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Best Time: Nov-Mar Read More

Ideal duration: 1 day

Nearest Airport: Coimbatore Check Flights

"Kashi of the South"

Talakadu Tourism

Nestled on the banks of River Kaveri, the town of Talakadu in Karnatak is a mystic place, steeped with rich past and cultural heritage. It is famous for the Vaidyanatheshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The town has been a witness to the rise and falls of several great kingdoms including Cholas, Pallavas, Gangas, Vijayanagar and Hoysalas.

The place derives its name from two local chieftains Tala and Kada and this called Talakadu. Famous among devotees of Lord Shiva, visitors can witness the legacy of the town that still reflects in its age-old antiquity. There are a number of temples that are buried under the sand and are excavated once in every 12 years for special worship called 'Panchalinga Darshana'.

The Panchalinga Darshana includes five major temples namely Vaidyeshwara temple, Arkeshwara temple, Vasukishwara or Pataleshwara temple Saikateshwara or Maraleshwara temple and Mallikarjuna temple. It is said that the Pataleshwara Shivalinga change colours according to the time of the day- red in the morning, black in the afternoon and white in the evening.

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Legends of Talakadu

Talakadu was once renowned for its beautiful temples numbering more than 30 which were buried under the sand in the 16th century. According to the text, the burial was caused by natural disaster during the rule of Wodeyars. However, according to local folklore and myths, the town was buried under sand owing to a curse given by the queen of the region, Alamelu who drowned herself along with her jewels when the king of Mysore attacked her for her jewels.

Another legend dictates that an ascetic by the name of Somadatta was killed by elephants as he was on his way to Siddharanya Kshetra Talakadu to worship Shiva. It is believed that his disciples reincarnated themselves as elephants and went on to worship Lord Shiva at a tree in Talakadu. Two hunters Tala and Kadasstruck the holy tree only to find blood gushing out of its body. Upon the instructions of a heavenly voice, the two of them dressed the wounds of the tree after which the tree healed, and Tala and Kada were granted immortality. Since Shiva is believed to have cured himself through this incident, he is referred to as Vaidyeshwara. The Panchalingas here is all associated with this legend.

Talakadu Panchalinga Darshana

Once in every 12 tears, the high priests of the place, decide a day, which gives an opportunity to visit all 5 Shiva temples. The temples worshipped are, Sri Vaideshwara, Sri Maruleshwara, Sri Muduhuthore, Sri Arakeshwara and Sri Pathaleshwara. The day is decided in the Karthika month of the Hindu calendar. The Holi festival welcomes devotees from far and wide.

History of Talakadu

Talakadu finds its very first mention in relation to the Ganga line of kings. The city of Talakadu, once known to house five famous Shiva temples, was the seat of power of Gangas and the Cholas. The beginning of the 11th century saw the overthrowing of the Gangas by the CHolas after which Talakadu was renamed as Rajarajapura. It was later captured by King Vishnuvardhana who established Hoysala dominance over the land for quite a few centuries. Under the rule of Vishnuvardhana, the Talakadu comprised of seven towns and five mathas. The Hoysalas were incharge of the town until the 14th century after which the town changed many hands such as the the king of Vijayanagara and Wodeyars of Mysore.

Architecture of Talakadu

One of the most peculiar things of the temples in Talakadu is that they are covered in sand. A number of stone pillars can be found here scattered at different locations. The Vaidyeshwara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the magnificent architecture of the town built in the Dravidian style crafted out of granite. The doors of the Navaranga are carved with great details and huge Dwarapalakas decorate the entrance. Most of the temples in the city are claimed to be built under the rule of the Vijayanagar Kings with several features added by the Hoysalas. The Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanatheshwara and Mallikarjuna temples form the five revered Lingas of Talakadu and represent the five faces of Shiva. To celebrate the revered deity, a fair called the 'Panchalinga Darshan' is held every twelve years.

Panchalinga Darshan

The Panchalinga Darshana is held on a new moon day in the month of Karthika when the stars Khuha Yoga and Vishaka conjoin. Pilgrims visiting Talakuda first take a holy dip in the Gokarna theertha followed by a prayer to Gokarneswara and Chandikadevi, and then finally worship Vaidyeshwara. The ritual is concluded with a bath in the northern, eastern, southern and western stretches of the Kaveri followed by offering prayers to Arkeshwara, Pataleshwara, Maraleshwara and Mallikarjuna, returning to Vaidyeshwara after each worship and finally worshipping Kirtinarayana.

Restaurants and Local Food in Talakadu

Talakad does not have many eating joints or restaurants around. So mostly you will be eating at your hotel. South Indian cuisine is the predominant cuisine, the town being located in Mysore.
However, you may find the roadside vendors or small dhabas for lip smacking street food.
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One Day Itinerary

Talakad is mainly a pilgrim site where you can explore the relics of the several great kingdoms. Since all the temples in the village have same opening time at 8:00 AM in the morning, try and cover as many temples possible in a day. However, make sure to visit the five lingam temples excavated in the town. If left with time, do visit the small village of Somanathapura laying the proximity.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Talakad is known for its sand dunes and exquisitely carved temples. It is a home to five sacred Shivalingas.

What's Not So Great?

Does not have many eating joints.

For Whom?

An ideal destination for those with a historical bent of mind. Can be visited by religious people as it houses five sacred Shivalingas.

How To Reach Talakadu

The nearest airport is in Bangalore, which is 120 km away. The nearest railway station is in Mysore, at a distance of about 45 km. Talakad is well connected by buses to nearby cities like Bangalore and Mysore.

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Q. Day trip from Bangalore to Talapada for 12 senior citizens. Can this be done?

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Talakadu Reviews

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Rohit Shroff 1 year ago
- Make sure you carry a camera to capture the essence of charm and romanticism oozing out of the city and also beware of the mischievous monkeys lurking around.
- Do hire a local guide to indulge in all local folklores and secrets hidden in the sand and curses of the village.
- The timing for all the temples are same i.e. 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM, so plan your trip accordingly.
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