Monday, 22 October 2012

Third route to Mantralaya from Bangalore

This is the third route to Mantralaya by road from Bangalore. In my earlier articles, I have written about two other routes to Mantralaya from Bangalore.
Take the Bangalore-Doddaballapur route and if possible visit Ghati Subramanya, which houses the deity of Karthikeya and Narasimha.  Take off from there on the Makali Ghat section and proceed towards Hindupur.
Take the  Hindupur- Ananthapur- Pattikonda-Adoni route to Mantralaya or the deviation from Hindupur towards Guntakal and from there to Alur, Adoni and finally reach Mantralaya.
Just before the Andhra Pradesh border, is a village called Vidurasthwatha, where there is an ashwata tree planted by Vidura, during the Mahabharata era. 
Located six kms from Gauribidanur town, this ancient hamlet is in Gauribidanur taluk. It is near the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Historians call this place the Jallianawalla Bagh of South India . This is so as the British fired upon and killed ten people when they had gathered here on April 25, 1938 to observe Satyagraha. There is a small memorial recalling this incident.
The ashwatha tree is not the only old thing in the area. The naga devasthana is supposed to be as old as the tree. There is a temple of Raghavendra Swamy here for any one who wants to pray, stay or have theertha prasada.
Thirty kilometres from this place and just a few kms after Hindupur (continue on NH 7 and pass through Kodikonda checkpost), visit the Lepakshi temple built by a minister of the Vijayanagar kingdom.
The temple has shrines dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Veerabhadra. There is also a huge statue of Nandi. The stories about the construction of the magnificent temple and the architects who built it is fascinating.
The temple is ascribed to Vishwakarma Brahmins who sculpted the structure. Legend has it that Amarshilpi Jakanacharya was one of those involved in the architecture of the structure.
Visit Gunkatal where there is the famous temple dedicated to Anjenaya.  Called the Nettikanti Anjaneya Temple , it is located in Kasapuram.
Gunkatal has the second largest cotton mill in Asia .
There is an interesting anecdote behind the consecration of the Hanuman Temple. Vyasaraja Theertha was visiting Chippargi where Vijaya Dasaru was living.  Hanuman appeared in his dream and asked him to approach a dried up neem tree in Nettikanti village.  He said his idol was buried near the tree.
Vyasaraja got the idol removed and he consecrated it here.
Another place worth visiting near Guntakal is Chippargi. 
Chipppargi is seven kms from Guntakal and it is approachable by buses, taxis and autos. There is the Brindavana of Vijaya Dasaru is here. Vijaya Dasaru is one of the greatest Haridasas. He gas written a number of  Devara Namas. Accomodation is available here.
You can motor down to Mantralaya from Chippargi either directly or through Alur.
In Alur, you can see the beautiful temple of Ranganatha . Look up the Alur Konda waterfalls and the Belum caves, which is the second longest cave network in India (The first is located in Mizoram It is called Krem Um Lawan and is 21 kms long.).
Belum is also approachable from Tadripathi or Ananthapur. It is 3.5 kms in length but only 2 kms is open for the public.
You can halt at Mantralaya, have a darshan of Rayaru and go for a sightseeing in and around the place.