At a distance of 35 km from Nizamabad, 158 km from Adilabad and 212 km from Hyderabad, Basara is a popular pilgrimage site located in Adilabad district of Telangana. Basar or Basara is situated on the banks of river Godavari. It is a popular tourist and pilgrimage site because of the famous Saraswathi temple. The Basara temple in is a unique temple of maa Saraswati. Children are brought here for akshara abhyasam. It ranks in importance with the Sarvajna Peetham at the Sharada Mandir in Kashmir. Sri Mahankali Temple, Sri Dattatreya Temple, Sri Vyasa Maharshi Guha, Sri Vedavathi Shila and the Shiva mandiram on the Godavari bank are the other temples of interest in Basara.
The town is also home to a Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge and Technology offering engineering courses. It was established in the year 2008. The course offered is a six year integrated engineering course.
It is also one among the three temples created near the holy confluence of the Manjira and Godavari Rivers by the Rashtrakutas. A Rashtrakuta king by the name Bijjala constructed this ancient temple at Basara.
After the Kurukshetra war Maharishi Vyas, his disciples and sage Viswamitra decided to settle down in a cool and serene atmosphere.
In the quest for a peaceful abode, he came to Dandaka forest and pleased with serenity of the region, selected this place. Since Maharishi Vyasa spent considerable time in prayers, the place was then called ‘Vasara’ and turned into Basara due to the considerable presence of the Marathi language in the region.
The cave where the maharishi Vyasa stayed is called the Vyasa Guha (right).
This is an ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi. The temple at Basara is also the abode of Maha Lakshmi and Kali. The current structure dates back to the Chalukya period.
This temple has no exquisite carvings like other temples. Walking ahead a few steps, one enters the sanctum sanctorum – a feeling better experienced than described. A feeling of peace, brightness and unlimited joy engulfs one. The presiding deity, ‘Jnana Saraswathi Devi’, is in a seated position with a ‘Veena’ in hand and bedecked with turmeric. Adjacent is the shrine of Goddess Maha Lakshmi and a little distance away, on the eastern side is the Maha Kali temple.
Maharshi Veda Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata, came to the forests of Dandakaryana to meditate. He began meditating on the banks of the River Godavari and found the place to be very peaceful. The divine mother is believed to have appeared before the sage and ordained him to build temples for the Shakti trio: Maha Saraswathi, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Kali. The sage Veda Vyasa did so by bringing three handfuls of sand and sculpting out the figures. This place was initially named after Vyasa and was called “Vyasapuri”. Later on it got took names Vasara and ultimately Basara/Basar.
The Eight Pushkarnis
Some 100m from the temple there is the cave, where the devout ‘Narahari Maluka’ is believed to have performed rigorous penance. There is a four-sided monolith rock called “Vedavathi”, which produces different sounds on each side when struck. It is said to contain jewels of Sita Devi. There are eight ‘Pushkarnis’ spread across the village known as ‘Indra Teeratham’, ‘Surya Teeratham’, ‘Vyasa Teeratham’, ‘Valmiki Teeratham’, ‘Vishnu Teeratham’, ‘Ganesha Teeratham’, ‘Puthra Teeratham’ and ‘Shiva Teeratham’.
The most important festivals celebrated are Maha Shivaratri (February-March) and Devi Navaratrulu (Septmber-October) and on both the occasions about tens of thousands of pilgrims from all parts of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have a darshan of the temple and the tirthams.
Defence by Makkaji Patel
Some 200 years ago, the Saraswati Temple was defended against the attack of a muslim army. The defence was led by Makkaji Patel, a devotee of the devi. His likeness stands at the foot steps of the garbha griha.