Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Melkote

We left Somnathpur towards Melkote, en route I got to wave to lots of kids and young gals who would grin back in surprise.

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Sorry I didn't stop to take photos, was tempted but decided I shall not test waters given my non stop photo taking habit at each destination.

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We arrived at the temple to find a huge crowd outside waiting outside an open temple. Somehow I thinks there's some invisible foreigner sticker stuck to our foreheads, coz everytime we get down somewhere we'd have ppl staring.

Spoke to this sweet grandma about the temples opening time, and she pointed us to the Krishna utsava moorty out at the hall on display for the festival they were having in praise of St Ramanujaam (Ramanujam Adigal) (a priest told us later).

Its a small temple with beautiful pillars.

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The gopuram sculptures were all broken, missing a hand or leg and slightly faded where else the pillars intricate designs were well maintained - weird but true. Later I find out the original temple was rerestored by a king. The presiding deity was TiruNarayana.

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The temple is part of 2 temples. One at the bottom and the other at the top of a rock hill. In between both temples there's a huge tank with a pretty mandap, can't remember why we didn't go to the halls. Legend has it that the Yoga Narasimha temple image was installed here by Prahlada.

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My original idea had been not to climb to the Yoga Narasimha temple as climbing and then long travel would have been too taxing for mom. That's why we missed Shravanbelagola. Anyway driver tells us he can drive us up to the halfway point and climb from there. I was glad we did go, I love the steps and the view from the top was just amazing.

We made mom stop every 10 steps (the steps were huge) to catch her breath but in truth I just wanted to take photos ;p

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Oh there's beggars on the way up who don't ask you for money when you're going up but on the way down they'll ask you. I say they're clever, they don't bother when they think you're gonna be huffing and puffing.

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And if you think the structure you see in this photo is the temple, heh!, there's more steps ;)

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The steps were covered with these flowers that would drop every now and then ;) I so love how they look against the stone slabs. The view from up is spectacular (ill be repeating this a few times - thank you).
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You'll be stumped at the first gopuram as all you can see behind it is a narrow wall. Take a left turn and you'll see the temple doors and another gopuram. We were quite shocked to find the place closed (so that's why people climb back down). While I was taking photos, we contemplated whether we should go back or wait when my monkeys went 5pm! 5pm!

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But monkeys don't talk??? We'll I did say my monkeys who were actually boys my moms friend called monkeys coz they were jumping around. Well story is I saw this teenage boys at the bottom steps while our cars whizzed by, the next thing I know they were waiting for us when we got to the mid way point steps and everytime we stopped they'd stop too. At first my mom got scared, but I think for no reason (well I couldn't figure out why) they were looking after us, following from a distance.

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Somehow the wait and the climb seemed longer than the time my photos show. We took about 20 minutes to cover about 250 steps. Finally one priest came and opened the doors but he wasn't the main guy but he was a nice man. He decided to take us on a tour of the temple before the priests from the temple below climbed up.

Ah what wind - the weather was just so pleasant, no burning sun (did I tell you it rained heavily every evening? ;p). The thing about the temple is it has been built to compliment the huge rock boulder it is on, places where the boulder isn't the floor, you will find stone slabs placed just above nothing ;) you could see the green ground, through slits at the edges, near your feet. Surreal feeling ;)

IMG_2727melkoteThe temple had so many passageways, you could probably get lost but not hate a minute of it unless you're claustrophobic. And it seems there are hidden caves where St Ramanujam used to meditate. Yes this was a temple that St Ramanujam worshiped at, you can see his footprints here.

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We were taken right up to the main gopuram, again view was amazing and its just beautiful standing next to the gopuram what with the sun setting in myriad oranges.

There's also this open ceiling that looks straight into the temple hall, plus drums and bells gifted by Tipu Sultan on another side. Most importantly its very peaceful up there, you'll be lost in your thoughts.

One thing I noticed in Karnataka, every few kms theres a small ancient mandap built on the roads leading to the temple. Interesting that the welfare of ppl had been taken care even then.

Oh yes I ended up climbing from the midway point twice coz I'd forgotten my slippers.

12 comments:

My days(Gops) said...

i hav been to this place => but in the night...dArK'la onnumey paarkala..now ok...

grandma vada suttu koduthaangala? illa story mattum thaan sonaangala?

btw,first photo...................................

BawangMerah said...

All I can say is wow. :)

R. Balaji said...

WOW. I particularly liked the composition of the first pic - the pillar - great. A beautiful set of pics.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Visit,

Super pics. I have not been here in comments section. But now and then reading your posts. I liked Mysore low light photo and many more. Keep it up.

Keshi said...

u seem to be a great clicker Visithra!

Keshi.

visithra said...

Mydays :ah ok - try going in the day superbah iruhkum

only story - inthu vadai patti alla alla alla ;p

thanks ;)


bawangred : thanks ;)


rbalaji : thanks ;) will have to thank the skies for that ;) thanks again


balaji s : welcome back ;) long time since i saw u

thanks - good to know - i will love taking photos ;)


keshi : thanks ;)

Thomas Hochmann said...

Absolutely stunning photos! They revive my long-time desire to go see India. I shall have to do so one day. :)

Chez said...

The photo on the pillar in the temple is cool. Never seen such a talent in you for a long time... Where did u learn all these..?? ;)

visithra said...

thomas : welcome here ;) u should the place is gorgeous


chez : hey long time no see - thanks ;) learn? nah i think by looking at everyones photos -

yvy said...

fuhyoo woman!!! u getting better n better lar....JELES!!!! lol :P

no brownies for guessing which is my fav shot!!! :) *sings 'i can see clearly now th rain has gone...'*

Amy said...

Gorgeous photos--especially the one with the streaming sunbeams. It takes my breath away!

visithra said...

yvy : thanks dear - hehehe oohhh perfect song ;)


amy : thanks - it took mine too ;)