Visit to Nava Brindhavan, Karnataka
Nava Brindhavan is located at Anegundhi near Hampi almost at the center of Kanataka in the junction of Koppal and Bellary districts. Nearest railway station is Hospet, from where Hampi is about 10 kms. Both Hampi and Anegundhi are on the opposite banks of the Tungabadra river.
The geographical location of Nava Brindhavan:
Hampi-Anegundhi, the twin cities:
Hampi, as most will know, is a ruined city of Vijayanagara empire but so beautiful even after so much devastation. Any fool can destroy the beautiful faces of the idols with so much effort but when the whole city is full of beautiful rocky monuments and sculptures, how long they can go on? So the past glory is still visible and the original beauty of the place can still be imagined despite all these destructions.
On the opposite shore of Tungabadra, Anegundhi town is full of sacred places and ancient temples most of them connected with Ramayana, Rayar mutts and the brindhavans of great Madhwa saints. This place must be visited by all those who love Ramayana and read it line by line. Nava Brindhavan is in an island between the two branches of Tundabadra in the outskirts of Anegundhi.
The two places are surrounded by many hills with the Tungabadra flowing in between like a snake. The intelligence of the Vijayanagara Empire is very well evident in choosing their place itself with the Rocky Mountains providing the necessary security; Tungabadra supplying copious flow of water and Anegundhi providing the sacredness. (I can’t help comparing this with what I had witnessed during my Delhi trip last year. There, the Muslim rulers had selected a place for their kingdom, spent years in building their palaces and other buildings only to find in a few years that the place was not suited for human living. Then they shifted their kingdom to some other place. This continued from Fathephur Sikiri to Agra to Sikkandara to Delhi – There is no surprise that the guys with that kind of brilliance destroyed the beautiful city of Hampi and the beautiful faces of the sculptures rendering most of the Garbhagrahas in “divineless dark” ).
It will take one full day for Hampi and another full day for Anegundhi and you can stay in any of Hospet, Hampi or Anegundhi. There are plenty of (cheap) autos plying from Hospet to Hampi and you can take the whole Hampi tour in share autos. I will cover Hampi separately.
Chennai – Guntakkal – Hospet.
There is no straight train to Hospet and you have to change train at Guntakkal
Chennai -Bangalore -Tumkur – Sira -Chitradurga – (moved from NH-4 to NH-13) – Hospet – Anegundi. Distance: 365 kms approximately
An Alternate route from Chennai is:
Chennai – Tirupati – Anantapur (all along NH205); Anantapur – Gooty (on NH7); Gooty – Bellary – Hospet (on NH63) – Anegundi
We came from Gadag side as we had some work at Gadag (this is not the route from Chennai) and we reached Hospet by about 3 PM and took lodging at Hotel Malligi. Hotel details towards the end.
As soon as we reached the hotel, we immediately started off to Nava Brindhavan by 4 PM. First we were confused by different distance details given by different people. Some said it is 50 km and some said it is 15 kms and yet both of them were correct! Additionally, we had the bottleneck of the boat riding getting closed by 5:30/ 6 PM. We didn’t have enough time to analyse/ discuss etc., and at one point we became so helpless that we left it to the car driver himself to choose the way he wants. Finally he took the shortest path where one can see only Nava Brindhavan and it was all one could have done if started by 4 PM and the driver did the right thing indeed.
There are 3 routes available for Hospet to Nava Brindhavan:
Route no 1 (60 kms without boat ride):
This is about 60 kms through Hospet-Hampi-Kamalapur-Kambli-Gangavathi-Anegundhi.
Route no 2 (12 kms, requires river crossing at two places):
From Hospet, you have to first reach a place in Hampi called Thalavari Gottha, where there is an unfinished bridge between Hampi and Anegundhi
(This bridge was started some 15 years back, finished by about 90% but is in ‘suspended’ state now for the reason that this will enable heavy vehicle flow to Hampi which will spoil the city. There is no doubt that the heavy vehicle traffic to Hampi will spoil the beauty of the city and should be stopped but can’t it be done by any other means than stopping the work in 90% finished stage? That’s Indian politicians and nothing can be done. This bridge, if completed, will enable people to reach Anegundhi from Hospet in a 15 kms route instead of 60 kms
Update (May 2009): The unfinished bridge work was started but the scaffolding collapsed killing several workers. May be it is His wish not to complete the bridge? ).
Here you have to cross the river and then walk for about a km to reach Anegundhi town, Ragavendra mutt and other ancient temples. Nava Brindhavan is an island in the outskirts of Anegundhi and you have to take another boat ride to reach there. The breadth of Tungabadra is not that much and so the river crossing takes just 10-15 minutes. This is the most popular route and you can visit all the temples of Anegundhi.
Route no 3 (shortest, requires river crossing at only one place):
You have to go to a place called Enthapur in Hampi which is just on the opposite bank of Nava Brindhavan and you have to cross the river at only one place and have to walk just about 200 meters. This is the shortest path from Hampi and the closest to Nava Brindhavan but not so popular because a) in this route we can see only Nava Brindhavan (no other temple is en route) and b) it will be adventurous. We took this route because we didn’t know the sacredness of Anegundhi place and the details of the other ancient temples beforehand and so planned only for Nava Brindhavan unfortunately. We started by 4 PM, took the road travel for about 45 minutes, took the boat ride for about 10 minutes and entered Nava Brindhavan by 5:30 PM. We had been just lucky to be in time since the priest had left immediately after completing the pooja for us.
This is the view from Hampi side and we have to take the boat(Parisal) ride from here only.
View while going in the Parisal, the small white building seen at the centre is the Nava Brindhavan.
We have to wlk for about 200 meters through some unconventional paths (we had 4 senior citizens and no problem) after reaching the Nava Brindhavan shore.
Nava Brindhavan is located in an island between two branches of Thungabadra in an awesome location. It houses the tombs of nine great Madhwas (belonging to the kith and kin of Sri Madhwacharya, the founder of the Dwaita or dualism tenets). The brindavans are called the “Jeeva Brindhavans” since they are considered still alive and are resting eternally there. There is a yellow mark around the Brindhavans indicating the border into which we are not supposed to go and disturb the saints. There is a Tamil board saying not to go beyond the yellow mark (meaning lots of Tamils are visiting this place).
The nine sacred saints, in their order are (the periods given in bracket are the period during which they headed the Mathwa peeta) :
- Sri Padmanabha Theerthar, the prime sishya of Sri Madhvacharyar (1317-1324)
- a) Sri Jaya Theerthar (1365-1388)
b) Sri Raghu Variyar, Guru of Raghothama Theerthar whose Brindhavan is at Thirukkoyilur near Thiruvannamalai (1502-1537)
- Sri Kaveendhra Theerthar (1392-1398)
- Sri Vaageesa Theerthar (1398-1406)
- Sri Vyasaraja Theerthar (1447-1539), Raja guru of Krishna Deva Raya and the next avatar of Brhalatha and the earlier avatar of Sri Raghavendhra
- Sri Srinivasa Theerthar (1539-1564)
- Sri Rama Theerthar (1564-1584)
- Sri Suseendhra Theerthar, Ragavendhra swami’s guru (1614-1623)
- Sri Govindha Odeyar (1534)
Sacredness of Anegundhi:
- The place is called Kishkintha, the place of events of the complete Kishkintha Ganta of Ramayana
- Ramar and Lakshmanar stayed here while going in search of Seetha devi
- Anjaneyar was born and brought up here
- Rama killed Vali here
- Vali-Sugreeva fight took place
- Sugreeva showed the ornaments of Seetha to Ramar
- Thanks to Sabari from Virginia/ USA for adding this point:
When Rama was drowned in sorrow on missing Seetha Devi, Hanuman gave Seetha’s Soodamani to Lord Rama after his Lanka trip and assured that Seethamma is very much alive in Lanka. So, it is a strong proof that for any one in deep sorrow or distress, Navabrindavana dharshanam will give them a great relief. This is stated by Kumudham Jyothidam AMR.
Sacredness of Nava Brindhavan:
- Each and every Brindhavan, by itself is very sacred and had they been located in different places also, every place would have become very sacred and popular on its own. Now, if all of them are concentrated in one single place, a place chosen by nine great saints in a period of about 300 years, you can understand the sacredness of the place.
- Anegundhi is the birth place of Sri Hauman, the avatar of Sri Madhwar in the previous yugas and so there is no surprise that Sri Padmanabha Theerthar, the 1st student of Sri Madhwar and other Madhwa saints chose this place.
- The brindhavan of Sri Vyasaraja Theerthar is found at the center of the place. Though he comes in the middle in the order, the others who brindhavanised before him left the central place for him for some reasons. Sri Vyasarajar, the Rajaguru of Krishna deva raya is considered the next avatar of Brahalatha and the previous avatar of Sri Raghavendhra Swamy. The place where Sri Vysarajar is brindhavanised is considered the place where Brahalathar had penanced in the Grutha yuga to cleanse the sins for being instrumental in killing his father Hiranya kasibu. Vyasaraja stayed at Hampi-Anegundhi for nearly 40 years before, during and after the Krishnadevaraya period. This is the place between Tara parvatham and the Chakra theertham of Kishkintha
Other shrines of Nava Brindhavan:
On one side of the Nava Brindhavan, there is an elevated platform that houses a small Ranganathar shrine, an Anjaneyar shrine and a cave between them.
- The Anjaneyar is called Jagrathai Hanuman and seen with Ravana’s son Akshaya Kundran under his feet.
- The cave is where Brahalathar is considered to have stayed.
- The Ranganathar shrine is having Ranganathar in the bed of Adhiseshan with Thayar standing separately by his leg side.
One the other side of NavaBrindhavan there is a shrine of Avadharathraya Hanuman.
Vayu Bhagwan took the avatar of
- Sri Hanuman in the Theertha yuga to do Rama seva
- Beeman in Dhwabara yuga to do Krishna seva and
- Sri Madhwar in the Kaliyuga to do Vedavysa seva
So, the Hanuman here is seen with the Hanuman face, a big shoulder indicating Beema and with the veda plam leaves bundles in hand indicating Madhwar.
The best time to visit the place is 7-11 AM.
I knew about Nava Brindhavan mainly through ‘Kumdham Jothidam’ where the Author A.M.R is suggesting this place for almost all kinds of problems as a parihara sthalam. Also this finds a sure place in all the spiritual tours around Hampi, Manthralaya, Shiridi.
Needless to say, the ambience and the sacredness of the place had given us immense peace and pleasure when we came out.
Other places to visit in Anegundhi
This is the Kishkintha of Ramayana. Anegundhi means a place/ street where elephants were kept tied.
Anjaneyar temple at Anjanadhri hill
Anjaneyar is believed to have been born and brought up here by his mother Anjana devi. There are about 530 steps to climb.
Kothanda Ramar temple
Here Sugreevan showed the ornaments of Seetha devi to Ramar. In the temple, Sugreevan will be seen instead of Hanumar.
Tungabadra river starts from West to East and changes the direction towards North with a whirl here (North flowing rivers are always considered sacred and Kasi is considered very sacred only in places where it flows towards North). Vysa rajar used to take bath and meditate here during his 40 years period here. He saved Govinda Odeyar (the last saint of the Nava brindhavan) only here. This is a very sacred place to take bath.
Yanthroth tharaha Hanuman
Hanuman came in the thoughts of Vyasarajar during his meditation, asking Vyasarajar to install him. Since it will take some time to install an idol, Vyasarajar drew an image of Anjaneya in the rock with a piece of charcoal immediately but as soon as he completed, the image got life and a monkey jumped out from it and ran away. The next day also, Anjaneyar came in his thought, the same thing happened and it continued for 12 days. On the 13th day, with a prayer to Hanuman, the image stayed and Vyasarajar encircled the Hanumar with 12 monkeys each one holding the tail of the next one. This image on the rock can be seen here.
Pamba sarovar (Dakshina Kasi)
Created by Lord Brahma. There are totally 4 sarovars considered very sacred to cleanse our sins and they are: Pamba sarovar, Narayana sarovar, Bhindhu sarovar and Mana sarovar.
Tara is Vali’s wife and whenever Vali didn’t listen to her words, she used to meditate here
There are 3 adjacent temples: Chinthamani Lakshmi Narasimhar, Sri Mahishasura Mardhini and Sri Kasi Viswanathar. Rama killed Vali from this place only.
Sugreevan wanted to test Rama and Rama pierced 7 palm trees which were not in straight line here. Pamba was the capital of Kishkinta ruled by Vali
Since Sugreevan is the son of Sun God in Theertha yuga, there is a temple for Surya (Karnan is Surya’s son in the dhwabara yuga).
Note: Sadly, we had visited none of the above temples since we didn’t know the sacredness of these temples.
Before you visit:
- Normally two full days (atleast) are required, one day for Hampi and another day for Anegundhi.
- Please be warned that Nava Brindavan can be visited only on good weather, when there is no rain or flood in Tungabadra. So check the whether before you visit.
- Before the trip, visit Sri Ragavendhra Mutt at T.P.Koil st., (one of the car streets of Sri Parthasarathy Temple) Triplicane, Chennai and get whatever details you can. They may also assist you for the accommodation.
- Diagonally opposite the Ragavendhra mutt, there is a divine shop at Thirumala flats (phone no: 42663545/ 42663546) selling the Nava Brindhavan DVD and book. It’s a must to watch this DVD fully before your trip. Even if you don’t go, pls watch the DVD and you will feel as if you are visiting the holy place. (Unfortunately I came to know about the DVD and the book only after the trip and I have missed out all the ancient temples and sacred places of Anegundhi)
- Manjunath @ 09449284490 / 09449653598 is a good contact who can help in all fronts like lodging, food, dharshan etc., (There are good feedback from the other blog friends as well as you can see in the comments section).
Address of Nava Brindhavan, Anegundhi:
Sri Raghavendra swamy mutt at Anegundi,
Telephone No: 08533-267733.
We stayed at Hotel Malligi, a popular hotel at Hospet and is reasonably good. They have both old and new buildings in the same campus. A double bed room at old building costs 350 Rs and the same at the new building is Rs 750. We took the room at the old building itself as it was nice and clean (but small).
Hotel Malligi, 10/90, J.N.Road, Hospet – PIN: 583201
Ph: (08394) 228101 (8 lines)
There is also a Mayura Group of hotels called
Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari,
(Govt of Karnataka undertaking),
Kamalapur (near Hampi) – PIN: 583 221
Tel: 08394 – 241474/ 241574
We took lunch here and the rooms start from Rs 450. The hotel is in the outskirts but the ambiance is very nice.
One more place of stay (from the guest house owner):
We have a guest house in Anegundi opposite Sri Raghavendra swamy mutt called Vaibhava guest house having 12 rooms with attached toilets. We give a good service like a homely meals, tiffin etc. AMR (A.M.Rajagoplan of Kumudham Jyothidam) and many seva trusts (Raghavendra seva trust, Mohan sunadaram Coimbatore, Jai sri ram seva trust, Shivashanmugam, Coimbatore) used to stay in our guest house.
Contact no. 9480794104
Thanks to Dr R.S.Naagarazan (email@example.com) for this added information:
We actually stayed in Manthralayam and worshipped Raghavendrar. After a day’s stay here, we arranged a van and reached Anegunthi through Sindhanur, Gangawati and it took three hours, for 170 km route. At Anegunthi, we have to purchase the tickets for archanai at Nava Brindavanam (Thulasi archanai, honey abishekam etc.) We crossed the river Thungabadra through a motor boat on payment.(parisal was in the past). We have to light 11 ghee lamps there, one to the Hanuman and the remaining in the Ranganathar temple. We performed sankalpa through the priest and went round nine times and meditated. It was a nice experience.
Pannaga Travels (Mr E Sambasiva), near Pannaga Hotel, Manthralayam 518 345 arranged our travel to NB and back. Very courteous and good guidance was given. Cell Nos: 09704414178 and 09885247398 We started at 5 a.m. and reached there at 8.45 a.m., present at nava brundavanam between 9 and 11 a.m. took lunch at Raghavendra Swami mutt (we have to inform them in advance). Hoova cafe (run by vaishnavas) and other hotels are available to get South Indian food. We returned Manthralayam by 4 p.m.
There is a temple of Goddess Lakshmi at Kallur on the route (slight detour inside @ 10 km). For want of time we could not go there but prayed Her mentally seeking blessings.
Nava Brundavan tour was really divine, especially when we remind ourselves that this is the place where Rama and Anjaneya once glorified.
Thanks to Sri Siva (firstname.lastname@example.org) for this added information:
Couple of points to add. Route no 3(Shortest route) proceed from Hospet to Hampi. AFter 6 Kms you get a left turn to Hampi. Dont take that left proceed straight and you get Kamalapur, Proceed again straight tou get THALARGAHTTA gate. From there there are couple of right and left but keep watching to your left where you will find a board indicating Nava Brindavanam. This road leads you to the Boat(Parisal) point. Here the boat is operated by a lady by name Ramzanamma. Call her on 08394204380 before going there.