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LocationMelkote (Mandya District), Karnataka
Altitude900 meters above the sea level
Melkote Temple


Yadavagiri Hills are the last rocky ridges of the Sahayadri ranges and comprise of some of the oldest rock formations on the earth’s crust. The hill is associated with two famous temples – the Tirunarayana temple at the foothill and the hill temple of Yoga Narasimhar.

The place is also known for its association with the Vaishnava saint Sri Ramanujacharya.

Legends and Mythology

According to Hindu mythology, the idol of Vishnu (moolavar) in the Tirunarayana temple was originally worshipped by Lord Brahma. It is believed to have been brought down to earth and installed at Melkote by Brahma’s son, Sanathakumara.

Legend has it that the festival idol (utsavar) of Lord Vishnu was worshipped by Lord Rama himself, who got it from Brahma. In view of Rama’s reverence for the Narayana’s idol, it gained the name ‘Ramapriya’.

The Ramapriya idol was later inherited by Kusha’s daughter Kanakamalini, who was married to a Yadava King. Lord Krishna and Balarama (belonging to Yadava family) inherited this idol in Dwapara yuga. It is believed that they brought the idol to Melkote and installed it in the temple there.

The Yoga Narasimha temple on Yadavagiri is believed by some to have been installed by Prahalada, a great devotee of Lord Vishnu.

Ecological attributes

Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary is located here. The Sanctuary is divided into two blocks – Mudibetta and Narayandurga forests. These forests are dominated by deciduous scrub vegetation. The sanctuary was formed specifically with the aim of protecting the Indian wolf. Cycas circinalis, an endangered gymnosperm is characteristic of this region. The plant has high medicinal value and is also used extensively by florists. Many species of butterflies are also dependent on this plant.

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