This post is about a beautiful place tucked away near Mysore and has a charm of its own. This quaint little town is very popular mainly for two things – Puliyogare (a south Indian rice preparation) and Sanskrit college. Yes, I am talking about Melukote. Majority of the population here are from the Iyengar community. Its very close to Mysore or rather Mandya.
While driving from Mysore, you need to take a left turn just before the arch near entrance of Mandya and drive for around 35 kms.
I had been here long ago when I was in college with a friend. I vaguely remembered sitting in a temple and having delicious puliyogare. Nagesh and I always used to plan to go here and somehow it never worked out till April this year! I was already in Mysore at my parents home for the Good Friday long weekend. Nagesh and a couple of his friends whom he knows thanks to his Photography (Chitra, Niranj and Pratap) decided to go to Melukote on Sunday. Nagesh called me up excitedly and said that he would come down to Mysore to pick me up and then we could go to Melukote :)
The day arrived and the guys happily came home at Mysore after Birding at Ranganathittu. After having lunch in Mysore, we started our journey and reached Melukote late in the afternoon as the roads were not good after taking the left turn from the highway. The road to Melukote was dotted with scenes from rural life and lush green fields. It felt nice to be in the countryside. For once, driving took precedence over photography for Nagesh and hence no pics. Only memories :)
Temples and Sights of Melukote
Chitra and her family were already near the Cheluva Narayana Swamy temple and waiting for us. There were lot of Puliyogare vendors near the temple! We decided to head there as soon as we finished the temple visits :) This temple has an annual Vairamudi festival which is very popular. There was a board near the temple with direction to the memorial of Pu Ti Na (Pu Ti Narasimhachar), the noted Kannada poet and playwright who hails from this place.
There is a beautiful Pushkarini behind this temple which has been used as a location in many movies. When we reached there, a kannada movie/serial shooting was in progress. A Hoopoe was darting about swiftly but we were unable to get a pic.
We then started climbing the hill to go to the Yoga Narasimha Swamy temple. The path was lined with beautiful Frangipani trees and the flowers were scattered around. Chitra’s daughter had a good time collecting quite a few :)
The views of the little town of Melukote and the pushkarini from the steps was quite a sight.
We spent some time in the temple. The sunset from there was a glorious sight! On our way out we were greeted by a few monkeys with a baby in tow posing for the cameras happily!
Some other sights of Melukote
The descent was quick and it was pretty dark by the time we were back near the Cheluva Narayana Swamy temple. The puliyogare vendors had left by then. On the way to the hill, I had noticed Ganapathi Mess about which I had read in a blog long back. We decided to go there for dinner. This is a 100 year old mess where you can get absolutely delicious puliyogare. We spent some time there talking to the owner. We left Melukote with packets of Puliyogare and Vangibath mix as well as mango pickle which we had eaten along-with the puliyogare :)
Hope to be back in Melukote again to see the Dhanushkodi which is very scenic and a short distance away from the Cheluva Narayana Swamy temple as well as the akka thangi kola which is another pushkarini.