India during the 11th Century, a radical
social and religious reformation was underway.
The philosopher and mystic, Ramanuja propagated
his theistic doctrine of Shri Vaishnavism
throughout South India, to people of all
castes and backgrounds. Opposition to his
preaching came in the form of the mighty
king Kolatunga I, a fanatical worshipper
of Shiva who was intolerant of Ramanujas
beliefs. His vicious and continual persecution
forced Ramanuja and his followers to flee
their native land of Tamil Nadu and go into
hiding in the neighboring state of Karnataka
found refuge in the foothills at a small
village known as Melkote, whose origins were
lost in antiquity. He made this his seat
to propagate his philosophy for 18 years,
during which time he repopulated the region,
rebuilt the main temples, uncovered and re-established
the worship of the ancient Vishnu deities
of Tirunarayana and Sampat Kumara, and initiated
thousands of people into his fold. Melkote
soon became a thriving temple-town with thousands
of priests absorbed in the rich religious
culture that Ramanuja had bestowed upon them.
Ramanuja, Melkote flourished under the patronage
of the Mysore kings, during which the town
expanded. The kings donated liberally, jewels
and crowns, to the temples to adorn the deities.
later however, this quiet haven of spirituality
became almost forgotten by the outside world.
documentary takes the viewer back in time
to this refuge of South Indian religious
traditions, exploring the rich history of
this spiritual haven and its inhabitants.