Temple: Sri Kshetra Gangapur
Sri Kshetra – Overview
Sri Kshetra houses the shrine of Dattatreya. Mythological studies state that Shri Dattatreya attained realization at the banks of the Bhima
River. Shri Narasimha Saraswati is supposed to be Dattatreya’s incarnation and is worshipped here. Shri Kshetra is a one of the popular Dattatreya pithas.
Sri Kshetra – Religious Significance
Shri Kshetra’s significant places are the main temple, Kalleshwar and Sangam. The Sangama is considered to be a holy place where the waters of the river Amarja and Bhima meet together. Thus, the place has got its name as Shri Kshetra Gangapur. It is also a very popular Darshaneeya Kshetra. It is said that anyone who takes a holy dip in the Sangam is freed of all worldly sins. Moreover, all his wishes will come true if he worships with Bhakti. The anushthana of the temple was performed by Shri Narsimha Saraswathi Swamy.
The Audumbar tree at Shri Kshetra is located close to the union of the rivers Amaraja and Bheema. Many devotees and pilgrims do nitya parayana (daily reading of the Shree Gurucharitra) underneath the tree.
It is said that a Brahmin boy, Narahari was cured of leprosy by Shree and this story also appears in the Shree Guruchartitra. This is when Narahari composed the shloka which become very popular. This shloka is recited every night in the temple premises. The shloka is also recited with the Narasimha Saraswati Ashtaka. It is believed that anyone who recites the shlokas daily will be blessed with good health, wealth, prosperity, fame and spiritual power.
Close to the Sangam river is the Ash hill which was supposed to be created by Lord Parasurama. Sage Parasurama performed penance at this holy place. People who are victims to evil eyes can apply this bhasma or holy ash and get rid of negative vibes. Children suffering from Graha dosha or Baalarishta are cured of health ailments.
Many pregnant ladies take the holy ash home and apply it on their stomach. It is believed that they will deliver a healthy child. Shri Kshetra is said to be like Gokarna. Swayambhu Shani and smaller temples are also situated at the Shri Kshetra.
Sri Kshetra – Mythology
Shri Narasimha Saraswati Swamy is the incarnation of Dattatreya and the place is supposed to be dedicated to this Swamy. The Shree Gurucharitra clearly and beautifully explains the significance of this Kshetra. Shreeguru assured that he would be at Gangapur at twelve noon everyday for Bhiksha. As per mythological stories, offering “maadhukari” is considered very important.
People still believe that Lord Dattatreya visits five houses daily at twelve noon for Bhiksha. The tradition still holds good here. Shree Dattatreya Maharaja promised the Gangapur villagers that he would reside in Gangapur, take bath at the Bheema-Amaraja Sangam River, and accept Bhiksha and pooja. People from many places come here to take Darshan of his padukas thatare referred to as ‘Nirguna Padukas’.
How to Get to Sri Kshetra
There is good connectivity to Gangapur by rail and road. State run buses ply between Gangapur and Gulbarga. If you are travelling by railway, then the train will pass through Gulbarga. The distance from Gangapur town to the railway station is about 22 kilometres. You may have to take a rickshaw to reach the temple.