After being stuck in the weekend traffic for quite a while, we finally took the much awaited ‘right turn’ from the chaotic Bangalore-Mysore road and towards Melukote. Couple of minutes more on narrow chaotic roads and finally we were welcomed by almost empty and beautiful country road, snaking its way forward with green canopies hanging from the sides of it.
Apart from the occasional tractor-full people or entire families on two-wheelers zipping by, we had the entire road to ourselves.
Melukote, built on rocky hills known as Yadugiri, Yaadavagiri and Yadushailadweepa, overlooking the Cauvery valley is one of the sacred places in Karnataka. As you might have guessed already (if you had read some my previous posts like The Celebration of Chhath Puja), I was not going there for the religious or spiritual significance which is attached to it rather my reason for the visit apart from getting back on the road was to get some decent shots of the age-old architectures there.
Walking up to the Yohanarsimha temple barefoot, stepping on the burning hot steps, dodging the pilgrims going up and down the steps in their colorful attires, was a task in itself and by the time I reached the top I was badly looking for a spot which could give me some respite from the heat.
Even though it was a very hot day the place felt very lively and full of activity. Not a great thing for someone who has gone there in the hope of getting some decent shots of the architectures but for the person inside me who loves to watch people, it was a wonderful thing and I did enjoy sitting there in one of the sitting spots by the side of the steps leading to the temple above and watching the activities going around me.
People walking to and from the temple at the top. Panting sweating taking a break at one of the sitting spots. Old people walking slowly with the help of young members of the family. Those unable to carry themselves all the way up being carried in a palanquin. Playful children running and jumping while their parents held their hands tight to stop them from getting lost in the crowd.
The view of the town from the top was very colorful and I thoroughly enjoyed my shooting there.
The view of the Cheluvarayaswamy temple along-with its pushkarni (pond) as seen from the top and the colorful roofs of the houses of the temple town next to it, hidden behind tall green coconut trees made for all the heat my burning feet had to bear.
By the time I came down from the Yoganarasimha temple I was badly hungry. Good thing it was a small place and looking for food was not much of an issue. Nothing much apart from cold-drinks or biscuits are available until you get down the hill where you have shops and small eateries. Whatever little googling I had done about this place before coming here had suggested that the Puliyogare (tamarind rice) of Melukote is very famous so there was no doubt about what the lunch was going to be. The puliyogare was lip-smacking to say the least, unarguably the best I have ever had.
After a fantastic lunch it was time to head back but not before spending some time at the phuskarni inside the Cheluvarayaswamy temple compound.
Have you been to Melukote? Tried the Puliyogare there? What did you like about the place?