It is the classical Indian story . A tale told by Gods and demons, filled with kings and queens, replete with curses and boons. There is a little bit of history here, blended with some geology and topped with legends and myths. Set on the banks of the river Cauvery, this saga dates back to the 4th century and has certain intriguing elements, defying the very laws of nature . This is the tale of Talakadu, the erstwhile capital of the Ganga Dynasty ( 350-999 AD), which is now partially buried under sand dunes . Many rulers have reigned over this once flourishing city , but today it is a lost forgotten town, blown over by the sands of time
It was a natural curiosity to unearth the secrets of Talakadu that drove us from Bangalore one Sunday morning. It was one of those beautiful moments. The weather was just right. An eagle scooped down and soared away with the same ease. A herd of goats clamored for attention . Flanked by the verdant greenery, we passed fresh dewy fields, lotuses jostling for space in ponds, flitting butterflies and a few scattered hamlets . We saw glimpses of rustic life as various stages of harvest were in progress . The entire scene was an ode to the countryside. We ambled on for a couple of hours on the Mysore Road and took a detour at Maddur , passed Mallavalli en-route to this sacred, historic town .
We were rather unprepared for this. At the first glance, it was just a prosaic picnic spot, overcrowded with swarms of loud local tourists and besieged by persistent guides . Stalls selling local fares were protruding in every corner. We made our way towards the river bed, where the Cauvery flowed at her own pace. It presented an unusual, yet a stark picture . There were huge mounds of sand by the banks of the river, like a beach. With a canopy of tall eucalyptus trees spread out from the sand, it felt like being in the middle of a forest. The dense shrubbery, some lively birds and monkeys dangling between the branches completed the picture.
The mounds of sand were everywhere, like small hillocks, some as high as even 15 meters. It was a steep climb, as the feet sank in with each step. It was an inexplicable sight; nobody could fathom where the heaps of sand came from . The fertile soils of the Cauvery basin seemed to have become fine particles of soft sand by sheer magic. While the answer may be with a geologist, my local guide narrates this legend .
A curse of a woman he says is the cause of this sand blown town, an erstwhile fertile capital of several dynasties that ruled over Karnataka. A tale filled with greed and lust for power. It was the time when Talakadu and Srirangapatna were under the Vijayanagar empire . The death of the last Viceroy , Srirangaraya provoked the Wodeyars of Mysore to declare war. As Srirangapatna fell, the Wodeyar ruler sent his soldiers to covet the jewels of the late Viceroy’s widow, Alamelamma. As she fled from her pursuers, she is supposed to have jumped into the Cauvery , uttering the curses. My guide gets all dramatic as he proclaims the curse…” May Talakadu be always covered with sand and may the kings of Mysore always remain without heirs. “ The locals fear the curse as they say that it has come true. Talakadu is mysteriously engulfed with a sea of sand and the family tree of Mysore rulers show a large number of adopted heirs .
The story moves from being a mere myth to some startling historic discoveries as well. Recent excavations have unearthed temples from these mounds of sand and each dynasty has left their architecture stamp on them.. My guide points out that 30 such temples are still buried underneath the sand dunes as we climb our way to the excavated areas
Talakadu is famous for the Panchalingas – the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva called Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanatheeshwara and Mallikarjuna .Of these, the first two are the oldest, built by the Ganga kings. The locals here say that the Shivalinga in the former is said to change color according to the time of day – from red in the morning to black in the afternoon and white in the night. To us though, in the cool afternoon, it was simply black.
We paused to give our feet a bit of rest and heard the story of Tala and Kada, the two hunters , after whom my guide says , this town in named . One more story, this time, it fuses a bit of religion as well. A sage , Somadutta and his disciples were killed by wild elephants when they were doing their penance. They were said to be reborn as elephants in the same forest . Two hunters, Tala and Kada watched the ritual of the elephants offering prayers to a silk cotton tree. And out of curiosity, axed the tree down , only to find it bleeding. A voice then instructed them to heal the wound with the leaves and the blood miraculously turned milk which immortalized the hunters and the elephants as well. A temple later was built here around the tree , and the place became known as Talakadu.
We resumed our journey and reached the Vaidyanatheeshwara, the largest of them all, which was built by the Cholas . All these temples are neatly thatched and embedded in pits as we climbed down to visit them. Remnants of the bygone era were seen in some scattered stones, broken pillars, an ancient well and even some idols. The Pancha Linga festival is celebrated with much fanfare once in 12 years during the Kartika season, where the temples are allowed for worshipping. The last festival happened in 1993 and the next scheduled late this year. The lost and forgotten township sees throngs of devotees only during this period, while at the rest of times, it remains a desolate spot, with a few picnickers .
Besides the Panchalingas, another magnificent temple stands out even in the ruins. The Keerthinarayana temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, built by the Hoysolas, to celebrate the victory of Talakadu over the Cholas . Scattered stones lie all over the place along with the pillars, stone inscriptions , some carvings . The main temple , intricately carved houses an eight foot tall idol of the deity.
Excavations, they say have unearthed a 12 feet tall stone mandapa along with remnants of Garuda kamba. Work by archaeologists is still in progress here, as we stroll among the many stones, which my guide claims are ‘originals. It looked like each piece of stone was being numbered and the mantapas were being rebuilt to recreate the splendour of the past.
We had walked for more than a couple of hours, deeply engrossed in the continuous banter of our guide. Our feet caved in many a time, as we scaled the steep sand dunes. In the last two hours, we had traveled back to several centuries. We paused for a moment, taking in the sight. The silence was overwhelming. The voices of the past were buried under the layers of sand. We sat there, trying to build castles , but the wings gently swept them down. This, we realized was the destiny of Talakadu -the confluence of the historic and the holy spirit, where myths and legends merged, but were all completely swept away by the blasts from the past.
Talakadu is just three hours by road from Bangalore, enroute to Mysore. You could drive down from the Kanakpura Road or take the good old Mysore Road upto Maddur, past Mallavalli and proceed on the road towards Kollegal. About some 5 kms before the detour for Sivanasamudram Falls , there are sign boards indicating Talakadu, 22 kms to the right. The road is bad in patches and very often , it is long and winding , without any landmarks or signboards .
Talakadu is ideally for a one day sightseeing, but if you do want to stay over, there is a resort, Jaladhama or the Talakadu Island resort .It is located on the western side of back water of Madavamantri Dam at Madukuthore , 4kms from Talakadu . You are ferried to the resort by motorboat. You could visit for further details
I read your blog, and i thought it was rather cool. check out My Blog
Please Click Here to view it
Have a Great Day
Great blog!! I will make sure to come back as often as I can.
If You are really interested in teak furniture cleaning I can recommend
You to take a look at teak furniture cleaning
Here You will find almost everything You need to know about teak furniture cleaning
Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you!
I have a the tragedy of macbeth site/blog. It pretty much covers the tragedy of macbeth related stuff.
Come and check it out if you get time 🙂
This is a very interesting blog and I will make sure to come back often.
If You really are interested in add furniture site teak I can recommend You to visit add furniture site teak
Here You will find a complete directory of all You need to know about add furniture site teak
Make no mistake: Our mission at Tip Top Equities is to sift through the thousands of underperforming companies out there to find the golden needle in the haystack. A stock worthy of your investment. A stock with the potential for big returns. More often than not, the stocks we profile show a significant increase in stock price, sometimes in days, not months or years. We have come across what we feel is one of those rare deals that the public has not heard about yet. Read on to find out more.
Nano Superlattice Technology Inc. (OTCBB Symbol: NSLT) is a nanotechnology company engaged in the coating of tools and components with nano structured PVD coatings for high-tech industries.
Nano utilizes Arc Bond Sputtering and Superlattice technology to apply multi-layers of super-hard elemental coatings on an array of precision products to achieve a variety of physical properties. The application of the coating on industrial products is designed to change their physical properties, improving a product’s durability, resistance, chemical and physical characteristics as well as performance. Nano’s super-hard alloy coating materials were especially developed for printed circuit board drills in response to special market requirements
The cutting of circuit boards causes severe wear on the cutting edge of drills and routers. With the increased miniaturization of personal electronics devices the dimensions of holes and cut aways are currently less than 0.2 mm. Nano coats tools with an ultra thin coating (only a few nanometers in thickness) of nitrides which can have a hardness of up to half that of diamond. This has proven to increase tool life by almost ten times. Nano plans to continue research and development into these techniques due to the vast application range for this type of nanotechnology
We believe that Nano is a company on the move. With today�s steady move towards miniaturization we feel that Nano is a company with the right product at the right time. It is our opinion that an investment in Nano will produce great returns for our readers.
Online Stock trading, in the New York Stock Exchange, and Toronto Stock Exchange, or any other stock market requires many hours of stock research. Always consult a stock broker for stock prices of penny stocks, and always seek proper free stock advice, as well as read a stock chart. This is not encouragement to buy stock, but merely a possible hot stock pick. Get a live stock market quote, before making a stock investment or participating in the stock market game or buying or selling a stock option.
I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger. So please Click Here To Read My Blog
Your blog is super, i Love this story. It’s sad that all the comments seem to be spam. I had been to Takala recently and I remember the guide narrating the story you have written here. It’s a wonderful place. Here are some pictures I clicked while I was there:
Boatman at Talakadu:
Thanks SM . talakadu is an amazing place …I get carried away by myths and legends ..History , I beleive is very fascinating . I saw yr sites . Great pictures …so real that I can almost feel it
Its an amazing place …never knew that there were temples under sand
Nice story n pics
I’m intrested in History, Religion No. It may be a temple/church or mosque. I look at it from a Historical prespective rather than Religious.
BTW am adding your site to my IndiBlogger profile, neat places you’ve visited. Liked the post n pics on the North East a lot !
Nice snaps 🙂
we visited Talkadu a few months back..
21 people , 11 bikes , 1/3rd of our class 😀
Let freedom ride \m/
Am from Hyderabad. Happened to visit Banglore for a long weekend in Oct 12. We planned to visit Sivanasamudra Watter falls. But were disppointed as we could not find a way to reach the falls and rinse in the water. We captured few snaps and turned our vehicles back. On our way back we heard of Talakadu which dragged us to this sand filled place.
As we did not engage any guide there, we just went by the sand path and had the darshan of the 3 of the Siva temples. But after reading your blog, I understood that we have missed a lot and did not cover much which I was feeling we did.
This made me feel that I should visit the place again. That was a great narration of the place given by you. Now on, any new place I will be visiting, will first go through your blog to see if you have visited the place and understand the Sthal Puran and then move on.