Mantralayam is a pilgrim village situated in Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Mantralayam is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river on the border of Karnataka state. The village is well-known for the brindavan of Raghavendra Swami, a saint who lived in 17th Century and believed to have entered samadhi alive in front of his followers. Thousands of people visit the Raghavendra Matha and temples which are situated on the banks of Tungabhadra river.
Venkatanatha, who is Raghavendra born on 1595 in the town of Bhuvanagiri, Tamil Nadu. He born in Madhva Brahmin family to Thimanna Bhatta and Gopikamba in 1595. He was also called Venkatacharya in respect of Venkateswara. Subsequent to his education, he wedded Sarasvati Bai and had a son Lakshminarayanacharya, after which the family moved to Kumbakonam.
Once when Venkatanatha had come to visit his guru to find place of him and his family, the Guru realizes Venkatanatha was the right person to be his descendent. A denial was made by Venkatanatha initially as he was enclosed with family responsibilities, but gave himself a opportunity to talk with his wife in this regards. On his was back home he came across Goddess Sawraswath, who give explanation of his birth as Prhaladha in the previous birth and Raghavendra in Kaliyuga.
Venkathanatha changes his mind and goes a head seeking salvation as ‘Sanyasi’. He then took up the mutt’s responsibility in 1621 on Phalguni Sukla Dwitiya at Tanjore. On hearing this Venkatnatha’s wife Smt. Saraswathi broke down and jumped into an old well. But, she was left mid-way between Heaven and Earth due to unfortunate death. As her wish was to see her husband for the last time but was not fulfilled. Swamy Raghavendra sprinkled holy water on her and gave her moksha .
As Raghavendra took up the avatar of Sanyasi, he then went on for a south Indian tour to promote preaching ‘Davaita Philosophy’ and attending pilgrims at Rameshwaram and Srirangam.
Swamiji went to Nawaab of Adoni for a favour. He appealed him for the land of ‘Manchela Village’. Nawaab of Adoni insulted him by giving him a plate of Non-Vegetarian covered with cloth. With swamiji mediation and purity of mind, the plate of Non- Vegetarian delights turned into beautiful flowers. Surprised with this miracle by Swamiji, Nawaab would give Swamiji with a better land than the Manchela Village as it was a dry and barren region. But, this land was around Mantralayam and on the bank of river Tungabhara. He mentioned that this land was a place where King Prahalada performed Yagam to Lord Rama in ‘Dwapara Yuga’ and was said to be a holy land. So the Mutt was moved to Mantralayam where donation of Food to all devotees, this is still practices at the mutt even now.
Raghavendra was reincarnation of Prahalada, the devotee who was saved by Vishnu in the avatar of Narasimha. Prahaladha the reincarnation of ‘Shankukarna’ of Dwapara Yugam. So, Raghavendra chose the land of Mantralayam as the location of Brindavanam.
Later Swamy entered into Brindavanam specially built for him. According to his wish these stones were Sanctified by lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana’s footsteps on their visit to Teertha yatra. As instructed by Swamy once the japamala stopped rolling in this hand, slabs were placed till his head got covered. To add purity to Brindavanam spiritual water was poured onto to the construction 1200 Lakshmai Narayan Srligramas brought from Nepal Gandaki River in Nepal.
It is trusted to be Swamy is alive for: 78 years physically on Earth, 300 years in Brindavan, with his literary work among the people, 400 years in Brindavan without physical form and all together 700 years in the Brindavan offering helping hand to society, mankind in out to come-out of troubles and mistakes.
Places to visit nearby temple
Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, ADYATMIKA KENDRA, Lord Sri Krishna Sculpture, Tungabhadra River Ghat, Venkateswara Swamy Temple, Sri Panchamukhi Anjaneya Swamy Temple, etc.
Nearest Railway Station: Mantralayam Road Railway Station