Mantralayam or Manchale is a town located in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh, at a distance of 256 km from the capital city of Hyderabad. Mantralayam, the abode of the Samadhi of Vaishnava saint Shri Raghavendra Swamy, is a famous pilgrimage destination in South India.
Mantralayam is situated near the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh along the banks of River Tungabhadra, a chief tributary of River Cauvery. Mantralayam is considered as a holy place of ancient origin. According to legend, King Prahalada performed his yagnyas to Lord Rama in this region, during the Dwapara Yuga.
As per records, the barren land around Mantralayam along the river banks of Tungabhadra was handed over to the Mutt of Shri Raghavendra Swamy by Nawaab Siddi Masud Khan of Adoni. Shri Raghavendra Swamy was the disciple and the successor of Sri Sudheendra Theertharu of Kumbakonam, who taught him Dwaita Vedanta, grammar and ancient literary works and Vedic texts.
Later, Shri Raghavendra Swamy came to be known as Manchale Ragappa by his ardent followers. He attained Jeeva Samadhi at Mantralayam in 1671. It is believed that Shri Raghavendra Swamy was the incarnation of Bhakta Prahalada, who was deeply devoted to Lord Vishnu. It is also believed that, by attaining Samadhi, Shri Raghavendra entered in to the Vrindavana (Sajeeva Vrindavana) and that he will fulfill his devotees wishes for another 360 years.
Today, the small town of Mantralayam is synonymous with the Tomb Temple of Shri Raghavendra Swamy, which is known by the name Vrindavana. Mantralayam is also popular for Manchalamma Temple and Venkateswara Swamy Temple.
Maharathostavam/Car Festival and Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy Aradhanostavam are the famous festivals of Mantralayam, which are celebrated with great enthusiasm. Mantralayam tourism also offers pilgrimage trips to Panchamukhi Anjaneya Temple, Chinna Tumbalam, Bichchali, Urukunda and Alampur.
Mantralayam can be easily reached as it is well connected by rails and roads to other destinations in Andhra Pradesh. The nearest airport to Mantralayam is the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport of Hyderabad, which is at a distance of 253 km. The nearest rail head is 'Mantralayam Road' on Madras-Raichur route, which is about 30 minutes drive from Sri Raghavendra Swamiji's (SRS).
Mantralayam is visited by a large number of devotees of Shri Raghavendra Swamy, irrespective of their religion, all through the year. The vicinity of Mantralayam to destinations like Kurnool, Hyderabad, Tirupati, Warangal, Bangalore and Vijayawada makes it a popular pilgrimage destination.