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Story of Sage Agastya Killing Demons Vathapi and Ilvala and Arthamuru Village

Arthamuru is a village located in East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh and the popular belief is that Sage Agastya killed demons Ilvala and Vathapi here. Demons Ilvala and Vathapi used to rob and kill people and hide the loot in Arthamuru Village. It is said that in modern times people who used to dig at Arthamuru to make house, wells, ponds etc used to receive gold and other valuables which is believed to have been hidden by demons Ilvala and Vathapi.

Vathapi had the power to change into any form. Ilvala knew the ‘Mritasanjivani’ mantra to bring back the dead to life. They used these powers to loot and kill people.

Fed up with Ilvala and Vathapi, Sage Agastya decided to put an end to their demonic activities.

One day Sage Agastya was passing by the area controlled by Ilvala and Vathapi. The demons decided to kill the Sage. For this Ilvala appeared in the form of an ordinary man. Vathapi changed his form into delicious food items.

Ilvala invited Sage Agastya for food. Sage Agastya who realized the intention of the demons readily agreed. The Sage ate the food.

(In some stories it is stated that Vathapi took the form of a goat and it was killed and served as food to Sage Agastya by Ilvala.)

The plan of the demons was to chant the Mritasanjivani mantra and bring back Vathapi to life in the stomach of Agastya. When this happens the stomach of Sage Agastya will burst open and he will be killed.

But Sage Agastya as soon as he ate the food chanted the mantra – Vathapi Jeerno Bhava. Demon Vathapi in the form of food was immediately digested.

Ilvala tried to bring back Vathapi to life but he could not as Vathapi no longer exists physically.

Sage then used his powers to kill demon Ilvala.