I had originally planned to go to Byalakuppe whilst on a long awaited trip to Mysore but changed my mind at the last minute. Since it was a Monday, decided to go to Malai (Male) Mahadeshwar Hill, a well known Shiva temple, about 2-3hrs drive from Mysore.
I had aimed to leave by 8am...unfortunately Mysore was such a quiet town that I overslept and ended up missing the direct bus from Mysore suburb bus terminal to MM Hills as Malai Mahadeshwar Hills is more commonly known. On the spot took advise from the bus conductor to travel via Kollegal. I did not hesitate much because the next direct bus was 3 hrs later and it's always better to be on the move. So i hopped into the bus and wondered if there was anything interesting in Kollegal. A quick search on Google lead me to an article on witchcraft, in fact the place is famous for the dark arts. Oh Lord...
Whether one chooses to believe it or not, there are things that exists....that can be manipulated. Gratefully the 5 minutes transit was not enough time to get anyone riled up and I was glad to leave Kollegal asap.. Although the profusion of graveyards interspersed between lots of houses and a whiff of fermented/rotting smell possibly of fishes (?) kept me cagey to say the least. Just when i thought i had escaped undetected...a woman boarded the bus, bearing in mind that my head was a little soft at that point, her looks certainly did not help matters. Scrawny, dark, messy hair, with dark rimmed kajoled eyes, a rather large red bindi, rouged lips and tongue/teeth colored by chewing paan Plus a small square bandage at the tip of her nose which seems to be flat as if it had dropped off or cut off. #Glup #overactiveimagination AND she sat right in front of me and keep turning around to catch my eyes!!! areehhh!
MM Hills is only about 80 kms away from Kollegal but the slow pace in a narrow road and bathroom breaks is a 1) good way to flatten my bums 2) finally catch up on my reading 3) watch the landscape. The scenery outside is varied as the topography changes from a lush agricultural fields reminiscent of my village to passing through a nature reserve up the hills.
Malai Mahadeswara is believed to be one of the avatars of Lord Shiva. He settled here, defeating the demon Sharavana Boli and generally uplifted the lives of the local inhabitants. MM Hills consists of 7 hills and thus is in the midst of lush forest area. The main area of the temple is well organized and planned out with wide open pavements. The actual trip within Madeshwar temple is hardly spans 15mins. As usual my darshans are short and simple. Plams together, head bowed and a quick prayer. I have mentioned it before but I will repeat again the manner of darshan in India is far more reverent, with a devotee bound by various boundaries from a socioreligious aspects to the actual rows of metal bars barring one from getting up and close.
by the way...this is one of the Temple in which one has to apply the Tripundra. While it has a significant meaning behind it, mainly a reminder of the spiritual aims of life...it takes a certain flare to carry it off. Unfortunately i doubt i have it..