India has innumerable temples dedicated to Lord Krishna and His various forms. Doddamallur Aprameya Swami Temple or Mallur Krishna Temple, at Doddamallur near Channapatna, is one such temple of Lord Krishna where He is called as Lord Aprameya. Mallur as per the sacred ancient records, is also referred to with many names some of them being - Dakshina Ayodhya , Chatur Veda Mangala Pura , Gnyana Mantapa Kshetram , Rajendra Simha Nagari .
The main attraction of this temple is the "Crawling Krishna" who is also called as "Ambegal Krishna". This is one of the rare forms of idol which you get to see in this temple and is surely a sight to behold. The highway road sign points to this place as "Mallur Agrahara". Mallur makes a sure stop for the one who travels on Mysore-Bangalore Highway. This Divya Kshetram that houses the temple of Lord Aprameya, His Consort Aravindavalli and the renowned Ambegal Krishna, situated about one mile from Channapatna with the tall gopuram (tower), attracts all the passers-by.
The temple of Lord Aprameya is an ancient one and dates back to 3,000 years but some local records say that the temple is not less than 1500 years. The temple is built in the Dravidian style as one find the beautiful Rajagopuram standing tall and strong. The sculptures from the Dasa Avataram adorn the side walls (Madal) of the Raja Gopuram. The Maha Dwaram is about 30 feet high. Opposite the Maha Dwaram is the tall Deepa Sthambam made from a single stone.
The idol of Sri Aprameya is carved out of Saligrama stone. The idol is in the posture of Abhayahastha where the Lord s two upper hands are holding Shanka (Conch shell) and Chakra (disc) and the lower arms are holding Gadha (mace) and Hastha (Assuring hand). There is a small replica of the main idol, which is taken on a procession in the chariot during festivals, placed on a sandalwood pedestal. The idols of Sridevi and Bhoodevi accompany the Lord along with the idol of saint Ramanujacharya.
One of the unique features of the temple building is that it stands on sand and not on any solid foundation.
Ambegalu Krishna: Facing the Rajagopuram is the Purandaradasa Mantapam, a tribute to the composer of the famous krithi Jagadoddharana Adisidalu Yashoda . It is said that Purandaradasa composed his popular song - "Jagadoddharana Aadisidalu Yashode..." after seeing the beauty of Lord Navaneeta in the temple. No doubt the beauty of the lord can enchant anyone and instigate the love for the Lord in everyone s heart.
This is one of the salient features seen in this temple complex - Lord Navaneeta Shrine. The idol of the Thavazrar/ambegal (crawling) Krishna made of black stone, is one of the master pieces seen else where. It is believed that sage Vyasa installed the statue of Lord Navaneeta in the temple, which is adorned with several ornaments (all carved in the stone) - like the anklets, the waist band, amulets and chains. The idol in the form of crawling Krishna, holding butter in His right hand, sits on a Garuda Peetham. There is a pendant of tiger claws that is prominent among all the jewellery. Priests say that the Lord wears it to avoid bad eyes from his many devotees ogling at his boundless beauty.
Legends say that about 130 years ago, the then Maharaja of Mysore came to have the darshan of Lord Aprameya, Aravindavalli and Krishna at Malur. He was so attracted to the lovely idol of Lord Krishna that he took it to his palace. The same night he had a dream in which Lord Krishna ordered him to return the idol to the temple at Doddamallur, failing which great harm would befall on him. The Raja did not obey the words of the Lord and as a result, a part of his palace was consumed by fire. Then the Raja was forced to restore the idol back at the temple.
Legends also say that Lord Rama stayed here, in Dakshina Ayodhya, for several years and worshipped Lord Aprameya. So Lord Aprameya is also called as Sriramaprameya. Lord Rama performed several homas and rituals in the temple, and even this day there are remnants of the structures where he conducted yajnas and homas.
Lord Navaneeta temple has several silver and wooden cradles offered to the Lord by devotees desirous of getting a child.