Melukote, the hill town famous for delicious ‘pulioyagre’ was in front of us, far ahead in the horizon. We were approaching the hill town from a different route – not the usual route from Mandya, but from south. After spending few hours in KRS backwaters, we were headed towards Melokte. While the morning was hot and sunny, as we went past noon there was a drastic change in the sky. As we zoomed along the empty roads, the clouds decided to race us. A light drizzle started as we entered the town. Before we could park the vehicle and take a shelter near by, the sky decided to open. The place looked totally different compared to my previous visits which was always hot and sunny. We waited for the rain to subside and headed over to fill up our empty growling stomachs.
The small hotel we were seated was situated in the corner of the town’s main road and a small cross leading to the house (now turned into a museum) of one of the profound Kannada writer Pu. Ti. Narasimhachar. I settled into a corner seat giving me a wide view of the street all the away up to the Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple. With void of vehicles, people settled in front of their front door chit-chatting & enjoying the rain, few walking up & down the road soaking in the rain, the slow life outside on the street felt as if we were transported back in time by few decades. While we waited for our plates full of puliyogare, I became a guide for my friends narrating the stories that I knew/heard/read about Melukote. Our discussion had to be paused as our food arrived on the table.
The rain decided not to spoil our entire time at the place but still continued the game of hide and seek. I donned my guide hat and started our exploration – Raya Gopura, Dhanushkoti, Akka-Tangi kola (twin kalyanis constructed by two sisters), Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple. Finally when we reached the main Kalyani, it started pouring. After spending some time at the kalyani watching the rain come down relentlessly, we decided to skip Yoga Narasimha swamy temple. While a part of my mind didn’t want to leave the beautiful rain-soaked Melkote, there was no other choice but to head home with a heavy heart. The last time I was near Melkote was during a weekend cycle ride starting from Manday to Sakaleshpura. I should plan for a bike ride, riding up the winding roads of Melukote soon.