On the banks of Godavari, lies the village of Basara, around 30 kms from Nizamabad, in the state of Telangana. The village is an abode of temples dedicated to gods and goddesses. The village is believed to be found by none other than Maharishi Veda Vyasa, the author of the world's longest epic, The Mahabharata. The place was initially called Vyasapuri and later on took names like Vasara and finally changed to Basara.
Basara is famous for the Sri Gnana Saraswari temple dating back to Chalukya period which is a vision to behold. Goddess Saraswati is the presiding deity of the temple and her idol is placed in a seated position holding a veena in hand. The goddess is adorned with turmeric. Goddess Maha Lakshmi's shrine is adjacent to the presiding deity and on the eastern side is the shrine of Goddess Kali. As per the legends, the sage arrived at the Dandakaranya forest after the battle of Mahabharata. Upon reaching the place he felt a sense of peace and tranquillity and started meditating. Seeing his devotion, the divine mother visited Vyasa and appointed him to build temples dedicated to the Shakti trio of Goddess Kali, Goddess Laxmi and Goddess Saraswati. Sage Vyasa picked up handfuls of sand and sculpted the figurines out of it. Another legend says that, the sage as per the orders of the goddess, placed three handfuls of sand at three different places. Eventually these dunes transformed into idols with the mystical powers of the sage which stand at Basara today.
Goddess Saraswati is associated with knowledge. The most important festival of the temple is the Akshara Abyasam which marks the initiation of a child into education. The children come here to seek blessings from the goddess. The Sri Gnana Saraswati temple is one of the few temples dedicated to Goddess Saraswati in South India. Other important festivals celebrated in the temple include Mahashivaratri, Dassera Navratris and Vasantha Panchami. The festivals are attended by pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra with much enthusiasm.
At a little distance away from the temple, lies the Vyasa Maharishi Cave which has a narrow path leading to a small enclosure The Cave has a marble idol of Veda Vyasa and it is believed that the sage lived here after the Kurukshetra battle to meditate. A monolith rock structure is situated around 100m away from the temple. The rock produces different sounds on each side when struck. It is believed to contain Devi Sitas jewels. The River Manjeera joins River Godavari at Basara which results in an increase of water flow. Boats have been an integral part of transport facilities near Basara. One can avail Boating services near the ghats. Pilgrims before heading to Basara temple takes a bath in the river. An ancient temple of Lord Shiva is also situated near the bathing ghats, which is around a km from the Saraswati temple. The temple mandapa houses the statue of Nandi bull.
Basara is an ideal location for discovering inner peace and sanctity. With lush green surroundings, mountainous terrains and the Godavari flowing around, the place represents a picturesque beauty which will be etched in the visitors mind for a long time. The temple can be visited during timings 4:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM - 8:30 PM.