Talakad - The city of sand covered temples

Read about the 1st leg of the journey "Bangalore to Shivasamudram Falls" here.

Talakad is a place for you if you like mystery, history, architecture and have an eye for something new and love to unveil secrets.

2nd leg of journey: SHIVASAMUDRAM FALLS -- TALAKAD

Talakad is the sand city, a desert like place situated on the bank of Kavery. Once a green and magnificent city which had more than 30 temples now lay below heaps of sand. We reached this mysterious place which is around 45 km from Shivasamudram around noon.

As per theory, Talakad / Talakadu, the name is derived from Kirata twin brothers, Tala and Kadu. Lord Rama is also believed to have taken halt at this place on his voyage to Lanka. 


The place has been ruled by various kings viz. Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas, Vijaynagaras and Wodeyars from 8th to 17th century and if legends are to be believed the site is cursed. During 17th century, by dethroning Tirumalaraja who was suffering from an incurable disease, Raja Wodeyar who was lusting for power, took over the Mysore Kingdom which was under the Vijayanagara Empire at that time.

The wife of Tirumalaraja, Alamelamma got very upset with her husband's sudden and wrongful dismissal and left secretly for Talakad with all the royal ornaments. On knowing about it, Wodeyar ordered his soldiers to track down the lady and confiscate all the jewellery. To escape the arrest and humiliation, Alamelamma threw all of it in River Kavery and committed suicide by drowning herself in the same river but not before cursing the kingdom and the kind Wodeyar. She's believed to have uttered (English translation), "May Talakad be filled with sand, Malangi be a whirlpool and Mysore King shall not have offspring." 

The same has come true. The temples which are unearthed are much below the ground level while the remaining ones still remain secretly buried under heaps of sand. The lineage of the Mysore kings is also broken. In the Wodeyar kingdom, either its a girl or the king remain fatherless and then a child is adopted, in most cases, nephew to whom the throne is passed. The fact is lineage is broken at every alternate descending king. 

This curse is although not supported by science but has come true if seen practically. 

Vaidyanatheshwar Temple


Today, yes, the city is buried beneath sand. In the last century two temples, Anandesvara and Gaurisankara were unearthed and Kirti Narayana temple has also been successfully excavated. According to the inscriptions found on the walls of Gaurisankara which are in Kannada reveals that this temple was built during the power of Mysore King Chikka-Deva-Raja-Wodeyar (1672-1704). 

In all the temples unearthed till date, Lord Shiva is the deity and is known for Panch Linga Darshana, held once in every 12 years. While the Kirti Narayana temple which is still under excavation and is rebuilt by ASI as per its earlier architecture has Lord Vishnu as deity. The Archaeological Survey of India is still excavating the place to unearth lost civilization, temples and kingdom.

Mahadwar of Kirti Narayana Temple


On reaching Talakad around noon we found a little laid back small town. Small houses, narrow path to finally reach the temple complex. After reaching the temple complex what we see is only sand all around. There was narrow way made for visitors to reach temple by temple.

You will see many monkeys on the way just beware of them and try to avoid coming to Talakad during summer as sand gets really hot to walk on bare foot.

Temples after temple and our amazement never ceased. Lost in the history and architecture and the folklore time just flew away.

Pataleshwar Temple

After the temples we headed towards River Kavery which flow near by, famous for boating and spending some great time with friends and family, its a place in itself. Nonetheless, Talakad is a hidden gem which is finding its place on map as days are passing by. Little offbeat but worth a visit.

Kavery River

After visiting holy river Kavery we bid adieu to Talakad for the 3rd leg of our road trip i.e. to Mysore at around 13:30 hours.

The journey continues to the royal city of India. Read on for a glimpse of picture perfect Mysore here.

Road Trip: Exploring cities along Kaveri River
Day 1 Shivsamudram --> Day 1 Talakad --> Day 1 Mysore --> Day 2 Nandi Hills --> Day 2 Bannerghatta National Park



  1. There is so much to see and so little time! Isn't it? :)
    This is one more place where I haven't been to. Noted.

    Glad to see that you watermarked your pics. :)

    1. True. There are around 195 countries and 1609 cities and towns in India. Too much to see and too less time :D
      Thank you for reading and good to know that after reading the post you look forward to seeing this place.


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