Friday, May 28, 2010

Melukote - A pious sanctum for those spiritualites

It had been quite long since we had laid our bikes on Mysore 4 laner when I was suggested by one of my friends to check out the famous temple at Melkote / Melukote. The distance of the place from Bangalore (133 Km from Bangalore and 51 from Mysore) was almost as far as Mysore but the route was a deviation from the Mandya town enroute to Mysore.The route is meant to cover those luscious evergreen sugar cane fields and paddy farms that the Mandya district itself was famous for. Melkote is supposed to house a very old Vaishnavite temple established by Sri Ramanujacharya during 12 th century and also a yoga- Narasimha temple perched on top of the hill. The place is also known for mutts and mathas around the temple providing sanctum for religious devotees. The lake and surrounding pond also provides interest to ornithologists and is a treat for bird watchers.
Without hoping for much we started on a very early ride along the Mysore road, on a weekend and the road was indeed fun to ride especially with very little traffic on a fine early morning. Our intention was to reach Maddur and have the breakfast- with the renowned "Maddur vada" at Maddur. We reached a place called Maddur Tiffanys just ahead of Maddur town. And it indeed was a good treat, the good old Bisibella bath, Idly and Maddur vada.
We started towards Mandya and took the right at the Mandya town towards Melkote. The road leading from Mandya was also a pleasure to ride - newly laid with lots of curves. The place was famous for paddy fields and sugarcane farms and we did come across those endless greens of paddy fields dotted by little villages. Halfway down the road there was a large canal where we thought of taking a respite from the heat. We had a small dip and swim along with a few of the localites there.
We went ahead towards Melukote further and the traffic was almost nil and landsides getting more barren. Along the entry of the Melukote village there was a small lake with plenty of birds which provided some interest to our cameras. We did take some pictures and proceeded towards the hill temple. 
The place did look like a scene taken from the old movies - an ideal temple town with Pujaris and devotees in those white costumes, Namam/forehead marks and kudumis.The square shaped pond along side the temple was also quite unique and provided a nice setting across the temple backdrop.
We started climbing towards the hilltop, the climb along the steps not taking much effort or time -half hour, though the view at the top surely meant that the elevation of the hill was significant. The hilltop provided a beautiful 360 degree view of the town below along with the lake, the temples and the adjoining pond. Both the view as well as the temple was good proving it worth while to visit the place.

Hilltop temple view
Maddur Vada at Maddur Tiffanys

Mandya to Melukote road

 A large Canal enroute Melukote

Interesting bird nests by the lake side
The Kamat highway hotel
Dinner at Kamat

We turned back at around 4 pm, a long ride towards Bangalore waiting ahead of us. And offcourse whats a ride along Mysore road worth if you fail to visit Coffee day or Kamat. We did go to Kamat for our dinner, the restaurant was at its usual best, the traditionally attired waiters, atmosphere and the food itself was quite an experience. We ordered the good old 'Neer Dosa', appam and Puri and indeed savoured every bite. We reached back Bangalore at about 8 pm. 
I would recommend to cover Melukote along with Mysore or adjoining places; just Melukote on a single day might turn out to be uninteresting. One can do a Srirangapatnam or Ranganthittu bird sanctuary along with Melukote on a single day trip. And do take some sun screens or plan your visit during the winters/post monsoon as the place can get hot at the top especially when the sun's beating down.

1 comment:

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