Since time innumerable, India and Hinduism have always been connected by a special string. Especially the South Indian region carries the ancient culture of India to the core. From Karnataka to Kerala, every state is crowded with unique temples and their ancient whisperings. However, amongst all these states, we should not forget to mention the ‘Land of Temples’ or Telangana. The newly formed state, Telangana, is a home of thousand of temples and The Basara Temple of Devi Saraswati is one of the famous temples, not only in Telangana, in India too. A very few temples have been named after our, Goddess of knowledge and learning, Devi Saraswati. The Basara Temple of Telangana is one of the two most famous temples of Devi Saraswati, the other being situated in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. How well do you know about the temple of knowledge and learning? Let’s judge your knowledge here! Have a look.
Basara Temple – Ancient Shrine of the Goddess of Wisdom
Telangana is home to several historic temples, of great archaeological significance and one such historic shrine is that of Saraswathi temple in Basara. According to legend, Sage Vyasa consecrated the images of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali while collecting the sand from the river Godavari, following rigorous penance. The presence of the three idols represents divine trinity, which is very much revered by Hindus. Gnana Saraswati Temple or Basara Temple is one of the famous temples of Telangana, situated by the river of Godavari, Basar, Adilabad. Basar is a census town in the Nirmal district of Telangana. Basar is around 210 km away from Hyderabad, so anyone can easily travel from Hyderabad to Basar via bus or train.
History of Basara Temple
Basara Temple is one of the unique temples of India, and thus a unique mythological and historical fact is attached to it. In India, we can find many temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiv, but Brahma’s temple is a rare find in here, so is Brahma’s wife’s, Saraswati. But the ‘Land of Temples’ or Telangana has the Basara Temple dedicated to Devi Saraswati, and the origin story of this temple has two faces. From the aspect of Myths and local legends, it is said that this temple has been mentioned in our great Epic Mahabharata. According to Mahabharata, after the scourge of the horrifying war, Kurukshetra, sage Vyasa, sage Vishwamitra and their disciples decided to settle down in a calm and serene place. In search of tranquility, they came to Dandaka forest. Being pleased by the serenity of the place, they selected this place as their peaceful adobe for prayers. There was one cave in this region named ‘Kumarachala’ where sage Vyasa used to sit for penance by praying to Goddess Saraswati. It is believed that during the time of prayer, one-day sage Vyasa got ‘darshan’ and the blessings of Goddess Saraswati, where the Goddess ordered the sage to bring three fistfuls of sand from the River Godavari after holy bath and place that heaps of sand in three division in the cave. Afterwards, these three piles of sands became deities of Maha Kali, Maha Saraswati and Maha Laxmi by the power of sage Vyasa. After the name of sage Vyasa, this place became Vyasara which turned into ‘Basara’ under the influence of the Marathi language.
However, history says something else. According to concrete historical facts, the Gnana Saraswati Temple of Basara was built by the King Bijiyaludu by the time of 11th century. However, during 12th to 18th century, this temple was being targeted by the Muslim invaders. At that time, one young man named Sri Makaji Patel protected this temple from the attacks of Muslim invaders and Nawabs with the help of Ravindrapuram, Mahathpuram and Vyasapuram. Apart from this temple, other two temples were also built on the meeting point of River Majira and Godavari.
Apart from a fascinating history and myth, the Basara Temple holds lots of importance in the lives of every Hindu. Along with festivals, many special religious acts are also being done in this temple. Let us have a look.
Goddess Saraswati is known to be the symbol of Knowledge and skill. For this purpose, lots of people from the different region come to this place to perform the sacred religious act named Aksharabhyasam. This act is performed when a child is about to start his educational career.
It was mentioned in the Brahmanda Purana that, by getting a holy bath in the Koneru of this Saraswati Theertha, one can liberates his/her sins committed in their lifetime.
The members of Brahmin family observe Deeksha and Madhukaram in this Basara Temple. Deeksha can be kept for seven days, eleven days, twenty-one days, forty-one days or even more. It is believed that at the end of such Deeksha, Goddess Saraswati will appear in the dream of the devotee and will shower him with blessings.
- VYASA POURNIMA – As it is believed that the temple was established by sage Vyasa, Vyasa Purnima festival is celebrated every year on Ashada Purnima.
- DASARA NAVARATHRULU – On Dassera Navaratri, this festival is celebrated each year for nine days. Various Pujas and religious acts are being done in these nine days for the purpose of the festival.
- MAHA SHIVARATRI – On Magh Bahula Triyodoshi, Maha Shivaratri festival is celebrated each year in the month of February.
- VASANTHA PANCHAMI – Being a temple of Goddess Saraswati, the festival of Vasantha Panchami is celebrated each year on Magh Shukla. This festival embarks the advent of the season spring. On this day, the religious act of Aksharabhyasam is being done in this Basara Temple.
A rare finding on the land of Hinduism, Basara Temple holds indescribable importance in the lives of many people. From the times of Mahabharata to the modern times, the Gnana Saraswati Temple of Basara has gone through a lot, yet this beautiful, magical temple does not fail to inspire the lives of the people each and every day!