Vehicles in the village

Story of a cursed (but beautiful) land

Talakad, Karnataka is truly nature’s spectacle; though on the bank of the river Kaveri, this place feels just like a beach, or even better.

The place is decked with the softest sand which is as good as walking on an expanse of land filled with talcum powder; water as sweet as anything you’ve ever tasted before, and some temples amidst the fusion of sand and lush green trees.

The place, as goes the local folklore, was once a sight of flourishing greenery. The king who ruled this land fell ill and the queen with all her riches went to the Shiva temple to pray for the king’s recovery. Incidentally, the Wodeyers of Mysore saw this as an opportunity to take over this land. As fate would have it, the king passed away and the queen unable to bear this grief ended her life. Nope, this isn’t where the story ends; the queen didn’t just take all the jewels and jump into the river, she also cursed the Wodeyers, and the places Malangi and Talakad.

The curse was that Malangi would become a whirlpool, Talakad a barren desert and the Wodeyers would be heir-less. The locals believe this curse still prevails and it can be seen in the case of Talakad.

 

Talakad, view from a dune nearby.
Talakad, view from a dune nearby.

Moving on from the curse, Talakad is still a beautiful place for all the architecture lovers and the beach lovers. The river side and the river is open to the public, and is as good as any beach. The splashing of water, giggles and gurgles or adults and children alike is something this place is accustomed to.

Once a land of temples built in the 14th century by the Cholas, half of them are now buried under the sand dunes which are around 15meters high. The ones remaining are nothing short of an architectural wonder, the intricate carvings, the dimly lit but magnificent interiors; the perfectly geometric exteriors are a treat to the eyes.

The Gopuram of a Shiva Temple, Talakad.
The Gopuram of a Shiva Temple, Talakad.

While here, a walk around the place would definitely give you a peep into the village life. Serene, calm and colourful little houses, a contrast to the ancient temples, oxes and bullock carts, and expanses of unending fields, just gives you an all-round understanding of the place.

No experience is complete without the taste of the region. The area is home to many little houses that are converted into messes that serve a combination of mouth-watering south and north Kannadiga food on a plankton leaf.

The river that crosses the area is good as a swimming pool for the locales, not only is their best source of entertainment, it’s also their source of food. The one thing you can absolutely not miss whilst here is a ride on what is called the ‘theppa’ in kannada. Coracles, as named in English, is the speciality of South India states; these are boats which are circular in shape are made of bamboo. A ride across the river with this one sums up the entire experience of a one-day visit to Talakad.

The Coracles also called 'thepas'
The Coracles also called ‘thepas’

I walk, and I discover, myself and places. I draw, and I write. And that's how I travel.

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