Friday, October 19, 2012

Students blessed at Basar

That time of the year when the whole country wears a festive look be it the Durgapuja of the East, The ramlila/ ravan dahan / kulu dussehra in the north, the garba dandiya navratras of the west or down south with us the Mysore dussehra or navratri. Call it by any name the essence of the pan indian festival is the same  - the triumph of the good over evil by legend or scientifically the seasonal influence on humans  and religiously by faith the puja to the female trinity of the hindu pantheon – Durga, lakshmi and saraswati.

One such temple which houses the divine Trinity is at Basar, 200 kms from Hyderabad. People flock to this temple during Navratri .Though the ancient temple has the divine trio, the main deity is Saraswati and hence it is known as the Gnana Saraswati temple at Basar( Basra in telugu). An ancient temple surrounded with GHMC maintained gardens on the banks of River Godavari.

The main deity of Saraswathi who wields the veena is always smeared and decorated with haldi. The haldi is offered as prasadam and whoever partakes  this is said to be blessed by the god of wisdom and learning.

The legend has it that after Mahabharata war, Sage Veda Vyasa embarked on a pilgrimage in search of peace. He reached the kumaranchal hills on the banks of River Godavari and meditated on the goddess Saraswati. She appeared  in front of the sage and ordered him to place three fistful  of sand at three places everyday. So, everyday before meditation, after bath in Godavari he would place three heaps of sand taken from the river . These heaps miraculously transformed into the idols of  MAha kali- Mahalakshmi and MAha saraswati due to the mystical power of Sage Ved  vyasa.

As he stayed on the place for a long time it was called Vyasapuri which slowly evolved into Vasara and due to the marati influence now it is called Basara or Basar.

The present structure, believed to be built by the Chalukyas has survived the mughal nawab attacks of the Shahi dynasty.. 

It was my neighbor who mentioned to me about this place. His son was a student of Chukka Ramaiah the Famous IIT guru who trains the children aspiring for the engineering utopia. Most of his students are placed in IIT. He takes his students there on Basant panchami ( saraswati's birthday) to be blessed by the godess . We travelled to this place 10 years back and more recently some  4 years back. The roads are well laid you can complete the 200 kms journey in 3 hours. Though in Adilabad district, it is closer to Nizamabad. The road throws some beautiful sights of vineyards enroute to Basar. 

Just like the Visa god which i mentioned here, this place is synonymous with education. You will also find many students getting their pens and pencils blessed by the goddess prior to the exams. The most important festival here is Basant panchami. Parents initiate their children into aksharabhyasa on this day which marks Saraswati's birthday.  You will find slates, pens, books etc sold around the temple. The banks of River Godavari which has beautiful log floats turns this pilgrim spot into a picnic spot .

A  calm and serene temple on ordinary days  worth marking  when on a holiday to  Hyderabad.

Wiki states that this one of the two  saraswati temples in India, the other being in Kashmir. But, I myself have visited three more ancient temples dedicated exclusively to Saraswati, one in sringeri in karnataka , at varkal -45 kms from Hyderabad  and the other at koothanur in southernTamilnadu.

                                          Basar temple surrounded with manicured gardens

                                      The main deity in haldi and  with the veena in her hand

                                                    The log floats in the nearby Godavari


  1. Very educative post. Wonder why Saraswati is not venerated more in India. The Goddess of education must be one of the most idolised of gods.

  2. Haldi as prasad... very interesting, never heard about such a thing!
    Best wishes to you and family for the festive season! :)

  3. @ Ramesh - i think it has got to do with Brahma may be. Brahma has been cursed by shiva not to have temples and being his consort Mmayb e she is also not idolised in temples much( my assumption). But recently TOI reported there are many new temples mushrooming due to the students showing interest and devotion. there is one in marredpally in secunderabad.

    @Shilpa - yeah, isn't that unique. Thank you shilpa for the wishes

    @ Ramesh and shilpa - Best wishes to you and your family too for the festive season :)

  4. Nice information.
    Happy Saravathi puja and Vijaydasmi to you and your family!

    1. Rama, wish you and your family the same.

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