At a distance of 400 km from Bangalore, 40 km from Raichur and 75 km from Kurnool, Mantralayam is a pilgrimage located in Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It lies on the banks of the river Tungabhadra on the border with the neighbouring state Karnataka.
Mantralayam is connected with the famous saint Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, renowned Hindu Scholar, Theologian, and Philosopher. Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy lived between 1595 – 1671. The followers of the saint believe that Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy is an incarnation of Bhakta Prahlada, who was saved by Vishnu in the avatar of Narasimha.
6 Interesting facts about Mantralayam that one must know
Brindavan – The Sacred Burial
Mantralayam is famous for the holy presence of the Brindavan of Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy. It is believed that Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy will be in the Brindavan alive for 700 years and blessing the devotees. Also known as Rayaru and Guru Raya by his devotees.
The Grama Devata of Mantralayam is Goddess Manchalamma
Before the arrival of Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, the village was known by the name Manchali or Manchalaya because of the grama devata or the presiding deity of the village Goddess Manchalamma. Even today, before taking the darshan of Raghavendra Swamy, one has to first take the darshan of Goddess Manchalamma and only then proceed.
The Three Chariots
There are three chariots in the temple, one plated in gold, the other in silver, and the third in sandalwood. A new chariot is being made of Navaratha Stones (9 Precious Stones) which will be used for special occasions. The idol of the saint is carried around the temple every day.
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The Miracle incident involving Thomas Munro and Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy
Thomas Munro was the Collector of Bellary in 1800, the Madras Government ordered him to procure the entire income from the Raghavendra Swamy Matha and Mantralaya village. He was told that Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy had been in Samadhi for nearly 130 years.
He visited the Math for investigation, removed his hat and shoes and entered the sacred precincts. Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy emerged from the Vrindavan and conversed with him for some time, about the resumption of an endowment. The Saint was visible and audible only to Munro, who received Manthraksha (God’s blessing). The Collector went back and wrote an order in favor of the Math and the village. This notification was published in the Madras Government Gazette in Chapter XI, page 213, with the caption “Manchali Adoni Taluka”. This order is still preserved in Fort St. George and Mantralayam.
Rayaru was a devotee of Rama and Sri Pachamukha Anjaneya ( the five-faced form of Hanuman).
The Miracles during the rule of Nawab of Adoni
Mantralayam was under the rule of Nawab of Adoni. The Nawab decided to test the power of Rayaru, brought a plate of meat covered with a white cloth and was offered to Rayaru. Rayaru sprinkled some water and when the cloth was removed, the meat had turned into fresh fruits. The Nawab fell at the Guru’s feet begging for pardon, and he requested the Swami to ask for any favor or gift that he wished. Guru Rayaru asked for the village of Manchala, which later came to be known as Manthralaya.
Here is a famous Mantralayam Shloka of Rayaru to end this article.
Poojyaya Raghavendraya Satya Dharma Ratayacha. Bhajatam Kalpa Vrukshaya Namatam Kamadhenave.
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