Sripada Shri Vallabha Kuruvapuram Kshetram Prime Avataar of Dattatreya Swamy
Sripada Shri Vallabha Swamy
is the first Purna Avataar (incarnation) of the Shri Dattatreya Swamy
and known as Digambar Avadutha
in the Kali-Yuga
(iron age or darkest age). His temple is situated on a small island at the banks of river Krishna the other side in Raichur dist of Karnataka. Sripada Shri Vallabha was born in 1320 to Sri Appalaraja and Sumathi Sarma in Pithapuram (Andhra Pradesh, India) on the day of Bhadrapada Sudha Chavithi
(Ganesha Chaturthi). "Kuruvapuram" is His Karyakshetra and Tapobhumi,
where He stayed most of his life and is also known as 'Kurugaddi'. It was in Ashlesha Masam, Krishna Paksham, Dwadashi Tithi and Hasta Nakshatram (Star) on that day when he left his Avadutha form and took 'Jalasamadhi' in Krishna River, Kuruvapuram.
Sripada Shri Vallabha Temple on other side of the Krishna River
This Dattatreya Temple is dated around 13th century and was built on a holy land donated by a Rajak devotee. This place is famously known as "Agraharam" as it was donated to temple priest at that time. Near the surroundings of the temple is an Old Banyan Tree, Audumbar Vruksha, Gayathri Suryodasana and Cave where His holiness Sripada Shri Vallabha did Dhyana and penance. Now this cave has been redefined and His Nirguna Paduka's (Foot Print) are kept for Darshan. After taking "Jalasamadhi" He still exists in his "Tejorup" (In Pure Energy Form). Sripada Shri Vallabha used to walk on the Krishna River and go to the "Panchadev Pahad" (Where Five materials of Life exsist: water, fire, earth, air and sky) on the other side of the river where he used to conduct Darbar. He use to solve all the problems of the devotees and give solution. After the Darbar He goes back to Kuruvapuram and stays alone at night. People thus, believe that He is still present in this place and solve their problems and fulfills his devotees desires.
Sripada Srivallabha Dattatreya Kshetram Kuruvapuram
Panchdev Pahad Where Five Materials of Life Exist
Panchadev Pahad Darbar Visited by Sripada
Saptarishi and Five main Avataar of Dattatreya
Palaki Seva at Sripada Shri Vallabha Kshetram Kuruvapur
Visitors have to hire these Buttas or Theppa (country boats) to cross Krishna river as the temple is on the other side of the river bank. It takes about 15 mins to cross the river and costs Rs.20 per head. About six-eight people are accomodated per trip. One can also view "Vittal Baba Ashram" while crossing the river on the Mahabubnagar end.
Devotees crossing Krishna River to visit the Temple
Legend of Sripada Shri Vallabha:
Their used to live a couple named Appalaraja and Sumati Sarma who were ardent devotees of Shri Dattatreya, having two sons and three daughters. One day their family was preparing for the Shraaddha Karma Puja (a yearly ceremony to pay homage to the departed souls) to which many Brahmins were invited as guests for the event. On the same day around noon, a Bhikshuk (Sanyasi) came for Bhiksha (Food). Though Hindu custom prevents feeding anyone before the Brahmins, the Veda's says us that whenever anyone comes to our home (for food) at any time it should be assumed that it is none other than Lord Vishnu himself. Hence, before feeding the invited Brahmins, Sumati offered food to the Bhikshuk, considering him as Lord Vishnu to whom the whole annual ceremony was being offered.
Mother Sumati Offering Bhiksha to Bhikshuk
This act and faith of her touched the Lord's heart and He (Bhikshuk) at once granted her a vision of his true form (His actual God appearance). His glorious form was having three heads, clad in a tiger's skin and his body besmeared with Vibhuti (sacred ash). The Lord, pleased by her devotion called her "Mother", and said you fed me before the Brahmin guests, and gave me the food with the full faith that this is the Lord in the guise. Now, its your turn, ask me for anything you wish and it shall be granted". Upon hearing this Sumati said let your words calling me as mother be come true and the Lord granted her the same. He said she will have a son 'who will be a Guru to all and also told her that He will stay with them for 16 years and then go to another place for remaining 17 years'. The God disappeared soon after blessing her.
Sumathi told the same to her husband about the Divine vision she had of the Lord, how he bestowed on her and granted her wish for a divine son. Soon within a year the couple became joyous by having a son. Sumathi gave birth to the one who is indeed birth-less. The baby boy was named 'Sripada'. Being the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Sripada had all the signs, Divine features and celestial radiance.
The Glorious and Radiant Sripada Shri Vallabha
Lord Dattatreya As Swamy Samartha- Narasimha Saraswati- Sripada Shrivallabha
Mission of Sripada Shri Vallabha:
When Sripada reached the age of 16, his parents thought of getting him married. However, He said "All women in this world are like my mother" and that he is married to only one woman "Vairagya-stree" (Dispassion-Woman), "My mission is to give initiation and guidance to sadhus (holy men)" and he should be called "Shriya-Vallabh". Thus the name "Sripada Shri Vallabha". After telling this he asked permission from his parents to become a Sannyasi (monk) by leaving the house. Sumati (mother of Sripada) worried about their old age asked Him, that who would take care of them after He left them? (Their first son was lame and the other one was blind). When Sripada realized their situation, He called his lame and blind brothers, his heart, melting with compassion at the sight of the tears in his parents, Sripada touched his brothers and made them normal (whole in a moment). This miracle dispelled the veil of delusion that bound them in Samsara. Afterwards the Lord granted them the vision of His real Divine form.
Sripada Shri Vallabha - First Purna Avataar of Dattatreya (1320 - 1352)
Soon after this incidence, He renounced all worldly ties and left their home with their permission, for Kashi-pilgrimage. Sripada trekked to several Holy places like Dwaraka, Mathura, and Badrinath.
Meanwhile He blessed several spiritual seekers during His travel.
After this pilgrimage, Sripada went to Gokarna Mahabaleshwar in South were He spending 3 years and then went to Shri Shaila mountain.
Having blessed several seekers, Lord finally went to Kurvapur and settled there. He stayed here rest of his life and performed several miracles at this place. All his miracles are compiled into a book named "Sripada Shri Vallabha Charitaamrutam". These stories were compiled by Sripada's devotee Shankar Bhat.
Shridi Sai Baba at Entrance of Sripada Shri Vallabha Temple Kuruvapuram
Significance of This Place:
The aim of Sripada Shri Vallabha incarnation is to bless Maha Siddhas, Maha Yogis and to uphold Dharma through them in the Universe.
He is the most powerful and capable in destroying the difficulties, losses, miseries and obstacles occuring in the developments of His dedicated devotees.
Kuruvapuram is the same place where Sripada Shri Vallabha closed his Avataar by taking Jalasamadhi in the Krishna river on the day of Ashlesha Masam, Krishna Paksham, Dwadashi Tithi and Hasta Nakshatram (Star) and before doing so he blessed one washerman to become king in his next birth and gave a word to brahmin lady that He will be born as her son in his next incarnation and will be known as "Narsimha Saraswathi".
Devotees after observing 41 days penance, come from far off places, like Karnataka, Maharashtra and reach the temple to offer their prayers.
They chant frequently this holy mantra:
दिगंबरा दिगंबरा श्रीपाद वल्लभ दिगंबरा
Digambara Digambara Sripadavallabha Digambara
As this place is in remote area, there are not many facilities provided here. But still the devotees visiting this place make sure to stay here for a week for recitation of the famous "Sripada Shri Vallabha Charithamrutham".
Salient Features of this Temple:
There is a 1000 years old Banyan Tree under which Sripada Shri Vallabha meditated.
The visitors first take bath in the Krishna river and then proceed to seek the darshan of His lotus feet.
The Temple trust also provides one free meal a day and rooms for accomodation to the visitors prior to intimation.
There is a cave near the temple where Tembe Swamy Maharaj performed penance.
It is meant auspicious to have Darshan of Sacred Audumbar Vriksha (Tree) near the temple.
Thousand Years Sacred Banyan Tree Kuruvapuram
Small Shrine Under the Sacred Banyan Tree
Darshan of Datta Padukas Kuruvapuram
Free Meal at Sripada Shri Vallabha Temple Kuruvapuram
Tembe Swamy Maharaj in Cave
Audumbara Tree in The Premises of Temple
Festivals and Celebrations:
All the temple and religious rites performed here are due to efforts of Parampujya Vasusanand Saraswati Maharaj
(Shri Tembe Swamy Maharaj) who performed "Chaturmas Vrata"
here in the year of 1911.
As part of daily ritual "Abhishekam" is performed to Swamy Paadukas (Lotus Feet) and Paaduka darshan is available upto 9:00AM only. The one who want to perform 'Rudra Abhishekam' can also do that puja at this time. After completion of abhisheka the Paadukas (Lotus Feet) are covered with flowers and clothes. On Every Thursaday the temple organises Palaki utsav at night hours in the temple premises only.
The Statue of Sripada Shri Vallabha inside the Sanctum
Sripada Shri Vallabha Charan Paduka in Gold
Sripada Shri Vallabha Charan Paduka in Silver
The devotees coming from far off places also does parayana of "Guru Charithra" as He is the prime avataar of Lord Dattatreya.
Best Time to Visit:
Summer is very ideal to visit this temple, when the river dries up and the place turns into a desert. After this Sep-Feb is the other favourable time to visit this place. It
Dress Code to Visit the Temple:
At the Dattatreya temple, men have to wear a long lungi (available at the temple) and women have to wear saris or chudidaar (no western clothes allowed).
Dress Code of Devotees Visiting this Temple
Temple Visiting and Pooja Timings:
4.30 am Kakadarthi, Rudra Abhishek
9.00 am Alankar Darshan
12 noon Mahanaivedyam
7.30 pm Palakhi Seva
Contact Details of Temple Chief Pujari:
Ravindra Bhat Pujari: 09972559818, 09342711640
Vasudeo Pujari. 08532 -280269
Manjunath V Pujari 09448568183
Mr.Nandu Joshi (Mumbai) 09819259342
How to Reach:
The Road transport is the best means of transport to reach the temple. There are two, frequently used, routes to reach Kuruvapur. One is via Raichur in Karnataka state and another one is via Makthal in Andhra Pradesh state. Either way one has to cross the Krishna river in a small elliptical boat (Putti or Theppa) to reach this island.
The Theppa or Buttas used to cross the Krishna River
It takes one 4 hours by car at a distance of 192km from Hyderabad to Kurvapur via Hyd-Raichur route.
Journey is like this Hyderabad-Mahabubnagar around 1 1/2 hours (100km), Mahabubnagar-Makthal around 1 hour (70km) and from Makthal-Kurvapur Riverbanks around 1 hour (22km) and then from Riverbank to temple is 30 mins via boats.
These boats don’t ply after 6 pm. There are two locations on the river bank where these buttas or small boats can be hired. One is Panchadev Pahad and another one is behind Vithal Baba Ashram around 1km, but from here number of boats are very less.
There are two temples, one on the river banks (Shri Vallabha Temple, hence the place is also called as Vallabhapuram) and one on the island (Dattatreya temple). Mahaprasad and lunch is available at both temples but available when informed prior to visit. The temple pujaris and other staff are very helpful and courteous. It is advisable to keep some eatables while visiting this place.
Image Courtesy: www.tripadvisor.com, www.sripadasrivallabhamahasamsthanam.com, blog.good-will.ch, www.sreedattavaibhavam.org, http://www.thekundaliniyoga.org