This is the first ever Brindavana in the world which was installed following a direction from Rayaru himself.
This is the Eka Shila Brindavana in Bichale, which is near Mantralaya. While Mantralaya is in Andhra Pradesh, Bichale is in Raichur district in Karnataka. Both Mantralaya and Bichale are on the banks of the Tungabhadra.
The Brindavana at Bichale is perhaps the only one without a temple or matha surrounding it. The Brindavana is constructed in the Japada Katte on the banks of the Tungabhadra and it was completely covered by the floor waters of the Tungabhadra in 2009.
What makes this Brindavana special is that Rayaru himself came in the dream of Appanacharya and asked him to construct the Brindavan. This is how the story of the Brindavana unfolded.
Appanacharya went to Mantralaya every day after Rayaru entered Brindavana in august 1671. One night, Rayaru came in his dream and asked him to construct a Brindavana at Bichale itself. “You are old and it is difficult for you to come and see me everyday in Mantralaya”, Rayaru told Appanacharya.
Rayasu then chose the Japada Katte and asked Appanacharya to construct the Brindavana at the spot. Appanacharya constructed the Brindavana and he spent his last few days before it, composing hymns and stotras.
Rayaru had a reason for specifically choosing the Japada Katte. It was at this place that as Vyasa Raja, he had consecrated the Hanuman idol. Besides, Vibhudendre Theertha, Jitamitra Theertha, Sripadaraja had spent time at the Japada Katte and left their imprint.
Moreover, the Japada Katte ws the place where Appanacharya operated his Veda Patashala and Gurukula. It was also the place where Rayaru wrote his Parimala, thus earning the name Parimalacharya.
Rayaru and Appanacharya had spent years at the Japada Katte discussing scriptures and discussing many aspects of religion and philosophy. Hence, Rayaru wanted the Japada Katte to host his Brindavana.
This is the first Eka Shila Brindavana of Rayaru and the first outside Mantralaya. The fact that Rayaru himself asked Appanacharya to build a Brindavana is significant. Appanacharya, in his earlier avatar, was a brother of Prahalada, an avatar of Rayaru.
Appanacharya passed away in 1674, three years after Rayaru entered Brindavan. Even today, the Brindavan is worshipped every day with a Hanuman idol placed atop it.
One of Appanacharya’s descendents, Badadha Ramacharya Bichali, is conducting the pooja. He also tells visitors and pilgrims about the holiness of Bichale, the history of Japada Katte and the deep and everlasting friendship between Rayaru and Appanacharya.
Even today, the Japada Katte draws crowds of eager tourists and pilgrims. Almost all Madhwa saints and all the Haridasas right from Vijaya Dasa to Jagannatha Dasa, Karaji Dasa to Guru Jagannatha Dasa, Pranesha Dasa to Mohana Dasa, Gopala Dasa and his three brothers all of whom were Dasas and hundreds of them have visited Bichale and sang praises of Rayaru and Appanacharya, their friendship and the holiness of the Japada Katte.