Gnana Saraswati Temple, Basara
Gnana Saraswati Temple is a Hindu temple of Goddess Saraswati located on the Godavari River at Basar, Telangana, India. It is one of the two famous Saraswati temples in India, the other one in Jammu & Kashmir. Saraswati is the Hindu Goddess of knowledge and learning. Before enterning to school the Children are brought here to the temple for the learning ceremony called as Akshara abyasam. Ever since from 6th century, Basar has been a pilgrimage centre for the Hindus. However, the present structure of the temple is supposed to be built in by Chalukya kings.
According to the Brahmanda Purana, the poet Valmiki installed Saraswati and wrote Ramayana here. There is a marble image of Valmiki and his Samādhi near the temple. It is also believed that this temple is one of the three temples constructed near the confluence of the Manjira and Godavari rivers by Ashtrakutas.
According to legend, Maharishi Vyasa and his disciples and sage Suka decided to settle down in a cool and peaceful atmosphere after the Kurukshetra War. In the quest for a peaceful place, he came to Dandaka forest and, pleased with stillness of the region, selected this place. After the Bath in the Godavari, Maharishi Vyasa used to bring three fistful of sand and place it in three small lots and made images of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali with his spiritual power and later conducted prayers. This idol made of sand has its face messy with turmeric. Eating a little bit of this turmeric paste, it is believed, will enhance one’s wisdom and knowledge. Since Maharishi Vyasa spent considerable time in prayers, the place was then called “Vasara” and turned into Basara due to the influence of the Marathi language in the region.
During Maha Shivaratri, Special poojas and celebrations are held at the Sarswati temple , this will begain 15 days before and will ends 3 days later on festival .
Many pilgrims come here to Gyan Sarswati temple,to carry on the “Akshara abhyasam” ceremony to children before they start formal school education. The children perform the application of letters, and devote books, pens, pencils notebooks to the goddess of knowledge Gyan Sarswati. The Puja at the temple starts at 4 am in morning with Abhishekam which complates at 5 am.(one hour ). At 5 o’clock they start the Alankarana whereby the new sarees are adorned to the goddesses. The whole atmosphere is very religious and pure. At 6 am, by the morning sun rays , the aarti starts at the temple later on prasadam is given to the devotees.
There are also ,a Mahakali idol situated on the 1st floor near by the main temple. Devotees use to go the nearby mountain where an Idol of Goddess Saraswati is on the top of the rock. The image of Lakshmi stands besides the Goddess Saraswati in the sanctum sanctorum. Due to the presence of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali, Basar is considered as the dwelling of the godly trinity.
Basar is a census town in the Adilabad district in the state of Telangana. It is about 30 km (19 mi) from Bhainsa,15.5 km (10 mi) from Dharmabad, 34.8 km (22 mi) from Nizamabad, 70 km (43 mi) from Nirmal, and 205 km (127 mi) from Hyderabad.
Nearest airport is Hyderabad, Telangana. From Hyderabad one can choose to travel by Bus, Train or by hiring a private taxi.
Basara has a Rail railway station between Secunderbad Junction – Mudkhed Junction (via Kamareddy, Nizamabad.
Number of Telangana State Road Transport Buses ( TSRTC) are available from Hyderabad Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (Imliban Bus station) and from Jubilee Bus Station (JBS Secunderabad)