You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : December 2000

Re: Melkote Ramapriyan

From: Venkatesh K. Elayavalli (
Date: Thu Dec 14 2000 - 12:05:09 PST

Dear group

The incoident involving the Delhi Sultan is in part true.

Delhi was founded in about 700AD. The first attack from Mhd Ghazni 
started in early part of 1000AD. he however used the invasion and the 
loot collected to replenish his treasury back in Turkey (Central 
Asia). He was more interested in controling the Silk Road and the 
trade via that region. It was his son Mohammud Ghowri who set up the 
occupation in India. 

Remember, Mathura, Dwaraka, Somnath all were the targets of Ghazni. 
There are evidence that some time after 1050AD Ghowri settled in 
Delhi, which was letter under the rule of his associate Qtab-uddin (i 
need to check the name). 

Now back to Ramanuja: Sri Ramanuja is said to have arrived in 
Karnataka in the year 1099AD. He did not go to Melkote first, In fact 
it was at a place called Tondanuur where he established the Nambi 
Tambiran Temple. This place was the capital of HoySala king Vithala 
Devaraya. Ramanuja cured his daughter who was said to have possessed 
and inreturn got the temple build. The king then became his follower 
and was called Vishnu Varaqdhan. While his stay at Tondanur, he had a 
dream where Namperumal instructed him to go to a mountain where he 
would be able to unearth the idol of the Lord. Ramanuja did the same, 
whent to the mountain and discovered the idol, which he called Thiru 
Narayanan and the place was called Thiru Narayanapuram (aka Melkote). 
Ramanuja stayed here with permission from the King for 12 years. A 
temple was built at Melkote but did not have an utsavar.

The information I have is that Perumal came in his dream and 
instructed him to go to Delhi to get the idol of Ramapriya, which was 
with the Turkish Sultan (Probably Ghowri or Qtab). Ramanuja did the 
same and retrieved the Idol. The idol came to be known as 
Sampathkurmara (or) selva pillai.  

Ramanuja then went onto build three other temples:

Kirti Narayan temple at Talakaadu
Vijaya Narayana temple at Belur
Vira Narayana at Gadag.

There were the five temple build by Ramanuja with the helpe of King 
Vishnu Varadhan

As you said, as far as I can gather, there was no invasion of Melkote 
during Ramanuja's time. However, this incident (Ramanuja going to 
Delhi to get the idol) is most likely true.

Also, I have a suspison that the processon idol must have been taken 
from one of the four temple that were raided by Ghazni and latter by 
Ghowri. In fact, during the invasion of the somnath temple, it is said 
that Ghazni took possesion of lots of idols for his Museum. This idol 
might have been part of that collection. The retrieval should be taken 
in that context and not as a retrieval from Melkote

For more information please refer to the following (which I have been 
reading lately)

1. Imapct of Ramanuja on Temple Worship 
2. History of Indai - part 1 - Penguin series.


Venkatesh Elayavill

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:
Search archives at