Talakkad or Talakadu

Talakad, also known as Talakadu or Thalakkadu, is a town on the left bank of the Kaveri river at a spot where the river makes a sharp bend. It is 45 km from Mysore and 185 km from Bangalore. A historic site, Talakad once had over 30 temples that today are buried in sand. Now it is a scenic and spiritual pilgrimage center. Here the eastward flowing Kaveri river changes course and seems magnificiently vast as here the sand on its banks spreads over a wide area.

The history of the ancient temple city of Talakad, a pilgrimage site, has become lost in time. The illustrious and powerful Western Gangas ruled from 350 to 1050 AD until they were overthrown by the Cholas in the 11th century. Talakad came under the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century, followed by the powerful Vijayanagara Kingdom rulers and the Maharajas of Mysore.

The Hoysala ruler, Vishnuvardhana, conquered the Gangas and Talakad. He built the impressive Vijayanarayana Chennakesava Temple at Belur.

At Talakad sand covers the temples. Stone pillars, square at the base and made to fit into a wheel below the abacus, lie scattered about. Among the temples of Talakad, the Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanathee-shwara and Mallikarjuna temples, the five Lingams believed to represent the five faces of Shiva, form the Pancha pathi and have become famous. In honour of these five Shiva temples, a fair is held once every 12 years called Panchalinga Darshana, last held in 2006. The Panchalinga Darshana is held on a new moon day in the month of Karthika when two stars conjoin, the stars of Khuha Yoga and Vishaka.On this day, tradition has it that pilgrims should first bathe in the Gokarna theertham, worship Gokarneswara and Chandikadevi, and then worship Vaidyeshwara, and then bathe in the northern eastern southern and western stretches of the Kaveri and then worship Arkeshwara, Pataleshwara, Maraleshwara and Mallikarjuna, returning to Vaidyeshwara after each worship, finally worship Kirtinarayana and conclude the pilgrimage in one day.

According to local legend, Ramanujacharya during his sojourn in Karnataka (also called Melnadu), established five Vishnu temples of Lord Narayana known as Pancha Narayana Kshetrams. Talakad is one of the Pancha Narayana Kshetrams where the Keerthi Narayana temple was establsihed and the presiding Deity in this temple is Keerthi Narayana.

Curse of Talakad
Talakad is also tagged to the curse called "Curse of Talakad" by Alamelamma on the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore. The Thalakaadu curse has established itself in the folklore as a miracle since the early part of 16th century because of two strange events visible even to date: (i) Thalakaadu, an historically vibrant city, is now being submerged under sand dunes several meters deep, and (ii) the Mysore royal family have faced problem in having a rightful heir to the throne since 1600s. Both these events linked to an apparent curse by a pious lady (Alamelamma) have defied logic. Based on the data from diverse sources and field studies, K. N. Ganeshaiah has reconstructed the possible chronology of events of this acclaimed miracle. Ganeshaiah argues that the Thalakaadu phenomenon represents an ecological disaster unintentionally wrought on to a vibrant civilization at this place and in this sense the curse per se is an intelligently inserted story as an overlay. Using this example he discusses the possible process through which the miracles or myths of this kind survive in a society.

The curse which has survived the folklore of last four hundred odd years is known thus:
-May Malangi turn into an unfathomed whirlpool
-May Talakad turn into a barren expanse of sand
-May the Rajas of Mysore not have children for all time to eternity!

Some other legends
Several other interesting legends also surround this shrine. It is believed that an ascetic Somadatta headed out to Siddharanya Kshetra Talakad) to worship Shiva. Having been killed by wild elephants en route, he and his disciples re-incarnated as wild elephants and worshipped Shiva in the form of a tree at Talakad.

Two hunters Tala and Kada, are believed to have struck the tree with an axe to find blood gushing forth, and upon the bidding of a heavenly voice, dressed the wound of the tree with thre tree's leaves and fruits. The tree healed, and the hunters became immortal. Since Shiva is believed to have healed himself through this incident, he is referred to as Vaidyeshwara. The Panchalingams here are all associated with this legend.

Distance from Bengaluru to Sri Kotilingeshwara Temple, Sri Kotilingeshwara Maha Samsthana, Talakadu, Tirumakudalu Narasipura Taluk, Mysore is 97.8 km and via NH4 and takes around 1 h 52 min.

Route Map Driving Directions from Bangalore to Talakkad

Temples in Talakad

Vaidyanatheswara Temple is located in Talakad, an ancient town with an interesting history. It is located In the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka.