Saturday, 29 April 2017

Narsobawadi – Purna avatar of Lord Dattatreya



Narsobawadi commonly known as Narsobawadi or Narsobachi Wadi is a small quiet town on the banks of the river Krishna in Shirol Tehsil in Kolhapur district in Maharashtra. Narsobawadi gets its name from the presence of Shri Narasimha Saraswati, the Purna avatar of Lord Dattatreya......

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I have been to Narsobawadi a few times to attend and participate in the thread ceremonies as per tradition of the young boys, my relatives in the close and extended family. And I would always wonder why come all the way and perform the ceremony here. And again on an invitation, few weeks ago, I visited the place for another thread ceremony. The place is popular venue for thread ceremony and other rituals because of its location, spiritual atmosphere and traditionally considered auspicious. Besides, even Jains too consider this place spiritually important, and visit the place as they have an old temple and other facilities here for their devotees.

The temple
If you are travelling by train, from Mumbai to Kolhapur; about two-three stations before Kolhapur is a small, traditional  station called Jaysinghpur. Few people alight here unless they need to travel to nearby areas.  Devotees coming to visit Narsobawadi by train, Jaysinghpur is the nearest station. Narsobawadi is about 17 km from here. Autos, private vehicles, Jeeps are available to drop you at Narsobawadi.

Once you reach this quiet town, you feel time has stood still, untouched by modernity. However now, some traditional houses have given way to ground plus one and two storey small structures and buildings in the bylanes, with family residences for the occupants, the priests and his family who perform the various ceremonies, including thread ceremonies. Besides they have a couple of rooms, a small hall, common kitchen for cooking and catering meals for the functions and guests. Mainly populated by traditional Maharastrian Brahmin families; priests who are involved in arranging and conducting ceremonies and rituals for families and people coming from different parts of Maharashtra and elsewhere.


Narsobawadi commonly known as Narsobawadi or Narsobachi Wadi is a small town on the banks of the river Krishna in Shirol Tehsil in Kolhapur district in Maharashtra. Narsobawadi gets its name from the presence of Shri Narasimha Saraswati, the Purna avatar of Lord Dattatreya. This has become a major pilgrim spot for many Shri Dattatrey devotees. Also, here is the confluence of two rivers – Panchganga and Krishna. 

Narsobawadi is famous for the temple of Shri Narasimha Saraswati (1378-1458). Shri Dattatreya in Narasimha Saraswati incarnation is believed to have lived here for as long as 12 years. The life story, his philosophy and related incidents are described in Shri Guru Charitra. There are no images or idols here  to show his presence, but there are two padukas or slippers which immortalize his avatar.

The following festivals are celebrated in the temple – Datta Jayanthi, Narasimha Jayanthi is celebrated as per the Hindu calendar Pushya month, Gopal Kala Utsav is celebrated from Magha Poornima to Phalguna Panchami, Sripada Srivallabh Jayanthi is celebrated in Badrapada Masa on Ganesh Chaturthi day and Dakshin dwar Sohla in which Krishna river water flows from North gate to South gate through the temple.

Normally I would attend the traditional ceremony and return. This time I got an opportunity to spend some time around the temple and nearby areas which now has a line of shops, small hotels, small eateries and hawkers. We were keen to have a cup of hot tea and were on the lookout for a tea shop, preferring to have it at a local chaiwalla rather than at a restaurant. While walking down, I noticed a well-laid out handcart with a charming young woman busy making dosas. Going closer, noticed she was serving various types of dosas and snacks. And she also offered tea and coffee. We ordered a dosa along with tea. Standing and having crisp paper dosa, noticed that behind the handcart, she also ran a restaurant – Shri Dattatreya Caterers offering Karnataka style cuisine. There were many patrons sitting and enjoying the meals and snacks. It is run by the young couple, the woman, her husband and an elderly woman, who must be the husband’s mother, with a small child playing around with a cell phone.

Since they were all busy, I couldn’t talk much with anyone, except exchanging a few words with the charming lady, and taking her business card. But what struck me was the hardworking and multi-tasking woman - taking orders, making dosas and snacks all the time, serving tea and coffee around, handling the cash. And all this she did adeptly with a smile on her face. If you visit Narsobawadi, do visit this place – Shri Dattatreya Caterers and taste the tea and delicacies made by her. You too will be impressed by her preparation and deft handling of many things.





 
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Picture Post:
Murdeswar Temple, Karnataka, India
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