There are hundreds of Mrithike Brindavana of Raghavendra Swamy but there is only one Eka Shika Brindavana and that is in Bichale or Bhikshalaya, which is a small hamlet in Raichur district in Karnataka.
Bichale is just 14 kms from Mantralaya and lies on the other banks of the Tungabhadra. It is best approached by road and if you happened to visit Mantralaya, take a trip to Bichale and Gandhal where the temple of Panchamukhi Hanuman is situated.
Both Bichale and Gandhal are close to Raghavendra Swamy and he spent years here.
The Brindavana in Bichale is the first such structure to come up after Mantralaya.
If Dewan Venkanna and the Nawab of Adoni, Siddi Masud Khan, built the Brindavana in Mantralaya, it was Rayaru’s favourite Sishya, Appanacharya, who personally built this Brindavana.
Unlike other Brindavanas, Rayaru himself came in a dream to Appanacharya and asked him to build the Brindavana.
|The Ekashika Brindavana
The story of the Brindavana is as follows.
Rayaru entered Brindavana in Mantralaya in 1671. Appanacharya was not there and when he managed to rush back, he found that his beloved Guru had already entered Brindavana.
From the day Raghavendra Swamy entered Brindavana, Appanacharaya used to visit Mantralaya regularly. Not a day went without Appanacharya either swimming across the Tungabhadra or walking to Mantralaya from Bichale where he lived.
Every day that Appanacharya lived was reminder to him about the tome he spent with Rayaru. He was just as faithful and devoted to Rayaru after he entered Brindavana as he was when they both lived in Bichale.
Appanacharya was ageing but the years did not dim his devotion and respect to Rayaru. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and there was no sign of Appanacharya giving up his daily ritual-going to mantralaya and seeing the Brindavana and reliving the times he and Rayaru spent.
Rayaru then decided to intervene. One day he came to Appanacharya in a dream and asked him to construct a Brindavana at the Japada Katte. “Build it at the place where we both sat and I will come there. You can see me there itself. You do not need to come to Mantralaya.”
Appanacharya then personally monitored the construction of the Brindavana. Today, it is the only Ekashika Brindavana of Raghavendra Swamy.
The Brindavana earlier was open to the skies. There was no roof over it. However, recently a small canopy has been installed.
Regular poojas and seves are conducted here. The Brindavana is also the first to be built outside Mantralaya.
This could also perhaps be the only Brindavana of Raghavendra Swamy without a matha surrounding it.
The Brindavana is on the banks of the Tungabhadra. But beware, The river here is free flowing and is deep in many places. It is better not to go swimming. Keep children away from the river front.
By the way, take care not to go near the many monkeys that have been wrecking havoc in the area. These monkeys attack people and they desecrate the place.
You can contact the descendents of Appanacharya for any further information. They make arrangements for Theertha Prasad if you give them prior information.