Saturday, 29 November 2014

Talakadu - The Land Submerged in Sand

It was a shivering winter Sunday and we planned for a trip to Shivanasamudra and Talakadu (Talakad). Distance between Bengaluru - Talakadu is 130 km. We opted for the route Bengaluru-Ramanagar-Channapatna-Maddur-Malavalli-Talakadu. This route takes three hours to reach Talakadu if you go by your own vehicle.
We reached Talakadu at 4pm after visiting Shivanasamudra. I was really worried about the shortage of time to explore Talakadu as we had to return to Bengaluru on same day.
As soon as you reach Talakad, your vehicle will be surrounded by local tourist guides. If you know the history of Talakad then no need to hire a guide, otherwise guides will be of a great help. We hired a tourist guide.
We were surprised to see sand everywhere.It is very difficult to find out traces of mud here. Talakadu town looks like a dessert. Our tourist guide started explaining the history of the place. He said that Talakadu got its name by two hunters called "Tala" and "Kada" who worshiped Lord Vaidyanatheshwara (Main God of Talakadu) and attained Moksha here. For longer time Talakadu was the capital of Gangas. Later Cholas ruled the place and called it as" Rajarajapura". Later Hoysalas conquered the place and called it as "Talakadagonda". After Hoysalas Talakadu was ruled by Vijayanagara Kings and Wodeyars of Mysore. 
Talakadu has five Shiva temples called as "Panchalinga". Talakadu is also called as "Mini Kaashi". Those five Shiva temples are Pataleshwara, Maraleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanatheshwara and Mallikarjuna. During rainy season all these temples will be fully covered with sand. These temples are visible only during winter and summer. We need at-least two hours to see all these temples. The main attraction of Talakadu is "Panchalinga Darshana" a fair which is held once in every 12 years. 
Pataleshwara Temple

Vaidyanatheshwara Temple Gopuram

I was struggling to keep my feet on sand. All narrow roads which lead to temple are covered with sheet. Otherwise just imagine what happens if sunrays touch the sand? It becomes impossible to walk on sand. 

I was curious to know why entire Talakadu is covered with sand? Our tourist guide narrated an interesting story behind this secret. 
Curse of Talakad :
The story takes us back to 16th century when Thirumala Raja ruled Sriranagapatnam. He was suffering from an incurable disease. He came to Talakadu to offer his sacrifices in the temple of Vaidyanatheshwara leaving his queen Alamelamma in charge of Srirangapatnam. But she hearing the news that her husband was on the point of death, soon after left to Talakadu to see him before he died, handing over Srirangapatnam to Raja Wodeyar of Mysore. Raja wodeyar was desirous of having Sriranagapatnam and jewels of Alamelamma. Waiting for this opportunity he sent his army against queen Alamelamma to grab her jewels forcefully. Queen Alamelamma felt cheated and went to the banks of  river Kaveri. She threw all her jewels in the river and drowned herself opposite Malangi river uttering the curse "Talakadu Marulagi, Malangi Maduvagi, Mysoru Arasarige Makkalgade irali", which means let Talakadu become sand, Malagi become a whirlpool, and let Mysuru Rajas fail to have heirs. 
We wondered about the curse. Dont know whether this curse became true or not but once flourished town Talakadu is now submerged  under sand dunes several meters deep and Mysore Royal wodeyar family haced problems in having a rightful heir to the throne since 17th century. Strange but true!!!
It was already 6 O' clock in the evening and we decided to return but our guide told that we can have some fun in backwaters of Kaveri. We went there but sun was in a hurry to end the day. Otherwise one can swim, hire boat, play water sports here. 

It is really worth visiting Talakadu once. It is an interesting place for everybody. For spiritualists, for geologists and for ecologists too....

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