Thalakkadu / Talakadu Temples (Mysore - Karnataka)

ONE OF THE UNUSUAL PLACES TO VISIT IN KARNATAKA 
What are the sand places in India? - Thar Desert, Beaches, then??? Thalakkadu. Located near Mysore, on the banks of Cauvery, this huge landscape is just drowned in the sand. Visiting Talakadu is an easy one day trip from Bangalore and one of the places to visit near Bangalore within 200 kms. Talakadu is an easier one day trip from Mysore and one of the places to visit near Mysore within 50 kms. Talakadu is a group of very unusual sand temples - not constructed with sand, but almost completely filled with sand!

TALAKADU HISTORY - CURSE OF TALAKADU - WHY IS TALAKAD FILLED WITH SAND?
The legend and story of Talakadu goes that this place was cursed by a widow, Alamelu Mangamma of the last king of Vijayanagara Empire (Srirangapatna), Sriranga Rayar, who was killed, thanks to the enmity with the Mysore Empire of Wodayars. She cursed that this place would be filled with sand always and that the Wodayars will have no sons to carry forward their empire.
There are multiple versions of this story. One is this. Another is that Sriranga Rayar was gravely ill and Raja Wodayar wanted to take possession of the temple jewels which were in with Alamely Mangamma (or) take possession of Alamelu Mangamma herself! In these versions, she cursed this place and the Wodayars and drowned in the Cauvery (along with the jewels if its the first version)!

Curse of Talakadu

Talakadu Temples
Pic Credit: By Alok567gupta - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS AT TALAKADU
There are about 30 temples here which are being excavated little by little. Thanks to the curse, the overwhelming sand always delays the efforts taken by the Archaeological Survey of India. 6 of them are now well excavated and are regained regular worship. These Talakadu Panchalinga temples have been partially excavated and some of them have been rebuilt. Visiting them actually requires, walking downwards from the ground level which is high, thanks to the filled up sand! It is easy to imagine how a major portion of the temples or some every completely submerged, looking at the height of the sand around the temples. The first picture of this post are Talakadu photos from about the year 2000, when I visited, much before any renovation of any temple was done. 

SIVA TEMPLES IN TALAKADU / THALAKKADU
There are 5 temples in the region dedicated to Lord Shiva collectively called the Pancha Linga Kshetram. They are Akkeshwarar / Arkeshwarar Temple (worshipped by Sun God - this alone is not in Talakadu but located about 30km away), Pathaleshwara Temple (worshipped by Vasuki - The Snake), Sykatheshwara Temple (worshipped by Lord Brahma), Mallikarjuneshwara Temple (worshipped by Arjuna) and Vaidhyanatha Swamy (Vaidyeshvara) with his consort Manonmani Ambal. 
Vaidhyanatha Swamy (Vaidyeshvara) temple is the only Shiva temple which has, a common phenomenon seen only in Lord Vishnu Temples. In Vishnu temples, the Swarga Vasal is opened on the occasion of Vaikunda Ekadesi. Here, in Vaidhyanatha Swamy temple it opens during Pongal. 

PILGRIMAGE TOURISM IN TALAKAD
Though they are worshipped together and a pilgrimage tourism trip from Bangalore to Talakadu would comprise of a visit to all of the 5 temples, only 3 of these are located in Talakadu. The rest 2 are located a bit away. Mallikarjuneswarar Temple is at Mudukutore, T.Bettahalli located about 8km north of Talakadu. Reaching the temple requires climbing about 100 stairs as well. The other temple is Akkeswarar temple. This is located pretty far from Talakadu at a distance of 35km that goes via Somnathapur Keshava temple which is known for its splendid Hoysala architectural and sculptural beauty along with Belur Chennakeshava Temple and Halebidu Hoysaleshwara Temple. 

PERUMAL TEMPLES IN TALAKADU / THALAKKADU
Apart from these 5, there is 1 more temple here dedicated to Lord Vishnu, called the Keerthinarayana Temple, where Lord Vishnu is in Ananthasayanam or Sleeping Pose with his consort Lakshmi near his legs. This temple also had shrines of Lord Ganapathy and Goddess Lakshmi.

WHY IS TALAKADU CALLED SO?
On either side of the entrance of the Veerabadhra shrine in Vaidhyanatha Swamy temple are the relief sculptures of Thala & Kada.The name Talakadu comes from the names of 2 brothers - Thala and Kadu, who were wood cutters. They spotted a tree with an image of Lord Shiva in it. They stopped cutting and they also spotted elephants worshipping the tree. The elephants (which were cursed Maharishis) along with Tala and Kada attained Moksham immediately.

Talakadu temples day trip from Mysore
Pic Credit: By Dineshkannambadi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Coracle Ride at Talakad Srirangapatna
Left pic credit: By Prof tpms - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

CORACLE RIDE IN THALAKKADU / TALAKADU RIVER
Talakadu places to visit wouldn't be complete without a mention of a ride on the traditional circular boat called Coracle. After a trip to all the temples, it is then the time to move to the water from the sand - Coracle ride in the Cauvery river!!! Yes, this picture is the age-old me, when I was about 12 yrs old riding on this coracle!!! Update 2018: It costs about Rs.50/- per head for a 20 mins ride.

TIPS FOR VISITING TALAKAD / THALAKKADU
I could definitely give you a couple of tips to visit Talakadu. 
  • Wear sturdy footwear which either closes your foot completely or almost totally open. Either the shoes should keep the sand out completely or the slippers should let the sand move freely! 
  • The distance between Vaidhyanatha Swamy temple and Maraleswarar Temple is about 2km which has to be walked. So come prepared to walk in the sand.
  • It's better to venture in cooler months of the year, so the hot sand doesn't kill your feet!!! 
  • Apply loads of sunscreen, and carry loads of water. 

SHOOTING SPOT OF TAMIL FILM MUDHAL MARIYADHAI
Those who are aware of the Tamil Film Industry would definitely remember the legendary movie 'Mudhal Mariyadhai'. The scenes of the coracle ride with the heroine were very much shot here!!! 

HOW TO REACH TALAKAD/THALAKKADU
Where is Thalakkadu / Talakad (On Google Maps): Maraleswarar Temple, Pathaleswarar Temple, Vaidhyanatheswarar Temple, Keerthi Narayanar Temple
Other temples under Pancha Linga Kshetra, but not located in Talakadu: Arkeswarar Temple, Mallikarjuneswarar Temple
Mysore to Talakadu distance: 50km via Duddagere and T.Narsipura
Bangalore to Talakadu distance: 140km via Kanakapura and Malavalli

THALAKADU TEMPLES TIMINGS
8:30AM to 1:30PM and 4:30PM to 7:30PM

THALAKADU / TALAKAD HOTELS
Mysore hotels and dorms at all price points. There is one resort very close by on the banks of river Cauvery called Talakadu Jaladhama. 

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT NEAR BANGALORE WITHIN 100-200 KMS
Shivanasamudra Falls (30km from Talakadu)
Belur Chennakeshava Temple and Halabidu Hoysaleshwara Temple
UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Hampi, Pattadakkal

Thalakkadu Talkad Talakadu Mysore Temples Pinterest

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 78 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of Sept 2020. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands

12 comments:

  1. Its a lovely place and as you rightly said, the sands are very hot during the day time. nICE POST.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.com/2012/01/malay-flavour.htmL

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  2. Wow! REALLY IMPRESSED AFTER READING THIS POST....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Arpith. Glad you're impressed.
      Do drop by often.. :)

      Delete
  3. glad to have found your blog. Talakkad has always intrigued me. Nice to know more about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad too that you found my blog and managed to find time to read thru and post comment here. Do drop by often. I'd love your visits & comments.. :)

      Delete
  4. Good coverage of the dynasty which progressed with discovery of Gold in its terrain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deguide.. :)
      Guess its your first visit here to my blog.
      Do drop by often. I'd love your visits & comments.. :)

      Delete
  5. interesting post with information, photos also good


    thanks

    ReplyDelete

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