Rayaru after he entered Brindavana

Wednesday (today) is the third and final day of the aradhana of Raghavendra Swamy. This was the first day in Mantralaya 343 years ago after Raghavendra Swamy entered Brindavana.
It was August 1671 and Raghavendra Swamy had been heading the Sri Matha (subsequently it came to be known as Raghavendra Swamy Matha or Mantralaya Matha) for 50 years. He had ascended the Sri Peeta in 1621 after Sudhindra Theertha.
Raghavendra Swamy had chosen Manchale, now called Mantralaya, as his final abode. He had left Kumbakonam for good in 1659 and settled down in Manchale. During his twelve year long stay, he found in Appanacharya of Bichale a true friend and close companion. Raghavendra Swamy stayed in the house of Appanacharya for several years. This house was destroyed by the flash floods of Tungabhadra in 2009. It is being rebuilt.
While in Manchale, Raghavendra Swamy meditated at a cave in the Panchamukhi temple in Gandhal. Raghavendra Swamy chose this spot for meditation as it was at this very place that Hanuman had entered the netherworld or patala during the war with Ravana to rescue Rama and Lakshmana where they were being held captive by Ahiravana, the brother of Ravana. Hanuman overcame his son , Makaradwaja, who was guarding the entrance of the netherworld. Hanuman then assumes a five-headed form (panchamukhi) and defeats Ahiravana and rescues Rama and Lakshmana.
Even today, the cave where Raghavendra Swamy sat in meditation cab be seen at Gandhal.
Coming back to the day after Raghavendra Swamy entered Brindavana, Yogendra Theertha his successor took on the role of guiding the matha. He was present when Raghavendra Swamy entered Brindavana and the venerable seer had entrusted him with the job of guiding the Sri matha. Yogendra Theertha was an apt disciple to Raghavendra Swamy who had tutored him in several subjects. He made all arrangements necessary for the daily and regular worship of Raghavendra Swamy and then after some time left for Kumbakonam and from there to Srirangam where he entered Brindavana.
This day also saw a large number of devotees, disciples, friends and relatives of Raghavendra Swamy gather around his Brindavana and pray. There is a story that the poorvashrama sister of Raghavendra Swamy too came to the Brindavana and urged him to come out.
Appanacharya, who appeared inconsolable at the thought of not physically seeing and talking to Raghavendra Swamy, began coming every day to the Brindavana where he wept. Rayaru then came in his dream and asked him to build a Brindavana in Bichale itself at the Japada Katte where he and Appanacharya used to sit and talk.
The place where Raghavendra Sway entered Brindavana slowly began emerging as a place of pilgrimage. Nawab Siddi Masud Khan, who ruled over Adoni (of which Mantralaya was a part) till 1686, and Dewan Venkanna frequently visited the Brindavana and paid their respects. The residents of Manchale village could not get over their anguish and pain at having to part physically with Raghavendra Swamy. However, they soon realised that Rayaru was ever present when they faced any distress.
Soon, the fame of Rayaru began spreading far and wide and people began flocking to Mantralaya. The holy place became a household name and Vijaya Dasa in his compositions revealed the Gods who present in the Brindavana alongside Rayaru. Vijaya Dasa was followed by other dasas such as Jagannatha Dasa of Manvi, Gopala Dasa, Prasanna Venkata Dasa, Pranesha Dasa, Venugopala Dasa, Mohana Dasa, Helavanakatte Giriyamma, Narasimha Vittala Dasa, Vyasa Vittala Dasa (Kallur Subbanna), Abhinava Janardhana Vittala Dasa (Prema Dasa), Guru Pranesha Vittala Dasa, Ibharampura Appa, Modakallu Sesha Dasa, Guru Jagannatha Dasa and hundreds of others.
All these Dasas and others have eulogised Raghavendra Swamy and written realms on him, detailing his holy presence, immeasurable compassion, boundless piety and love.
Today, Mantralaya is one of the foremost pilgrim places. Raghavendra Swamy continues to inspire millions of people around the world and guide them. The three-day aradhana draws lakhs of pilgrims in Mantralaya apart from thousands in almost every Raghavendra Swamy Matha.


Tuesday is the second of the three-day aradhana mahotsava of Raghavendra Swamy. The Madhyaradhana, as this day is known, holds a special place as it was on this day 343 years ago that Raghavendra Swamy entered Brindavana in Mantralaya.
The year was 1671 and Rayaru had served as the pontiff of Sri Matha for fifty years. He had come to Mantralaya sometime in 1659 from Kumbakonam where the Sri Matha had been headquartered. He had succeeded Sudhindra Theertha to the peetha and after taking charge, he had gone on a pilgrimage, visiting several holy places.
Though his paramaguru, Vijendra Theertha, had entered Brindavcana in Kumbakonam itself and Rayaru had personally overseen the Brindavana Pravesha of his guru, Sudhindra Theertha at Nava Brindavana near Anugundi. The holy place of Nava Brindavana always held a special place for Rayaru as it was at this spot he had been plucking flowers for Brahma when he was Shankukarna.
Shankukarna plucked the flowers for Brahma’s daily worship of Narayana. One day, Shankurna, delayed bringing the flowers to Brahma. He had been so enraptured by the music from a veena that he forgot he had to pluck the flowers. It was goddess Saraswathi who had been playing the veene and Shankukarna had been mesmerised by the soft and beautiful stains of the Veene.
Angered by the delay, Brahma cursed Shankukarna to be born as a human being. Since this incident occurred on the island of Nava Brindavana., Rayaru had a special attachment to the place. In his previous avatar as Vyasa Raja, he had chosen to rest here and the then Vijayanagar emperor, Achuta Deva Raya had overseen the construction of the Brindavana for Vyasa Raja.
However, Rayaru neither chose Kumbakonam nor Nava Brindavana for entering Brindavana. He had made up his mind to settle down at Mantralaya, then called Manchale. It was at this place he had performed yagna as Prahalada. Rayaru pointed to the very spot where he had performed yagna and directed the then Nawab of Adoni, Siddi Masud Khan, and his minister, Venkanna Panth-also known as Dewan Venkanna, to construct the Brindavana at that spot. He then took them to the nearby village of Madhawaram where he pointed to a small piece of rock. He wanted the Brindavan to be sculpted from that rock.
When asked why he specifically wanted that rock, Rayaru said it was on that boulder Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana had sat while they were on Vanavasa.
Thus after selecting Mantralaya as his final resting place Rayaru left Kumbakonam. This day, 343 years ago, on a bright afternoon, Rayaru entered Brindavana at the spot he had chosen. The spot was a little away from Manchale village and almost half a kilometre from the Venugopalaswamy deity he had sculpted at his home. Today, the home he stayed is the Venugopalaswamy Temple. The temple still exists.
Rayaru was taken in a procession to the place where he wanted to enter Brindavana. He was accompanied by his immediate successor, Yogendra Theertha (1671-1688). Rayaru’s last paata or lesson on the Vedas was to Yogendra Theertha and a few other disciples. When he entered Brindavana, Siddi Masud Khan, Dewan Venkanna, Lakshminarayana, the son of Rayaru were present. But unfortunately, none of them have written about this incident. Even if they have, they do not now exist. So, there is no eyewitness account of Rayaru entering Brindavana. All we know is the day and date.
Perhaps the most authentic account of the life and times of Rayaru is by Narayanacharya, the son of Rayaru’s poorvashrama sister. Another authentic account is by Vadeendra Theertha (1728-1750), the great grandson of Rayaru, who wrote Gurugunavasthavana.
Thus, we see that though there is no eyewitness accounts of the events preceding the Brindavana, there are two reliable sources. Even today, much of the life and times of Rayaru can be gleaned when one goes through these two books. Both are available and both are scholarly works of art.
It was also on this day that Appanacharya composed the Poornabodha. When Appanacharya head that Rayaru was entering Brindavana, he plunged into the Tungabhadra from Bichale and began swimming towards the other bans, where Mantralaya was located. As he swam, he began composing the Poornabodha and when he came to the Brindavana, he was so overcome with grief that he could not complete the composition. Appanacharya was weeping that Rayaru had entered Brindavana and he felt orphaned. Even as he stood in front of the Brindavana with folded hands, Rayaru composed the last lines of the Poornabodha when he chanted, “SAAKSHIHAYASTOTRAHI”.

Lead kindly light

Today is the first day of the three-day Aradhana of Raghavendra Swamy (1595-1671).
Raghavendra Swamy is one of the foremost Madhwa saints and his one of the most widely worshipped saint in the world. Though he entered Brindavana 343 years ago, he continues to inspire devotion, faith and fervour. A man of the masses, Raghavendra Swamy was an unparalleled scholar, mystic, philosopher and religious icon.
He strode across India and revived Hindu thought, religion and philosophy when Hinduism was in peril. The Deccan or South India during the time of Raghavendra Swamy was in political turmoil. The Vijayanagar Empire, which was founded in 1336 had led to a revival of Hindu religion and it had stood as a bulwark against the expansion by Muslim states. Though the continuing battle between the Vijayanagar and Bahamani forces weakened both the kingdoms, Hindus never felt more safer and secure than when they were under the shelter of Vijayanagar emperors.
Vyasa Raja or Vyasa Theertha (1460-1539), as the previous avatar of Raghavendra Swamy, had presided over the Vijayanagar Empire at its peak. He was the Raja Guru of six Vijayanagar Emperors, including Krishna Deva Raya. Vyasa Raja entered Brindavana at Nava Brindavana in Anegundi on the banks of the Tungabhadra in 1539, a decade after Krishna Deva Raya died. Vyasa Raja had founded the Vyasa Koota and Dasa Koota schools. If Dasa Koota celebrated the glory of Vittala or Hari by means of songs and poems, Vyasa Koota was its philosophical counterpart. Vyasa Raja contributed to both and nurtured them.
Once the Vijayanagar Empire was ravaged by the Muslim states of the Deccan in 1565 (The Vijayanagar Emperor, Rama Raya, who was the son-in-law of Krishna Deva Raya, was beheaded in the battle of Talikota or Rakasa Tangadi in 1565 after which Hampi or Vijayanagar was sacked, burnt and totally destroyed), the innumerable dasas and men of literature and learning were forced to flee. Among those who escaped were Madhwapati Dasa, the son of Purandara Dasa and his brothers. Some of the Dasas went to Pune where they were patronised while the others sought refuge in smaller kingdoms. During the age of Raghavendra Swamy, the Adilshahis of Bijapur were the most powerful force in south India. Though the Adil Shahis were generally tolerant of other religions, they were essentially Shia Muslims.
The Adil Shahis, after sacking Vijayanagar, were at war with other Hindu states. They even conquered Mysore for a short time before they were repulsed. Their generals under Shahaji, the father of Shivaji, had captured Bangalore and exiled Kempe Gowda to Magadi.
By the middle of the 17th century, the South had become a vast battleground where the Mughals under Emperor Aurangzeb (1658-1707), the Adil shahis under Mohammad Adil Shah (1627-1657)-the builder of Gol Gumbaz, Ali Adil Shah (1657-1672) and Sikander Adil Shah (1672-1686), the Qutb Shahi Kings of Golconda, Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah (1612–1626),
Abdullah Qutb Shah (1626–1672) and Abul Hasan Qutb Shah (1672–1689) and the Marathas under Shivaji waged wars against each other.
The repeated incursions of the Mughals into the Deccan and the weakening of Hindu kingdoms, with the exception of the Mysore Kingdom of Wodeyars, dealt a severe blow to Hindu art, culture and philosophy. Of course, religion too was affected. It was at this time that Raghavendra Swamy strode across India.
Rayaru, as Raghavendra Swamy is popularly known, sparked the revival of the Dasa Sahitya. Raichur and the areas surrounding Mantralaya became the hub of the Dasa Sahitya movement and the first among them was Vijaya Dasa (1682-1755). Several generations of Haridasas such as Gopala Dasa, Jaganatha Dasa of Manvi, Guru Jagannatha Dasa, Abhinava Janardhana Dasa and others were inspired by Rayaru to compose poems in praise of Hari.
Rayaru also contributed to the robust revival of Madhwa thought and philosophy when he composed several outstanding works. His Bhatasangraha is an outstanding piece of philosophical work. It is an insightful commentary on the entire Mimamsa Sutra of Jaimini. His commentaries on the works of Jayatheertha or Teekacharya such as Nyayasudha Parimala, which is a commentary on the Nyaya sudha, commentary on pramana paddhati of Jayatheertha and Bhavadeepa, a commentary on Vaadavalii (a book by Jayattheertha) led to renewed interest in the works of Jayatheertha.
Rayaru also interpreted several works of Madhwacharya and gave a new and meaningful insight into them. His Mantraarthamanjari is an exquisite commentary on the first three adhyaayas of the Rig Veda. Incidentally, Rayaru has touched upon the same portions which four centuries earlier had been dealt with by Madhwacharya.
Rayaru also interpreted two works of Vyasa Theertha or Vyasaraja, his earlier avatar. The Prakasha is a commentary on the Tatparya Chandrika of Vyasa Theertha and the Nyayadeepa, a commentary on Tarkatandava of Vyasa Theertha.
More than anything else, Rayaru by his humanitarian nature, piety, devotion to God, deep and everlasting concern for the poor and needy and simplicity inspired one and all who came in contact with him.
Rayaru came down to earth only to guide, help mankind. Even on the day he entered Brindavana, he showed his concern for the poor and the needy and performed several miracles. Though he entered Brindavana more than three centuries ago, he continues to inspire and guide us.
The aradhane of Rayaru is not only celebrated in Mantralaya but in mathas all over the world and in lakhs of houses. Rayaru will continue leading us from gloom to light, from bondage to freedom and from ignorance to bliss and knowledge. Here it is apt to remember Henry Newman’s poem, Lead Kindly Light.

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene–one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now,
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years.

So long thy pow’r hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!

An outpouring of faith and devotion

There have been more than a thousand dasas or poets who have written on Raghavendra Swamy or Rayaru. This saint not only sparked the revival of the Haridasa Sahitya which had been dealt a mortal blow after the destruction of Hampi or Vijayanagar in 1565, he also gave a new impetus to Madhwa thought and philosophy.
One of the first Haridasas to identify Rarayu as a holy man and an avatara purusha was Vijaya Dasa. This Dasa came to Mantralaya frequently and wrote several works on Rayaru. It was Vijaya Dsa who first identified to us the gods who sat in the Brindavana surrounding Rayaru. On several occasions, Vijaya Dasa would offer Naivedya to the Brindavana and he would wait for Rayaru to take his holy bath in the Tungabhadra and come back.
After Vijaya Dasa, a number of post-composers such as Jagannatha Dasa, Gopala Dasa and others have eulogised Rayaru. One of the most prolific of them is Abhinava Janardhana Vittala. Here are some of his compositions. A disciple of Rayaru, he is often called as Prema Dasa of Somapura. He was a disciple of Jagannatha Dasa. No Dasa has written as much and as extensively on Rayaru as Abhinava Janardhana Vittaala.
Here are a few of his popular compositions.
Many of his works are outpouroing of faith and devotion. Here are some of them:

ತುಂಗಾನದೀ ತೀರದಿ ರಾಜಿಪ ಯತಿಯ

ನದೀ ತೀರದಿ ರಾಜಿಪ ಯತಿಯ
ನೀರೆ ನೊಡೋಣು ಬಾ
ಬಾ ಬಾ ನೀರೆ ನೊಡೋಣು ಬಾ….
ವೃ೦ದಾವನದೊಳಗಿರುವಾ ತಾ
ವೃ೦ದಾರಕರನು ಪೊರೆವಾ
ವೃ೦ದ ಗುಣಗಳಿ೦ದ ಮೆರೆವಾ
ವೃ೦ದಾರಕ ತರು ಎನಿಸಿದ ಸುಜನಕೆ
ಮರುತ ಮತಾ೦ಬುಧಿ ಚ೦ದ್ರ
ದಿನಕರ ಅಘತಮಕೆ ರವೀ೦ದ್ರ
ದುರುಳ ಮತಾಹಿ ಖಗೇ೦ದ್ರ
ಕರುಣಾಕರ ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಘವೇ೦ದ್ರ
ರವಿ ಶಶಿ ಕುಜ ಬುಧ ಗುರುವೆ
ಕವಿ ರಾಹು ಧ್ವಜ ಬಲವೇ
ಇವರ ದರುಶನಕೆ ಫಲವೇ
ನಮ್ಮ ಅಭಿನವ ಜನಾರ್ಧನ ವಿಠ್ಠಲನ ದಯವೇ.

Another beautiful composition is

ಬೇಗ ಸಾಗಿ ಬಾರಯ್ಯ – ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರ ಗುರುವೆ

ಬೇಗ ಸಾಗಿ ಬಾರಯ್ಯ – ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರ ಗುರುವೆ
ಬಾಗಿ ಭಕುತಿಲಿ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ತುತಿಪೆ ನಿನ್ನ || ಪ ||
ಭಾಗವತಾಗ್ರಣಿ ಭಾಗವತರ ಪ್ರೀಯ
ಯೋಗಿ ಕುಲವರ್ಯ ಯೋಗೇಂದ್ರ ವಿನುತ || ಅ ||
ಗಿರಿಯ ವೆಂಕಟ ನರಹರಿ ರಾಮಕೃಷ್ಣ ವ್ಯಾಸ
ಸಿರಿ ನಾರಾಯಣ ತನ್ನ ವರಮೂರ್ತಿಗಳಿಂದ
ಸರಸೀಜಭವ ವಾಯು ಸರಸ್ವತಿ ಭಾರತಿ ತ್ರಿ
ಪುರಹರ ಶೇಷ ವಿಪ ಸುರಪಾದ್ಯರ ಕೈಯಿಂದ
ಥರಥರದಲಿ ಪರಿಪರಿ ಸೇವೆಯ ವಿ
ಸ್ತಾರವಾಗಿ ಕೊಳ್ಳುತ ಮೆರಗುತ ನಿಲಿಸಿಹ
ಸ್ಥಿರವಾಗಿ ನಿಂದು ಆಶ್ಚರ್ಯವ
ಧರೆಗೆ ತೋರ್ಪುದಕೆ ಮೆರೆವುತಲಿಹ || ೧ ||
ರಥಾರೂಢನಾಗಿ ಬರುತಲಿರೆ ನಿನ್ನ ಕ್ಷಿತಿಸುರರೆಲ್ಲ ಭಾಗ
ವತ ಪಂಚಮವೇದ ಭಾರತ ಮತ್ತೆ ಶ್ರುತಿಗಳಿ೦ದ ಬಲು ತುತಿಸುತಲಿನ್ನು
ಅತಿ ಹರುಷದಿ ಬಾರೆ ಯತಿಗಳಗತಿ ಸ೦
ಗತಿಯಿಂದಲಿ ನಲಿವುತ ಬಲು ಪರಿ ಮೆರೆ
ವುತ ಸದ್ಗತಿಯ ಕೊಡಲು ಅ
ಚ್ಯುತ ಸುಚರಿತ ಆ ನತಜನಬ೦ಧು || ೨ ||
ಸೂರಿ ಜನರುಗಳಪಾರ ಸ೦ದೋಹದಿ ಬರೆ ಭಕುತರು ಗ೦
ಭೀರ ಸ್ವರದಿ ಪಾಡೆ ಬಾರಿ ಬಾರಿಗೆ ಮಂಗಳಾರತಿ ಎತ್ತಿ ಜನರು
ಹಾರ ಪರಿಮಳ ಶರೀರಕೆ ಗಂಧ ಪೂಸಿ
ಭೂರಿ ಜನರು ಕೈವಾರಿಸುತಿರಲು
ಭೇರಿ ಕಹಳೆ ಭೂಂ ಭೋರಿಡುತಿರೆ ಮುರವೈರಿ
ಅಭಿನವಜನಾರ್ಧನ ವಿಠ್ಠಲ ಸೇರಿ ಸುಖಿಪ ಗುರುಸಾರ್ವಭೌಮ || ೩ ||

Another popular composition is

ಮ೦ತ್ರಾಲಯ ಮ೦ದಿರ ಮಾ೦ಪಾಹಿ || ಪ ||

ಅದ್ವೈತಾರಣ್ಯ ಸದ್ವೀತಿಹೋತ್ರ || ೧ ||
ಸುಧಿಗುರುರಾಘವೇ೦ದ್ರ ಕೋವಿದ ಕುಲವರ್ಯ || ೨ ||
ದ೦ಡಧರ ಕೋದ೦ಡಪಾಣಿಪದ
ಪು೦ಡರೀಕಧ್ಯಾನ ತ೦ಡಮತೇ ಹೇ || ೩ ||
ಸುರಧೇನು ಕಲ್ಪತರು ವರಚಿ೦ತಾಮಣಿ
ಶರಣಾಗತಜನ ಪರಿಪಾಲ ತ್ವಮ್ || ೪ ||
ಅಭಿನವಜನಾರ್ಧನವಿಠ್ಠಲ ಪದಯುಗಳ
ಧ್ಯಾನಿಪ ಮುನಿಕುಲೋತ್ತ೦ಸಾ || ೫ |

A timeline of Manchale

Every year, for three days in August, Mantralaya the small town in Andhra Pradesh becomes a beehive of activity. The three days witnesses a massive influx of pilgrims running into lakhs. People from all over the world flock to the holy town on the occasion of the Aradhane of Raghavendra Swamy or Rayaru as he is fondly called.
It was 343 years ago and in the month of August that Raghavendra Swamy, the Madhwa saint, entered Brindavana. Then, Mantralaya was known as Manchale and it was s small hamlet that was part of the province of Siddi Masud Khan, an Abbysinian who was in service of the mighty Adil Shahis of Bijapur. Both Siddi Masud Khan and his father-in-law, Siddi Jauhar, had fought against Shivaji and they were rated as among the most reliable and resourceful generals of the Adil Shahi Kingdom. Siddi Jahaur had taken control of Kurnool province and he helped the Adil Shahis in their continuing battle against the Marathas and Mughals only after the Adil Shah recognised him as the ruler of Kurnool.
After Jahaur, the province went to his son-in-law, Siddi Masud. It was Siddi Masud who designated Venkanna or Venkanna Panth as the Dewan of the province. Venkanna, who was a devotee of Rayaru, was instrumental in ensuing that Siddi Masud handed over Manchale to Rayaru.
When Rayaru asked Siddi Masud for Manchale, Siddi Masud was in a fix as he had already granted the land to a Sufi saint, Venkanna prevailed upon Siddi Masud to persuade the Sufi saint to accept another piece of land in lieu of Manchale.
The Sufi saint graciously agreed and Rayaru was handed Manchale village where he decided to enter Brindavana. It was again Siddi Masud Khan and Venkanna who helped in the construction of the Brindavana of Rayaru. They both ensured that Rayaru had a beautiful Brindavana ready. But when Rayaru saw the Brindavana, he politely requested them to construct a much simpler Brindavana and with the stones he had pointed out in the village of Madhavaraam.
Rayaru told Masud Khan and Venkanna that the stones are invaluable and holy as Rama, Lakshmana and Seeta had sat on them during their vanavasa. He told them that a very worthy saint would occupy the Brindavana that they had so lovingly sculpted for him. (Several decades later, Vadeendra Theertha, the great grandson of Rayaru, entered that Brindavana). He asked for a simpler Brindavana which was constructed.
Rayaru entered Brindavana in 1671. The day he entered Brindavana was Thursday and it is celebrated as Madhyaradhana.
Even several decades after he entered Brindavana, the village was known as Manchale. When a small township came up around the Brindavana, the name changed to Mantralaya.
Even today, we can see the old village of Manchale. The village is just across the guest houses and housing complex for pilgrims. The village is noted for the temple of Venugopalaswamy. It is on the land on which the temple today stands that Rayaru stayed for more than 12 years. He also personally sculpted the idol of Venugopalaswamy. A small kalyani that existed just across the temple was believed to be the place where Rayaru took his ritual bath. The Kalyani fell victim to the ravages of time and to the caprice of human beings and it has been totally filled up. Now, it cannot be even seen but oldtimers of the village will show you its location.
Coming back to Siddi Masud Khan, he was compelled to accept Mughal rule in 1688. This was after the Mughals annexed the Adil Shahi kingdom in 1686 and Golconda two years later. Kurnool then passed into the hands of the Mughals and then the Peshwas. It was conquered by Tipu Sultan and subsequently came under British control after his death. By then, Manchale had come to be known as Mantralaya and for decades thereafter till Independence, it was part of Bellary area.
Mantralaya today is in Kurnool district and it is on the banks of the Tungabhadra. It is located on the Raichur-Adoni-Guntakal railway line. The nearest Railway station is Mantralaya road which is 16 kms away from Mantralaya. There are several roads to Mantralaya but the quickest and perhaps the shortest is via Penugonda, Anantapur which forms part of the Bangalore-Hyderabad road. Another route is from Bangalore-Chitradurga-Hospet and Bellary.
Mantralaya is about 53 km fron Adoni, 24 km from Yemmiganur,100 km from Kurnool and 250 km from Hyderabad. It is just 35 km from Raichur and 120 km from Bellary.
Rayaru has indicated that he will be present in the Brindavana for 700 years. Just across the Tungabhadra and on the opposite banks is the hamlet of Bichale. This hamlet is in Karnataka and it is at the house of Appanacharya here that Rayaru spent 12 years before he entered Brindavana. It is in Bichale that Rayaru wrote his work Parimala. It is from the banks of the Tungabhadra river in Bichale that Appanacharya composed the Poornabodha in honour of Rayaru.