Melkote Gopuram
29th March:
I was here at Melukote, a month ago. I had heard a lot about Iyengar Puliyogare than the temple at Melkote/Melukote :) Melukote means Fort on the Top; Melu(top) Kote(Fort). Being born in Karnataka, I considered myself unlucky that I haven't visited most of the historic heritages here. Thanks to few of the fellow shutterbugs who planned to visit Melkote on a weekend. This time I went there as a traveller and photographer.
Journey begins: We, a group of 15-18 people, were supposed to meet at 6:00 am in the morning at common place. To be there by 5:30 or 6:00 am, I had to get up at 4:00 am atleast. For over 3-4 days, though I had fever, reached home earlier, prepared coffee and had a small nap. I was relaxed and woke up at 9:45pm for dinner and slept off after an hour. At 2:00am in the morning, I woke up and would stare at the time display of my mobile phone, now and then. I couldn't close my eyes to sleep and got up to check if I had packed the necessary stuffs like water bottle filled, memory card, batterries charged, and most important:wallet with money :)
At 5:40am, one of the shutterbugs picked me up. I'm thankful to him for the lift. We joined others at 5:55am. Few of them had come by car and most of them on their bikes. After saying "hello" and "hi" to a few of them present, we headed towards Mysore Road and then Mandya. Since we had started during early mornings hours, all of us were hungry and few had breakfast at Kamat, Mysore Road and few others at other places. Though Melkote is 150 kms from Bangalore, it tooks us 3 hours to reach the main temple by car. The road to Melkote from Mandya diversion is well-maintained. One could find the fresh greenery and fileds on both sides of the road, dhobis washing clothes, bullock cart... And don't be surprised to see them :)
At 9am, we reached Melkote. The first thing we notice is a Kalyani(Pond) where most people take bath before entering the temple. We entered the pond and captured the Mantap, pillars, the pond etc. Later, along with few others explored the streets and found many old houses. Yes, you may never find such simple spacious houses in this city! I did a lot of street photography and the locals welcomed us.
It was lunch time, we were searching for restaurant. Luckily, we found an Iyengar Chatra who offered us the lunch. We donated a considerable amount to them. Then we headed to Gopalarayas or Rayagopuras- The doorway-four tall pillars and no towers above it, is an incomplete architecture of the Hoysala dynasty. There are twin ponds next to Rayagopuras which are also called as sister ponds or akka-tangi ponds. The place is also famous for Dhanush Koti-Rock is the shape of an arrow. I couldn't visit Dhanush Koti due to time constraint.
Finally, we came back to the main temple. One has to climb around 400-500 stairs made of stone to reach. The main god worshipped is Yoga Narasimha / Chaluvanarayana swamy installed by Acharya Ramanuja. It is said that King Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala dynasty was a follower of Ramanujacharya. I went to the temple at 3pm which was closed and would open only at 5:30pm, I missed Iyengar Puliyogare and seeing the Lord :( Oh, I shouldn't be saying that! I hope I visit this place next time and click better snaps :)
If you are planning to visit Melkote, its worth it!


  1. I usually make it a point to visit the temple in the town by 11 am and move onto the temple on the hill by 12 pm if I happen to visit on the weekends. The temple on the hill is usually open until 2 pm on weekends. The Lord of Melukote is very merciful and thanks for the beautiful blog. - Kishan

  2. well narrated blog
    always know the temple timings before u plan the itenary
    u missed puliogare!
    try out MTR mix, its really good

    (i cant sign in gmail from office, thts why i commented anonymously)

  3. @ Kishan, Never mind. Wanna visit Melkote once again. Such a beauty is the place :) Thanks for the timings.

    @ Vikrem, Will visit the temple first and then I shall roam about.
    Puliyogare- Mom prepares it very well. So no regrets!


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