Ganagapur is a holy Datta Kshetra for the devotees of Sri Narasimha Saraswati Swamy situated on the banks of Bhima river in Afzalpur taluka in Gulbarga district of Karnataka. The confluence of Bhima and Amarja rivers in Ganagapur is meant very sacred and this sangam is equal to Koti Teerthas. According to Guru Charithra- Ganagapur is the resting place of Sri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy, the second incarnation of Lord Dattatreya, where He stayed for a period of 24 years. The sacred Aswatha Tree at Ganagapur is as powerful as tha KalpaVriksha. Some of the famous teerthas near the Aswatha Tree are Narasimha Teertha, north of it are the Papavinasini Teertha, Chakra Teertha, Varanasi Teertha, Rudrapada Teertha, Koti Teertha, Manmadha Teertha etc. Visiting the Kalleshwara temple here is as holy as visiting Gokarna.
Shri Guru Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy
In the book "Shri Guru Charitra", His presence at this place is well mentioned as- He promised that He would abide forever at Ganagapura. In the morning, He would bathe at the confluence of the Bhima and Amarja rivers, thus considered extremely holy. At noon, He would ask for Bhiksha (alms of food) in the village, then accept pooja offerings in the form of Nirguna Paduka at the Muth (main temple).
Nirguna Padukas of Lord Dattatreya Ganagapur
Shri Dattatreya is a very ancient incarnation, highly venerated through the ages. Dattatreya – a Universal Guru manifested in the recess of time of 'Kaliyuga', when humanity had gone far from its pristine state and steeped into threshold of a time when 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 in human form to establish 'Satya' (the Universal Truth), 'Rta' (the CosmicOrder), Dharma', (the perennial principles), in all its entirety.
History of this Place:
Shri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy (1378-1458) was born to a Deshastha Brahmin couple named Madhav and Amba-Bhavani at Karanja. His family belongs to Shukla(white) Yajurveda Brahmin and Kannava Shakha. He is the Purna avatar of Lord Dattatreya.
Ganagapur being Datta Kshetra is an important "Darshaneeya kshetra". Shri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy (Shri Guru) first stayed at Narsobawadi, then came to Ganagapur and started living at the holy confluence of Bhima and Amarja rivers (Sangam) for a period of 24 years. Shri Guru used to come to the village only at Noon for Bhiksha. Shri Guru has been blessing his devotees with his divine acts on countless occassions.
One of the Legend says, that once Shri Guru came to a house of a Poor Brahmin lady who had a barren buffalo and asked her Bhiksha to give him the Milk. Though the lady said it was a barren one Shri Guru insisted her to get him the Milk. All the villagers stood surprised about the Barren buffalo as it started giving the Milk. Soon this news spread to the head of the Village (Gramadhipati). The King then visited Shri Guru and asked Him to come and stay at Ganagapur itself by building a Muth there. This Muth later came to be known as Nirguna Muth by the Presence of Shri Guru forever in His Nirguna Roopa.
It is considered that till date Lord Dattatreya takes Biksha everyday at Ganagapur. "Shri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy" conveyed the same and it can be read in Adhyay (chapter 21-22) of Gurucharitra.
Significance of this Place:
This place is of great significance with the aspirations of Datta devotees, that by taking bath at the confluence of Bhima and Amarja rivers (Sangam Ghat), and begging (Madhukari) at 12:00 noon from at least five houses in Ganagapura is of great importance. Also offering Paduka Pooja at the main temple (Nirgun Math) with true love, faith and dedication, one can experience the living presence (darshan) of Shri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy, be freed from all sins and get their wishes fulfilled.
The people who are mentally retarded and suffering from chronic deceases after visiting this place get cured from their sad feelings.
People with Evil Spirit in Dattatreya Mandir Ganagapur
The Sangam Ghat houses a temple where Shri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy did Anushthana under the Audambar tree and has his Shella Padukas for worship.
At the time of Antardhan, Shri Guru said to the disciples and citizens of Ganagapur as follows:
Vasathi Rani Sangamase Jate Nithya Bikshese Taya Vare Ganagapurase Madhyana Kaala Pareyasa
"You need not worry. I shall stay at this Ganagapur kshetra secretly. I will daily take bath at the Bheema-Amaraja Sangam river in the morning and at noon will come to Ganagapur Muth to accept Biksha from homes of this village. I will also accept all your pooja's and devotional services. From the view point of the public, I am going away from this place. My presence can be felt to all those who takes bathe in the Bheema-Amarja Sangam rivers and have darshan of my Padukas here. I will receive pooja's at this Kshetra in the form of Padukas". The Padukas of Shri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy at this place are "Nirguna Padukas" (ie., they don't have any shape).
Important Places to Visit in Ganagapur:
Ashta Teerthas: There are 8 teerthas in Ganagapur and all are meant sacred.
Narasimha theertha, Sreepaada theertha, Rudrapada theertha, Bagerathi theertha, Paapa Nashaka theertha, Koti theertha, Chakra theertha and Manmatha theertha.
The importance of taking bath in these Ashta teerthas can be known from the Book "Guru Charitra". Some devotees take a bath every day during their stay in Ganagapur and some bathe at least once during their yatra period. Bathing in Ashta teerthas on Naraka Chathurdashi (eve of Diwali) day is considered very powerful. Sins and doshas are believed to be removed by bathing in these Ashta teerthas.
Nirguna Muth (Main Temple)- It is adorned with the Nirguna Padukas of Shri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy which have no shape.
Sangam Kshetra- It is a holy place which has the confluence of Bhima and Amarja rivers in which Shri Guru take bath every morning and does Anushtana. It is believed that those who bathe in Sangam on Poornima, Amavasya, Karthika Masam, Maagha Masam and Makara Sankranti days will be freed from all their sins, and get their wishes fulfilled.
Audumbar Tree- Devotees after taking bath in Sangam should take some water and offer it to the roots of Audumbar tree as Shri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy performed the Anushtana under this tree. The Shella Padukas of Swamy are worshipped here. It is meant auspicious to perform pradakshina with a minimum of 11/21/108 rounds to this tree by chanting Datta nama "DIGAMBARA DIGAMBARA SHREE PAADA VALLABHA DIGAMBARA". Till today many Sadhus and devotees coming to this place still perform the recitation of "Guru Charitra Parayanam" under this tree and the one who does saptaha deeksha under this tree will definitely have the darshan of Lord Dattatreya in any form and their desires will be fulfilled.
Shella Padukas and Shivlingam in Sangam
Kalleshwar Temple- This temple is one of the famous temples in Ganagapur dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said that once when the poet Narahari was worshipping Kalleshwar, saw Shri Narasimha Saraswathy at this place. He became then an ardent devotee of Shri Narasimha Saraswathy. Visiting this temple is considered as equivalent to being Gokarna. This temple also has other shrines inside it, one is the Swayambhu Shani as said in Chapter 40 (Guru Charitra).
Ash Hill- It is nearer to Sangam and is the place where Lord Parashurama performed penance and Ash came from this place. This ash is very powerful and today only mud is visible at that place. The wearing of ash by mixing with oodi is very powerful for those persons who suffer from drishti doshas. It also protects the children from Baalarishta and Graha doshas. If the ash is applied on the stomach part of pregnant women every day, then the child delivered is healthy and has "Tejarupa".
Worship and Offerings at this Place:
Generally as we see in many of our temples, only Idols are worshipped but here Shri Narasimha Saraswathy Swamy's Nirguna Padukas are worshipped. There are many stalls with the pooja samagri available which includes flower garlands, insense sticks, camphor, milk peda, coconut, vibhudi, sandalwood powder etc.
Murthy in Main Temple Ganaghapur Kshetram
After the Sanstha Puja-Abhishekh is performed the temple priest performs the Puja-Abhishekh for Devoteees who want to worship to Lord Dattareya.
Rudrabhisheka in the premises of Math at Abhishekh Hall
Pujan For Suvarna Paduka - PadPuja, Mahapuja
Maha Naivedya to Sri Gurumaharja
Madhukari (Annadana to All Devotees)
Nandadeep Seva (For Deepa’s in the Garbhalaya at Nirgun Math)
Pallaki Seva (During Evening 7.30 PM to 8.30 PM)
Sarva Seva (Perform All the Puja’s in the Math From Morning to night)
If anyone interested to perfom Puja/Seva's in Ganagapur Datta Temple they can inform their details, Puja will be performed on their behalf and Mahaprasadm will be sended to them for good wishes and bright future.
Celebration of Festivals:
Guru Purnima Festival: On the day of Purnima, Sri Datta Guru chaturmass starts and Guru Vyas Puja is celebrated at afternoon.
Shravan Month Festival: It is celebrated from Shravan Shudh Pratipada to Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi. Performing Rudrabhishekh in Nirguna Math is meant very auspicious.
Sripada SriVallabha Jayanti Festival: Shri Sripada SriVallabha Janmamahotsavam (Birth day of Shri Sripada SriVallabha) falls on the day of Bhadrapad Shukla Ganesha Chaturthi.
Vijaya Dashami Festival: On the day of Vijaya Dashami, Sri Datta Guru Palaki goes to Kalleshwar temple for purpose of Simolanghan.
Naraka Chaturdashi Festival: On this day of Naraka chaturdashi (Deepavali) Shri Guru said to the disciple, 'We should have bath at Trishali (3 Holy places ie., Prayaga, Kashi and Gaya ) with family and children.
There is one instance one disciple said, 'For such a long journey, we require some time for preparations'. Shri Guru said, These holy places are nearby. So there is no need for special preparation, Shri Guru then takes everyone to Sangam and asks them to take bath in eight teertha's in Ganagapur. Hence the devotees celebrate the Asthteertha Snan(Bath) on this day.
Tripuri Purnima Festival: On the day of Kartika Vadya Pratipada Sri Datta Guru Palaki goes to Bhima Amarja Sangam Chaturmas ends and people does Van Bhojan.
Shri Datta Jayanti Festival: It is celebrated on the day of Margashirsh Shudha Chaturdashi at 12pm as it is Datta Janmamahotsavam (Birth day of Shri Lord Dattatreya) and the Rath Utsava celebration on Purnima.
Shri Narasimha Sarswathy Jayanti Festival: It is celebration of Shri Narasimha Sarswathy Janmamahotsavam on this day of Paush Shudha Dwitiya.
Gurupratipada Festival: It is celebrated on the day of Magh Vadya Pratipada (Sha.1380) (14 January 1459 CE) ) when Shri Narasimha Sarswathy (Second incarnation of Lord Datta in kaliyuga) left his Nirguna Paduka in Ganagapur Nirgun Math and disappeared secretly. Hence Yati pujan is celebrated on Magh Vadya Pratipada as Navrathri of Lord Dattatreya starts from Magh Shudha Pratipada to Magh Shudha Purnima.
Gopalkala Festival: It is celebrated on Magh Vadya Chaturdashi.
Maha Shivaratri Festival: On this day of Maha Shivaratri Yama puja is conducted at mid night in Nirgun Math.
How to Reach:
By Road: Ganagapur is around 45 kms away from the district headquarter Gulbarga. For every 1 hour, there are plenty of Karnataka state road transportation buses available from Gulbarga to Ganagapur. The journey takes around 1 and a half hours from here.
By Train: Ganagapur Road Railway Station is the nearest to reach Ganagapur Datta Kshetra. Only few trains have halt/stop at this station that to for a very short time. There are plenty of trains to Gulbarga and from there one can reach Ganagapur easily.