Changes…

From what can be termed as an ‘exile’, i’m back to the amazing universe of blogging, again!

Change is the only constant thing in our lives. An old cliche, but the truth nevertheless. And it was time for a change in my personal and professional life, which had me to take a break from blogging, for about two months, and now i’m here, back to one of the things I loved to do.

Changes in our lives are always good, though we might take some time, at times, to realize the goodness of the change 🙂

Cheers

God Bless

Vacation Chronicles ~ 3

Melkote

Following the earlier two posts – Vacation Chronicles ~ 1 and Vacation Chronicles ~ 2 – The stones are alive! here goes the third and concluding post on my vacation.

This post is completely dedicated to a beautiful, clean, serene, divine, calm, picturesque, peaceful, little town in Karnataka, named Melkote. It is at a distance of about 50 kms from Mysore and has good, accessible road from there. And still, i’m still out of adjectives to sing the praise of this place!

Raya Gopura

Melkote, also known as ThiruNarayanaPuram is more of a pilgrimage center, than a tourist spot, and that’s the main reason we were there (remember I had mentioned family vacation/pilgrimage in the earlier post?) The CheluvaNarayana Temple and the YogaNarasimha Swamy Temple atop a small hill are the important temples, apart from a few other ancient, antique temples here.

CheluvaNarayana Temple

Melkote is quiet, little town with few ancient temples, many clean and pristine ponds surrounded by lush greenery, simple and traditional homes, clean roads, little shops, a Sanskrit college and academy, scenic vistas, humble and helpful people, which makes a person fall in love with this place again and again!

The YogaNarasimha Swamy temple is situated atop a small hill. Visiting this temple requires a climb of around 200 rock cut steps, which are covered by lush greenery, and occasional stone mantapa. There were many monkeys and goats along this way too, giving us a good company.

And not to forget the yummy Puliogare and Chakare Pongal that we got to taste here. Simply divine! And for the uninitiated, Puliogare and Chakare Pongal are a delicacy present in many South Indian Temples. They are supposed to be second most important aspect of the temple, the first being the Lord 😉

That’s me, on the way to YogaNarasimhaSwamy Temple, atop the hill.

From the various experiences that I had here, the one I loved the most are the divinity and the cleanliness of this place. Divinity is beyond the scope of any explanation and our understanding! So moving on to the cleanliness aspect, the temples, roads, ponds, public washrooms are maintained so well in this little town!

Overall, the pilgrimage to Melkote was nourishing to the soul, pumping up more faith into the mind and lifting up our spirits.

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Check out the following links, which provide more information on Melkote. Please do pay a visit to this place and get an experience of a lifetime!

Melkote – Wikipedia

Melkote – Anudinam

***The pictures included in this post were taken by me***

Cheers

God Bless

Vacation Chronicles ~ 2

The stones are alive!

Continuing from my previous post – Vacation Chronicles ~ 1, here I go with my second post. Without any explanation, by the end of this post, you would know why ‘The stones are alive!’

Standing at the threshold
of the mighty and impressive
Chennakeshava Devasthana*,
I wonder,
Do I bow to the Lord
Or the spirit of the sculptors?
Then, I feel His charm
And I bow to the Lord,
who dwells in and as
the soul of the sculptor,
And of the stone!

The following pictures were taken at the ChennaKeshava Temple complex at Belur, Karnataka. ChennaKeshava expands to ‘Chennagi Iruva Keshava’ which means the Handsome Keshava, in Kannada. His temple is beautiful, but His charm is matchless!

Chronicle to be concluded in next post Vacation Chronicles ~ 3 – Melkote

*Devasthana = Place of God ~ Temple

***The pictures included in this post were taken by me***

Cheers

God Bless

Vacation Chronicles ~ 1

Finally, we got time for our long pending, long family vacation/pilgrimage! And honestly I just cannot write about our week long vacation in a post, or even a series of posts! So I go with a summary of my experiences, thoughts, observations and happenings…

Raya Gopura – Melkote, Karnataka

Journey is a destination too…
The journey through the dense forests of Sathyamangalam, along the course of the river Kaveri, next to the impressive Bhavani Sagar Dam, over the twisting roads of Mettupalayam, over the rough terrains of Ooty, kissing the bright Morning Glory creepers from the hilly terrains, over the bridges, through the tunnels, overlooking the tea estates, over the narrow roads adjacent to Pykara Lake, on the steep slopes overlooking the scary Frog Hill View Point, though the evergreen forests of Mudumalai, occasional sightings of a variety of monkeys and buffaloes, a rare sighting of an elephant, through the downsloping roads of Bandipur, through the broad regal roads of Mysore, through the sugarcane fields to Melkote, over the rough roads to Belur, on the dusty roads to Halebidu…oh wait! These are just the bus journey routes. Many times in life we forget that, real happiness is not a destination, but found all around through the journey!

Window to the world…
It is the window which shows us the world, as we sit comfortably in our home, or a cosy bus/train. It is the window which makes one enjoy the sightings, like those which were mentioned above, to admire the beauty of nature and sing the praise of the Lord.
One disturbing thing was that people tend to take (dis)advantage of these beautiful windows and the more beautiful vistas outside. And I honestly wish that every bus/train (with openable windows) have a Pleading/Warning in bold letters which says…“Windows are NOT DUSTBINS!”

Fragrance of a river…
Believe me this river has a fragrance, an emotional connect to everyone related to the place though which it meanders, and is considered holier than the Ganga – the Kaveri. The fragrance, the warmth, the peace, the connect could be felt while cruising along its banks through Sathyamangalam, over the bridges at Mysore, over its canals at Mandya, along its banks at Srirangapatna, over the lush green sugarcane fields, the coconut groves, and my praise and admiration for this river can never stop!

Chennakeshava Temple – Belur, Karnataka

Love affair with a city…
Ask me, ‘which is your favourite place?’ and my instant reply would be Mysore! One of the cleanest, greenest, less-congested, regal cities of India. The palaces, wide and clean roads, almost-nil traffic jams, greenery, crispy and mouthwatering dishes, well connectivity, humble and simple people, non-existent water woes, absence of crimes, cheaper lifestyle, and on and on. The list to fall in love with Mysore can be extended to one’s will!

One just can’t stop me from singing the praises for the places that I visited. Such was the mesmerization, enchantment that were present here. So continuing my chronicle in the next 2 posts too…

1) Vacation Chronicles ~ 2 – The stones are alive!

2) Vacation Chronicles ~ 3 – Melkote

***The pictures included in this post were taken by me***

Cheers

God Bless