Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Trip to Sri Mantralayam and Sri Navabrindavanam
How to reach Sri Mantralayam:
1. Take Dadar Express or Mumbai mail till Mantralayam Road station.
2. After reaching the station, take an auto or share auto or bus to reach Mantralayam.
3. It takes half an hour to reach Mantralayam which is about 16KM from the station.
There are rooms and dormitories with locker facilities available near Devasthanam. It is better to go through the Devasthanam for accommodation. They operate a central reception office through which getting accommodation will be easier. You can avoid going through middle-men. Room tariff starts from Rs.100. Basically the place is maintained neatly so people don’t need to worry about cleanliness.
Thungabadra river flows through the town. It is good to have a holy dip there and proceed to the temple. You can have a beautiful dharshan of the Sri Raghavendra brindavanam. In the evenings, usually, there will be three different chariots with Bhaktha Prahladha in them going around the brindavanam: wooden chariot, silver chariot and golden chariot. It is believed that Sri Raghavendra is an avatar of Bhaktha Prahladha. This is the reason for the circumambulation of Bhaktha Prahladha around the Brindavana. Temple timings: 5AM – 2PM and 4PM – 9PM. Lunch can be had at the Sri Raghavendra Swamy (SRS) mutt.
Thungabadra river flows through the town. It is good to have a holy dip there and proceed to the temple. You can have a beautiful dharshan of the Sri Raghavendra brindavanam. In the evenings, usually, there will be three different chariots with Bhaktha Prahladha in them going around the brindavanam: wooden chariot, silver chariot and golden chariot. It is believed that Sri Raghavendra is an avatar of Bhaktha Prahladha. This is the reason for the circumambulation of Bhaktha Prahladha around the Brindavana. There are various pictures around the temple depicting the life of Sri Raghavendra. Temple timings: 5AM – 2PM and 4PM – 9PM. Lunch can be had at the Sri Raghavendra Swamy (SRS) mutt. There are also Panchamukhi (SriAnjaneya) and Bhikshalaya temples on the other side of the bank. This needs atleast half a day to visit.
How to reach Sri Navabrindavanam:
1. Better way to go to Navabrindavan is by car and it is advisable to start early morning. It is about 200KM from Mantralayam. Roads are very tough but both sides of the road are covered by greenery with paddy, sunflower and cotton fields. There are also mountains nearby. So it is better to enjoy the nature than to complain on the toughness of the roads.
2. It would take around 4 hours to reach the destination. From Andhra border, car will go inside Karnataka border to reach Anegundi.
Car will stop in Anegundi, which literally means elephant pit in Kannada. It is a small village in Koppal district of Karnataka state, located on the north banks of the Tungabhadra River on the opposite bank of the Vittala Temple. After reaching Anegundi, passengers can have breakfast at Hotel Sri Tulasi Garden. They give homely food and the owner arranges for travel by car also. You can go to SRS mutt nearby and inform them to have lunch there. They would tell you to return by 12PM sharp to have the prasada.
You need to walk a little bit to reach the banks of river Thungabadra where you need to take a motor boat to go the other bank. After reaching the other bank, you can have a holy dip in the river and go to Sri Navabrindavan dharshan.
There are 9 jeevasamadhis of the Madhva tradition. They are:
1. Sri Padhmanabha Thirtha or Padmanabha Tirtha
2. Sri Jayathirtha/Sri Raghuvarya
3. Sri Kavindra Thirtha
4. Sri Vageesa Thirtha
5. Sri Vyasaraja Thirtha
6. Sri Srinivasa Thitha
7. Sri Rama Thirtha
8. Sri Sudheendhra Thirtha
9. Sri Govinda Odeyaru
You need to circumambulate 9+2 rounds to complete the dharshan. It is mandatory to walk outside the yellow line which is marked there. Also make sure to have dharshan of SriRanganatha and SriAnjaneya above the rocks. It is recommended to light 9 ghee lamps for the 9 acharyas, 1 ghee lamp for SriRanganatha and 1 ghee lamp for SriAnjaneya. There is also one more Anjaneya diety near the brindavanas wherein the face is in the form of SriAnjaneya, shoulders in the form of Bheema and the script in the hand in the form of Madhvacharya. At the back, Sri Nrusimha can be seen. It is better to get flowers, ghee and any archana items before reaching there as there will not be any shop near Navabrindavan.
After having dharshan, you can have lunch at SRS mutt and proceed to SriRanganathaswamy temple nearby, Chintamani temple – place where Vaali vadha took place, Anjanadri – birth place of SriAnjaneya (need to climb 600 steps up the hill), Sri Durga temple, Sri Lakshmi temple and Pampasarovar where Lord SriRama had taken holy bath. All these places are said to be the places mentioned in Kishkindha Kandam in SriRamayana. There is a Lakshmi Nrusimha temple while returning back at Urukkundu.
Hampi is about 15KM from Anegundi or if you go by boat after crossing the river the distance is even more reduced. But we didn’t have time to see Hampi. But if you wish to see Hampi, best place to stay is Hospet and from there you can continue the journey. You would need atleast one day to sight-see Hampi. There are temples like Virupaksha, Vittal mandir, etc. All these areas belong to Vijayanagar empire.
Contacts for travel:
Sri Tulasi Garden,
Madhwacharya guru ki jai!
Sri Raghavendra mahraj ki jai!
Sri navabrindavan guru maharaj ki jai!