Nava Brindhavanam near Hospet in Karnataka is a holy place next only to Manthralayam in importance. A pilgrimage to Manthralayam, the Brindhavanam of Shri Raghavendra is considered incomplete without offering prayers at Nava Brindhavanam where the Brindhavans of nine Madhva saints are located. This write-up is intended to be of use to devotees intending to visit this holy place.
Hospet on the Guntakal- Hubli railway line can be reached by direct train from Bangalore and Tirupathi. Pilgrims from Mumbai and Pune can reach Hospet via Hubli. Those traveling from other places will have to change at Guntakal.
Usually, the pilgrims opt to go by road from Manthralayam, but this is tiring and time consuming as the journey is usually during day time. One going by road to Nava Brindhavanam from Manthralayam has to reach Gangavathi, about 170 kms away, by bus and avail other modes of transport from there to Anegundi, where the mutt of Shri Raghavendra is located. The rail journey from Manthralayam to Guntakal takes about 2 1/2 hours and from Guntakal to Hospet another 3 hours. The journey can be so planned as to travel by night and reach Hospet at day break. From Hospet, one has to proceed to Anegundi, about 15 kms away. Bus service is not available at present, due to a collapsed bridge en route. From Hospet railway station, autorikshaws can be engaged to go up to the collapsed bridge near Anegundi. The charge for autorikshaws will be around Rs.200/- From the jetty near the collapsed bridge, the river can be crossed by boat, paying Rs.10/- per head. On reaching the other bank, autorickshaws are available for reaching the Shri Raghavendhra mutt –charges about Rs.50/-. The mutt provides accommodation with facilities for bath and toilet. The mutt premises houses a temple of Shri Raghavendhra. Free lunch is provided by the mutt to devotees. Hotels are available for other food requirements.
Nava Brindhavanam shrines are located on a tiny island on the Tungabhadra river. The island can be reached by boat from Anegundi – charges Rs.30/- per head, to and fro. It is advisable to reach the shrines in the morning, as poojas are performed only in the forenoon. On reaching the island, one should take bath in the river, change into dry clothes and enter the shrines.
There are nine bridhavanams of madhva saints and shrines of Lord Anjaneya and Lord Ranganatha. The deity in the twelfth shrine is an idol with the face of Anjaneya, body of Bhima and feet of Madhvacharya. Devotees intending to perform poojas and abhishekams have to buy the tickets from the Raghavendra mutt at Anegundi. Devotees should light 11 deepams (clay lamps) at the shrines, two for Lord Anjaneya and nine for Lord Ranganatha. Lamps can be brought by the pilgrims or purchased from the mutt. Ghee and wick can be purchased from shops at Anegundi.
The Brindhavanams are cordoned off by a yellow line. The devotees have to perform nine pradhakshinams around the Brindhavanams and offer nine namaskarams. The priest performs abhishekams, aarathi etc., by about 10.30 AM. After the poojas we have to return to Anegundi, again by boat. The temple at Anegundi Shri Raghavendra mutt is open up to 1 PM. Naivedhyam is offered to Shri Raghavendra at 12 noon. Thereafter, lunch is served to the devotees, who have to inform the mutt official about their lunch requirements in the morning itself.