Horsley Hills - Road Trip from Bangalore

 Horsley Hills is a small hill station in Andhra Pradesh, near to Bangalore. Its ideal for a day trip or a weekend trip. Sometime back I accompanied my friends on a small road trip to this place.

Road to Horsley Hills
Road to Horsley Hills
From the Old Madras Road ( A National Highway) we took a State Highway towards Chintamani. This was a road which was pretty decent at stretches , but bad to terrible for several kilo meters.
The countryside is pretty dry and the hills are mostly devoid of trees. But there were some places nice enough to stop and take rest on the way.
Chintamani State Highway
Chintamani State Highway

The topology changed from dry to arid at places and it was a different sight altogether.
Road to Horsley Hills
Road to Horsley Hills

This must be long walk for a villager  on these roads. 
Cillagers on the Road
Villagers on the Road

Nearby to Horsley Hills , it was more pleasant weather, but still it was too hot for a winter day. 
Beautiful Road to Horsley Hills
Beautiful Road to Horsley

Finally we reached the top of Horsley Hills after crossing some areas that provided great panoramic views.
ooty of Andhra
Ooty of Andhra
As we reached the place we realized that it was not only crowded , but it was overflowing. The APTDC hotel was serving some decent buffet, and people spread out to the gardens to have the food as there was no place inside the restaurant.
I walked around the place, seemed to be nice place for kids if it was not so crowded. The biggest attraction to me was the grand old Eucalyptus Tree ( from 1859 it said) . That was really amazing.

Apart from that the zoo was falling apart ,gardens, nature trails and view points maybe enchanting on a less crowded and rainy day. However the APTDC hotel seemed to be nice.

After spending some time loitering around the place we decided to return using a different route this time via Punganur.

Melukote - Day Trip from Bangalore

Melukote is a small temple town near Mysore. One fine Sunday morning we started off from Bangalore for Melukote. The morning weather in Bangalore was very pleasant. Speeding off from NICE road we reached Ramnagara very hungry for breakfast. Just a few kilometres from Ramnagara is 'Kamat Lokaruchi' a nice place for breakfast. Although its generally pretty decent but the service was poor. it seemed that they are facing tough competition from a few of the newer ones on this road. Next time I'll also try the new restaurant just on the opposite side of Kamat.

The shops surrounding Kamat sell some handicrafts related stuff. Some of the items are pretty decent and good looking. But its mostly fancy stuff.

Starting from Kamat, we set off towards Maddur. In Maddur, we stopped to buy a bottle of water and my friend bought a couple of bananas for his kid. driving through some hectic traffic and a lot of road humps we reached Mandya from where we had to take the diversion towards Melukote. Initially it seemed to be a bad choice , but the road turned out to be a wonderful one. It took us through the countryside and some real greenery. The road condition was also pretty decent.

State Highway, Melukote
State Highway to Melukote

The last couple of kilometres into Melukote there are some Ghat section mountain roads. But its pretty decent and soon one can see a huge water body.
Melukote Lake
Melukote water body

On entering Melukote we immediately went to 'Melukote Kalyani'. This seemed like a big pond where some ceremony was going on. 
Melukote Kalyani
Melukote Kalyani

This is the Melukote Kalyani. One can spend some time here. 
Melukote Kalyani Pond
Melukote Kalyani Pond

After seeing the Melukote Kalyani we walked to see the Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple. Its based on the popular Vishnu avatar - Narasimha. One has to climb about 50 to 100 odd steps to reach the temple. There are porters available to carry elderly people.

Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple entrance
Yoga Narasimha Swamy temple entrance

Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple trees
Beautiful Trees in Yoga Narasimha Swamy temple
 This temple provides a wonderful view with lots of trees and a feeling of ancient places. Shoes are to be left outside even before climbing the steps. Hence advised to make the visit in the early morning. Its an active temple with people going for Pujas and lots of beggars.
Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple Path
Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple path

I took several pictures from this place. It also provides a wonderful view of the Cauvery River valley. A photographer's delight actually. 
Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple
Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple

Apart from the Temple sanctum photography is allowed everywhere.
Apart from this temple there is another temple just about half a kilometer from this one called Cheluvaraya Swamy temple. We decided to skip this as we were too hungry for lunch.
There are a couple of more ponds after this temple , but did not find it very clean surroundings.

The same road takes one to the Sanskrit academy for which Melukote is famous. We noticed a lot of Swamiji like dressed people who seemed to be like Sanskrit pundits. We decided to call it a day. It was indeed a wonderful Sunday for us.

The trip was good and we decided to spend the afternoon in Ranganathitu Bird Sanctuary nearby. But that will be another story. I was hoping to see a few kilometres of forested area , as google information suggested there is a Melukote Wildlife Sanctuary where wolves are seen. Maybe we missed that.

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