The sleepy town of Melkote comes alive during the annual Vairamudi Brahmotsava when the deity of the hill shrine Lord Vishnu is adorned with the legendary diamond-studded crown embedded with precious gems. Legend has it the crown has been brought by Garuda (Lord Vishnu’s vehicle) which is adorned on the festive image of the beautiful deity Cheluvanarayana, flanked by Sridevi and Bhudevi. This night-long event, which is part of the 10- day Vairamudi Brahmotsava festival is witnessed by thousands of devotees.
Highlights of Vairamudi Brahmotsava Festival
- Garudotsava: Celebrated a day prior to Brahmotsava.
- Diamond studded crown: Vairamudi or diamond studded crown is the centre of attraction during the Vairamudi festival. The diamond crown is secured in a nearby city during the rest of the year and is brought to Melukote under heavy security during festival season. Crown will be mounted on top of the statue of Lord Cheluva Narayana Swamy.
- Procession: Rathotsava or Car Festival is the major component of Vairamudi festival.
- Daily celebrations: Teppotsava: Boat (coracle) festival, Nagavalli Mahotsava (prayer to snake god) and Gajendra Moksha (Prayers to elephant god) are some of the several activities held during the 13 day Vairamudi festival.
Nearby: KRS Dam (36 kms), Shravanabelagola (35 kms), Srirangapattana (38 kms), Ranganathittu bird sanctuary (41 kms) are some of the nearby attractions to visit along with Melukote.
How to reach? Melukote is 150 kms from Bengaluru. Mysuru airport is 61 kms away. Mandya (40 kms) is the nearest railway station. Private buses are available from Mandya and Mysuru to reach Melukote.
Stay: Nearby towns of Mandya and Srirangapatna (both about 40 kms from Melukote) have budget and mid range hotels. More options are available at Mysuru city (55 kms)