The Talakad Panchalinga Temples & Founding Myth


There’s a final twist in the Talakad founding myth in which four more Shiva linga were added to the original one at what is now the Vaideyswara Temple. I have recounted this in more detail here.

As result the town became famous for its five Panchalinga temples and the accompanying Panchalinga Darshana festival, which takes place at intervals of roughly twelve years based on a complex astrological calculation that is also explained in the article. The festival comprises what sounds like an exhausting trek of over 25km in which pilgrims carry out their devotions at all five Panchalinga temples, punctuated by stops at the Vaideyswara before visiting each one.

Curiously, the circuit also includes a visit to the Kirthi Naryana Temple, which dates from a much later period and is dedicated to Vishnu rather than Shiva. Perhaps not quite so surprisingly, the Kirthi Naryana is also one of a quintet of temples known as the Pancha Narayana Kshetrams, though these are spread out over a much wider area than the Talakad Panchalinga.

Talakad rose from its mysterious mythological beginnings to became a very important city during the first millennium AD and maintained its prominence until the early seventeenth century when disaster struck, perhaps as a result of the notorious “Talakad Curse”. More on this here.

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