Karnataka · Travel

Photoessay: Rustic Charm and Streetscapes – around the sacred town of Melkote, Karnataka

Located about 150 km from Bangalore, Melkote also spelt Melukote is one of Karnataka’s hidden gems.  Also known as Thirunarayanapuram, the town is perched on a hill which is called Yaadavagiri. A popular piligrimage centre, the town is famous for its temples dating back to the Hoysala period. One of the main temples of Melkote is the Yoganarasimha temple that is accessible via a flight of about 500 steps.

View of the Yoga Narasimha temple, Melkote
View of the Yoga Narasimha temple, Melkote

The Cheluvanarayana temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is another highlight of the town and the annual temple festival called Vairamudi habba held around March-April each year draws huge crowds.  The great Hindu spiritual leader Ramanujam lived in this town for over a decade and since then it has been the home of the Mandyam Iyengar community.

Inside Melkote town
Inside Melkote town

Replete with ancient shrines, monuments, archways and pillars, the town is a delightful journey in time.  Given my love for the rustic, heritage vibes, this town had me longing for more.  Here are some pictures from the town.

An ancient tank aka Kalyani
An ancient tank aka Kalyani

The town is full of old world charm lined with courtyard houses adorned with pillars, red oxide flooring, tiled roofs and rangoli aka kolam at the door steps.

Houses of Melkote
Houses of Melkote

The traditional symbol of the Vaishnavas is painted in front of most houses.

Yesteryear houses of Melkote
Yesteryear houses of Melkote

Melkote: A trip back in time
Melkote: A trip back in time

Apart from its temples and period architecture, the town is known for its khadi handlooms, the trademark Melkote Panche, as well as the Sanskrit Research institute.

Melukote panche
Melukote panche

A perfect day trip from Bangalore or Mysore, Melkote has a unqiue vibe and a charm quite like none other.

Melkote streetscapes
Melkote streetscapes

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