Located about 140 km from Bangalore and 45 km from Mysore, Talakad (also called Talakadu) is a popular tourist and pilgrimage center. A historic site associated with a rather interesting mythical tale, Talakad was once home to about 30 temples most of which have been buried under sand today. The main temples of Talakad are the the Vaidyanatheshwara, Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara and Mallikarjuna temples which are believed to represent the five faces of Lord Shiva. The idols are in the form of a Linga and a fair called the renowned Panchalinga Darshana is held once every 12 years as an ode to these deities.
I recently visited the Vaidyanatheshwara temple built in the 14th century by the Chola king Raja Raja I who ruled this region at that time and was stunned by its architectural beauty. Built in the Dravidian style this temple is replete with sculptural excellence and intricate workmanship. Here are some pictures from my trip.
The richly sculpted walls are adorned with figures of Gods including Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The below image of Lord Ganesha riding His vehicle, the mouse catches your attention almost immediately.
The attention to detail and the orante carvings all over are a treat for the eyes.
The solid granite rings that hang at the edge of the roof reflect the brilliant craftsmanship of the artisans of the yesteryears.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is worshipped in the form of a linga.
Do not miss on some unique sculptures like the “Nagamandala” and one of Lord Bheema.
The below sculpture shows a cow nursing its calf and also pouring milk on the Linga at the same time. The work of a genius indeed!