Basara, abode to Gnana Saraswati, is a small village near Nizamabad city that comes under Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh. Here is located the ancient temple of Gnana Sarasvati - the Goddess of Knowledge. It is believed to be one of the two oldest temples of Goddess Saraswati in India, the other being located in Kashmir. Sited at the convergence of rivers Mangira and Godavari, Saraswati Temple appears serene and pious in the rustic setting.
According to the legends, Veda Vyas did penance on the banks of
Godavari. He used to bring fistful of sand daily after bath to make
idols of Goddess Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. Since the 6th century,
Basar has been a pilgrimage centre for the Hindus. However, the present
structure of the temple is believed to have been erected by Chalukya
kings. In the sanctum sanctorum, the idol of Goddess Sarasvati adorns
the sight, along with Goddess Lakshmi.
In the 17th century, the idols of the temple were reinstated by a
chieftain of Nandagiri (Nandeed) subsequent to destruction caused by the
Muslim invaders. There is nothing extraordinary about temple's
architecture yet its popularity is certainly creditable. Pilgrims from
far and near come to pay their homage to the 'Goddess of Wisdom'. Basant
Panchami and Navaratri are the major festivals observed at the temple.
'Akshara Gnana' is a special ritual, in which devotees bring their
children to the temple. The significance of the ritual lies in the fact
that it marks the formal starting of child's education. The child is
given little bit of turmeric paste to taste, believing that it will
clear his/her vocal chords for better learning. The Goddess answers all
the prayers of the committed devotees, filling their life with bliss and