Monday, 4 July 2016

Sri Ramaprameya Swamy and Ambegalu Krishna temple, Dodda Mallur, Karnataka

The Bangalore-Mysore highway has a lot of interesting temples and places to see. Dodda Mallur is one such village, in Channapatna taluk, that hosts the famous Sri Ramaprameya Swamy and Ambegalu Krishna temple. The village is about 60 kms from Bangalore, and is located on the banks of the river Kanva, which has a dam few kilometers away.

We have been to this temple several times, and each visit is different. The temple is easy to locate. While driving on the highway, towards the end of Channapatna, you can see the temple entrance arch on your left-hand side. There is ample parking space available; Rs. 10 is collected as parking charges. The temple timings are 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM IST, and 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM IST.

This Vijayanagara-style temple/idol is said to be about 1500 years old, and the temple complex was built by Chola emporer Rajendra (4th century). The monolithic Dhwajasthamba is beautiful. It is said that Lord Rama himself to have stayed here; therefore, called Daskshina Ayodhya and the idol called Ramaprameya. Several sages too have stayed/visited this temple and composed songs in praise of the Gods.

The deity in the main sanctum is Lord Ramaprameya. The idol has been craved from Saligrama stone, holding Shanka, Chakra, Gada, and Padma in four hands. Don't forget to see the Utsava Murthy of this God! A walk towards the left of the main sanctum leads to the temple of Goddess Aravindavalli (Lakshmi), seated on lotus flower.

Continuing further, you see that sanctum of Lord Ambegalu Navaneetha Krishna. The idol is of infant Krishna, (seems to be) crawling towards the onlooker, and rests left hand on the peedham, holds a ball of butter in right hand, and wears Uda Dhaara (a thread made of silver) almost around the waist. sri Purandaradasa is said to have been inspired by this idol, and composed the famous song 'Jagadoddharana Adisidalu Yashodha!' It is believed that couples pray to this god to bestow them with a baby (, preferably a boy!). After the birth of the baby, the couples offer a cradle (made of silver/wood) to the temple, and perform puja or Tula Bhara (in front of the sanctum).

Walking further, you see Lord Vaikunatanath Swamy with His consorts. On the right-side of the Lord Ramaprameya sanctum, you can see the idol of Lord Hanuman. Interesting are the carvings on the pillars of various mantapas. You can see floral designs, chanka, naama, shanka, yaalis, and so on. A few portions of the pillars are left blank; not sure why. Outside the temple, opposite to the main entrance, you can see the Purandaradasa mantapa.

What interests me the most is the temple architecture, sculptures, and carvings. Here are a few photos of the temple complex; kindly note that photography of deities is strictly prohibited. I have tried to explain a few photos; still researching about a few others. If you have any information regarding this place, kindly leave a comment; thanks.

Sri Ramaprameya Swamy temple complex and Purandaradasa Mantapa

Carvings on pillars, within temple complex
Carvings of Hindu Mythical creatures, floral designs, Lord Shivalinga, elephant, and many others can be seen on the pillars. I have never before seen a creature with horse head and bird body; still researching about such a creature. In a Vaishnava temple, you can see carving of Lord Shivalinga; it's a beautiful and unique design. The circular floral designs are unique as well. Also note that almost all mythical creatures hold something in their trunks/beaks, as a symbol of offering to the Lord!

Carvings on pillars, Rathamantapa
This is a beautiful mantapa but neglected beyond comprehension. Various birds have made this mantapa their home, and their droppings have dirtied the mantapa. Some amazing carvings can be seen on the pillars. Lord Vishnu blessing the elephant, standing on the crocodile. Garuda with hands folded. According to my study of other temples, this carving can be Lord Hanuman with a bell, performing puja to the Lord. There are carvings of monkey kings in a combat, Lord Krishna on Kalinga Sarpa, Govardana Giri Dhaari, and Lord Vishnu on Garuda. Totally amazing!

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  1. Excellent post on the temple.
    How do you make such neat collages?

    1. Apologies for my delayed response, Indrani. Picasa was my helpful assistant in making photo collages!