Last year my hosts in Bangalore took me on a great trip south to Talakadu (or Talakad). Talakadu is a small town about 87 miles (140 kilometers) south of Bangalore and about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Mysore. From Bangalore, you take the Kanakapura road south, go well beyond Kanakapura and well into the countryside. It is a pleasant drive.
Talakadu is famous for its temples, and for the temples being buried in the sand. In a conflict in the early 17th century, a curse was put on Talakadu that led to it being covered in sand. Wikipedia covers it well as does this story from the Deccan Herald.
Several of the temples have been excavated from the sand. These are actively used for worship and are being maintained and restored. This is the Sri Vaidhyanatheshwara Temple.
Here is another view. The lighter colored carving is new work replacing stone that had worn away in the intervening years. I have been unable to find the date when these temples were originally built.
The interior at the back is beautifully carved and decorated.
The raised area on the right has small rooms at the back. Perhaps sleeping areas for monks.
The bees enjoy the temple too.
Remarkable carvings are all over the temple.
This carving is near the active worshiping area of the temple. People touch the carvings.
Note that the front of the person looks like an animal on closer inspection. Many of the carvings look like multiple images depending on what part of the image you cover.
Amazing detail on the rain water drains.
These are carved stone interlocking rings.
Eucalyptus have moved into the area.
This is the Sri Keerthinarayana Temple which has undergone extensive renovation.
The area around Talakadu is quite lush. These pictures were taken in the fall after the monsoon.
The river is calm and wide as this is part of a reservoir along the river.