Myth, Mystery or Royal Curse?
The incredibly beautiful granite temples at Talakkadu (Karnataka) have a certain mysterious air about them. Possibly because of the inexplicable presence of sand-dunes in which these 14th century Dravidian temples, mostly dedicated to Shiva, are half-buried. Located on a sharp bend of the Cauvery River, the town wears a desert-like look despite being surrounded by healthy verdure. Of the thirty-odd temples said to be buried here, five have been excavated; an intensive one-hour walk along an extremely sandy and undulating path will bring you to them.
The Vaidyantheshwara Temple (pic above) is the largest, most accessible and the only one devoid of sand. Note the chain link hanging from one of the edges; it’s a joint-free feature sculpted out of stone!
Another temple of note is the Keerthinarayan Temple (pic below) dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Following excavations, this brick and black granite temple has been rebuilt, stone by ancient stone, close to the original spot.
With no definite geological findings, nor any empirical evidence to the contrary, locals continue to believe that the sand is the result of a curse by the Queen of Srirangapatna. Attacked by the Wodeyars of Mysore while she was visiting Talakkad during a bereavement, she vent her spleen by uttering the dreadful curse that interred the town in sand.