As you enter Mantralaya from the Madhawaram side, the first thing that strikes you is a vast expanse of land which is encircled by a compound. A board says that this is a Goshala and all are welcome to visit.
The Goshala which is at present on 13 acres of land now houses 750 cows and calves. Totally, 186 acres have been set aside for the goshala.
The Goshala has a ready medical team on attendance and it provides the Raghavendra Swamy matha with the much needed milk.
The goshala was set up with funds from a US citizen and when the flood waters of the Tungabhadra entered Mantralaya, the Goshala too was destroyed. More than 60 cows and calves that had been tied died while those animals that were left untethered managed to escape to safety.
Even the compound wall of the Goshala was destroyed as were almost all other buildings within. The Goshala was reconstructed and today it sports a new and vibrant look. The cows are housed in newly constructed cow sheds and there is a separate enclosure for giving medical aid to the bovine animals.
There is a small but beautiful temple of Krishna at the center of the Goshala. The temple is open in the morning and during special and festive occasions such as Krishnastami. The Gokulastami or Krishnastami celebrations held here are worth participating.
Every day, the cowherd leads the matha Govu or chosen cow into the temple where it is worshipped and later led back to the goshala.
The cows here are very docile and the young ones come nuzzling towards you, seeking a piece of jaggery from your hand.
There is a medical team which is constantly on attendance on the cows. The feed for the cows are grown in the goshala itself. The vast expanse of the goshala gives you a feeling of contentment.
You can donate cows here or go for godana. You can also perform pooje and also pay for the upkeep of the cows. You have to pay Rs. 5,000 for godana and Rs. 1,000 for “go grass” scheme.
If you happen to visit the Goshala, pray before the matha cow and seek its blessings by touching its feet and head. If you have a small child make it go through the legs of the cow.
The Tirumala Tirpuathi Devasthanams (TTD) has given Rs 3.5 crores in the form of cows, sheds and other structures under the Kamadhenu’ programme.
There is a small temple of Hanuman in front of the goshala. The staff at the goshala are friendly and will give you a lot of information. It is called the Krishna Sheter and New temple.