Ryali

Sri Jaganmohini Kesava Swamyvari Temple

Sri Jaganmohini Kesava Swamyvari temple, in Ryali, 35km from Rajamundry, is sandwiched between the Vasishta and Gowtamim both tributaries of the Godavari.  The entire region, covering both East and WestGodavari districts, is known as Kona seema, a pastoral paradise, famous for its lush green fields and coconut groves.  It is steeped in ancient culture, and is famous for its temple-towns.  Sri Jaganmohini Kesava Swamyvari temple is associated with the famous episode, when the gods and the demons (devas and asuras) came together to churn for the Amrit (nectar that would make one immortal) in the ocean.  As the asuras attempted to run away with the amrit, Lord Vishnu transformed Himself into Mohini, a woman of dazzling beauty, to retrieve it.  The demons were befooled by Her beauty, and entrusted Her with the job of distributing the nectar.  Vishnu in His Mohini avatar served the gods first, and ensured that there was nothing left for the asuras.  Meanwhile, Lord Shiva, who was present there, was also beguiled by Mohini's beauty, and began pursuing Her, it is said.  At this stage, a flower fell from Mohini's Hair.  Shiva plucked it from the ground, smelt it, and realized that the flower had fallen from Vishnu's hair. Lord Vishnu revealed his real form, around the same time, and Shiva stopped in his tracks.  Ryali (pronounced Raali) is the place where the flower fell (Ryali, is fall/fell, in Telugu).

The exquisite black stone idol in the temple depicts Vishnu in the front and Mohini at the rear, with the hair in a bunch and plait.  The image is an exact replication of Sri Vishnu's form when this incident occurred.  The Lord revealed His true form, with both the conch and discus, to Lord Shiva, while the Mohini form remained at the back.  A perennial stream flows underneath the feet of the idol, which is sait to be the source of the Akasa Ganga (Heavenly Ganges). The Lord is flanked in the sanctum by Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Ganga Devi, etc.

Sri Uma Kamandaleswara Swamy Temple

Sri Uma Kamandaleswara Swamy temple is on the other side of the road, facing Sri Jaganmohini Kesava Swamyvari temple.  The temple is in the place where Lord Shiva stopped in His tracks.  Brahma is said to have installed the Lingam here, and performed abishekam (ritual washing of the diety) with his kamandalam; hence the name, Sri Uma Kamandaleswara Swamy.  Both the Shiva and Vishnu temples are small shrines.

How to get there

Buses ply at regular intervals between Rajamundry and Ryali. Should the bus stop at the entrance to the village, take an auto/share auto to the interior. Avoid the long-winding village-bound Pallle Velugu but, by taking the express bus to Rajamundry from the expressway, three km from Ryali. Share autos will take you to the highway. 

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