On 9 March 2011, the history class of Class 12 set out from school on a 4 hour journey to the ancient town of Talakad, situated 130 km away from Bangalore. Armed with their notepads and enthusiasm, the students were eager to see the theory from their textbooks come alive. Set against the backdrop of the Kaveri River, and engulfed in sand, Talakad forms a picturesque pilgrimage and picnic spot.
The extraordinary story of how Talakad became a desert city traces back to the 16th century when Alemalamma, wife of the Viceroy of the Vijaynagara Empire, is said to have cursed the Mysore rajas after being a victim of their greed and treachery - "Let Talakad turn into a desert". This eerie curse holds true even to this day, as the students discovered when exploring the excavated temples.
Accompanied by their History teacher, the group spent the day transported to another world; immersed in the resplendent architecture of Hoysala temples, and captivating tales of bygone kings. Indeed, it has rightly been said - "If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday".