Mantralaya, Basar, Vemulawada, Chilukur, Jogulamba, Yadagirigutta

Mantralaya: The Mutt of  renowned Raghvendra Swami, an ardent follower of Madhwacharya is at Brindavana the on the banks of Tungabhadra and near Mantralaya Road connected to Indian Railways besides road net work to Adoni by50 km; Kurnool by 100 km and Hyderabal by 250 km. Raghavendra Mutt and Samadhi are near the Mangalamma Temple, and normally devotees worship there first and then enter the Rahavendra Swamy Temple which attracts lakhs of visitors every year. The famed Panchamukha Anjaneya Temple from Brindavan is apart by 23 km. There were severe floods of the River in 2009 at Mantralaya and Raghavendra Mutt at Brindavan was submerged but normalcy got recovered soon later.  Basar:Originally named Vasara later on turned as Basar is the Abode of Jnana Saraswati Temple popular as the Goddess of Vidya and Knowledge on the banks of Godavari in Andhra Pradesh some 40 km. fromNizamabad and 200 km from Hyderabad. It is mentioned both in Brahmanda Purana and Maha Bharata that Veda Vyasa once performed Tapasya on the banks of Godavari at this Place and made three heaps of sand and created three Murtis of Lakshmi , Saraswati and Kali and accorded special concentration on Devi Saraswati as the Supreme Symbol of Vidya and Knowledge  . A King of Karnataka with Nanded as the Capital built  the Temple of Saraswiti during the  sixth century at ‘Vaasara’ or originally marerialised and adored by the name of Jnana Saraswati by Vyasa and hence the name Vyaasara. Over the years, this Place of Worship has gained reputation as the unique Center for Aksharabhyas especially on Vasanta Pachami and four days as also during Devi Navaratras. There is a Lakshmi Pratima besides Devi Saraswati and a shrine of Devi Kali on the first floor in the premises of Jnana Saraswati itself. Devotees visit a separate Temple of Sarasvati up a nearby mountain by steps. Vemulawada: Situated  some 35 km.from Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh the Raja Rajeswara Shiva Linga Kshetra popular as Dakshina Kashi has a huge Temple Complex. The Nilalohita Linga has Devi Raja Rajeswari on one side and Lakshmi Ganapati on the other and faced by Nandeeshwara. In the surrounding areas this Temple is called Rajanna Temple affectionately and devotion. The Temple complex also has separate Temples of  Ananta Padma Swami, Bhimeshwara, Kodanda Rama, Nageswara Swami etc. Contructed by  Chalukya Kings in 8th century, it was stated that Raja Narendra the great grand son of King Parikshit of Pandava Fame was cured of leprosy by bathing in Dharma gundam (Pushkarini) and had a dream to install a Shiva Linga at this Place. Bhavishya Purana mentions that Surya Deva worshipped at the Kshetra and when as he once had a problem of movement, he overcame by his worship to the Shiva Linga here and thus has come to be named Bhaskara Kshetra eversince. Indra too got over his Btahma Hatya dosha once by worshipping Raja Rajeshwara Linga here. The renowned Vemulawada Bhima Kavi was closely associated with this Temple. It is a Harahara Kshetra too as is with prominent Vaishnava Temples of significance as mentioned above and both Shaivite and Vaishnavite festivals are celebrated with ferver and faith. Indeed the record draw however is for Shivaratri Festival for days together each year drawing some 5 lakhs with no exaggeration. Chilkur:Balaji Temple  on the banks of Osmania Sagar in Hyderabad itself popular asVisa Balaji the bestower of boons especially foreign visits attracts millions of visitors every year. The Temple is a rare example of those exceptional few in Bharat which is neither under Government control nor accepts donations in ‘hundis’ as all Temples in Bharat do and also dis-allows Special Treatment to select public personalities. The legend behind this Temple is as follows: Lord Venkatseshwara  at Tirumalai Hills near Tirupati appeared in their dreams  to an old couple devotees- who were regular visitors from the jungles of Andhrapradesh  to Balaji all along for their lifetime but since unable to do any further- and assured that they need not do so as Balaji and his consorts Sri Devi and Bhudevi would arrive there itself near a specific mole hill area in the jungles! The couple organised  search  teams and dug up while they discovered to their amazement and shock of their life time hit a solid single rock which carried a Stone Idol of Lord Ventateshwara with Sri Devi and Bhudevi on either side; but there was ozing of blood near the chin and chest but the blood flow subsided gradually and the idols were installed in a thached hut as the villagers found the miracle of blood coming out of rock! The word went around the villages and reached the Akkanna Bukkanna brothers, the uncles of Bharachala Rama Das and they installed  the idols in proper and befitting vedic manner in a large temple complex. Eversince then, the popularity of theTemple gained rapid momentum and as of now some thousands of visitors-reaching beyond the level of lakh plus, by weekends, get attracted. The devotees thronging the Temple usually perform 11 pradakshinas for the fulfillment of their specific desires ranging for travel overseas for higher studies and employment opportunity, matrimonials, improvement of health and so on. Once their vows are fulfilled then the visitors perform 10 8 circumambulations by way of thanks giving and asking for fresh favours. The numerical 11 at the request stage signifies: 1 for Soul and another 1 for Body and Soul Fullment; on achivement of the desires concerned the 108 figure signifies as follows: 1 for the blessing desired- 0 or Zero signifying Maya of human existence and the numerical 8 denotes the eight body parts.While performing 108 pradikshinas the respective Mantras to be recited are as follows: Om Namo Venkateshaya Namah/ for success in business; Om Namo Aksharaaya Namah for success in studies; Om Bhuta Bhavyaya Namah for good health; and Om Prathamaya Namah for Self- Improvement and Contentment. Jogulamba: The Temple of Jogubamba at Alampur is indeed awe- inspiring in Andhra Pradesh which is some27 km from Kurnool and 200 km from Hyderabad and is on the holy Sangama Sthaana of Rivers and Tungabhadra enclosing Nallamalla hills. This hallowed Kshetra is reckoned as one of the select 18 Shakti Peethas and the associated Shiva Swarupa is called Bala Brahmeshwara. It is stated that the upper jaw with the connected teeth got dropped at this very place. Devi Jogulamba is protected by the two Shaktis viz. Chandi and Mundi and is basically an Ugra Swarupa difficult to be  pleased by ordinary kind of worship. She is seated as a figure of frightfulness with large and dishevelled hair punctuated with lizard, scorpion, bat and a human skull. The Vigraha which by itself is awe inspiring has accompanying Shaktis of Sapta Matrikas viz. Brahmi, Vaishnavi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Varahi, Chamudi and Narasimhi besides Veenapani Veerabhadra and Vighneshwara. The total atmosphere is thus charged with awe and density. The Temple has other independent Mandirs of Kanchi Kamakshi,Bala Brahmeshwara Swami, and Nava BrahmaTemples of Taraka, Swarga, Padma, Bala, Vishwa, Garuda, Kumara, Arka, Veera Brahama Swarupas. Yadairigutta is some 60 kmfrom Hyderabad with thefamed Lakshmi Narasimha cut out in a cave, mentioned in Skanda Purana as Rishi Aradhana Sthala popular as Vaidya Narasimha to cure chronic diseases due to adverse planetary effects. The legend states that Yadarishi, the son of Rishyshringa Maharshi did penances and the Lord appeared in five forms as Jwala,Yogananda, Gandabherunda and Ugra Swami and thus this Place is known as Pancha Nrisimha Kshetra!

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at