GR Travels


There are many stories and legends concerning the origin and history of the great stupa. According to Hidden Treasure of the Guru Padmasambhava a widow named Ma Jhyazima aspired to make a great offering of the Boudha, using her hard earned saving as a poultry keeper, she approached the local king for permission and it was granted , on condition that she used an area of the land measuring the size of a single ox skin. However, Jhyazima cut the skin into thin strips and claimed the land enclosed from the strips lay end to end. This mere womans ambition to build such a magnificent monument offering to the Boudha caused much jealousy between the rich and powerful at the time . The jealous lord petitioned the king to stop the construction, but the king who had allowed this happen, replied Since permission to build has been given, it shall not be rescinded. Thus the meaning of the stupa named Jhyarung Khashyor. The remaining work of the construction of Boudha stupa was completed by the four sons (Trisong Deuchen, Shanta Rakshita, Guru Padmasambhava, Bami Thiser), of Jhyazima. This legend is very much popular in Himalayan Buddhist society. The earliest historical references to the Boudha Stupa are found in the Chronicles of the Newars. Firstly, Boudha is mentioned as one of the four stupas found by the Licchavi king Vrisadeva (ca.AD 400) or Vikramjit. Secondly, the Newars legend of the stupas origin attributes it to king Dharmadevas son, Manadeva as atonement for his un writing parricide Manadeva was the great Licchavi king, military conqueror and the patron of the arts who reigned ca.AD 464505. Manadeva is also linked with the Swayambhu Chaitya of Gum Bahal. Thirdly, another great Licchhavi king Shivadeva (AD 590604) is associated with Boudha by an inscription; he may have restored the Stupa. Finally in the archeological report of the 16th century Tibetan restorer, Sakya zangpo, there is an assertion that he discovered the Lichhavi king Amsuvarmas relics in the Stupa. There are no Lichhavi stone remains in the vicinity of Boudha, although in the eastern enclave of the Stupa there are several updatable but undoubtedly ancient stones inscribed with mantra, and in the south there are small Chaityas in the Lichhavi style, which could perhaps be dated as early as the 13th century. In conclusion, although there is no epigraphically or reliable archeological or literary evidence of the Stupas Lichhavi origins, its early history being based entirely upon legend. Clues to the Stupas origin and history can be derived from the etymology of the Newari name of the Stupas Khas or Khasti Chaitya, The Dewdrop Stupa. Some believe the name derives from Kasyapa, the Manusi Buddha of the Dwaparayuga, whose relics are said to be enshrined within it .According to Newari etymology it is derived from the Newari word for dew, for the chronicles mention that when the Stupa was in process of construction a drought struck and the workmen were forced to lay out white cotton cloth to collect the morning dew, which was then wrung out to facilitate the days construction. Some say Khasa was the name of a Tibetan Lama whose relics were interred here, or that the Stupas origin was in some way associated with the town Khasa on the present border of Nepal and China. According to Gopal Raj Chronicles during the reign of the Licchavi king Dharmadeva (ca.AD 4th century), it is said that the king installed Narayanhiti tap but the water did not come. So, the king consulted his astrologers and was told that for water, the sacrifice of the most virtuous man in the kingdom was required. After disappointing results, the king decided that it was only himself and his son who qualified as victims. The old king decided it was to be himself to die, and instructed his son to decapitate with one stroke a shrouded form he would find lying near the palace that night.      Book Now


In good olden days a Yaksha named KEELA had been performing awful penance about holiest goddess Durga. Goddess Durga was pleased by his penance and appeared to him. She asked him to beg a boon. Keela was so happy by the words of goddess Durga and begged like this, O holy Mother! you should always be in my heart. This is the one and only my desire. Listened goddess Durga and gave the boon with showering the lunar lights of smile and said, My Son! You remain here at this holiest planes of river Krishna in the form of mountain. In Krithayuga, after the assassination of demons, I will remain in your heart. As such, by the order of goddess Durga, Keela had been waiting in the form of mountain for goddess Durga. After sometime, in the Krithayuga goddess Durga killed Mahishasura who was a disaster for World. Then goddess Durga shined on the Keela mountain with eight arms in the form of MAHISHASURA MARDINI as she had given boon to keela. On this mountain, goddess Durga had been glowing with the lighting of crores of suns, with golden colour. Since that, Indra and all the deities praised her chanting KANAKA DURGA and they had been worshipping her daily. This mountain has attained the name INDRAKEELADRI from those times, since all the deities are visiting this mountain. Likewise, since goddess Durga shined on this mountain with golden colour glowing, the name KANAKACHALA also attained by this mountain. Holy Indrakeeladri mountain became holiest after prevailing goddess Durga on this. Then Brahma Deva had a sacred intution that Lord Siva also should prevail on this mountain. For this holy purpose, he had performed Sata Aswamedha Yaga. By this, lord Maheswara pleased with his devotion and rested in the form of Jyothirlinga on this mountain. By the first time, Brama Deva worshipped lord Siva with Jasmin flowers (Mallika) with great devotion. Since Lord Siva was worshipped with Jasmin flowers by Brahma Deva, he has attained the name. MALLIKESA. After this, in Dwaparayuga Arjuna, middle one of the Pandavas, awfully penanced about Parameswara, seeking Pasupatastra. Parameswara wanted to test Arjuna and fau,ght with him. Finally Lord Siva pleased with the devotion and dauntlessness of Arjuna and offered him Pasupatastra. From that day MALLIKESAhad attained the name MALLIKESWARA since he faught with Arjuna with greatest bravery. Days were passing on and on. In Kaliyuga, Jagadguru Sri Adi Sankaracharya observed that the Malleswara Jyothirlinga was in bad invisible condition and he reĀ­installed Malleswara Swamy at the Northern Part to the temple of Goddess Durga. From that day onwards, Malleswara Swamy also has been worshiping by all the devotees. Since goddess Durga has been prevailing at the Southern direction to Lord Malleswara, this Indrakeeladri renowned in the World as power prominent centre the KANAKA DURGA KSHETRA The temple of Kanaka Durga the Goddess of power, riches and benevolence and the presiding deity of Vijayawada, is swarmed by lakhs of pilgrims for worship during the Navarathri festival which is celebrated with Religious fervour, pomp and festivity. The small but ancient temple of Kanaka Durga , a top the Indrakeeladri hill on the banks of the Sacred river Krishna in Vijayawada abounds with legends of historical interest. Indrakeeladri is unique in that it has been the chosen abode of Kanaka Durga and Her consort Malleswara as Swayambhu (the selfexistent one). Here Durga is one the right side of Malleswara as against the tradition of Goddesses taking their position on the left of their consorts. This shows that Shakthi is predominant on the Indrakeeladri.      Book Now


Kondapalli Fort, also locally known as Kondapalli Kota, is located in the Krishna district, close to Vijayawada, the third largest city of Andhra Pradesh, India. The historic fort on the hill (Eastern Ghats) located to the west of the Kondapalli village was built by Prolaya Vema Reddy of Kondavid during the 14th century, initially as a pleasure place and a business centre, along with the Kondavid Fort in Guntur district. In later years, it was used as a military fortification and the British placed a strong garrison here. Apart from the fort, which is a major tourist attraction, another important artistic rural product of Kondapalli is the crafting of colorful toys, called the Kondapalli toys. A very light white wood (see image in gallery) is used to make the lively painted toys, including mythological figures, women and animals. This handicraft product has been given a Geographical Indication under the name Kondapalli Bommalu (Bommalu in Telugu means Toys), as protection given to a reputed product. A fort with roots in parallel histories, this one is said to have been built as a center of recreation, business and trade. The main entrance gate, carved out of a single boulder of granite is called the Dargah Darwaja. Other than this, one finds inside a reservoir, Golconda Darwaza, Dargah of Gareeb Saheeb, Tanisha Mahal and several bits of history claimed by ruins. what one must not miss while in this area are the Kondapalli Toys, light weight wooden toys from the village around.      Book Now

Mopidevi Temple

Natives suffering from Sarpa dosha, Rahu, Ketu dosha and Anapathya dosha, if they worship Lord Subrahmanyeswar at Mopidevi will definitely nullify the negative affects according to texts. The Mopidevi temple is situated at a distance of nearly 70 kms from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. It is well connected by flights and trains from many parts of the country. Four Deva rishis viz., Sankara, Sanakasa, Sanatkumara, Sanatsujata are known for their un-wavering devotion and saintly knowledge. They are immoral and always appear at the age of five years to others. They remained so detached from the awareness of worldly matters that they remain naked without covering their bodies. Once, they came to Kailash, the above of Lord Shiva to worship Him. At the same time, Sachi Devi, Swaha Devi, Goddess Saraswathi and Goddess Lakshmi also arrived. Lord Subrahmanyeswar was sitting in the lap of his mother Goddess Parvathi by that time. Lord Subrahmanyeswar as a child was bewildered at the two contrasts of fully clad gods and goddesses on the one hand and the nude Deva rishis on the other, he giggled innocently in a childish way. Goddess Parvathi chided Lord Subrahmanyeswar for his folly. Later, Lord Subrahmanyeswar realized his lapse and took permission to do penance to get rid of the blemish. Lord Subrahmanyeswar did the penance in disguise, in the form of a snake for many years and successfully cleansed Himself of the folly. The place where Lord Subrahmanyeswar did penance later became popular as Mopidevi. According to holy texts, Vindhya mountain at one time became over confident of its strength and began to grow upwards. It went up to the planet Ravi. With this, darkness surmounted all over and all mortals and immortals including every flora and fauna suffered in darkness. Gods prayed to Sage Agasthya to humble the Vindhya mountain somehow or the other. Sage Agasthya is known to have attained divine powers through severe penance. He was staying in Varanasi at that time. He, accepting the request of Devas, Sage Agasthya started towards the mountain Vindhya from Northern India. Vidhya mountain is the boarder between North India and South India. Knowing in advance about the arrival of Sage Agasthya, the Vindhya mountain humbled himself to the lowest level so as to give way to the sage. While crossing the Vindhya mountain, Sage Agasthya took promise from Vindhya to be in that humbled state, till he returns from his tour of Southern India. Bud the sage did not return. He settled in South India only. Waiting ages together, Vidhya mountain remained humbled even today. Sage Agasthya along with his retinue had the occasion to pass through the place, where Lord Subrahmanyeswar did severe penance. He identified the place and said that this area is covered by Tigers and from here if we go towards the Eastern direction, one can find the divine temple of Lord Kumaraswamy known as Subrahmanyeswar. By visiting this temple with devotion, one can get earning all through the life and also attain salvation. It is pertinent to note that the presiding deity of Vijayawada Kanaka Durga rides on Tiger.      Book Now

Tirumalagiri Temple

The temple was inaugurated (ShilaNyasa) on 29 December 1996 by Sri Rangapriya Swamigal. Every Saturday, from Sravana Maasam onwards starting in 2011, Anna Dhanam was started on weekly basis, in addition to Nithya prasadam to all the devotees visiting the temple. On Sravana Maasam every year, Tirupavadai Sevai with a grand scale of Anna dhana is conducted at the temple. On Vaikunta Ekadesi day, special laddus are made at the temple and distributed to all the bhaktas. All the flower garlands for Nithya Alankara to the deities are made at the temple on daily basis. As differentiation to many temples in the state, U.Ve A Gopala Iyengar along with his Divya Prapandha Goshti (team) conducts Nithya Parayanam (Daily prayers) at the temple. Additional special parayanam is rendered during important dates. Also, during Dhanur Maasya, special Upanyasam on Tiruppava is rendered for 30 days. Prathishtapana Mahotsavam was performed in Feb 2013 with special 3 days homam and various initiation ceremony. All the vahanams including Garuda Vahanam, Hanumantha Vahanam, Gaja Vahanam (Elephant), Sesha Vahanam (Aadhi Seshan), Haya (Horse) and Thiru Ther (chariot) are ready and a week long Brahmotsavam is planned from 2014 onwards. The original plan was to build the temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha Swamy. However with divine turn of events, the temple became dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara. In addition, the size of the idol originally planned was 8 foot including the base. However it ended up in 13 foot with original sanctum sanctorum entrance and height sized for 8 foot idol.. Eventually after few days of effort, on June 16, 1998, the current idol finally stood up at current position and all the necessary poojas (Kramam) are performed as per pancharaatra agama kramam, Eshwara Samhithe. On the 48th day of the event, Vimanam was installed.      Book Now

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