After Tirupati, my second destination was fixed to visit a place where a devotee resided.
I always believed that, Not only an devotee is incomplete without God, even the Almighty is partial without an true & dedicated devotee.
पूज्याय राघवेन्द्राय सत्यधर्मरताय च ।
भजतां कल्पवृक्षाय नमतां कामधेनवे ॥
Ever since childhood I've chanted these slokas, paid visit to the nearest Raghavendra Swamy Mutt also celebrated Guru Raghavendra Swamy Aradhana, now made up my mind to be there in personal for further experience.
My bag packing was same like last as its again for divine destination, an ethnic wear for Temple premises, night wear for stay, tomboyish for journey with minimum jewelry & makeup kit.
My this voyage too was with my pretty mom, I booked an train ticket a week in advance Bengaluru > Mantralayam, 16571/Yeshwanthpur - Bidar Express AC 2 Tier costing us Rs. 875/- each person, very comfortable & clean, we were also given and spread sheet, pillows & rug. Train was scheduled from Yeshwanthpur Rly Station @ 19:20 hrs. & we reached Mantralayam around 2:00 hrs.
Calm, cold & drizzling when we got of our train, there were many other devotees in the same train so in fraction of seconds the platform was crowed. Must say the railways station is well maintained, secure, clean & most of all architecture is really worth a watch as the railways station itself is transformed into temple like look.
There are private taxis, autos in plenty, go on sharing for less costing (40-60/head). We took an auto adding one more lady with us for an merely 20 minutes ride, it was worth-a spooky drive in pin drop silence. Auto drivers are really helpful with honest & respectful attitude, I must say all auto, buses & taxis drivers. Finally we reached, there are many many & many hotels to stay. I personally checked the room & picked one of them costing us Rs. 700/- Non AC, hot water in morning, clean facility what more demand @ 3 in morning I was deal as it was very close to temple premises.
Morning, this is when I see the an old town all ladies in sarees & men in dhoti kurtas/shelya busy on street as if I'm into an Mythological movie, I just loved it. Started by breakfast, steamed idlis + pooris & filter coffee.
Manchalamma, an temple very right side of the main Mantralayam Mutt-it is said that we have to visit Manchalamma's first before entering to Bridavana of Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy. Very well said, she was an landlady who owned the land & also permitted Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy to stay there for free.
Guru Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, stone sculpted premises well managed enough ambience for one to be seated & spiritualize. Our darshan was done in half an hour. We moved out after being a while in the premises towards the main road & got on sharing auto for places around-this is must I suggest as the auto walas will complete all in one package Rs. 200/- for up & down. We visited Panchmukhi Anjaneya Temple, Bichhali, Raghavendra Swamy House & his Guru's house too. An 4hrs. jam packed journey was worth. We had lunch at Bichhali- one more temple premise, food for free & worth every morsel. Taste was the upmost-Rice-rasam-gravy-butter milk-sweet unlimited for all devotees, made by the students in the observation of the current Guru there.
Back to room at Mantralayam by 16:00 hrs. we took an rest for an hour & got geared for our evening out. Local shopping, spent an evening at Tungabhadra river grabbing snacks with some fresh air. 19:00 hrs. onwards behind the temple premises is an Anapoorana Hall dedicated for food service to the devotees, we ensure to have their & then spent rest of our time in the Mutt. Rath yatra, Maha magal aarthi, Chanting of all slokas is done every evening. its was an divine feeling being there. Guru Raghavendra Swamy was one of great saint and devotee, knowing about his life spent through in personal was an splendid knowledge.
We took bus @ 23:00 hrs. & reached Bengaluru by early morning.
Guru Raghavendraya Namaha.