The curse of Talakad

Talakkad-book-coverMy niece Bhavya had told me that there was a book by this name and that she could never get hold of one. I chanced upon it on my usual visit to Eloor library this weekend and have read through it twice; thanks to the size of the book and crisp presentation. I knew about the curse, its connection to the wodeyars and the sand dunes at Talakad, but vaguely. Sashi Sivramkrishna deep dives into the legend and puts it to the litmus test of reason; the scientist that he is. The outcome? “…or unanswerable questions-which perhaps only future history can resolve. We had moved closer to the world of reason, but had not succumbed fully to it.”

To cut the long story short- Alamelamma, wife of the defeated king of Srirangapatna, curses the victorious Wodeyars that they would be heirless. She also curses, for reasons which the author struggles to investigate, that Talakad be covered by sand and that Malingi (another village) become a whirlpool. The Wodeyars have been heirless for four centuries now and still continue too. However, the author shows that this part of the curse is satisfyed in an indirect manner. The adopted heir had sons but no grandsons. Every second generation had to adopt. The author tries to ‘rationalise’ rather put in perspective the other two parts of the curse using records left by travelers, archaeological evidence and some logic based on an understanding of the history of those times. The author provides a lot of other info, why the name Talakad and is it one legend or two in one, the Tipu connection, can sand dunes be formed by meandering rivers….The book is a must for everyone who plans to visit Talakad. It would had added value if the author had interviewed the living Wodeyar scion and also tried to trace the descendants of Alamelamma.

I recently discovered another review of this book here.

A documentary made on this topic is available on youtube here.

15 Responses to “The curse of Talakad”

  1. Sashi Sivramkrishna Says:


    I am the author of the book, The Curse of Talakad. Just for info: you can watch the documentary online at
    Let me know what you feel.

    • Srinidhi Says:

      I watched this documentary. It is done very well. Thank you very much! Have you done any more documentaries?

  2. Sashi Sivramkrishna Says:

    Sorry that’s

  3. dinanath Says:

    Hi, Its a pleasant surprise to see your comment on the blog. And thanx for directing me to the online documentary. I have been to all these places (not to Malingi, though) and i think your documentary did a very good job of The curse of Talakad. Prof Krishanmurthy’s comments add credibiility to the documentary. I wish you had interviewed the present maharaja on Alamelamma and the curse. That would have made it really complete.

  4. Sashi Sivramkrishna Says:

    i did try … but it never happened.

  5. KK Says:

    Hi…This is a very good documentary. I had visited Talakadu as a child years ago and used to think that curses really work. But as I grew up, I went to the same place again and my rational mind was not ready to accept curses….this explains a lot of things though the Wadeyar family not having sons is still a mystery !!!

  6. M.B.Rajani Says:

    Dear Dr. Shashi Sivramkrishna,
    I am Rajani from NIAS. I was at your lecture/film screening at NIAS. You might remember I spoke to you about my work using remote sensing for archaeology and Talakadu is one of the sites we are working on. I have been wanting to contact you for ages. I have misplaced your visiting card. And not been able to trace you through colleagues. How do I contact you? Please drop in a line at and tell me how can I contact you.
    With best wishes,

  7. vivek Says:

    Hi All, I am sure there are lot of mysteries in karnataka like Talkad. Many of them will never be uncovered. I really appreciate people like Sashi for taking the initiative to explore such places. The archeological dept has to really take interest in such things and with their help lot of information can be obained and Talkad can be made into such a great tourist attraction.
    It is unfortunate that there is no seriousness about this from the government 😦

  8. rajachnadra Says:


  9. rajachandra Says:


  10. Madhu Says:

    I have watched the documentary from Dr Shashi Shivaramakrishna many a times.the narration style and the way it is presented is commendable.It is very kind of him to comment in this blog.

  11. Polyethylene Says:

    well, there are so many tourist attractions that you find on asia and europe. i would really love to travel a lot `;;

  12. karthikprabhu03 Says:

    Nice snaps 🙂

    we visited Talkadu a few months back..

    21 people , 11 bikes , 1/3rd of our class 😀

    Let freedom ride \m/

  13. umesh derebail Says:

    The curse of the alemelamma emnated from the fact that a diamond was sought after by the king. Diamonds bring in curse of the dispossessed, from times immemorial. Thus diamonds are always safe in the hands of a women, even the queen of England who is owner of Kohinoor rarely adornes it. The river had obviously changed direction invoking the curse which may be concidental.

  14. mbt trainers sale Says:

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