Travellers planning a trip to Talakad must visit the prime attraction of the town, Arkeshwara Temple. A Shiva Lingam is present at this site, which makes it one of the five temples that receive hordes of pilgrims during the Panchalingadarshana, a festival held every 12 years.
This shrine is renowned among tourists for the idols of Bhairavar, Durgai and Abhayangara Lingam that are placed here. Upon reaching Arkeshwara Temple, travellers would notice a Vaastu Yantram along with a rock located at the entrance of the site. As per local beliefs, cows dealing with any kind of ailment can get rid of the problem if tied to the rock.
Travellers on a trip to Talakad can visit Somanathapura village that is located on the banks of Cauvery river. This village is known for two temples, namely Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple and Sri Chennakesava Temple.
Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple was built by Hoysala King Narasimha in the year 1296. Chennakesava Temple, otherwise known as Kesava or Keshava Temple, was constructed in the year 1268 by Hoysala General Somanatha during the rule of King Narasimha III.
Chennakesava Temple had been placed on a 3-star-shaped platform. Upon entering this temple, devotees will notice a pillared hall that would lead them to three star-shaped sanctuaries. The entire temple had been embellished with the sculptures. The walls of the Keshava Temple have been carved with images of gods, goddesses, musicians, lions, monkeys, elephants, dancing girls and gurus.
An open veranda with 64 cells surrounds the Keshava Temple of Somanathapura. Initially, carved statues of Venugopala, Janardhana and Kesava were placed inside the three sanctums of this temple. At present, the idol of Kesava is missing while other two (Janardhana and Venugopala) are still there.
Travellers on a trip to Talakad are suggested to visit the Keerthi Narayana Temple, which was dug up in the year 1911. It was built by Vishnuvardhan, a Hoysala King who placed the statues of Keerthi Narayana and Ranganathar inside this temple himself.
Earlier, a sannidhi of Sundaravalli Thayar was part of this temple, though it was substituted with a navaranga mandapam that includes the idol of Keerthi Narayana. The temple complex also includes the idols of Nammazhwar, Ramanujar and Vedantha Desikar.
An ardha mandapam is situated inside the temple that has statues of Viswasenar and Yoga Narasimhar. A 9 ft tall idol of Lord Vishnu is another feature of the Keerthi Narayana Temple, which has been placed on a garuda peedam. Devotees will notice that this idol is holding a chakram, a mace, a shangu and a lotus on each of his four hands.
While on a trip to Talakad, tourists must explore Mallikarjuna Temple that is dedicated to Goddess Brahmaraambigai and has a small lingam of Mallikarjuna Swamy. On close observation, devotees would notice foot prints on the lingam, which belong to Kaamadhenu according to the locals.
Sandhyaa Ganapathi, Veerabadrar and Chamundeeswari sannadhis have also been placed inside the temple complex. Mallikarjuna Temple is one of the temples that pilgrims visit on a Panchalingadarshana.
Devotees offer prayers to the Shiva Lingam that is located in the mandapam situated opposite the Vaidyanath Swamy Temple. Numerous devotees visit the Mallikarjuna Temple for its agricultural fair, which is celebrated during the months of January and February and lasts for a week.
Devotees can visit the Anaadhi Vaikunta Nathar and Veera Anjaneya Koil temples that are situated in the vicinity of the Mallikarjuna Temple while on a trip to Mudukuthore.
If time permits, tourists can visit the Maruleshwara Temple that is renowned for its huge Shiva Lingam. Constructed by the Ganaga Kings, the Shiva Lingam inside the temple is believed to be enshrined by Lord Brahma. It is one of the five temples that pilgrims throng to see during the Panchalingadarshana.
Upon reaching the Maruleshwara Temple, pilgrims would get the chance to see idols of Thirumal, Veerabadhrar, Maheswara, Shanmugar, Ambigai, Navagrahams, Ganapathi and Surya. This pilgrimage site is located in the proximity of an ancient temple of Keerthi Narayana that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Pathaleshwara Temple is another popular pilgrimage site in Talakad. It is considered to be one amongst the earliest temples constructed by Ganga kings in this town. The prime attraction of Pathaleshwara Temple is its Shivalingam, which changes colour at different points of the day.
The Shivalingam is red in colour during the morning but changes to black in the afternoon and white at night. Numerous pilgrims arrive at this temple during the Panchalingadarshana that is celebrated once in 12 years.
If time permits, travellers can visit the town of Tirumakudal Narsipur, which is renowned for its pilgrim centres. This site is situated at a distance of approximately 16 km from Talakad and is host of the Kumbh Mela held once in three years in South India.
It is deemed to be as holy as Prayag by the Hindus and is also known as Dakshina Kashi. Out of all the temples present in this town, Gunja Narasimha Swamy Temple, which represents the Dravidian architectural style, is the most popular pilgrimage site of Tirumakudal Narsipur.
This temple includes a huge gopuram and four pillared mandapams. Devotees visit the Gunja Narasimha Swamy Temple in large number during the Car Festival that is celebrated on an annual basis.
Along with its importance in the annals of religion, Tirumakudal Narsipur also has archaeological significance. Many neolithic sites are present in the town as well as in its vicinity. Burial ground remnants, potteries, graffiti, stone implements, metal objects, beads and bangles, animal remains, human remains and wood remains have been excavated from this town.
If time permits, travellers are advised to visit Vaidyanatheshwara Temple that enshrines the idols of Goddess Manonmani, Lord Murugan and Lord Ganapathi. Upon reaching this temple, travellers can visit a madapam that has statues of Durgai, Shaaradaambigai, Lord Nataraja, Badhrakaali, and Durgai and Kaaligambal.
This temple, which is submerged in sand now, was built under the reign of the Chola Empire in the 14th century in Dravidian style of architecture. Navaranga, the main entrance of the shrine, has two Dwarapalaka statues of vast proportions, while the doorway located to the east of the main temple is engraved ornately.
The main shrine has a giant Shiva Lingam which has the face of Lord Shiva carved behind it. Statues of Parvathi, Vishnu, Alamelumanga, Shivlinga with multiple rudraksha, Kalikambal and Ganesha are placed near the Shiva Lingam.
The prakara or the huge corridor that envelops the temple has Shiva Lingas in many forms. Shrines of Shanmuga, Vinayak, Chamundeswari, Chandikeswara and Manonmani are also present here.
A small shrine with the idol of Nandi, the ride of Lord Shiva, is located at the zenith of the temple. It is visited by hordes of devotees during the Panchalingadarshana as it is one of the five ancient temples with the Panchalingam.