Talakad is a scenic and spiritual center located in Mysore district, near T. Narasipura in Karnataka state. It was a capital of the Ganga Dynasty (350-999 AD). It was the capital of several dynasties that ruled over Karnataka.
During 1600 when Talakadu and Srirangapatna were under the Vijayanagar Empire. The death of the last ruler, Srirangaraya in 1610, provoked the Wodeyars of Mysore to declare war. As Srirangapatna fell, the Wodeyar ruler sent his soldiers to get the jewels of Srirangaraya’s widow, Alamelamma.
Alamelamma fled from the Mysore soldiers, when she saw she couldn’t escape, she is said to have jumped into the Cauvery, uttering the curse: "Let Talakad become sand. Let Malingi become a whirlpool. Let the Mysore king fail to beget heirs.”
River Cauvery is said to have taken a sharp turn eastwards towards Talakad, from its Southernly course. This buried the entire Talakad (about 850 acres) in sand. Since then Talakadu has been under a sea of sand and the family tree of Mysore rulers show a large number of adopted heirs, and the current Mysore heir Narashimaraja Wodeyar is childless too.
There are as many as 30 temples buried under the sand, very few are visible above sand. The Vaidyeshsara temple along with four others - Arkeshwara, Vasukishwara or Pataleshwara, Saikateshwara or Maraleshwara and Mallikarjuna are visible and constitute the Panchalingams here. These five ShivaLingams are said to represent the five faces of Shiva.
The Pataleshwara Shivalingam is said to change colors during the day (red in the morning, black in the afternoon and white in the evening). These temples are opened once in 12 years. It will be open this November – December 2006. I hope to go there and have a darshan.