Gnana Saraswati Temple

About The Temple

An Insight Into the Spiritual Significance Of Gnana Saraswati Temple Basara

The Gnana Saraswati Temple is located in the census town of Basara in Adilabad district of the Indian state of Telangana. This temple dates back to the era of the Hindu religious epic Mahabharata. According to historical shreds of evidence, Bijialudu, a Kannada king of Nandagiri province in the sixth century, built this temple.

Cultural and religious significance

This temple is one of the two temples in India dedicated to the worship of Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge and learning. This is the only Saraswati temple in Southern India. It has immense historical importance. The religious significance of this basara temple is also associated with the ritual of Akshara Abhyasam that has a great value among the devotees of Goddess Saraswati. Thousands of pilgrims from many parts of India throng the temple for this ritual. The remarkable feature of this ritual is that devotees bring their children, who are starting to read and write to seek the blessings of the Goddess of Learning.

The presiding deity

The great Hindu scholar and sage Ved Vyasa had worshipped the trinity of Goddesses Saraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali here. Because of the penance performed by the sage, three deities emerged from heaps of earth. Hence, the temple has three presiding deities and Basara is considered as the abode of the trinity. However, the temple became a renowned pilgrimage for the reverence of Goddess Saraswati. Many devotees consider Gnana Saraswati as the main presiding deity.

The different idols

Three idols are worshipped in the temple, which are made of sand. Sage Ved Vyasa had made the idols from sand in the ancient times. Hence, devotees have carried the legacy forward through the centuries. The idols are relatively simple and not much big in size. Though, the idols went through significant changes across many centuries, the basic structure remains unchanged. The present idols were made during the rule of the Chalukyas. The idol of the Goddess is depicted as sitting on a swan with a veena in her hand.

Other deities worshipped

Besides, the worship of the primary deity Gnana Saraswati, the two other revered deities are Mahalakshmi and Mahakali. The temple does not have any other shrines. However, Lord Shiva is worshipped with immense devotion. Sage Ved Vyasa is also revered as a great scholar and sage.

Methods of worship

It is important to know the basara temple timings. Worship starts at 4 AM in the morning every day with performance of the ritual of Abhishekam, which takes an hour. After the conclusion of Abhishekam, the ritual of Alankara takes place. Alankara involves the adornment of sarees to the trinity of Goddesses. At around 6 AM, with the rays of the morning sun, the ritual of Aarti is performed. Once the Aarti gets over, Prasad, a devotional offering made to the Gods that consists of food items, is distributed among the devotees. The ambience fills up the entire vicinity with a devotional air and devotees offer obeisance to the Goddesses.

Occasions of religious significance

Apart from the regular worship of the trinity of the Goddesses, several other fairs and festivals take place in the temple. Vyasa Pournami, also known as Ashada Shudda Pournami is one of the major religious events that are celebrated in the temple. This celebration is an obeisance offered to sage Vyasa, the founder of the Gnana Saraswati Temple. Another important event is Dasara Navarathrulu or 9 Days Ashveeja Shudda Pratipada Dashimi. This event is also known as Dassera Navratri Utsavams.

The most important festival is perhaps Vasantha Panchami or Maga Shudda Panchami that is celebrated as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati. The occasion of Vasantha Panchami is also celebrated as the onset of spring. The ritual of Akshara Abhyasam takes place during this festival. Mahashivratri is also celebrated in temple every year with great pomp and zeal. Amusement fairs are also held.

Important pilgrimage site

The Gnana Saraswati Temple is a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus. Millions of pilgrims from every part of the country visit the temple to seek the blessings of Goddesses Saraswati, Mahalakshmi, and Mahakali. Students and Hindu scholars form a huge part of the pilgrims who visit this shrine.

How To Reach

Reaching the shrine of the trinity of Goddesses is very convenient. You can avail various means of transport to reach the temple. You can reach basara saraswathi temple easily by air, road or train.

 

  • Hyderabad is the nearest airport, which is located at a distance of about 210 kilometers from Basara. Hyderabad is well connected to Basara by buses operated by Telangana State Road Transport Corporation. Travelling time is about 4 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Basara is well connected to all the major cities and towns of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. You can board a train from Hyderabad or Secunderabad to reach Basara, which has a travelling time of about 5 to 6 hours. Basara lies on the railway route of many major railway stations. All you need to do is find out the routes and timings to enjoy a hassle free travel. You can find all the relevant information on the internet.
  • Basara also has very efficient road connectivity. Buses operated by TSRTC provide services to Basara from almost every part of Telangana. Besides, APSRTC also conducts bus services to Basara. You can reach Basara from Mumbai. The distance of 658 kilometers is covered in 12 hours and 15 minutes.

 

Nearby Attractions

There are many places of interest that you can visit in and around gnana saraswati temple basara. There are quite a few temples are strewn across the vicinity of Basara.

  • The Mahankali temple is situated near the Gnana Saraswati Temple. It is a must visit temple for the devotees of the Divine Mother Kali.
  • Vyasa Maharishi Cave Temple is another important site of religious significance that is located in Basara. It is the place where the great sage had performed penances to Goddess Saraswati.
  • Vyasa Temple is another important temple dedicated to the eminent sage of the ancient times.
  • Vedavathi Shila is also an important site for Hindu pilgrims. You must pay a visit to this ancient rock, which is considered very sacred.
  • Dathathreya Temple is a temple from the medieval times. This temple was constructed by one of the great rulers of Southern India.
  • Shivalayam is a temple devoted to Lord Shiva that is situated at the banks of Godavari River.
  • Kunthala Waterfalls is one of the highest waterfalls in Southern India. It offers a mesmerizing scenic beauty. It is believed that Shakuntala, the wife of King Dushyant used to bathe here.
  • Gudem Gutta Satyanarayana Temple is a very popular religious site, which is located in Adilabad District of northern Telangana.

 

History Of Temple

According to Indian religious legends, the basara saraswathi temple was established by the eminent Hindu sage Ved Vyasa. After the end of the war of Mahabharatha, sage Vyasa accompanied by his disciples reached the forests of Dhandakaranya along the banks of the River Godavari. He found the place very serene and ideal for meditation and penances to Gods. So, he settled in the place and starting worshipping the trinity of Goddesses Saraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali. Pleased with his penances and devotion, the Goddesses appeared in the form of clay idols. The sage erected a temple dedicated to the Goddesses. And hence, the place was called Vyasapuri as sage Vyasa started worshipping Goddess Saraswati in this holy place. Gradually, the place came to be known as Vyasara.

Another legend has a similar story to tell. According to the legend, the sage Ved Vyasa settled in the Dhandakaranya forests and started offering penances to Goddess Saraswati. The Sage chose a cave to go into hiding so that he could worship the Goddess without any distractions. Later, the cave became a site of religious significance and is known as Vyasa Maharishi Gufa Mandir. Sage Ved Vyasa worshipped Goddess Saraswati as Paramashanthi Pradayini Adrushyaroopini. The intense penances pleased Lord Brahma, so he requested his consort, Goddess Saraswati to pay attention to the penances offered by the sage. One day, in the midst of meditation, Goddess Saraswati appeared in a sub-conscious dream. The Goddess instructed sage Vyasa to collect a fistful of sand from the bank of River Godavari after bathing in the sacred river. He was to follow the instructions of bringing the sand to his cave and piling them up in three heaps. Sage Vyasa followed the instructions with utmost obedience. After a few days of severe penance, the sage was blessed by the Gods and the deities emerged from the three heaps of sand. The deities were Goddesses Saraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali.

The areas surrounding the basara saraswati temple is referred to as Tapobhoomi because of the extreme penances performed by the great sage Ved Vyasa.