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Temple Dedicated To Mohini Avatar In Andhra Pradesh

The Jaganmohini Keshava Temple, located in Ryali village of Andhra Pradesh, is a rare and unique temple dedicated to the Mohini Avatar of Bhagavan Vishnu. One of the temple's miraculous features is a continuous stream of water that flows from the feet of the idol (murti) inside the temple. This village, nestled in the East Godavari District, lies between the Gautami and Vasishta Rivers, which are tributaries of the Godavari River.

Origin Of Ryali Village Name

The name 'Ryali' translates to 'falling' in Telugu. The legend behind this name is tied to an event where a flower from Mohini Devi's hair fell to the ground while Lord Shiva was in pursuit of her. Upon picking up the flower and smelling it, Lord Shiva became enchanted by Mohini's beauty.

Story Of Origin Jaganmohini Keshava Temple

Before the establishment of the current village, the area was a dense forest. In the 11th century, Chola King Vikrama Deva frequently visited this forest for hunting. During one such visit, exhausted from his pursuits, he rested under a large ponna tree and fell asleep. In his dream, he received a divine vision of Bhagavan Vishnu, who instructed him to excavate a temple in that location. Vishnu's guidance was to run a wooden chariot across the area, and where the nail of the chariot's wheel fell, the temple would be revealed. Following these instructions, the king discovered the hidden vigraha (idol) of Bhagavan Keshava and constructed a small temple on that spot, initiating the worship of the deity.

The Mesmerizing Murti Of Keshava And Mohini

The vigraha or murti or idol of Bhagavan Keshava is remarkably exquisite and features a unique dual representation: the front depicts Bhagavan Keshava with four hands, while the rear shows the Mohini Avatar, characterized by the feminine form. In the upper two hands, Keshava holds the Panchajanya (conch) and Sudarshana (discus). In the lower two hands, he carries the Manthara mountain and a club.

Intricately carved into the same idol are Sridevi, Bhudevi, Narada Muni, Tumburu Muni, the apsaras Rambha and Urvashi, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, Krishna lifting the Govardhan Hill, Adisesha, Garuda, and Ganga Devi, surrounding Bhagavan Keshava.

Miracle Stream Of Water From Feet Of Idol

A fascinating aspect of this temple is the continuous stream of water that emerges from the lotus feet of Lord Narayana, keeping his feet perpetually wet. Devotees revere this water, considering it as sacred as the Ganges, and they sprinkle it on themselves for blessings. Some devotees believe that this water flows to the nearby Uma Kamandaleshwara Swamy Temple, where it is used for the abhisheka (ritual bathing) of Lord Shiva.

The Jaganmohini Keshava Temple stands as a testament to the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of Andhra Pradesh, drawing devotees and visitors who come to witness its unique dual deity and the miraculous water stream.