Mantralayam

Statue of the sage Raghavendra at the entrance to the temple

Mantralayam is a town in Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh.

Understand

Mantralyam is a Hindu religious place where the Moola Brindavanam of Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy is located. Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, (1601-1671), was an influential saint in Hinduism. He advocated Vaishnavism (i.e. worship of Vishnu as the supreme God.) and Dvaita philosophy advocated by Sri Madhwacharya. He is considered to be a reincarnation of Prahallada, the devotee who was saved by Vishnu, in his avatar of Narasimha. Shri Raghavendra Swamy is said to have performed many miracles during his lifetime and is believed to continue to bless his devotees to this day and will continue to do so.

The town is located in Karnataka border of Andhra Pradesh on the southern bank of Tungabhadra river. Majority of people here are conversant with both Telugu and Kannada languages. You can also find people speaking Tamil.

Get in

Mantralayam is around 250 km from Hyderabad, the journey from Hyderabad takes about 6-8 hours by road. It takes about 10 Hours by road from Bangalore.

To reach Mantralayam from Bangalore,KSRTC has introduced a new bus called "Vaibhav". It is similar to "Rajahamsa".Apart from these,there are volvo buses("Airavat")as well.

If you are driving from Hyderabad, you need to take the NH7 - the highway to Bangalore and take a diversion at Jadcherla. Various state roads will take you to Mahboobnagar and Raichur in Karnataka.

Mantralayam is around 600 km from Chennai. It can be reached through the route of Chittor. It is around 650 km from Mangalore. By road, one can take private buses from Mangalore to Bellary and from Bellary one can get ample number of KSRTC buses to Mantralayam. The journey takes almost 15 hours.

The nearest rail head is Mantralayam Road. It lies on the Mumbai-Bangalore, Delhi-Bangalore and the Mumbai-Chennai train routes. Regular rail service is available for this route. Apparently, many trains like Karnataka Express, Rajdhani, etc. stop at Mantralayam Road to refill water, even though the station is not on their official list of stops. Mantralayam is a technical stop for all long distance trains going through the Mumbai-chennai, Mumbai-chennai, and all towards the down south routes . Trains stop there to fill up water, since The station is jst near the tungabhadra river, This is the only source of fresh drinking water on the entire 900km route. Even if the train doesn't have a scheduled passenger stop, but it has to stop for refilling there water for passenger compartments. It a reliable source.

There is one train that goes from Hyderabad Deccan station to Mantralayam Road en route Tirupati. Mantralayam Road is about 16 km away from Mantralayam. You can travel to Mantralayam from Mantralayam Road station by private Jeeps, taxis, autorickshaws or public bus. Approximate cost of travel per person is ₹50 for private transport and ₹10 for Public Bus.

Get around

The place is small enough to be covered on foot. If you drive into the temple complex, there is a charge of ₹15 for parking. The collection of parking charges is inconsistenly done, however. Rickshaws are available all over the place.

See

Garden outside the temple

Do

Gold plated chariot pulled around the temple

It is a must to wear dhoti for gents and Indian attire like sari, salwar kameez for ladies to enter the sanctum if you want to go near to the Brindavan or do aarthi on your own.Few priests don't let ladies wearing salwar kameez go near the Brindavan.So it would be ideal to wear a saree.

Before entering the sanctum sanctorium of mutt, you are advised to take a bath (or at least wash your feet) on the banks of Tungabhadra river (or at the tap in front of the mutt). Have the darshan of Manchalamma, the goddess who blessed the place for Shri Raghavendra Swamy's Vrindavanam. Then, you need to enter the sanctum of mutt through the queue complex in front of mutt. If you are lucky enough and there's no rush for the darshan, you can enter the sanctum directly (of course, you have to bear with queue of smaller length). After the darshan, you can quietly move around the sanctum chanting the stotras of Sri Raghavendra Swamy or simply chant OM Sri Raghavendraya Namaha.

If you are offering sevas exceeding ₹50/-, you are required to assemble in the seva hall on the right side of the sanctum before 8AM. Hence you are required to purchase the seva tickets the previous day. Please note that the seva timings might vary or sevas might be cancelled on auspicious days like Rama Navami, Madhva Navami, Aradhana days and on the days of eclipse. Parimala prasadams are unique kind of prasadams prepared and offered to deity in Mantralayam only which are available in the counters outside the sanctum.

Mass feeding of meals takes place in a large dining hall on the left side of the sanctum during afternoons. During nights you can purchase food items like puliogare, pongal from Annadaata counter in front of the mutt by paying a small amount.

A new scheme is introduced with the offerings from one of the devotees. During night(sometime after 8PM), ouside the temple, they provide two different rice items(rice bath, curd rice) which each plate of rice costs @ ₹2/- only. The quantity as well as the taste is also good. Two plates will be sufficient for one member.

Eat

Good food is available easily and at affordable places. Please take care, as the cleanliness is missing on various eating places.

There's also MTR just opposite to the temple entrance,but there are no chairs to sit.One has to stand and eat.But the taste is very good.

Sleep

Lodges & Hotels are available in Mantralayam easily but it is always better to book in advance especially if visiting during weekends, Thursday and public holidays.

Go next

Rock formation shaped like a helicopter

Twenty kilometers away across the state line in Raichur is a temple called Panchamukha that commemorates the spot where Sri Guru Raghavendra is said to have meditated for twelve years before Sri Anjaneya.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, January 22, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.