Here is some additional information about visiting Talakad:
The main attractions of Talakad are its ancient temples, particularly the Vaideyswara, Kirthi Narayana, and the Mallikarjuna in the nearby village of Mudukuthore.
The other three Panchalinga temples, the Arkesvara, Patalesvara, and Maralesvara, are only excavated in preparation for the Panchalinga Darshana and remain buried under the sand for the rest of the time along with around thirty others.
If you are visiting Talakad close to the festival (the next one is in 2018), the Arkesvara and Maralesvara certainly seem to be well worth taking a look at. The Arkesvara Temple is reportedly quite isolated, and features statues of Bhairavar, the fierce manifestation of Shiva, and the warrior goddess Durga, as well as the Abhayangara Shiva-linga. Outside it is a rock with a divine symbol called a Vastu Yantra that apparently restores dead cows to life if they are tied to it.
The Maralesvara Temple is located about half a mile to the north of the Kirthi Narayana Temple and has a huge Shiva-linga that is believed to have been installed and worshipped by Lord Brahma, along with statues of various deities.
In addition to visiting the temples, you can also enjoy walks around the sand dunes of Talakad and strolls along the bank of the Cauvery River, perhaps even taking in a coracle ride to see its glorious natural scenery and abundant wildlife.
Since there are no detailed maps of the attractions of Talakad, it is well worth hiring a guide to show you around them and tell you about the legends that surround them.
Guides can be hired outside the Vaideyswara Temple, though be warned that most do not have a good command of English. The cost should be no more than 250 rupees ($US5 approx).