A Day Trip to Melukote

The beautiful temple town of Melukote is situated in Pandavapura Taluk of Mandya District in Karnataka. From intricately designed temples to man made ponds, short hikes to delicious cuisine, Melukote offers you a wide range of things to experience. It is an interesting day trip from Bangalore or Mysore. So follow through, to plan your day trip to this incredible ancient town. 



In the 12th century, Saint Ramanujacharya settled here for 14 years. Thus, Melukote became a centre of Srivaishnavism. Iyengar Brahmins in great number moved into the town.

It is believed that a jain king who ruled here had two daughters, one of whom was terribly ill. Ramanujachar took her to Thonnur lake and cured her. As a gratitude, the King offered him gold and wealth. But instead, Ramanjacharya asked him to follow his Vishnava principles and convert to a Vishnava king. The king was renamed as Vishnuvardhana. Ramanujacharya stayed there for several years and preached his new followers. Most of the temples where built around this time.  

How To Get There

Melukote is about 51 km from Mysore and 133 km from Bangalore. To reach there on public transport, board a Government run KSRTC bus from Bangalore to Mysore and get off at Mandya and take a local bus to Melukote. 

If you are driving your vehicle, take a right deviation soon after Mandya town. Google maps should guide you pretty easily. 

Places to See

Yoganarasimha temple  

As soon as you enter the town, there is a left deviation that leads to Yoganarasimha temple that stands tall on top of a hill. You can choose to walk all of 1000 steps, or drive up to midway and then walk. I suggest the later as this climb is steep. The main shrine houses an idol of Lord Narasimha in meditation. The top of the hill also bestows some great views of the surrounding villages and fields. Temple timings – 7am - 1pm , 5pm - 8:30 pm.

Kalyani / Pushkarani 

Just below the hill, is the neatly built Pushkarini. Relax a bit by the temple pond and take a holy dip if you are a believer. 

Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple 

Next, visit the main temple of Melukote. Enjoy the sight of beautifully carved idol of Cheluvanarayana Swamy and the interesting architecture of the temple itself with wide verandas held by intricately designed pillars. The temple is open from 12am - 1pm and 4pm - 8pm. If you are in the place post 1pm, make sure to cover the other places which are open all day. 

Local Cuisine  

Melukote is popular for its cuisine; specially that of Iyengar Brahmins. There are a lot of restaurants selling local delicacies.  No matter what time of the day it is, you can always enjoy some tasty Puliogre (Tamarind rice), Sweet Pongal (Sweetened rice) and Sheera Anna (Rice boiled in thick milk, sugar and dry fruits). Subbana Mess is one of the popular places to eat at. 

Akka Thangi Kola 

After you have had a taste of the delicious Melukote cuisine, head straight to the twin ponds which is located behind the Chennakeshava temple. It is believed that water in one of these ponds is salty and the other, sweet. 

Raya Dwara 

Just above the twin ponds on a small hill is the Raya Dwara. Raya Dwara or Raja Dwara is a grand entrance that never got completed. Myth has it that the King wanted an entrance built within a night. But as the sun’s first ray fell on the incomplete masterpiece, the time was up and so it remains until this day. 

Sanskrit Academy 

Close to Raya Dwara is the Sanskrit Academy. The library has a wide collection of oldest scriptures.

Danush Koti 

Drive ahead about 1.5km on the same road to reach Danush Koti. This does involve a short walk of around a kilometre. It is believed that that crack on the rock was created by Lord Rama’s arrow. A natural spring through this opening keeps the water filled. The location bestows some great views of the fields and villages below. 

If you have spent a good amount of time exploring the town and still have some time left, then here are some of the other places you can fit into your day-trip. 

Other Attractions Near Melukote

Melukote by itself may be a little over a half-day trip. Therefore, you can fit in a few other places on your trip. Enjoy a sunset at Thonnur Lake (13km). Make sure to visit Thondanoor near the lake, that houses two beautiful ancient temples - Sri Nambinarayana Swamy Temple, Sri Gopalakrihsna Swamy Temple.  You can also choose to drive to Nagamangala (27km), a small town famous for its Saumyakeshava temple built by the Hoysalas.  

If you have decided to head north from Melukote, visit Maleshwara temple at Aghalya (25km) on your way to Shravanbelagola (34km). At Shravanabelagola, trek a small hill to witness the world’s tallest monolithic statue. 

Mandya district of Karnataka is known for its sugarcane farms and it is also called the Sugar city. So, make sure to stop at the fields and interact with the villagers. You will also come across several local jaggery manufacturing units on your way. Visit one of them and buy some fresh jaggery and sugar cane juice for a reasonable price. 

Trip Plans

Wondering how to fit in all these places in your day trip? Worry not! Here are two driving routes for you. 

Route A - Bangalore - Melukote – Malleshwara temple – Shravanbelgola - Bangalore.

Route B -  Bangalore - Melukote – Thondanoor - Thannur Lake - Bangalore.