Mysore has always been a favourite holiday destination. I love the city
where I have spent most of my childhood holidays. We were there
recently for a day to visit a relative. It was just an overnight halt and
we intended to return to Bengaluru the next morning.
We started around ten from Mysore. There was no hurry to return to
Bengaluru. So, we decided to take a detour and visit Melukote in
Mandya district. Melukote is famous for the thousand years old
Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple. The idol is said to have been
installed by Sri Ramanujacharya in 1099. It is probably the head
quarters of Shrivaishnava community (Iyengars) in Karnataka.
A kilometer away is the temple of Sri YogaNarasimha swamy,
on a hill. The idol here is believed to be much older. Installed
by Prahlada, son of Hiranyakashipu !
Melukote happens to be the birthplace of Late J Jayalalitha,
ex CM of Tamilnadu and Late Sri Pu Ti Na, - Pu Ti Narasimhachar,
well known kannada poet.
It was an enjoyable detour. I love the interior roads. The traffic is
thin, and the road passes through an appealing landscape. It is a hilly
terrain. You find hillocks, green fields, small ponds and bigger lakes.
You have the freedom to stop anywhere you fancy, look around, walk
up to a lake or to the top of a hillock and enjoy the scenery. The trouble
with these roads is that they are usually not well maintained and sometimes
they can be a pain to drive. But this route was a pleasant change. The
landscape was beautiful and the road was good!
CheluvaNarayanaswamy lives up to his name ! ‘Cheluva’ in kannada
means handsome and the idol is really handsome. I liked the small
temple town, especially the old streets around the temple and the
‘Subbanna mess’ from where we could buy ‘Puliyogare’ and
‘Sweet Pongal’ - our packed lunch. We ate our lunch in a
beautifully shaded patch on our return journey and returned to
Bengaluru in time for tea !
I have posted some pictures above to entice my friends to visit the place.
It is not Kashmir but it is a pleasant landscape within reach ! I think the
pictures need no caption. It is easy to recognise the rooftops of the new
Melukote town and the surrounding landscape - as seen from the Yoga
Narasimha temple hill. The recently painted and neat looking house is
the house of Sri Pu Ti Na, which is now a memorial and the other one is
just a random old house on the temple street. The white and red pillared
structure is another old structure from the same street which has seen
better days and you see yours truly, standing in the outer corridor of the