Sri Kshetra Dattatreya Temple, Gangapur
Sri Kshetra Gangapur, One of the most famous Dattatreya Peethas, is associated with Sri Narasimha Sarasvati Swami, an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. It stands on the bank of the river Bhima in Afzalpur taluka in Gulbarga district of Karnataka. This Nirguna Math is adorned with the Nirguna Padukas. The water of the rivers Bhima and Amaraja, especially at the spot of their confluence, are considered extremely holy. " Bhima-Amarja Sangam at Gangapur is very sacred. There are Koti Theerthas there. The Aswatha Tree at Gangapur is as powerful as tha KalpaVriksha. Near the Aswatha Tree is Narasimha Teertha, and northwards to it are the PapaVinasini Teertha, Varanasi Teertha, Rudrapada Teertha, Chakra Teertha, Koti Teertha, manmadha Teertha etc. There is the Kalleshwara temple there. It is holy as Gokarna.", Sri Narasimha Saraswati lived in Gangapur continuously for a period of 24 years (from Guru Charitra).
About Lord Dattatreya:Shri Dattatreya is a very ancient incarnation, highly venerated through the ages. Dattatreya – a Universal Guru manifested in the recess of time of 'Kaliyug', when humanity had gone far from its pristine state and steeped into threshold of a timewhen all kinds of vices had already taken root, and the pious souls made fervent appealed for the salvage of the mankind surging forward in manifold way. He had descended on this earth to establish 'Satya' (the Universal Truth), 'Rta' (the CosmicOrder), Dharma', (the perennial principles), in all its entirety.
Seer Atri was one of such Seers who had ‘seen’ and experienced the Brahman, the eternal Wisdom. To him was born a son, the product of the Grace or the Divine Will, which was the manifestation of all three Primal Energies of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He was ordained with the three energies; He came to have the concentrated wisdom of the three God-heads or symbolically three heads. The three heads signified as Brahma:‘Tejas’ personified, Vishnu:‘Ojas' personified, Shiva: ‘Tapas’ personified. Under these heads, illumination of knowledge, vigorosity of action and stringency of penance were represented as three aspects or state of being of the same.
Birth: Dattatreya had descended into the realm of world as progeny of Atri and Anusuya, a sage couple of the Vedic age. Anusuya became very famous for her devotion to her husband. She was the embodiment of chastity. Such was her spiritual power that hard, uneven earth turned soft and smooth for her as she walked about. This pious woman induced jealousy and envy in others, however, and the three Gods decided to prove these doubting elements how wrong they were.
They transformed themselves into mendicants, approached the hermitage of sage Atri and begged for alms. At that time sage Atri was away at the river offering his daily oblations. Anusuya came out and offered food to them. They made a strange request; the food be prepared and served to them by Anusuya, in the nude. In the Indian tradition any 'athithi' (guest) cannot be turned away, as they are considered to be an aspect of God. Hence she was placed in a dilemma. She smiled to herself and reflected thus: ‘I am totally purified by the long association with the holy sage Atri. What harm can the god of lust ever do to me? So I do fear nothing. As they have sought food from my hands, I look upon them as my own children and not as strangers and grown up men!’ Her thoughts – the thoughts of a pious and chaste person – instantly became reality; the elderly guests became babies!
Sage Atri on his return to the hermitage saw his wife Anusuya fondling three babies. Anusuya said "These children are the gift of God to us who have been childless so far". Sage Atri was overjoyed and named them Datta, which means 'given'. At this the three Gods reverted to their real forms and disclosed the truth. They extolled the power of chastity and purity of Anusuya which vanquished the combined and colossal powers of all three of them. Sage Atri and Anusuya prayed that they should remain as their sons. They consented and the three Gods merged into one body.
This is how Shri Dattatreya incarnated and is known as Gurudeva Datta – the Guru of all Gurus.
Importance of Ganagapur kshetra:Shree kshetra Ganagapur is a holy place of Lord Dattatreya and the place is very important “Darshaneeya kshetra”. The place is connected to Sri Nrusimha Saraswathy swamy who is the second incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. The kshetra importance was explained by Shreeguru and one can be seen in “Shree Gurucharitra” . There is an assurance from Shreeguru that he would forever abide at Ganagapur and go round the village for ‘Biksha’ at noon is literally true even today. Offering “maadhukari” to the people at Ganagapur and taking biksha from atleast 5 houses is having very improtance at this holy place. Even today also, the process is continuing and the devotees are having faith the Lord Dattatreya is taking biksha everyday at Ganagapur kshetra. Shri guru Sri Nrusimha saraswathy swamy confirmed the same and it can be seen in Gurucharitra. At the time of Antardhan, Shreeguru said to the disciples and citizens of Ganagapur as follows.
” You need not worry. I shall stay at this Ganagapur kshetra secretly. I shall have bath at the Bheema-Amaraja sangam river in the morning. In the mid day, I shall come to Ganagapur math and accept biksha in this village and accept your puja, devotional services in this Muth. From the view point of the public, I am going away from this place. My living presence will be experienced by any one who bathes in the Sangam and takes darshan of my padukas here. I will receive pujas at this kshetra in the form of paudkas”. The Padukas of Shree Nrusimha saraswathy swamy at this place are “Nirguna padukas” ( the padukas are not having any shape).
Shreeguru has been blessing his devotees with his divine acts on countless occassions. The aspirations of Datta devotees who worship him at Ganagapur ksehtra with true love, faith and dedication will be fulfilled. The miraculous experineces of such will ever remian hidden in the devotees own hearts. This is true even today also and devotees are getting experiences of Lord Datta’s presenct at Ganagapur kshetra. Mentally retarded people, the people who are suffering from chronic deceases are coming to this place and getting cured from their sad feelings. The trouble of spirits and ghosts vanishes and one can get peace of mind with the darshan of Swamy padukas at this kshetra.
IMPORTANT PLACES AT GANAGAPUR:Sangam: Sangam is a meeting point of Bheema and Amaraja rivers. Sangam is like Prayaga. The importance of Sangam was explained by Shreeguru and it can be seen in Shreegurucharitra. Who ever takes a bath in Sangam, he will free from his sins and his wishes will be fulfilled.Bath in Sangam in Kartheeka maasa, Maagha maasa, Makara sankranthi, poornima and Amaavashya days.
Puranich history of Sangam: There is a puranic history that Jallundhara Rakshasas were on war. Indra went to Shri Shankara and said “we kill Rakshasaas, but from each drop of their blood, new Rakshasaas are born and they have spread in three lokas. They have kelled many Gods”. By hearing this Shri Shankara was started to kill the Rakshasaas in the form of Rudra. Indra said ‘you will kill the Rakshasaas, but please suggest any device to make the Gods alive’. Then Shri Shankara recited Amritha mantra and gave a jar filled with nectar. Indra sprinkled the nector onthe Gods and made them alive. While Indra was going with the jar of the remaining nectar, some drops fell on the earth and a river was created called “AMARAJA”. Taking bath in this river prevents deceases and untimely death. This river meets Bheema river and the point is known as Sangam. Hence, Sangam place is a virtuous place and adviced the devotees to take bath in the Sangam without fail.
OUDUMBAR TREE: The Oudumbar tree is situated at the place nearer to Sangam. After having bath in Sangam a mug/pot/bottle of Sangam water has to be takne and it should be poured a the root of famous Oudumbar tree. Do the pradakshina with a minimum of 11/21/108 rounds to the tree by chanting Datta nama ‘DIGAMBARA DIGAMBARA SHREE PAADA VALLABHA DIGAMBARA”. Somany Sadhus/devotees are continuously doing Shreegurucharitra payara int he presence of the tree. One who perform Gurucharitra parayan with sapthaha deeksha at the premises of this oudumbar tree, he will definitely have the darshan of Lord Dattatreya in any form and their desires will be fulfilled. It is really true and even for today also.
History of Oudumbar tree at Ganagapur kshetra: Leprosy decease of a brahmin by name Narahari was cured by Shree guru Nrusimha saraswathy swamy and the story can also seen in Shreegurucharitra. Narahari bowed to Shreeguru and began to pray him at that time. The 8 sloka stotra comosed by Narahari was become famous and are being reciting in the temple at night even today also. Each sloka ends with “VANDAYAAMI NAARASIMHA SARASWATHEESHA PAAHIMAAM”. The stotra is now familiar as Nrusimha saraswathy ashtaka. Shreeguru blessed Narahari and siad, whoever recite the sloka every day with full devotion, they will get ashta aishwarya, spiritual power, wealth, fame and noble offspring.
Kalleshwar temple: Kalleshwaralaya is nearer to Manmadha theertha i.e., one of the Ashta theerthas and is nearly 1 km from Swamy mutt. Auto and Taanga conveyance is there for Kalleshwar temple. The importance of Kalleshwar temple was also explained in Shree gurucharitra.
Kalleshwara is like Gokarna Mahabaleshwara. By performing Abhisheka in the month of Kartheeka, Maagha and Sravana to Kalleshwara, one’s wishes will be fulfilled. The assurance was given by Shreeguru.
DETAILS OF MORNING POOJA AND ABHISHEKAS:(PERFORMED FROM 7 A.M. to 2-00 P.M.)
DHARMADARSHAN: The devotees are permitted for darshan to the deity Sri. Datta Maharaja and darshan is free of cost for every one.
PANCHOPACHAR POOJA : This pooja is carries the tradition of offering flowers to NIRGUNA PADUKA. The devotees have to pay an amount of Rs.16-00 at Devasthan Counter, wherein 3 persons are allowed to perform this pooja per receipt.
ALANKAR POOJA : This pooja is offering flowers to NIRGUNA PADUKA and priest will give one coconut that is blessed with NIRGUNA PADUKA. The devotees have to pay an amount of Rs.27-00 per receipt at Devasthan Counter, wherein 5 persons are allowed to perform this pooja.
MAHA POOJA : Per receipt of Rs.111-00, 5 persons are allowed to perform this pooja and devotee are allowed to sit infront of the NIRGUNA PADUKA and perform Kshirabhisheka to the SpatikaLinga worshiped by Shri Datta Maharaj and priest will give one coconut that is blessed with on NIRGUNA PADUKA. The devotees have to pay an amount of Rs.111-00 per receipt at Devasthan Counter for the pooja.
KESARA LEPANA : The devotees have to pay an amount of Rs.222-00 per receipt at Devasthan Counter, wherein 6 persons are allowed to perform this pooja. The Devotees performing pooja materials, perfume (attar) and Keasar which will be allowed to pour on NIRGUNA PADUKA, the priest sitting behind the Paduka, wearing clean cloth endowed with purity and will perform the pooja and will paint the attar and Keasar on Paduka. However, in any seva no person is allowed to enter the sanctorum and to touch the NIRGUNA PADUKAS and also to pour water on it.. This pooja includes procedures performed in Mahapooja. After completion of pooja, priest will give one small box of Kesaralepan and one coconut blessed with NIRGUNA PADUKA.
DETAILS OF EVENING PALAKI SEVA & POOJA(PERFORMED FROM 7.30 PM to 9.30 P.M.)
SADA PALAKI : In this seva, 8 persons are permitted to enter the entrance hall sanctorum and have a darshana opportunity of sitting in front of the deity of Sri Datta Maharaja that is exquisitely decorated with Mahapooja. The seva performers will be allowed to sleep around the temple and palanquin (palaki) of Datta Maharajas which will be circumambulating the temple along with chanting and singing hymns will be temple will go upon them. After palaki, this seva includes the Paying an amount of Rs.331-00 per receipt at Devasthan Counter may perform this seva.
BRAHMOTSAVA PALAKI : In this seva, 15 persons are permitted and it will be as same as Sada Palaki will whereas they will be allowed to perform Kesarlepan pooja. Paying an amount of Rs.551-00 per receipt at Devasthan Counter are eligible to perform this palaki seva.
KALYANOTSAVA (BELLI PALLAKKI) PALAKI : In this seva, 25 persons are permitted participate in all sevas performed on that day in the temple. The specialty of this pooja is that seva people will have prasad of the respectful offering to the deity in the afternoon 12.30 PM, which will be served at the residence of priests. In the evening sevas, palanquin will be of silver instead of regular palanquin. Paying an amount of Rs.1101-00 per receipt at Devasthan Counter may perform this palaki seva.
In Addition to this, there is facility for performing Rudrabhisheka, Laghu-rudra, Maharudra, Abhishek, Homa-Havan and also religious ceremonies like Upanayana, Marriage and Javala in the temple premises which will be performed by the four lineage priests of the temple. These may be performed on payment of prescribed fee at Devasthan Counter.
About Accommodation:There are lot of private lodges in Ganagapur but do not expect 5 star hotels. However best accommodate is Avadhoota Dattapeetham’s Sachidananda Ganapati Aashram, well you require prior permissions to stay here.
Apart from the above, there is a lodge run by the Archak family of Devala Ganagapur, the address is as mentioned below:
Sri Gurudatta Lodge
Guide to reach Shri kshetra GanagapurSreekshetra Ganagapur is in the Gulbarga district of Karnataka State in India. It is around 45 kms from the district headquarter Gulbarga. Karnataka state road transportation buses are there from Gulbarga to Ganagapur for every 1 or 1.5 hours and the journey is around 1.5 hours from Gulbarga to Ganagapur. Ganagapur Road railway station is also there, but some trains are not haivng halt/stop at this station and the if at all stop is there, the halting period of the train is negligible when compared to the halt at Gulbarga. So, it is always better to getdown at Gulbarga and it is also convinient to take lunch/tiffins in the hotels or for booking reservations for bus/trains to any stations or for return journeys etc.
From Bangalore/Chennai: There are direct trains from Chennai or Bangalore to Gulbarga. The trains running towards Mumbai/Pune are having halt at Gulbarga.Even Karnataka Government/Private luxury/Hi-Tech buses are running from Bangalore to Gulbarga.
Temple Address & Contact Information:SHREE DATTATREYA DEVASTHAN,
SREE KSHETRA GANAGAPUR,
Telephone : 08472 230495
Shri Sadashi Divakarbhatt Pujari : 09886920273 / 08472–230495
Shri Vilas Pujari : 98675 62002 / 022-66991045
DEVASTHAN COUNTER PHONE NO: 08470-274768
DEVASTHAN COUNTER PHONE NO: 08470-274335
DEVASTHAN SECTION DC OFFICE PHONE NO: 08472-278677