Monday, 1 July 2013

Markonhalli Dam & Melkote

Just 3 days after the Madhugiri trip, we were all set for the next journey on our wishlist - Melkote via Markonhalli Dam!

With a delayed start of about an hour - left from home by 5:45 AM & took the Nagarbhavi route to reach Magadi since we stay in Girinagar. The Magadi route is really scenic & peaceful until we hit the Mangalore-Bangalore Highway, after which it is a smooth 4 lane road until we reach Yadiyur! 

Markonhalli Dam
To reach markonhalli dam - we took the left 3 kms before Yadiyur & traversed about 6 kms. This stretch involves quite bad roads & a few mtrs of mud road too. 
Reached the dam by 8:15 AM & since we like the idea of packing b'fast for one day trips - settled in a neat garden just beside the dam.

We did not see any shops or hotels since we took the deviation on the highway & until we reached Melkote to be precise,  so it's a good idea to pack your snacks/eatables before you take the deviation on the highway. The shavige upma did taste yum with the orange juice :) 9:00 AM and we were ready to take on the day! 

Fisherman at work @ Markonhalli Dam
The dam although quite dried out due to the summer, is huge & calm. There wasn't anyone except for a few fishermen. Clicked a few snaps, and wandered around to see if we could in any way reach the base of the dam as we spotted a lot of bird life near the water, but all efforts went in vain.Sat down overlooking the dam & hearing the birds chirp for about 45 mins & by 10:15 AM, decided to head out to Melkote. 

Melkote belongs to the Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district and is well known for the deity Cheluvanarayana Swamy. Melkote is about 50 kms from Markonhalli dam & the  road until Nagamangala - about 20 kms stretch is manageable with pot holes, after which the roads are good. 

It was joy riding up the last few kms of ghat roads. Reached Melkote by 11:30 AM & straight away headed to the Kalyani but were disappointed as it is in a bad shape & people were washing clothes & bathing in the sacred water which was once built to be used for the temple! So, didn't stay beyond a couple of mins. Then, we visited the Yoganarasimha temple on the top of the hill - about 250 odd steps in the sun was tiring. 

Yoganarasimha Temple a top the hill
Govinda, Govindaa..

Once at the top, didn't find anything capturing about the deity as it is an old temple & in need of maintenance

It was more like in & out for me, on our way down the steps stopped to get the traditional naama! that was fun, although the person who applies it was not happy that I said no to it, so by force I too got it done along with hubby!

Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple

After climbing down, we went to the Cheluvanarayana swamy temple & were just in time for the Darshan, but due to the queue took about 30 mins to see the deity. As the name suggests, the idol is really beautiful. No photos could be taken as it is prohibited inside the temple complex.
By now, we were very hungry & upon enquiry one of the auto drivers suggested subbanna mess for a traditional meal. 

The mess is located very close to the temple & they serve food on the table or on the floor as per preference on banana leaves.The food was tasty with a array of vegetable Palya,Papad,Rasam,Sambar,Curd & Sweet - The sugar pongal was out of the world. But were surprised when we were charged 130/- per meal as we felt that the price was pretty high.

From the mess we went to Rayagopura, a very photogenic stone structure & spent some time there.Nothing to really boast of, but the visit is worth for the view of the temple from here. This is marked as a archaeological site, but none are being maintained are charged for the visit. You will find a lot of photographers offering 1 minute snaps in this place!  

Temple view from Rayagopura

Followed it up by Dhanushkoti, where the famous Namadachilume is found. It is believed that Rama hit an arrow on the hill & water sprung out of it. But currently it's just smelly stagnant water on a hill top of about 50 steps.

Dhanushkoti - the path to namadachilume
Art work on the way to Dhanushkoti
On the way to Dhanushkoti, a mini forest is being brought up, along with nice art work.Another place of interest is the Akka-thangi Kola, which can be seen on the way to the above two places. Unfortunately, it is in a state of pity, with no water in the kalyani & an accumulation of garbage. Dhanushkoti and Rayagopura are close to the temple and takes about 1 hour of leisure visit. 
A nice view point from Dhanushkoti
The view point at Dhanushkoti was certainly very relaxing during the mid day.Although Melkote is connected through public transport, it is best enjoyed in your own vehicle since the attractions are not located at walk-able distances.

Headed out from Melkote by 3:30 & reached home by 5:00 PM. We took the Mandya route on our return as we like trying different routes!

Family trip or otherwise - the above two places will certainly give some peace & happy times.

Distance Covered : 299 kms
Time taken:About 12 hours
Avg bike speed : 50 kmph

Happy travelling!!


  1. Hey ashwini, good article. Would visit this place for sure!

    1. Thanks Nitin! Appreciate your kind words mate :-D

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