Mantralayam Temple of Andhra Pradesh is one of the major pilgrimages of the state. Located at Mantralaya, a quaint city in the district of Kurnool, Mantralayam Temple can be visited throughout the year. Mantralayam Temple is unique as it does not house the deity of any mythological Hindu god or goddess but treasures the memorial of the famous Vaishnava saint, Sri Raghavendra.
The environment is celestial as the River Tungabhadra ripples round the shrine. Besides daily worship and sevas, Mantralayam Temple committee, known as mutt is engaged in charity and providing education to the needy.
- Mantralayam Temple History
- Significance of Mantralayam Temple
- What are the timings of Mantralayam Temple?
- Mantralayam Temple Food Timings
- Mantralayam Temple Dress Code
- Festivals celebrated at Mantralayam Temple
- Mantralayam Temple Sevas and Poojas
- How to reach Mantralayam Temple
- Mantralayam Temple Accommodation
- Where to eat
- Nearby Temples
Mantralayam Temple History
Mantralayam Temple of Andhra Pradesh is dedicated to Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, who lived during the 16th century
Sri Raghavendra Swamy is considered as an incarnation of Prahlad, a devotee of Lord Vishnu.
Raghavendra Swamy was a devotee of Sri Moola Rama and Sri Panchamukhi Mukhya Prana Devaru. It is believed that the five faced Hanumana gave darshan to the saint while he was performing penance at a place called Panchamukhi.
The teachings of this great saint are based on the Vaishnava cult, Dvaita philosophy and preaching of Madhvacharya.
Before becoming a saint, Sri Raghavendra was a family man with a wife and a son. On the day of his transformation, his wife wished to see him for the last time and hence came running to the mutt. But in her hurry, she felt in an abandoned well and died. As it was an untimely death of her with the desire unfulfilled, she became a ghost and came to visit the saint in the mutt. Sri Raghavendra Swamy sensed her presence and sprinkled holy water, relieving her from the cycles of birth and death.
Sri Raghavendra is believed to have done many miracles in his lifetime.
Significance of Mantralayam Temple
Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy Temple is not only a memorial of the saint but also worships Lord Hari, Vayu and Rayaru.
Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy Temple houses three spectacular chariots, made with sandalwood and adorned with fresh and bright flowers.
Every day the deities are placed on the chariots and a wonderful procession round the temple takes place.
What are the timings of Mantralayam Temple?
Here’re the timings of Mantralayam Temple:
|Morning Darshan||6 AM||2 PM|
|Evening Darshan||4 PM||9 PM|
|Mantrashakta||10 AM||11:30 AM|
|Swamiji Darshan||6:30 PM||8:30 PM|
|Seva Sankalpa||8 AM||9 AM|
Mahapooja to Moola Rama, Mukhyaprana and Brindavana is performed at noon.
Mantralayam Temple Food Timings
Tirtha Prasada (lunch) is served after worship at 1 pm to 3 pm. Meals are served at a large dining space at the left of the sanctum. At night, devotees can purchase Prasad (puliogare and pongal) from the mutt counter, which is known as Annadaata. Sometimes curd and rice are also available for dinner, after 8 pm.
Mantralayam Temple Dress Code
To maintain the tranquillity, devotees are expected to speak in a low voice and walk in queues. Some other guidelines which are followed here are:
- Devotees are suggested not to wear headgears, cooling glasses.
- Men are requested to remove their shirt and hold it in their hands while paying the visit to Rayaru, while women are expected to be in traditional wear, like the sari.
- Outside eatables are not permitted within the temple complex.
- Last but not the least; devotees are expected to bath in the holy waters of River Tungabhadra (wetting their hair) before offering puja at the temple.
Festivals celebrated at Mantralayam Temple
Mantralayam Temple celebrates various kinds of festivals throughout the year. Devotees can offer various kinds of seva to fulfil the good wishes and for the well-being of the family members.
- The Maharathostavam, also known as the car festival is celebrated with great pomp and glamour at Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy Temple.
- Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy Aradhanostavam is another famous festival of the shrine.
- The Dhanurmasa month is of great significance at the Raghavendra Swamy Temple. Besides regular worship and rituals, special events like Tulasi Archana and Hastodaka, Rathotsava and Maha Mangal aarti takes place during this month.
- Devotees can request for special seva or endowments. There are lifetime seva or endowments which take place on holy days and again every year after the seva; the fund for the seva is raised from the fixed deposit of the seva that the devotee deposits the first time.
- These special endowment worships are not performed on Ekadasi, Grahana or Eclipse days and on Sri Krishna Janmasthami.
- Devotees can also offer seva without visiting Mantralayam Temple personally. They can send cheques and drafts for the seva and the same shall be performed on behalf of the devotees.
Mantralayam Temple Sevas and Poojas
Besides the special endowments, there are regular worships done at Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy Temple.
- Regular worship of Sri Moola Ramadevara is done if HH Sri Swamiji is present at Mantralayam Temple.
- Among the daily seva, the Dinaika Sampoorna Annadana Seva refers to the food endowment that a devotee can opt for. He or she can pay a fixed amount and the prasada for the day will be funded with that amount.
- The Vastra Samarpana Seva refers to the gifting of clothes to the needy.
- The Sankalpa Seva refers to taking an oath and spending the life as per the oath. Held every day between 5Sankalpa Seva requires utensils for performing Achamana, a small plate, a whole coconut, a coconut to be offered as a symbol and change as dakshina.
- Bangaru Pallaki Seva, the Golden Chariot Seva, Kanaka Kavacha Seva, Rajata Rathotsava, Kanak Maha Pooja, Suprabhat Seva, Tulabhara Seva, Archana are some of the other seva that can be performed at the Raghavendra Swamy Temple.
How to reach Mantralayam Temple
- By Air: The air base at Hyderabad is the nearest airport to the temple. It is 236 kms from Mantralayam. After disembarking the flight, you can rent cabs or board buses to reach the temple.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to the Raghavendra Swamy Temple is the Mantralayam Road. This railway station is about 12 kms from Mantralaya. Some of the local trains that can take you to the temple are the Dadar Madras Mail and the Bombay Mail. The Udayan Express from Bangalore also stops at Mantralaya. Mantralaya lies on the railway route of Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Bangalore, Hyderabad-Tirupathi. It is an hour journey from the station to Mantralayam Temple. There are private cabs, auto rickshaws, buses and vans available at the station which can take the pilgrims directly to the shrine.
- By Road: There are regular bus service from the major South Indian cities, like Bangalore, Mangalore, Chennai, Mysore, Hyderabad, Tirupati and Bellary. Mantralaya is located at 595 kms from Chennai and 690 kms from Mumbai.
Mantralayam Temple Accommodation
The best place to stay at Mantralayam is at the guest houses of the Devasthanam (temple authorities.) There are 100 guest rooms, some of which are also air-conditioned. Pilgrims who come for offering sevas can also get accommodations in separate cottages. The guest rooms can be booked at the central booking counter, located at the road junction. The Pankaja Lodge, Hare Sreenivasa Lodge, Sri Guru Sarva Bhouma Lodge, Holiday Home, Hotel Rajeswari Lodge, Pavamana Udupi Residency, Prasuna Lodge, Sri Upendra Theertha Nilayam, Sreeniketanam, Pannaga International, Sri Pushkara Tourist Home, Srikara Paradise and Sri Residency are some of the decent guest houses near the temple. Tourists can avail both affordable and deluxe rooms here, along with modern amenities.
Where to eat
There are several vegetarian food joints available near the Raghavendra Swamy Temple. While the Gulbarga Brothers, Brahmins Tiffin Center and Sri Udipi Krishna serves tasty lunch, the SR Tiffins attracts the fast food lovers. Hotel Pannaga is also well known for its cleanliness and food.
After a visit to the Raghavendra Swamy Temple, you may checkout the below-mentioned shrines to deep dive into the glorious past of India.
- Nava Brindavan is another sanctum of Raghavendra Swamy. Located in the middle of River Tungabhadra, the place is sacred with 9 (Nava) Vrindavans at the same place. The 9 Vrindavans are, Sri Padmanabha Teertharu, Sri Kaveendra Teertharu, Sri Vageesha Teertharu, Sri Jaya Teertharu, Sri Vyasa Teertharu, Sri Srinivasa Teertharu, Sri Rama Teertharu, Sri Govinda Vodeyar and Sri Sudheendra Teertharu.
- Panchamukhi Temple of Raichur is another famous temple located near Mantralaya. Located at 20 kms from the Sri Raghavendra Swamy Temple, it is believed that Sri Guru Raghavendra meditated here for 12 years and Lord Panchamukha (five-faced Lord Hanumana) appeared to him here.
- There is also a unique rock formation found at Raichur. This rock formation is in the form of a helicopter.
- Bichali, the Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mritika Brindavana is located at 22 kms from the temple.
- Kallaru is the pilgrimage of the sanctum of Sri Mahalakshmi. It is located at 62 kms from the temple.
- Manvi, the Sri Jagannathadasara Sannidhi is located at 90 kms.
- Chikalaparvi, the birth place of Sri Vijayadasara is located at 105 kms.
- Mudumale, the temple of Sri Yadaveendra Teertharu is at 100 kms.
- Dharoor, the pilgrimage of Sri Parthasarthi Sannidhi is located at 75 kms.
- Chintraveli, the pilgrimage of Sri Pranadevaru Sannidhi is at 110 kms.
- Gadwal, dedicated to Sri Chenna keshava Sannidhi is at 90 kms from the Raghavendra Swamy Temple.
- Modalakallu, the Sri Swayabhu Venkateshawara Sannidhi is at 65 kms.
- Sankapura, dedicated to Sri Gopala dasara Sannidhi is at 50 km distance.
- Utthanuru, the birth place of Sri Gopala dasarais at 45 km.
- Venisomapura, deciated to Sri Vyasatatvagna Teerthara Sannidhi is located at 75 km.
- Alampur, the Nava Brahma temple is at 105 km.
Hence, a visit to the Raghavendra Swamy Temple is a journey to the holy land. If you want to participate in the major festivals, August to September is the best time; else August to March is good for praying in solitude. Besides visiting the temple, you can also enjoy a pleasant cruise over the River Tungabhadra in unique boats, known as coracles or putti.