Bangalore can be boring for some people and can be amazing for others. The worst part about the Silicon valley is that it has hardly any history. This means it has very few places to look around in the city unlike the likes of Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, kolkatta or Bombay. However, the best part about the city is its proximity to some amazing weekend getaways. My last trip to Savanadurga was just one such place. I met up with couple of college friends this early march and decided to go explore the Shivasamudram falls and the desert town of India.
Shivasamudram falls are very pleasant to see during the monsoon season. I knew they would be totally dry in march but I had this urge to go somewhere. With only a day at hand.....I decided to go anyway.
Shivasamudram falls are about 130 kms from bangalore and take about 2.5 hours to reach by road without any stoppage. Shivasamudra is actually a small town in Mandya district of Karnataka. The Sivanasamudram Falls is on the Kaveri River after the river has wound its way through the rocks and ravines of the Deccan Plateau and drops off to form waterfalls. The island town of Shivanasamudra divides the river into twin waterfalls. This creates the fourth largest island in the rivers course.
The twin waterfalls are Gaganchukki and Barachukki waterfalls. Barachukki waterfalls are a few kms southwest to the Gaganchukki falls. Asia's First hydro-electric power station is located at the waterfall and is still functional.
The best time to visit these falls are from July - October. As expected, the waterfalls were totally dry in march. But I have put up some pics(downloaded from the internet) to make you guys have some idea what they would look like during the monsoons.
Dargah of Hazrath Mardan-e-Gaib is a 1000+ year old Dargah just beside the Gaganchukki falls. One can stop there and visit the dargah in less than 10 mins.
About 29 kms from these falls is the desert town of India : TALAKAD !
This town is about 133 kms from Bangalore and 45 kms from Mysore. This town is a popular pilgrimage site for the Hindus. It once had over 30 temples of which most are now buried under the sand. The Archaeological Survey of India has however excavated few temples and can be visited now by foot.
Tradition says that two hunters by name Tala and Kada attained moksha (free of rebirth cycles) by offering worship to the deity Vaidyanatheswara and the place came to be called after them.
It is a historically important place, as it was the capital of the Gangas (250 AD) for a long time. The Cholas called the place Rajarajapura as it fell into the hands of the Cholas from the Gangas and later when the Hoysalas conquered it. Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana assumed the title ‘Talakadugonda’. After 12th century Vijayanagar Kings and the Maharajahs of Mysore patronized this place.
A historic site, Talakadu as number of temples that are buried under the sand dunes. The most imposing temples here are Viadyeshvara, Pataleshvara, Maruleshvara, Kritinarayana, Gourishankara and the Anandeshvara. The Pataleshwara Shivalinga is said to change colors during the day (red in the morning, black in afternoon and white in the evening). The Kirtinarayana temple (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) is known to have been built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana to commemorate his victory over the Cholas in 1117 A.D.
Curse of Talakadu:
Talakad is also tagged with the curse called “Curse of Talakad” by Alamelamma.
Raja Wadiyar, conquered Srirangapatna fort from Srirangaraya, then viceroy of Vijayanagar Empire, in 1610. The viceroy retired to Talakad and his wife, Alamelamma, is said to have fled with jewels of Adi Ranga temple in Srirangapatna to Talakad.
Raja Wadiyar sent his soldiers to Talakadu. Alamelamma assumed the king’s men had come to capture her and make her a slave. She tried to escape to T Narasipura. She found no way to escape from the soldiers but to jump into Malangi River. Legend says that when the king’ soldiers tried to get at the fleeing Alamelamma, they got her hair before she disappeared into the water.
At that moment she cursed “Talakadu managali, Malangi madwagali, Mysooru arasarige makkalu aagadirali” which translates to “May Malangi turn into an unfathomed whirlpool, Talakad turn into a barren expanse of sand and the Rajas of Wadiyar not beget male heir”. Till today whatever she has said stands true.
The Talakadu curse has established itself in the folklore as a miracle since the early part of 16th century because of two strange events visible even to date: (i) Thalakaadu, a historically vibrant city, is now submerged under sand dunes several meters deep, and (ii) the Mysore royal family have faced problem in having a rightful heir to the throne since early 17th century. Both these events linked to an apparent curse by a pious lady (Alamelamma) have defied logic.
To know more in details about the individual temples - visit http://rcmysore-portal.kar.nic.in/temples/talakadutemple/history.html
Well, I personally don't feel the stories are true but nevertheless...they add a bit of magic to the place. Talakad has other things to offer apart from history. Amazing coracle rides and swim in the banks of Kaveri river. Even though the visit to the Shivasamudram falls was slightly disappointing (March is off season), Talakad made up for it.
Cheers..:) Hope this info helps!!