Situated between the rivers Vashishta and Gautami, tributaries of River Godavari, is a small village, Ryali, which is known for the temple of Lord JaganMohini Keshava Swamy. I had the blessed opportunity to visit this place last year. I was truly amazed and surprised when the priest who was performing the abhishekam (pooja) invited us in the Garbha Gudi (sanctum sanctorum). The reason is that the temples in the south do not allow the women in the Garbha Gudi. The priest was performing the pooja on one hand and on the other he was showing and explaining the history of this temple.
"Ryali" in telugu means falling. According to the legend "Bhagavatam" the Devatas and Rakshas were quarrelling over sharing of holy Devine nectar.Seeing this, "Sri Maha Vishnu" came to the rescue of Devatas in the guise of Mohini (a beautiful woman) and convinced both the rivalry groups promising to distribute holy Devine nectar in equal share to Devatas and Rakshas. But in the interest of universal peace the Devine nectar was distributed among Devatas alone and after which Mohini disappeared. Lord Siva happened to see the fascinating beauty of Mohini. He chased her for getting for a while in the presence of his consort Parvathi Devi. As he was chasing her, flower from the plait of Mohini fell down and was smelt by Lord Siva. He surprisingly found "Sree Maha Vishnu" in the form of Mohini and felt shy for his behavior. The place where the flower from the plait of Mohini fell was named as RYALI.
The Ryali temple is known as Lord JaganMohini Keshava Swamy temple. The temple’s art and architecture are very unique. But the most unique feature of this temple is the idol of the presiding deity which 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide and has been beautifully and gracefully carved out of a single black saligrama stone which portrays Keshava Swamy, on the front and the back side of the stone portrays JaganMohini, a lovely and attractive woman. This idol has been carved skillfully to evoke respect and adoration in the minds of the devotees. Lord Maha Vishnu who is shown here in the form of Keshava Swamy has four hands. He is shown holding "Shankha" (conch) and "Chakra" (disc) in two hands while the other two hands hold "Gadha" and "Manthara" mountain. Opposite this temple, is the temple of Lord Shiva in the form of Sri Umakamandaleswaraswami. Lord Brahma created a Lingam & performed abhishekam with water from his kamandalam & henceforth Lord Siva is being worshipped here as Sri Umakamandaleswaraswami. Along with Sri Maha Vishnu with his conch & discuss are carved the forms Sridevi, Boodevi, Saint Narada and his thumbura, Ramba, Oorvasi, Kinnara, Kimpurusha, Govardhana Krishna, Adi Shesha (the serpant), Garuda & Ganga devi. Water keeps sprouting from the underground at the idol's feet. This water wets the the flowers at the Lord's feet & the water from these flowers is sprinkled on devotees. There is also a separate shrine for Sri Sathya Narayana Swamy along with Sri Lakshmi Devi.
1. Sri Jaganmohini kesava Swamy kalyanam which is from Chaitra Shudha Navami to Pournami which is during March/April.
2. Sri Rama Satyanarayana Swamy kalyanam which is from Vishakha Sudha Ekadasi to Pournami.
3. Sri Venugopala Swamy kalyanam which is from Jyestha Sudha Ekadasi to Pournami in the month of June.
4. Shravana Bahula Ashtami which also known as Sri Krishnastami in August.
5. Karthika Shuddha Dwadasi which is also known as Ksheerabdhi Dwadasi held in November.
6. Devi Navaratris in October.
7. Mukkoti Ekadasi.
8. Bheeshma Ekadasi.
There are guest Houses available here for the convenience of devotees which are: a choultry building with 8 rooms, and a guest House with 2 suites without furniture. One can call at: 08855-250231
HOW TO REACH
Ryali is located at 40 Km from Rajahmundry, 74 Km from Kakinada and 34 Km from Amalapuram and can be reached by buses or by personal transport.