The shrine of Raghavendra Swamy is located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, which is around 250 km from Hyderabad and takes 10 hours to reach from Bangalore by road. The Mantralayam is a small and quiet town where the shrine is situated on the banks of the river Tungabhadra while bordering the state of Karnataka. History holds no such records as to who build the Matralayam. Swamy chose the Mantralaya to be his Jeeva Samadhi. And it is believed that he walked into his Samadhi alive, and he is still seated there in the yoga Nidra pose to bless his many devotees who walk into his shrine to pay tribute to him.
Presiding Deity Of The Mutt:
The mutt is Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy AP, which is dedicated to the worship of the Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, who lived between the years 1595 to 1671, and was a popular saint and philosopher of Hinduism. He encouraged the teachings of Vaishnavism, which is the worship of Lord Vishnu as the supreme God. He advocated the teachings of Sri Madhwacharya through the philosophy of Dvaita. Guru Raghavendra Swamy was considered as the devotee of Lord Vishnu, Prahallada whom the Lord saved in his incarnation of Narshimha. Before becoming a Swamy, he was a renowned scholar and is known for his Sanskrit and Vedic texts. The Swamy is said to have performed many miracles in his whole lifetime and continue to bless his devotees till the present day.
About The Idol Of Swamy:
The Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy image is worshipped in the form of an idol, that is situated both in the main temple and at the entrance of the temple. The idol inside the temple is made of gold. And the statue that is mounted at the entrance of the temple is made of white marble.
Other Shrines That Is Present Within The Mutt:
Matralayam mutt complex included the Manchalamma Temple, which is near the Samadhi temple of the Swamy. It is a tradition in the temple that devotees pay their tribute to the Manchalamma Temple and then visit the Samadhi Temple. There is also a Hanuman temple located in the mutt complex. The Swamy was a keen devotee of both Lord Hanuman and Lord Venkateshwara. Sree Mrutyenjaswara Mahalingam or Shiva temple is also located a few lengths away from the main temple.
Rituals Of Worship In The Temple:
The temple is open from 6 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon. And in the evening the temple opens at 4 in the evening and stays open till nine at night. There is a strict rule for the men to wear dhoti without wearing a shirt while offering homage to the Swamy and similarly, the females must wear sari or salwar kameez for worshipping. It is strictly instructed to all devotees to take a bath on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. Meals are distributed on a mass basis in the large hall for dining in the sanctum’s left side during the afternoons.
Special Religious Festival Related To The Mutt:
There are three main dates, which is notable as per the mutt’s calendar and calls for special celebration here. First one is the Phalguna Shukla Sapthami or the Sri Raghavendra Theerthara Jayanthi. On this day Sri Raghavendra swamy, Kaamadhenu, Poojyaaya, Kalpavruksha, Guru Saarvabhouma, Parimalaacharya of the Mutt was born. Secondly is the Phalguna Sukla Bidigi or Dwiteeya. It is the holy day when the supreme Taaraka manthra Raaghavendra took birth. And also on this day Sanyasa Deeksha was taken by Sri Raayaru before he took the throne of Vedanta Saamraajya, which was founded by Saint Sri Madhvaachaarya. The day is also celebrated as Sri Guru Saarvabhoumara Pattabhisheka Dina. Apart from this two, another celebration also takes place Sraavana Bahula Bidigi that is the sacred day when the great saint Sri Raghavendra Swamy made Sajeeva Brundavana Pravesa dated back to 1671 AD. This day is celebrated as Sri Raayara Aaraadhana.
Among these occasions, the Sri Ramayana Aaraadhana is celebrated in a grand manner in the temple. Various religious and cultural events take place during the time of the festivities.
Devotees all across the country pay their tribute to the temple all year round as it is an important sacred place for the Hindus situated in South India.