Picture1 – Sand Dunes at Talakadu
Talakadu is a place known for its sand dunes, river, ancient temples and innumerable legends.
Picture2 – Trees of Talakadu
Cashew nut, Fig, Nilgiri, Sausage trees and others grow on the sand dunes. It is fascinating to see the leaf of a small shrub when split horizontally by hand will always cut in the shape of an arrow and the guide says it is because of the arrows used by the hunters Tala and Kadu who roamed this forest long time back. The local people use these leaves to make curry/sambar.
Legends of Talakadu:
- A sage by name Somadatta came to Talakadu to worship Shiva. He and his disciples were killed by wild elephants and they were reincarnated as elephants. These elephants used to worship a tree representing Lord Shiva. Two hunters by name Tala and Kadu who roamed this part of the forest one day saw the elephants worshiping the tree. The hunters decided to bring the tree down and struck the tree with their axe. They were startled to see blood coming out of the tree. Suddenly they heard the akashavani / voice from heaven instructing them to stop cutting the tree and to nurse back to health the tree. They did as instructed and the place came to be known as Talakadu.
- When Srirangapattana was under the control of the Vijayanagar kings, Srirangaraya who was a representative of the king expanded the Ranganatha temple at Srirangapattana. His wife Alumelamma was a devotee of the lord and she possessed many beautiful ornaments. She would give her ornaments to be adorned by goddess Lakshmi, consort of Lord Ranganatha swamy on Tuesdays and Fridays. Alumelamma then would have the darshan / see the goddess with the ornaments.
Srirangaraya became sick and knew that he could not continue to administer this part of the state, as he was childless. He had heard the efficiency of the Mysore Maharajah’s administration skills and hence passed the administration to Raja Wodeyar. Srirangaraya retired to a place called Malangi near Talakadu and subsequently gave up his life there.
Alumelamma grief stricken continued to adorn the goddess with her ornaments. On one such Friday, Raja Wodeyar came to the temple and saw the goddess with the ornaments and learnt that the ornaments would be returned to Alumelamma. The next day he sent word that the ornaments should not be returned to Alumelamma but has to remain on the goddess. But, by the time the word reached the temple the ornaments had been returned to Alumelamma.
Raja Wodeyar threatened Alumelamma with dire consequences if she did not return the ornaments. Alumelamma was distraught and took the ornaments and rode on horse back to Talakadu. Soldiers of Raja Wodeyar followed her and to avoid any further confrontation with them she jumped into the deep waters of Kaveri and died near Malangi and just before she jumped she uttered the curse…..
“Malangi maduvagali / let Malangi become a whirlpool
Talakadu maralagali / let sand dunes cover Talakadu
Mysooru arasarige makkalagadirali / Mysore kings should not beget children”
….the curse became true and immediately the Cauvery River at Malangi became deep with a whirlpool, the fertile land of Talakadu was covered with sand dunes and the Mysore kings to this day do not have children but had to adopt a male child. For Example: Mysore King A adopts Son B; Son B will have a biological heir C; heir C will be unable to have a biological heir, so will adopt D; heir D will have a biological Son E and so on and so forth.
Raja Wodeyar was saddened by the turn of events and in honor of Alumelamma an idol of her was installed in the palace and to this day the Mysore royals worship the idol in a very grand manner during Dasara. The idols of Rangaraya and Alumellama is installed near the dwarapalakas/doormen of the Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple in Srirangapatna and the goddess still wears a nose ring gifted by Alumelamma.
Bird Sighting at Talakadu:
Many birds can be spotted all along the route and in Talakadu. Some of them that we spotted were Bee Eaters, Stork billed Kingfisher, Little Egret and Cormorant. We also spotted Painted Stork in a lotus filled lake.
Picture2 – Cauvery river backwaters – Egret and Cormorant
Picture3 – Bee Eater
Picture4 – Lotus Pond and Painted Stork
In a day Shivanasamudra (30 Km from Talakadu), Somanathapura (20 Km from Talakadu) and Talakadu can be visited.
Type of Place: Historical
Situated: Mysore District
Distance: 50 Kms from Mysore, 130 Kms from Bangalore, 20 Kms from Malavalli
Transport: Well connected by road, private taxis and buses ply to Talakadu
Facilities: Rest rooms are available; An Udupi Mess a vegetarian restaurant next to Vaidhyanatheswara temple serves food (Ph: (08227) 273633; mob: 9945939928) ; Talakadu Jaladhama is a resort situated on an island and offers staying options as well as one day trip.