So for the last 5-6 weeks I have when it was deemed safe to venture out within the city and the state, I decided to explore places in & around a 200km radius from Bangalore. While a few places made me reminisce the nostalgia from my childhood, this one place called Melukote was a spot I’d never been to all my life so far. I went on a bike trip with my Dad and boy what a fun ride it turned out to be !!
The place made popular in a few South Indian movies, always made me think that it was a temple town and is primarily for those who take up “pilgrimage” and call it travel. But nope, after spending a couple of days here, thanks to a bike trip with Dad my perception about Melukote changed and I could easily see spending more time here, the next time I take myself there.
Melukote definitely has a lot of history associated with it dating back to the 12th, 14th & 17th centuries. I’m not a major history buff or anything and didn’t pay too much attention to that part of the town. It also has a handful of temples with each one having it’s own story, again something that doesn’t fancy me too much. But what caught my eye in one of these temples was the stone carvings on the pillars. Each one so detailed and intricate that deserves aa lot of appreciation.
The other fascinating fact about Melukote is the number of Pushkaranis (or Kalyanis) that are in the region. Pushkarani or a Kalyani is a water reservoir within a temple complex, built to serve the ritualistic purposes of the temple. People who offered prayers in the temple normally used to take water from these Pushkaranis to offer to the God. Apparently Melukote has 110 of these and a few of them are very popular due to the location and size & a lot of tourists end up there by default.
However for me the best of the lot was the one that was almost deserted right by the temple on the Main Street. The design was a stand out and with all the natural vegetation around it, made it a photographer’s delight. It reminded me of certain spots in Cambodia and could easily become an #instragrammablespot !! Here below is the one am talking about.
There are numerous other spots within Melukote that calls to be explored. And among those is the Rayagopura, which apparently is an incomplete temple built during the era of the Vijayanagar Kingdom i.e., approx in the 15th or 16th century. The incomplete structure in itself is a treat to the eye and makes for some amazing shots during the sunrise & sunset. This also has been the spot for a few popular movies thus increasing its attraction quotient.
And finally the highlight of my Melukote visit must be the morning walk with my Dad, to Dhanushkote from the town centre. About 1.5-2km walk takes you through the lush green vegetation, whilst adding some of the most peaceful moments of the day. The fresh air, the blue skies, the greenery makes it for the most beautiful part of the day to savour this natural beauty. At the end of the walkway is a small hill from where Lord Rama (as per the Hindu Mythology) shot an arrow to Lanka. Whether that’s true or not the view from Dhanushkote of the landscape around is a stunner. The rocky hill terrain adds a beautiful contrast to the greenery within.
Overall Melukote is definitely a place to visit for its temples, pushkaranis, walks & of course the famous Melukote Puliyogre. Definitely recommend to go here for a couple of days atleast and anything less than that would not do justice to enjoy this spot. And what can be better than having this spot less than 140kms away from Bangalore. A perfect weekend getaway !!
Click here for the full set of pictures
Click HERE for the trip video
More details about Melukote can be found at the links below: