Ten rulers were forced to adopt a male heir, 30 temples hidden under layers and layers of sand and the river changed its course… Do you think the Talakad curse still courses through the streets of Mysore and haunts the royal family?
The story begins in 1610. The King of Srirangapatna was a vassal of the Vijayanagara Empire. He had an incurable disease and had gone to the temple at Talakad, a temple town 60 kms from Srirangapatna, to pray for his recovery. But he didn’t get better. His second wife and Queen Alamelamma, who was managing the Kingdom, heard that the King was dying. She rushed, leaving the Kingdom of Srirangapatna in the care of the Maharaja of Mysore, Raja Wodeyar. Raja Wodeyar was greedy and wanted to lay his hands on the jewels of the Queen as he heard she was hoarding temple jewels. He asked her to hand it over. She refused. He declared war on Srirangapatna and reached Talakad himself. Legend goes on to say that on seeing him she threw all her jewellery into the River Cauvery and drowned herself in Maalangi village. But before that she cursed him.
Mysore doregalige makkal illade hogali
Which translates to “Let Talakād become a barren expanse; let Mālangi become an unfathomable whirlpool; let the Mysore Rājas fail to beget heirs for eternity.”
And all of this has come true. Talakad, with its 30 temples, still lies buried under several meters of sand and the Mysore royal family has never had an heir — the Kingdom has mostly passed on to an adopted heir. Even the last King died without leaving behind a son…
There are scientific explanations to this. Ecologists have said that there has been regular accumulation of sand in that area since the 18th century. The Rive Cauvery has often changed its course. And the Mysore Royal family has seen a lot of inbreeding overtime and that could account for children dying in infancy. Science and logical reasoning does explain the curse. But how did the Maharani predict all of it one could ask?
If you wish to know more about this dynasty or are in Mysore, Bengaluru or Srirangapatna (coming soon), then check out the Audiocompass tour for these cities… you can listen to many more stories and legends that makes the past come alive.
This was first published at www.audiocompass.in/blog/2014/07/streets-of-mysore/