Rejuvenated from the soothing breeze of Revannasiddeshwara Temple, we headed back to Ramnagara and towards Chennapatna. On the outskirts of Chennapatna is a sleepy town called Doddamallur. And the centre of attention of this town is the Sri Aprameya Temple, some 50 meters from the highway. Lord Aprameya (another form of Lord Vishnu) is the presiding deity here. The temple also houses the Ambegalu (Crawling) Krishna Temple and the Rama Temple. This temple is rich in history and stories from the past.
The temple is believed to be 3000 years old. It is believed to be built and expanded by Chola King Rajendra Simha. It is said that the temple is standing on sand rather than a strong foundation. Apparently Lord Rama stayed and prayed here before leaving to Lanka to rescue Sita Devi. It is believed that Sages Kapila and Kanva still live in the temple in some form or the other. Apparently even today you can hear the sound of the garba griha door opening and the sound of performing poojas and tolling of the bells can be heard once the temple doors are closed. Spooky...
But it’s the Ambegalu Navneetha (Crawling Krishna) that is more popular in this temple. The idol of baby Krishna crawling with a handful of butter that has the devotees coming in large numbers to this temple is believed to installed by Sage Vyasa. It is believed that childless couples praying to Ambegalu Krishna are blessed with children after their visit. These couples later return to the temple and tie little cradles as a thanksgiving to the Lord. Legend also has it that some 130 years ago the then Maharaja of Mysore on a visit to Aprameya Temple was so enamored by the Ambegalu Krishna that he took the idol back to his palace to worship it. That night he dreamt about Lord Krishna appearing in his dream and ordering him to return the idol to the temple, failing which great misfortune will befall him. The King dismissed the dream and did not comply with the Lord's demand. Soon enough a part of the King's Palace was consumed in a fire and he promptly returned the idol to its rightful place in the temple.
The town of Doddamallur has a more recent claim to fame. Apparently this is where the next re-incarnation of Sai Baba (Prema Sai) will be born. Numerous devotees of Puttaparthi Sai Baba have been scouring the village looking for their next demigod. Should the prophecy be (made to) fulfilled, this town will lose its significance as a historic and mythological hotspot and end up being a stupefying and fanatical village.
Enough devotion for the day, time to unwind at our next stop.
Getting-there: Bangalore-Mysore Road. On the outskirts of Chennapatna is a village called Doddamalur. The temple is in this village right on the highway on your left while going towards Mysore.
Must-Do: Take a closer look at the beautiful idol of Ambegalu Krishna