Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ambegal Krishna @ Doddamallur

The Bangalore – Mysore route is one of my most travelled route. I love traveling this route by road and stopping at all those lovely river bank villages. Some of the towns are very popular like Ramnagram( silk city and also this is the famous Sholay’s Rampur) . chennapatna( toy city) , Mandya( sugar city), Maddur( famous for maddur vada), Bidadi( famous for thatte idli), T-narsipura( famous for sericulture and the looms of famous mysore silk).  I can go on and on about kokrebellur, ranganathittu, Sririrangapattana, Balmuri, Edimuri falls, KRS, etc. Some of the villages like T.Narsipura, malavalli, somanathpura still retain the old world charm and it feels nice to see those old kutcha houses with mildew/ mud walls, vegetable patches, paddy fields, people talking under trees or charpoy, by the river canals, children playing with old tyres etc. The innocent villagers also wave to you when you pass by and I too wave back. It gives a warm fuzzy feeling when I travel through such villages where people are'nt in a hurry. This route also has some of the ancient temples some of which are famous and some unsung and crying for upkeep.

                                                             River cauvery at Balmuri falls

It was to one such village after Channapatna that I visited during the may gone by. I was on my way to Balmuri near Mysore , enroute I took a detour 3 kms from Mysore road at channapatna to visit Doddamallur on the banks of River Kanva.

Passing through a kutcha road of swaying palms took me to a temple of Lord Krishna. The temple is not very famous but is very ancient and has a rich history. The main deity of the temple is Aprameya swamy(Lord Rama) but the temple is also known as Navaneeta Krishna temple or mostly as Ambegal Krishna temple( love the sound of ambegal). Ambegal in kannada means crawling so this is one of those few temples where the lord is found in that posture and also holds a ball of butter. (navaneeta)

Like any other ancient temple there is no dearth of legends and faith surrounding the temple. The 3000 year old temple is said to have been built by Chola kings. But more than the history and the legends about the temple, I want to share my state of mind that i experienced at the temple.

There are a few places where you can feel and sense God's subtle and tangible presence. The moment I stepped inside, past the massive wooden doors of the temple, I was cloaked with a sense of tranquility. The temple was not well maintained and I could find the huge corridors around the temple being used as a godown for scraps and iron bars. But beyond all that , the pillars, the seasoned granite flooring, the idols of the god , the sublime lighting of the oil lamps , the smell of tulsi, karpooram all gave me a sense of peace and contentment. For me only a few temples have such an aura around them.

Although not religious, i am  spiritual and so could sense the vibes of the place.   I  deeply inhaled and focused my attention on my breath( i was taught this breathing art in my yoga class). This is a practice i follow when i am feeling low or disappointed, a sense of calm descends on me and here the ancient ambience and the vibrations of the temple added to it. I could feel God's magical presence here.

During the aarti of the main deity Aprameya swami, the hereditary priest told us the legend behind the temple in the Mysore dialect of tamil. The temples were built by Chola kings and the temple foundation rests on sand and not on solid foundation. Infact, contrary to many stories about the town, his version went that the town’s name Mallur is from “Maralur” meaning land of sand in kannada. He also said, there were no funds allocated for the temple although the temple is a protected monument and his salary was a mere 3000 Rs and he stuck to the job due to the hereditary post.

After the aarti and prasadam, we went around the temple praharam where the carved pillars, walls and corridors smelt and felt ancient. The ambience  around the main mantapam  charmingly throws you back in time.
                                                (pc: google,) i was not allowed to click pic of the deity

At the Ambegal krishna sannidhi, i couldn't take my eyes off the cute little god in crawling position. A master piece in black stone which the purohit said is not seen elsewhere. Said to be installed by sage veda vyasa himself, the lord adorned with waistband, amulets, anklets and chains all carved in black stone holds a ball of butter in his hand. So calming and inspiring is the influence, that it influenced Purandaradasa to compose a song on the lord. For those of you who know or follow classical carnatic music, This idol was the inspiration for the famous purandara dasa kriti - "Jagodadarana adisidale yashode". It was here in this temple in front of the above lord, the kriti was composed by the composer.

A story goes that one of the Wodeyar king of Mysore was so besotted by the idol and had it displaced to his palace in mysore. Lord Krishna not pleased with the displacement is appeared to have said in his dreams to put him back at his original place in Mallur. The King ignored the dream and the very next day, the palace is said to have been on fire. The King immediately took his dream seriously and put the idol back in Mallur.

Another legend says that Lord Rama stayed here and conducted rituals and pooja and so this is also called Dakshina Ayodhya and so the the main deity is called Sriramaaprameya.

The tall and beautiful rajagopuram built in dravidian style( the way to the gopuram)

The base of the deepa sthambam 

The antique door of  the  maha dwaram about 30 feet high

Garuda vahanam taken during procession

Lord Hanuman

the corridors around the temple housing the remaining gods. 

The tulsi brindavan beside the main deity gopuram

The corridor beside is the one which houses the ambegal krishna 

Dasaavataram adorn the side walls of the gopuram 

                                                                And this board speaks


  1. The Aprameya Krishna temple is so beautiful. We visited last year. :) I arrived on your blog when I looked for "Uriyadi", Asha. Varagur is our native place and our family is one of the families that looks after the temple's upkeep. :) I'll be back to explore your blog more. So nice to "meet" you!

    1. Glad to know your varagur connection, Vidya. Hope to see you around:)

  2. Thanks for the nice travelogue and for the beautiful photos. Congratulations on your 300th post. Looking forward to the next 3000 posts.

    1. you noticed the mention of 300 SG? Thanks so much.

  3. Pretty good trimmed travelogue I must say.
    That route is wonderful after the rains.

    1. yes, this route throws fabulous sights after the rains especially balmuri falls.

  4. Wonderful Post Asha! Thank You! I really appreciate all the informations you are providing in your blog posts. I recently discovered your blog and have read a few posts. Keep up the good work and Thank You again.


    1. Thank you Veena, Glad you find them so:)