Click for more information about Andhra Pradesh
2014 Nov by Jorge Sanchez
I traveled to Mantralayam with only one purpose: to pay my respects to the sacred burial place of Guru Raghavendra Swami.
In 1989 I had participated in a Kumbha Mela festival, in Allahabad, and known a Yogi (Yogi Shanti) who took care of me and told me that his master was a guru that in the XVII century had entered in samadhi and his body was buried in Mantralayam, but his spirit was still alive for 700 years (until 2300 or so).
I felt curiosity to visit that Guru and the ocasion came in 2014, in my way to Auroville. I decided to spend a whole day with its night visiting the holy place where the phisical body of Swami Raghavendra remains.
He was born in 1595, and in 1671 entered samadhi.
I took my shoes and shirt off and visited the place. There were thousands of pilgrims. They believe that Swami Raghavendra fulfill all the desires of the peope who have faith in him. There are even schools where you can study Swami Raghavendra teachings.
I slept in a hotel owned by the organization, whcih was very cheap. I had the opportunity to sleep for free, as a pilgrim, in dormitories, but I prefered to have intimacy.
The next day I left to Auroville, feeling that I had completed the wish of my friend Yogi Shanti. I felt in peace with myself.
In my way to Auroville something happenned and decided to get off the trian. This is what i wrote about that event: In my way by train to Auroville I was lodged in a carriage with several dozens of pilgrims. They were heading to Tirupati in order to catch a bus to Tirumala, the holiest of the holiest, the most visited temple in India and in the world. They said that it is the riches temple in the world and that every year is visited by about 40 millions pilgrims, or 100.000 ever day, and not only from India, but from the whole world. It was located near Tirupati, up a hill, in fact up to seven hills, that is why it is also known as the Temple of the Seven Hills.
Inside, they assured me, there was free accommodation and food, theaters and shows, and many wonderful temples.
So it was enough to hear that to change my mind. Auroville can wait, I thought.
And I descended with them in Tirupati and boarded a bus up to the Temple of the Seven Hills. There were Police controls on the road and the Police searched the bags looking for alcohol, because it was forbidden in Tirumala Temple.
When we arrived to the Temple, it was already dark. My friends immediately found a place to stay, but I was alone, and no rooms for single people were given, only for couples, for free, so I decided to spend the night in front of the theater, watching Ramayana shows, together with hundreds of pilgrims that also decided to sleep on the floor.
I made line to enter several holy places. They did not prevent me to enter the places because I was a foreigner, nobody asked me my religion. Anyway, there were so many thousands of people that it was impossible to ask them questions, so everybody got inside the holy temples to make ceremonies and sing songs.
When I was hungry I ate some vegetarian food and then went to the theater to sleep.
In the morning I still visited other places and received blessings from elephants and gurus. I saw many pretty statues devoted to several Hindu gods. Most of the people were like possessed, and my friends in the train did not recognized me when I met them after one hour or so, they were in ecstasis.
One day and one night were enough for me. Most pilgrims stayed there for days, but my wish to get to Auroville was very strong, so the next day in the afternoon I returned by bus to Tirupati and soon afterwards boarded a train to Auroville. |
2006 Mar by Veikko Huhtala*
Hyderabad is very big City with more than four million people, almost same population than in Finland!! We were traveling this time by train arriving from Akola and going to Chennai, from where we had our Andaman flight. Railways are perhaps the cheapest way to travel around India,|
at least if you have time enough.