Padmanabho mara prabhuh |
Sthavishtah sthaviro dhruvah||
-Verse from Vishnusahasranama (1000 names of lord Vishnu)
Mallur also known, as Doddamallur is famous for its ancient Sri Aprameya (Vishnu), Sri Rama and Mallur Krishna Temple (Ambegalu Navneetha (crawling Krishna)) temples built and expanded by the Chola king Rajendra Simha. It is a village on the banks of river Kanva in Channapatna taluk, Bangalore rural district. Mallur is 60 Kms from Bangalore and 3 Kms from Channapatna. The temple is conveniently situated beside the Bangalore-Mysore highway.
Picture 1 – Sri Aprameya Temple
The presiding deity is Lord Sri Aprameya (another name of lord Vishnu), and the idol is carved out of the Saligrama stone found in river Gandaki. The idol is in Abhayahastha posture i.e., his two upper arms are holding the Shanka (conch shell) and Chakra (disc) and the lower arms are holding the Gadha (mace) and Hastha (assuring hands).
The utsava murthy (a small replica of the main idol for taking on a procession in a chariot) is placed in the sandalwood Shukanasika Mantapa (pedestal). The idol of lord Aprameya is beautifully bedecked with jewelry. Sridevi and Bhoodevi idols accompany the lord along with the idol of saint Ramanujacharya.
Picture 2 – Sri Aprameya Temple Courtyard
The legend says that Lord Rama stayed in this place and worshipped Lord Aprameya and hence the lord is also known as Sri Ramaprameya. Lord Rama also performed yagnas and homas (elaborate rituals invoking gods through fire) in Mallur and to stand testimony to these events are remnants of the structures where he conducted the yagnas and homas.
The presiding goddess of this place is Aravindavalli. The beautiful idol is placed in a separate enclosure and the divine vibrations felt while watching her glowing face is as though she is blessing you with all her energy.
Picture 3 – Ambegalu Krishna idol
The crawling Krishna idol is adorable with beautiful eyes and butter in his hands. The sight of this idol kindles the maternal instinct in every devotee. Another belief is that barren women are blessed with children if they pray to this Krishna. After they are blessed they come and thank the lord by gifting small cradles to the temple. These can be seen tied to the ceiling above the Krishna idol.
There is also historical evidence that vishishta advaitha saint Sri Ramanujacharya worshipped the lord in the temple during his piligrimage to Karnataka and that the famous composer Sri Purandaradasa was so inspired and ecstatic by seeing Ambegalu Krishna, that he penned the famous song “Jagadoddharana Adisidalu Yashoda”. To commemorate him and his kriti/lyrics there is a Purandaradasa Mantapam facing the Rajagopuram.
Picture4 – Purandaradasa Mantapam
Brahmotsava the annual festival is celebrated in the months of April/May. Surprisingly this huge temple is built on sand and does not have any solid foundation. The temple architecture is built in such a way that the sunrays at sunrise fall directly on the grabhagudi (sanctum sanctorum) of lord Ramaapremeya during April/May.
Prasada / blessed food is served as lunch on weekends and public holidays in the temple premises.
Picture5 – Rama Temple
Few feet away there is another temple dedicated to lord Sri Rama. Here, there is a big hall with 3 separate sanctums. The one in the center is dedicated to lord Rama along with his consort Sita in a sitting posture. Lakshmana is standing to the left of Rama’s idol and Hanuman the loyal companion of Sri Rama is depicted as worshipping lord Rama’s feet.
Picture6 – Lord Rama
To the left of Sri Rama’s sanctum, lord Venugopal’s (Krishna playing the flute) idol is installed. The most striking feature of this idol is of Venugopal with four hands, two of the upper hands are holding the Shanka (conch shell) and Chakra (disc) and the lower hands are holding the flute.
To the right of Sri Rama’s sanctum, lord Sudarshana Lakshmi Narasimha idol is installed. This idol is unique as Lord Sudarshana and Lakshmi Narasimha are depicted together in a single idol. In the Narasimha avatar (form), as Narasimha was not supposed to carry any weapons, Lord Sudarshana becomes a part of Narasimha to assist him in devouring the asuras (demons).
You can also visit Kokkrebellur, which is 20 Kms away from this place.
Type of Place: Ancient Temple
Situated: Bangalore rural district, Channapatna taluk
Distance: 60 Kms from Bangalore, 3 Kms from Channapatna, 80 Kms from Mysore
Transport: Well connected by road and rail; autorikshaws ply between Channapatna and Mallur
Restaurants: Many are available on the main highway
Places to stay: The temple authorities (Muzrai department) make arrangements for staying and food