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Road Trip to Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy Temple in Andhra Pradesh

Mantralayam is an important Hindu pilgrim place in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. It is famous for Guru Raghavendra Swamy temple which is located on the banks of River Tungabhandra bordering Karnataka.

Mantralayam is on the main rail route and is easily reachable by train. The place is well connected with roadways as well. There are frequent bus services from Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai to Mantralayam

Accommodation is easily available at this place as most of the pilgrims stay here only for one night. There is Punnami Hotel run by AP Tourism. Pilgrims get accommodation in Raghavendra Mutt also where they can have free meals (once a day). Pilgrims can have free meals at the temple also between 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Food is tasty and hygienic at these places. Food is not served on Ekadasi days.

The temple opens at 6 a.m in the morning and closes at 2 p.m in the afternoon. It again opens at 4 p.m in the evening and closes at 9 p.m.

A road trip to Mantralayam from Hyderabad via Mahboobnagar with a diversion via Raichur (Karnataka), which is a shorter route, is an enjoyable one.

There is a long walk way to reach Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy Temple.
Pilgrims go in lines for getting the darshan of Brindavanam from a distance. Brindavanam is the place where Raghavendra Swamy attained mahasamadhi.
Raghavendra Swamy was a renowned Kannada Madhwa saint of the 15th - 16th C.E (current era).

After coming out from the darshan lines pilgrims go round the main temple where they get to read the life history of Saint Raghavendra displayed on the back and side walls of the temple. There is also a temple gift shop inside the main temple premises where pilgrims get beautiful pooja items. There is Manchalamma temple outside the temple premises.
Manchalamma is the local goddess / deity of Mantralayam. In front of the temple there is a beautiful statue of Lord Krishna dancing on Snake Kalindi. It was a wonderful spot for taking pics. Most of the visitors take pics at this spot.
Here many devotees do pradakshina i.e going round the main temple.
There is also a temple elephant with the mahout, outside the main temple. Having a temple elephant is very common in most of the temples in South India. People give few bucks to the mahout and get blessing from the elephant which places its trunk on the head.
In the morning / daytime, many local vendors are seen alongside the long walk way selling hot home made idlis and vadas. Selling home made idlis / vadas in big steel cans is also commonly seen in South.
From Mantralayam pilgrims visit the nearby Panchamukha Anjaneya temple. The road route to Panchamukha Anjaneya temple is bumpy all along. The temple is on a small rocky hillock with big rocky steps to reach the temple.
On entering the rocky cave like temple, the priest shows a rocky structure to the devotees. Chandan is smeared at 5 places on this rocky structures. The temple priests tell that this rocky structure is 'Panchamukha (5 faces) Anjaneya'. It is said that when Raghavendra Swamy meditated at this place, He got the vision of 'Panchamukha Anjaneya'. Hence, this place is important and pilgrims visit this place after visiting Mantralayam.

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