July 18, 2014

Melukote and Kokkare Bellur


Trip Details
Distance From Bangalore
150 Kms and just 55 Kms from Mysore
Type
Melukote: Historical monument, Carvings and sculptures, Temple
KokkareBellur: Birds watching
Time needed
8 hours for both the above places
Best time to visit
Melukote: Anytime except during rains
Kokkare Bellur: December and January seem to be the best time to see too many varieties of birds. Other months very few birds.
Local guides
Melukote: Check with locals for a guide who can take you around and explain all the places and history.
Kokkare Bellur: Just see the tree tops for any birds throughout this village. Walk through the village streets and see for birds. Don’t encourage kids to show you the birds and don’t tip them.
Stay options
No need to stay, 8 hours to cover both.
Food
In Melukote there are Subanna Brahmin Mess and Annapurna Iyengar mess. (or)
On Bangalore Mysore state highway there are plenty of restaurants including Kadambam, Kamat and Adiga…etc
Nearby places
Cheluvanarayana temple, Yoga Narasimha temple on hill top, Rayagopura, Kalyani pond, Akka-Thangi Kola, A lake just before you enter the Melukote village and backside of the Cheluvanarayana Temple. 
Other tips
·      First visit Melukote and then head towards Kokkare Belluru
·      In Melukote there are two temples. One is on the top of the hill (Yoga Narasimha Temple) and one below. The one below (Cheluvanarayana Temple) has beautiful carvings on the pillars and each pillar is so unique and beautiful.
·      The way up to the top of the hill is so beautiful with lots of trees. Relax and do all your breathing exercises and get energized with the breeze. Carry binoculars for Kokkare Belluru.

Melukote Temples
Melukote is a beautiful village with many water bodies and beautiful temples. Current Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha is born here. Cheluvanarayana Temple is the one which is in bottom of the hill and Yoga Narasimha Temple is the one which is on the top of the hill.

In Cheluvanarayana temple, you will see beautiful pillars each one is very unique. See below the photos to appreciate. Visit Wiki for more details on this village and temples. Vairamudi Brahmotsava is the very famous festival which attracts lakhs of devotees. Vairamudi means "Diamond Crown".

Apart from the temples, you can see the Rayagopura and Kalyani pond which is really a big pond I have seen. Two more ponds named "Akka-Thangi" (Elder sister-younger sister) are also nearby. Also there is a big lake nearby if you can walk a little and you can relax there and enjoy the scenery.

If you want to taste the Melkote-Puliyogare (tamarind rice) then you have Subanna Brahmin Mess. They serve lunch on Banana leaf. Puliyogare, Sweet pongal, White rice, Sambar, Papad and Kootu are served. We liked it. They also sell puliyogare mix. There is also Annapurna Iyengar mess before Subanna mess. After lunch you can spend some time in the lake I mentioned above.

Kokkare Belluru
You can cover this Kokkare Belluru in afternoon after your visit to Melukote. This is the place where you can see varieties of birds everywhere in the village. The villagers told us that December and January are the best months when you get to see thousands of birds. In the village there is a dedicated parking lot for all visitors. Carry Binocular and good camera. Just walk inside the streets of the village casually and see the top of all the trees. Everywhere you will see the nests of different birds.

We also spotted a tree which has two other trees on top of that. This is just amazing isn't it ? Yes, this is called "Devaru Mara" (Divine tree). They also told this is "Ibbe Mara". Amazingly the neem tree is in the middle of the Ficus Religiousa (arasa maram) and on top you see the palm tree as well. Visit my blog post which has exclusive photos of such trees in various places.  See below the pictures.

Melukote
View of Cheluvanarayana Temple

Melukote
Garuda Vahana 

Melukote
Do you see Rain water harvesting technique used ? 

Melukote
View of the Prahara inside the temple complex and the compound wall

Melukote
Pillars.... in a Pillar !

Melukote
Is this is a chinese dragon ? 

Melukote
See the details in the pillars

Melukote
So intricate carvings on the pillar

Melukote
Lord Krishna with flute

Melukote





Melukote
Pillars in a Pillar


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Zoom to see the details of the temple timings

Melukote
Wov, it is so pleasant to see these many trees

Melukote
Yes, relax under the shade of the trees on your way up. Enjoy the cool breeze !

Melukote
Yes, the Tower is so beautiful !

Melukote
Relax and climb slowly while you enjoy the cool breeze

Melukote
Trees everywhere 

Melukote
Not too many steps, very easy to climb. But these trees invite everyone to relax and delay things :-)

Melukote
Wov, imagine if it is painted !

Melukote
Though painted, but losing the colors so old, yet beautiful !

Melukote
See sculptures on the tower

Melukote
View of the Pond and lake from top of the hill

Melukote
Do you see a lake ...Yes, that is where we had gone to relax for a while after lunch


Melukote
Yes, the tower and the temple is on the edge of the hill 

Melukote
View of the Temple from Kalyani Pond

Melukote
Wov..... amazingly the pillars aligned in perfection

Melukote
Very old style houses with "Thinnai"(Verandah)

Melukote
Beautiful view of the lake from the steps leading to this lake ! (yes well laid steps are there)


Melukote
The stones have some mineral deposits and my kids were amazed to see these !
Melukote
On the way from Mandya to Melukote, we saw the paddy fields with lots of birds !


Melukote
View of the Yoga Narasimha Temple on Hill

Kokkare Belluru Photos

Kokkare Belluru
See the tree-tops for birds, walk on the village streets and go near trees to see the birds !

Kokkare Belluru
Even in the month of July we saw few birds !

Kokkare Belluru
Yes I don't have good camera. !

Kokkare Belluru
Beautiful Village and the trees around... 

Kokkare Belluru
How many trees you see? Sure? Three are there. Neem in middle and Palm on top, Ficus Religious on the base !

Kokkare Belluru
Do you see three now ? 

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