The travel bug bites you sometime during your life and when it does, the itch just doesn’t let you be. Well, this happened to my cousins and me (Surprisingly around the same time. Thankfully to be true!). It was not just a I want to travel different countries but the want to travel to every place there possibly can be. Because travel is not just about the stamps on our passport but more a learning journey you take with yourself and others to discover and rediscover things within you and around you.
With the travel bug was the hunger for history and trust me, this is one of the best blends ever. The rendezvous to discover your surroundings as far-away travel needed vitamin M(read money) which none of us seemed to have when needed. (everyone’s story you say?I don’t deny that, as we all sail in the same boat sometimes). My sister with the help of Google God discovered Melukote (Yes our families seem to already know and wondered why we had a sudden interest in it). The reason being, we had started seeing the world differently and that travel meant a lot more to us now. The structures and the history beckoned us to go visit and explore.
With time, this travel also became a sister’s day out(that’s another thing which made it even more exciting I must say). Travelling by car is totally fun but can be tiring,would suggest to have atleast two people who can drive (my poor sister had to drive all the way back and forth as the rest of us are waiting for a sign from god to learn driving. hehe). The path is filled with lush green fields and not to forget the never ending blue sky.
Reaching there the first thing I did was google the history. I am a sucker for history and Indian mythology with curiosity that can make me talk and listen to it infinitely.Click here to learn the history as I am going to skip that part considering you can get it off a lot of other sources. Another thing I did, much irritation to my sisters is click a lot of pictures(no not selfies ;)). Am an aspiring phone photographer you see.
Melukote is more a temple village as it is the home for the deity worshiped by Mysuru Wodeyars. Many a temples is what you find along with kalyani (a holy bath pond) near them. Melukote is also the infamous shooting spot with many bollywood and sandalwood movies/songs shot. But none of it can describe the beauty of those structures.
I stood mesmerized by the temple structures, the intricate detailing of the pillars and for that matter just the air of it. I felt transported to another era, where maybe I was this small kid dressed in traditional clothes ran along the temple touching the pillars laughing as I ran to escape my chasing friends. Historical places do that to me and I live day dreaming as I discover.
We visited Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple first. Our intent of going to Melukote was just this – to see, to feel, to admire and to cherish. We soaked in all of it. The stone used to build the temple was cold and soothing giving us some relief from the scorching sun. We sat there for a while admiring the pillars and the various deity sculptures on the top of the temple depicted the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Each pillar is carved differently and intricately, which sure would make you stop and admire it.
Akka (elder sister) and tangi (younger sister) kola/kalyani is a little ahead of the temple and is as lovely though the water was pretty dirty I must say. Not complaining though, as the steps that led down also had a story of it’s own, where many a tourists came by to freshen up before going to the temple. I raced down to the water jumping the steps, only to sprint back before the pandit took note of my chappal glad feet. 😉
We made our way to the ‘Pancha Kalyani’, the biggest pond in Melukote which sure did take our breathe away and we didn’t want to move from there at all. So there we sat admiring it. Due to heavy rains, there was a fallen tree which had resulted in parts of the mantap(the structure around pond) and the barricades to break. To be true, it added a charm to the whole place, making us speechless. There was a bigger mantap on the other end and I was curious to explore. The heat had taken it’s toll on us and yet I could not resist. It didn’t dissappoint me at all. I could spend a whole day there. All that was missing was a book. How I wished I stayed at Melkote, where in I would walk to the kalyani everyday on afternoons, lay on the cold stone in the mantap and read myself to sleep only to wake up to see the sun setting, only to return home as the moon rose to shine.
A day etched in my memory and which will stay along with me forever. One of the best things to do is to travel and it’s always even more fun when it’s with your sisters. So the next time you need a break, take a look around and explore your surrounding cities and your country before you jump in for a stamp on your passport. As they say, beauty lies in many a things around you and all you need to do is…open your eyes!
So where are you travelling next? 🙂