The New Indian Express

Talakadu Travelogue

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The temples of Talakadu a tiny town near Mysore has fascinating stories from the past that are an intricate part of its fabric.

“Do you know that Talakadu has many cashew trees?” This was a question my cousin asked me many moons ago explaining that this was a place where the cashew trees were strewn all over sand dunes. While I was surprised then, the question however stayed with me as somehow, I never got around visiting the town. However, last month, I finally visited Talakadu and came away charmed by its history and heritage.

Vaidyesvara Temple Talakadu
Vaidyesvara Temple Talakadu

A scenic drive through rural Karnataka roads brings me to the small town. Tourism however seems to have taken over as we are immediately approached by a guide who offers us a tour. So why is this place covered with sand although there are no beaches in miles, I ask my guide and he narrated the story of the curse. Locals believe that Alamelamma the wife of Tirumalaraja who lost his throne to Raja Wodeyar, escaped to Talakadu with royal ornaments. When the King ordered his soldiers to seize the jewels, Alamelamma went to the banks of the river Cauvery, threw the jewels and committed suicide with a curse. The curse was that Talakadu would become sand, Malangi (a town opposite the river) become a whirlpool and the Mysore Rajas fail to beget heirs. Incidentally even to date, the Mysore royal family has a scion only once in two generations.

“Do you know that Talakadu has many cashew trees?” This was a question my cousin asked me many moons ago explaining that this was a place where the cashew trees were strewn all over sand dunes. While I was surprised then, the question however stayed with me as somehow, I never got around visiting the town. However, last month, I finally visited Talakadu and came away charmed by its history and heritage.

A scenic drive through rural Karnataka roads brings me to the small town. Tourism however seems to have taken over as we are immediately approached by a guide who offers us a tour. So why is this place covered with sand although there are no beaches in miles, I ask my guide and he narrated the story of the curse. Locals believe that Alamelamma the wife of Tirumalaraja who lost his throne to Raja Wodeyar, escaped to Talakadu with royal ornaments. When the King ordered his soldiers to seize the jewels, Alamelamma went to the banks of the river Cauvery, threw the jewels and committed suicide with a curse. The curse was that Talakadu would become sand, Malangi (a town opposite the river) become a whirlpool and the Mysore Rajas fail to beget heirs. Incidentally even to date, the Mysore royal family has a scion only once in two generations.

Read the full story that first appeared in The New Indian Express dated Feb 7, 2021 here:

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