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Doddamallur Krishna Temple: Iconography, Architecture, Legends, History And Significance

At a distance of about 60 km from Bangalore about a mile away from Channapatna, on the Mysore - Bangalore Highway one can spot the tall tower of this famous Aprameya temple beckoning you to experience his magical touch in your life. Travelling a few yards of distance ahead, one can surely reach the temple of Ambegal Krishna who is residing with Lord Aprameya and consort Aravindavalli, on the same premises.

Welcome to Malur, the abode of Navaneetha Krishna who is well known to bless the childless with progeny however difficult your case may seem. Many senior and experienced astrologers recommend this place as the first choice to pray for conception. The ambience is spiritual and the temple complex evokes a sense of piety and wonder in any casual onlooker. Read on to know more.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: Iconography

The main deity of the temple, Lord Aprameya is made of Saligrama shila. Aprameya means the one who is beyond the confines of measurement, as his mercy is immeasurable. He holds shankha and chakra in his two upper arms, whereas the lower arms carry the Gadha and Padma in the Abhaya Hastam mudra.

The Utsava murthi or the idol taken out for procession is an exact copy of the main god who is flanked by Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi on either side with an idol of Ramanujacharya as an accompanying Utsava murthi.

Sri Aravindavalli Thayar is present in a separate shrine. She is called Aravindavalli mainly because she seated on a lotus flower. She is four armed with her upper two hands holding lotuses and the other two in varadha and Abhaya hasta postures. Idols of Andal and Sri Deshikan are also found in the same sanctum.

The Navaneetha Krishna or the baby Krishna idol in the Prakaram part of the temple, is the real crowd puller here. He is enshrined separately and is seen in a crawling posture that endears him to every onlooker. Installed by Sage Vyasa, as per the legends, he holds butter in his right and wears a lot of jewellery that brings him closer to the heart of the devotees.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: Architecture

Built on sand, this temple has a towering Dravidian style Raja gopuram with Dasavatara, sculptures etched along the side walls. The Maha dwaram or the main entrance is 30 feet high. A monolithic tall Deepa stambham is positioned directly opposite to the Mahadwaram, competing with it in height.

Outside the Rajagopuram, we have the Purandaradasa Mantapam, which is the place that inspired Purandara dasa to sing "Jagado ddharana Adisidalu Yashoda" which immortalized his love for Krishna and Krishna's incomparable response towards him, for posterity. It is during the Brahmotsavam conducted in April/May that the sun rays during dawn, directly touch the sanctum of Lord Aprameya.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: Legends Associated With This Temple

a. Krishna And The Rich Woman

A rich woman, belonging to Bhadrachalam, lost her vision on the banks of river Godavari. She had a dream on the same day in which she saw the Navaneetha Krishna of Mallur asking her to visit Mallur for gratifying her wish. She visited Mallur and praying day and night, her eyesight was restored. Then she gave up her material life and all comforts for the worship of Lord Krishna. She made Mallur her home and led an austere life, subsisting on alms, and the money that she saved was spent on adorning Lord Krishna. When he tested her devotion by asking her for jewels, she got them done and submitted them to him. She was behind the renovation of the Garbha Griham, Maha Dwaram, etc. Finally, one day she attained his feet.

b. Maharaja Of Mysore And Lord Aprameya

In another interesting incident, that occurred about 130 years ago, in the case of Maharaja of Mysore, who had come on a visit to Malur, the Raja, smitten with Lord Krishna's looks, took his archa vigraha (the idol in the sanctum that is worshipped) to his city. He had a dream the same night, of a fierce looking Bal Krishna asking him to take him back to Mallur which the Raja did not pay heed to. Consequently, the palace was partially destroyed in an accidental fire that broke out. Realizing his folly, Maharaja restored Krishna's idol back to Mallur.

c. Sound Of The Bells At Night

According to local belief, the Rishis Kanva and Kapila still now reside here in the premises. It is a common experience for people, once it is locked in the night after artha jama, you can still get to hear the sound of the door opening in Garbha gruha and ringing of temple bells.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: History

The 3000 year old Sri Aprameya swamy Temple is known to have existed much before Ramanujacharya stepped in to spread his tenets, as per a written document that mentions that a deepa kainkaryam ( lighting nanda deepa) was performed in the year 980. The Lord of this place was worshipped by Sri Jayatheertha, Sri Ramanujacharya, and Sri Yagnavalkya Maharishi. Some legends say that it was built in the 11th century by Rajendra simha, a Chola prince, son of king Parantaka I (r. 907-955). .

According to the legend, Lord Rama is believed to have stayed here in which time, he had worshipped the resident deity, Lord Aprameya. Since Lord Rama stepped in here it acquired the title of Dakshin Ayodhya and the deity was called Ramaprameya. Some yagnya structures remain, as evidence to prove that Lord Rama conducted Yagas here, as mentioned in the local legends. Lord Aprameya finds a mention in the 12 chapters of kshetram Mahatmiyam Kandam of Brahmanda Purana.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: Significance

In case you have lost all hopes for getting child, he is the God to go to, to realize your 'infantile' dreams. Soon after the devotees conceive, in gratitude to the God, they come here and tie silver and wooden cradles in the sannidhi and there is a long list of such cradles in the area, the beautiful dangling testimonies to Lord Krishna's helpful favours during troubled times.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: Other Deities

There are many sannidhis (holy place) or sanctums in the temple, the chief presiding deity being Sri Ramapreya Swamy. The other sannidhis are that of Sri Aravindhavalli Thayar, Sri Navaneetha Krishna, Sri Vaikuntanatha swami, Alwars, Sri Ramanuja, Sri Koorathazhwar, Sri Vedantha Desika, Sri Pillai Lokacharya, and Sri Manavala Mamuni. Apart from this, you have venugopala sannidhi, Anandavalli Thayar sannidhi and and Rama sannidhi. You can also sight the sannidhi of two gods, Sudarshan and Narasimha merged into one idol which is a rare occurrence to be seen in any temple.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: Punya Theerthams Nearby

To the east of this place, flows the Kanva river. There is a widespread belief that a holy dip in these waters will rid one of his pancha maha patakas (five most lethal sins) and cures stomach ailments. On the southwest of the temple, you can see the Shambhu Theertham, on the northwestern, there is a well whose water tastes sweet and hence used for thirumanjanam, tirtha prasada, and naivedyam. Vishnu Theertham is also in the Northwestern side. Here is where Goddess Mahalaxmi is believed to have been born on a lotus and hence it is also called kamala teertham. To the Northwest there is Brahma theertham.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: Festivals

Mallur has festivities lined up for every month like the Brahmotsavam which is famous for a significant occurrence. On the Rathotsavam day, local muslim families donate cardamoms, cloves and perfume to the Lord. During Brahmotsavam, pilgrims are provided food the entire day free of cost. Then there is the Dolotsavam that goes on for five days in June July. Tiruvadippooram or Andal Jauanti is also celebrated for 7 days. Sri Krishna Janmashtami in August September is celebrated with pomp. Pavithrotsavam is conducted for four days in September. Rest of the national festivals are all celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: Why Is It Called Mallur?

The place was earlier known as Mullaithoor. Once upon a time the king Sarangadhara's limbs were cut off by his enemies during a war, and thrown in a river. Suffering intense pain, the king, crawled towards the Aprameya temple here and prayed for mercy as a result of which his limbs were restored to original shape. Since the limbs grew it was justifiably called" MULAITHOOR" in Tamil and gradually it came to be called Mallur.

Doddamallur Krishna Temple: How to reach Doddamallur?

Dodda Mallur is well connected by rail, road and air. Trains in considerable numbers commute from Bangalore to Mysore with a stopover at Channapatna. You could then ply to the temple by autos. Plenty of buses also go through this route. Taxi services are also available. The nearest airport is the Bangalore International airport.

Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Boldsky does not believe in or endorse any superstitions.

Image sources: Wikimedia Commons

Story first published: Saturday, August 27, 2022, 12:05 [IST]
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