 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm

What a great trip Vidya. I love your pics and learning more about your beautiful country. How great to make such fun memories every year.
I can’t wait for my first visit and I’ve got all your ideas in my memory bank!
Love Elle

Vidya Sury August 23, 2012 at 4:13 am

🙂 Yes! Elle! Do visit! We had so much fun!

Hajra August 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm

LOL! I can’t help but laugh at how wonderfully you put Sheila ki Jawani in there! Personally, I think the song is outrageous; I don’t know why it is such a hit!

As for the trip, I have to visit Bangalore some day!

Vidya Sury August 23, 2012 at 4:14 am

Like it or not, Hajra, the song is so catchy and just makes you move your feet. Item numbers are like that! 😀 and are all outrageous! Still, so much fun.

Yes, you MUST visit. I seem to recall you have a friend (or two :-)) here.

Pattu Raj August 22, 2012 at 2:44 am

Lovely Krishna Vidya. You really enjoy life !Thanks for sharing.

Vidya Sury August 23, 2012 at 4:15 am

Thank you, Pattu! 😀

Terri Sonoda August 22, 2012 at 3:18 am

Wow it really did look like you had ‘one sweet day’ for sure! I would loved to have been on that bus with you, my friend. It would have been such a treat. Thanks for sharing this day with us. XOXOs

Vidya Sury August 23, 2012 at 4:16 am

It was such a great break, Terri! Yes, you would have really enjoyed the day – and I did think of you a lot. Hugs. I hope, some day. 🙂 Love you.

Vishnu August 22, 2012 at 6:15 am

Thanks for sharing these photos as usual Vidya. Sounds like a fun outing and a close neighborhood if 50 of your neighbors went along with you. So many times we forget to see what’s right around our own neighborhoods and country! Glad you’re making an effort to see the local scenes which look rich and vibrant.

Crawling Krisha and the snake photo are my favs this week:)

Vidya Sury August 23, 2012 at 4:18 am

🙂 The key is to look, Vishnu. We enjoy our community. You know, the first thought that jumped into my head when I saw that brass snake and Garuda was – imagine cleaning them! Yikes. But when a festival is around the corner, they go at it quite dedicated – and have them shining like gold. Then they place the deity on them.

Thank you for being here today, Vishnu!

Pamela August 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Sounds like a great trip, Vidya! The pictures are lovely!

Vidya Sury August 23, 2012 at 4:18 am

Yes, Pamela! Loads of fun, laughter and food!

Bill Dorman August 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I think it’s cool you could even get a group of people together from your apartment to do this.

The pics were great; is there any symbolism in the elephant’s tusks being cut off and red on the stumps?

Vidya Sury August 23, 2012 at 4:23 am

We do it every year, Bill 🙂 We have an informal “Youth Club” where everyone is a member. We celebrate all the kids’ birthdays on a designated day with a massive cake :D. Then there are year round activities, competitions, sports events and festival celebrations that we organize. Love it.

🙂 So when it comes to picnics, everyone is ready to go!

I don’t think there’s any significance with the elephant’s tusks being cut off – this must be just the way they made it.

But – there is significance in the elephant God, Ganesha’s broken tusk. Mythology has it that he broke it off to be Sage Vyasa’s scribe when he dictated the epic “Mahabharata” to him 😀 It is a neat story.

Hugs – love to have you here!

Rahul Bhatia August 23, 2012 at 7:19 am

A lovely picnic you had Vidya and thanks for sharing those lovely pictures:0

Vidya Sury August 25, 2012 at 11:50 am

Thank you Rahul!

Unknown Mami August 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Brilliant idea. Great way to bond and see the lovely sights. Great way to build a sense of community too.

Vidya Sury August 25, 2012 at 11:51 am

You know, I love how everyone forgets their regular bickering and just has fun when we go out! 🙂

Mayura De Silva August 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

Hi Vidya,

Seems you had great time with those Grandmas 🙂 Nice trip and more of religious, no? When I go through, I couldn’t find ya in that photo with mats. Are you in there?

The elephant and horse – are they vehicles of your gods? 🙂 Here in our country have some Hindu temples and I remember seeing horse, but not elephant.


Vidya Sury August 25, 2012 at 11:53 am

🙂 Yeah, we had a good time, Mayura. Hard to believe the “Grandmas” were so rocking – but then I’ve known them for more than ten years now.

No – I am not in any of those photos. 🙂 I was behind the camera!

While some Gods have specific animals as vehicles, I think in most temples they just have what they like. I’ve seen a camel in a Hanuman Temple – and I believe there’s a story there.

Great to see you here! 🙂

Mary Carol August 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Thank you for sharing a beautiful slice of India, Vidya! I love your blog!


Mary Carol

Vidya Sury August 25, 2012 at 11:53 am

Welcome, Mary! 🙂 I am happy for your presence here today! I do hope you’ll visit again! Love, Vidya

vanita September 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

that explains why old guyanese grandmas can rock better than the young girls, it’s a cultural thing sewn into them from the “old country” lol. great pics vidya. thank you for sharing sister. i truly hope to one day travel to your neck of the woods. world.


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