Mysterious story behind the curse of Talakadu

Haunted Heritage: The Spellbinding Curse of Talakadu (2024)

Explore the mystique of Talakadu, a place where history intertwines with a sense of foreboding. Discover the haunting beauty that shrouds this historical site as you navigate through the remnants of a bygone era. Unravel the Curse of Talakadu, a journey into the past that lingers in the present.

The allure of India captivates me, driven by its abundance of mysteries and tales waiting to be unravelled. Every corner promises exploration and discovery, making the country extraordinary. One captivating narrative unfolds in the town of Talakadu, Karnataka. The legends and stories surrounding this place add a layer of fascination and mystery, making the journey genuinely intriguing.

PIN for later reference – The Spellbinding Curse of Talakadu

PIN for later reference - The Spellbinding Curse of Talakadu
PIN for later reference – The Spellbinding Curse of Talakadu

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About Talakadu

Nestled on the banks of the River Cauvery, the quaint town of Talakadu, with a mere population of 9000 (according to the 2011 census), paints a vivid picture of a desert-like landscape concealing a rich historical tapestry. Despite its small size, Talakadu was once adorned with around 30 temples, most of which now lie buried beneath the sands.

Five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, representing the five Lingas, stand as silent witnesses to the town’s past glory. These temples—Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyenatheshwara, and Mallikarjuna—are a testament to the spiritual heritage of Talakadu, welcoming devotees between 6 AM and 6 PM daily.

Today, this seemingly sleepy town has become a hub for wine-making and horticulture, boasting eco-sustainable resorts that harmonize with its natural surroundings. One of the fascinating beliefs surrounding Talakadu is the remarkable transformation of the Linga at Pathaleshwara, said to appear red in the morning, black in the afternoon, and white at night.

The cursed temple, Talakadu

In homage to these five Lingas, the Panchalinga Darshana fair is organized once every 12 years during November, spanning five days along the banks of the River Cauvery. This grand event, rooted in tradition, last took place in 2009.

The pilgrimage to Talakadu follows a sacred sequence of rituals, where visitors embark on a spiritual journey:

  1. Bathing in the holy water of Gokarna teertha.
  2. Worshiping Gokarneswara and Chandikadevi.
  3. Paying respects to Vaidyeshwara.
  4. Bathing in the River Cauvery, facing all directions (North, East, South, and West).
  5. Worshipping Arkeshwara, Pataleshwara, Maraleshwara, and Mallikarjuna.
  6. Returning to Vaidyeshwara.
  7. Worshiping Kirtinarayana.
  8. Concluding the pilgrimage in a single day.

For those seeking a unique experience, a coracle ride in the river adds an extra dimension to the visit, making Talakadu a destination that seamlessly blends history, spirituality, and natural beauty.

Stories and Legends of Talakadu

Tales of mystery and legend enshroud the town of Talakadu, with its very name carrying a narrative of divine origins.

According to one captivating legend, the appellation “Talakadu” traces its roots to the tale of twin brothers Tala and Kadu. While engaged in the act of felling a tree, the duo observed wild elephants reverently worshipping the tree. To their astonishment, a statue of Lord Shiva was unveiled within the tree, and the elephants metamorphosed into enlightened rishis (saints). Miraculously, the tree, the twins, and the rishis attained moksha, giving rise to the name Talakadu, derived from the Sanskrit term Dala-vana.

Another intriguing legend recounts the journey of a rishi en route to Talakadu to pay homage to Shiva. Tragically, the rishi fell victim to wild elephants on the way. Undeterred, he and his followers reincarnated as the elephants that had ended his earthly journey. In their new form, they continued their worship of Shiva embodied in a tree. Tala and Kada, two hunters, entered the scene and, striking the tree with an axe, witnessed it bleeding while a celestial voice resonated. Recognizing the gravity of their actions, the remorseful hunters tended to the wounded tree with leaves and fruits. The tree miraculously healed, and the hunters were granted immortality.

These legends intertwine nature, spirituality, and divine intervention, casting Talakadu as a town steeped in the enchantment of its mythical past.

The cursed temple, Talakadu

The Spellbinding Curse of Talakadu

Talakadu Maralaagi (Talakadu become sandy).

Malingi Maduvaagi (Malingi become whirlpool).

Mysore dhorege makkalagade hogali (Mysore kings never have children).

The uttered curse famously recognized as the Curse of Talakadu, unfolded in the 17th century when Rani Alamelamma directed her words towards Raja Wodeyar of Mysore. The narrative unfurls during the reign of Mysore Raja Wodeyar, where Srirangapatna was entrusted to the care of Tirumala Raja, also known as Ranga Raya, representing the Vijayanagara family. Ranga Raya, afflicted with an incurable ailment, sought refuge in Talakadu, tended to by his second wife, Rani Alamelamma.

Rani Alamelamma, driven by the purpose of being with her ailing husband, departed Srirangapatna. Legend has it that Raja Wodeyar harboured a desire for Rani Alamelamma’s jewels. Unable to secure them, he mobilized an army against the Rani. In response, Rani Alamelamma reached the banks of the River Cauvery, where she, in a tragic act, cast her jewels into the river and submerged herself, all the while pronouncing a potent curse.

This ancient curse has woven itself into the fabric of folklore, with two enduring consequences:

  1. Talakadu remains buried beneath several meters of sand, a visible manifestation of the curse’s impact.
  2. The Mysore Royal family has faced a persistent absence of a rightful heir to the throne since the 17th century, echoing the foretelling nature of the curse.

The integrity of the curse remains uncertain, leaving room for speculation about whether it is an authentic account or a narrative tailored to the circumstances of Talakadu. This tale remains a captivating blend of mystery and intrigue, inviting contemplation on the enigmatic forces that may shape the destinies of places and dynasties.

How to Get to Talakadu?

By Road

Situated approximately 135 kilometres from Bangalore and 45 kilometres from Mysore, the journey to Talakadu unfolds with a scenic drive. The route from Bangalore, covering a distance of about 3 hours by car, leads towards the direction of Mysore.

By Public Transport

Opting for public transport, the most convenient route from Bangalore to Talakadu involves taking a bus. Board a bus bound for Mysore, Srirangapatna, or Mandya, and subsequently, transfer to a local bus or avail of a rickshaw (tuk-tuk) to reach Talakadu. The distance between Srirangapatna and Talakadu spans approximately 60 kilometres.

Is Talakadu Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Exploring Talakadu is undoubtedly secure for solo female travelers. Nonetheless, exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings, particularly during nighttime travel. It is advisable to visit and exit the temple premises before nightfall. Exercise additional vigilance when using public transportation for your journey.

Closing Notes

Embarking on a road trip to Talakadu is an ideal one-day getaway from Bangalore. The destination holds particular appeal for those fascinated by stories and architecture. The intriguing allure of Talakadu has left me with a desire to return someday, eager to delve deeper into the tales and intricacies of the temple.

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Haunted Heritage: The Spellbinding Curse of Talakadu (2024)
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