Talakadu - The Legendary Curse

If I look back and see my travels, exploration in 2015, I would be bit disappointed at myself. Whatever the reasons are, I couldn't travel much. Now in 2016 I have to cover up and explore places as much as I can.

Year 2016 started with traveling to Talakadu village. Initially My plan was to explore Hassan and Shravanabelagola but last minute change leads me to Talakadu. Another unexplored, lesser known place but architectural wonder and with great history. Talakadu once a magnificent city with more than 36 temples but sadly this city was buried under sand in the 16th century.


Bangalore to Talakadu is 140km journey. Mostly in to Bangalore - Mysore highway. Overall road condition is ok. I was accompanied with Mrinmoy and his family. It took approx 3 hrs for us to reach this place

Talakadu village is at the banks of the Cauvery river. We visited riverside first. The place was crowded, children playing, coracle ride available, street foods. it was kind of perfect family destination.

Now let me talk about something very interesting. Something most of the locals, mostly from Mysore are already aware of. The Legendary Curse

A curse has believed to be cast on the Wadiyar in 1612 by Alamelamma, wife of King Tirumalaraja, who ruled the Vijayanagar Empire. Wadiyar the ruling dynasty of Mysore were waiting for an opportune moment to overthrow the Vijayanagara dynasty. When King Tirumalaraja, died due to illness, Alamelamma – the second queen in the palace took over the administration. Wadiyar seized this opportunity and annexed Srirangapatnam. Wadiya demanded Alamelamma to handover all the priceless jewels which she used to adorn the deity at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangapatnam. The queen  refused to give and when she got the opportunity she escaped and reached Talakadu. Wadiyar sent soldiers after him and when queen Alamelamma saw them coming, she ran over to a cliff overlooking the Kaveri river, curse before jumping to death. 

“Talakadu Maralagi, Malangi Maduvagali, Mysooru Arasarige Makkalaagadirali”

(May Talakadu become a barren land, Malangi turn into a whirlpool and may Mysore kings never beget children)

Soon after her curse Talakadu village and 36 temples were buried under mile deep sand. Now only 6 temples can be seen, excavated by ASI, remaining 30 Temples and palace still buried under the sand. Also, the alternate generations of Wadiyars continued to have no children, thereby no heirs to the dynasty, forcing them to adopt.

The first temple we visited was magnificent Vaidyaswara temple, this granite structure has escaped the avalanche of sand dunes, and is still intact. Carving at the walls are beautiful and typically Hoysala in workmanship. You can see 2-meter tall Dwarapalaka (doorkeeper) on either side, very interesting. Its typical South India temple design, where you can see Vimana (Tower) and Mantapa


The name Talakadu is the combination of Twin brothers-Rulers by name ‘Tala’ and ‘Kādu’= ‘Talakadu’. There are two stone images of those brothers in front of Lord Veerabadraswamy temple here. 

We hired one guide there, who talked about the entire story, the curse, explained about the history and architecture of all the temples. After Vaidyaswara temple, we headed to another temple nearby and our guide told us the story of Tala and Kada, the two hunters, after whom this town is named. You can see their idol at the door of this temple. 

After this you will have to climb over the sand dunes to see the other excavated temples. Panchlinga temple,famous for its Panchalinga Darshana, holy festival held once every twelve years

The last one was magnificent, The Kirtinarayana temple, recovered from the sand dunes at Talakad and currently under renovation



Now there is another theory that explain the Talakadu story about the sand dunes. This is because of an ecological disaster stemming from the construction of a dam in 1336 by Madhav Mantri a minister of the Vijayanagar Empire. This dam caused the sand on the river bed to be exposed to the strong winds that are frequent in Talakadu. Not sure which one is true, story remains unresolved.

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