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Monday, September 26 2022
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Pilgrim shrine Melukote decked up for Vairamudi Brahmotsava beginning from Mar 22

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Melukote, one of the famous pilgrim shrines of Karnataka, located amid picturesque surroundings is wearing a festive look. The pilgrim town located in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district is 28 kms away from the town of Mandya and is  3000 feet above sea level.

It is one of the four prominent Vaishnava Kshetras of south India, others being Sriranga, Tirupathi and Kanchipuram. Of the several festivals and events held in this pilgrim shrine every year, the most important is the Vairamudi Brahmotsava of Cheluvarayaswami.

Vairamudi Utsav : Every year the Vairamudi Brahmotsava of Lord Cheluvarayaswami is held either in March or April. This time,  it will be held on March 22. Vairamudi is actually a diamond crown and is believed to be the crown of Lord Narayana and that it was given to Cheluvaraya Swami through Lord Krishna in Dwaparayyga.

Another mythology has it that the crown which was stolen from Vaikunta by a demon called Virochana was retrieved by Garuda by fighting with the demon and he then dedicated the same to Cheluvaraya Swami.

The festival that is being celebrated when this Crown is offered to Cheluvarayaswami is Vairamudi Brahmotsava.Mythology has an interesting story behind this festival.

Those were the days of Tretayuga…  King Dasharatha of Ayodhya had  made all arrangements for the anointment ceremony of  his eldest son Sriramachandra and even fixes an auspicious day which falls on Pushya Nakshatra in Palguna month. But  even before this could be held, Lord Rama had to leave for Vanavas due to the ploy of Kaikeyi. But his brother Lakshman who as deeply disappointed on not being able to see Ramachandra ascend the throne,  in order to fulfill his wish, is born as Ramanuja in Kaliyuga    and  offers Vairamudi to Cheluvarayaswami on Pushya Nakshatra day of the month of Phalguna itself, the day when Rama was to be anointed. The auspicious day is celebrated as Vairamudi Brahmotsava.

Though the diamond crown was in the possession of Mysore royal clan, later it was handed over to the Government and is presently in the government treasury in Mandya. It will be brought to Melukote amid high security for the festival and is taken in a silver palanquin from near the Haumanthana Gudi. On the auspicious day, Cheluvarayaswami is adorned not only by the diamond crown, but also 14 other ornaments including Gandabherunda Padaka, Shankha, Gadhe, Padmapeetha and Karnakundala.

10-day festivities : The ten-day long festivities are marked by various rituals and programmes. On the first day there will be flag hoistingand Garuda Pooja and Gods invited for the function. On this day Cheluvarayaswami can be seen on his Hamsavahana. The second day he will be on Shesha Vahana flanked by Sridevi and Bhoodevi. On the third day he can be seen on a golden palanquin  along with Kalyana Nayaki Amma and will be taken out in aprocession.

The diamond crown is offered on the fourth day,  while there will be Prahlada Pariparalotsav on the fifth day. On this night, Cheluvarayaswami will give darshan to his devotees seated on a golden Garuda. The sixth day festivities will include Gajendra Moksha Alankara and Kudure Mahotsava. On seventh day there will be Maharathotsava and Pallakki Seve and on eighth day there will be Teppotsava. The ninth day festivities include Theertha Snana and Avabhirtha followed by Pattabhisheka. The final day will see Mahabhisheka for Cheluvarayaswami.

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