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.
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
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.
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.
The 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.
- 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
Inside the temple – these are the “vehicles” of the deity – there is a sort of celestial garage with elephants and horses, too.
A Yali – a mythical creature
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.
On the left was this solid brass (or copper?) Garuda – another of Vishnu’s vehicles.
Outside, there were lots of shops selling these. I bought copper and brass bracelets and a set of wooden bangles.
I found this very interesting twisted tree trunk outside.
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!
Have a great week ahead!