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History Manthani In Historical References Modern Manthani Family Life In Manthani Residential Architecture Culture Political History

History of Manthani
Our “Manthani” was once known as “Mantrakootam” or “Mantrakoota Sahasra Linga Sthanam”.

Some references of Manthani

Bukkapattanamu Raghavacharyulu (of Nujividu) described our Manthani’s cultural heritage and historical background quite attractively in his much known kriti “Andhra Desha Charitra”. Though a Non-Telanganite, his description of “Mantrakootam” in the work definitely makes our heads bow before him with all heartfelt thanks. In ancient days Manthani was famous ‘Vidyapeetham’ not only in Andhra Desham but also all over ‘Bharata Desham’. The Veda Pandits (Ghanapaties) of this place are well known for their learning in Vedic Dharma, all over India. Ruins of ancient shrines and temples are scattered all over the village. The magnificence of this golden past sculptures leave a special impression on every visitor to the place.

Manthani a religious place

“Manthani” is located on the right bank of ‘Dakshina Ganga’ river Godavari. This Jeeva Nadi (ever flowing river), originating from Tryambakeshwar (Near Nasik, Maharashtra) touches several places in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh on its total course of 1,500+ KM. Though “Manthani” is not that prominent, Kaleshwaram, Bhadrachalam, Kunavaram, Rajahmundry, etc. are on the banks of this very sacred river

The Village stands good for its name “Mantrakoota Sahasra Linga Sthanam” as there are ‘Sahasra’ (Thousand, literally ‘innumerable’) Shiva Lingams scattered all over the village and as well as on the banks of river Godavari.

One among such shiva lingams is the “Surabhandeswara Lingam” right in the riverbed of Godavari. There is one “Koti Lingala Dibba” island in river Godavari, which homes innumerable Shiva Lingams. On this very Koti Lingala Dibba, there lie two sculptures one featuring 22 Shiva Lingams and other featuring 22 Nandis carved on one stone each.

There are lot many Hanuman idols also all over the village with no fixed arrangements for regular poojas or archanas.

Manthani in Brahma Puranam

The “Brahma Puranam” refers to “Manthani” as ‘Manyutheertha’ or ‘Manyupura’. As mentioned therein the Brahma Puranam, Lord Goutameshwara [Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of Manthani], on an appeal from rishis and devatas, created the unconquerable Manyu to destroy the Rakshasas (demons) at this very place on the riverbank of Godavari. Thus, this place was known as Manyupura or Manyutheertha.

Manthani in Agama Sastra

The Village “Manthani” was said to be established by ‘Navaphalaka Sutram’ according to Agama Sastra. It was surrounded by eight ‘Jyothirlingas’ as ‘Grama Palakas’ on eight sides of it. These Shiva Lingams are noticeable even today, though unattended to and with no regular pooja/ archanas. Locally people call them “Boda Lingams” (Insignificant Lingams, as they are not worshiped because they are reported to have become unsacred after being touched by all those who are not supposed to touch a Shiva Lingam that is worshiped).

Manthani in Skanda Puranam

As referred in “Skanda Purana”, “Mantrakoota” was a hermitage of Sage Gautama, lying on the right bank of the holy River Godavari, situated 40 KMs. West of Kaleshwaram. Sages from different places used to come to ‘Gauthamashram’ to receive the blessings of the Sage and learn Veda mantras. This place was thus called as Mantrakoota (Mantra-Vedic Mantras; Kuta-Centre).

Manthani in Shiva Puranam

“Shiva Puranam” refers to a detailed story of Gauthamashram and quotes that once there was scarcity of water. Sages residing in and around ‘Dandakaranya’ were finding it very difficult to get water required even for the daily rituals. The Sages, then, approached Rishi Gautama for help and he offered prayers to ‘Varunadeva” (Rain God) for water. Lord Varuna was pleased to provide sufficient water in the pond dug at the Gauthamashram area. This pond is still in existence in the form of a small tank (Sakhamadugu) towards South-East of Goutameshwara Temple on the bank of Godavari. All the sages felt happy and at the request of Gautama, they stayed there for a long time.

The ‘Shiva Puranam’ further describes that, one day, one of the disciples of Rishi Gautama went to the pond to bring water for the daily pooja of the Guru. As some Rishi Patnis are taking bath at that very time, this shishya was not allowed to enter into the pond to draw water for pooja of his Guru. In order to avoid any delay in the Pooja, Ahalya, the wife of Rishi Gautama, hurriedly went into the pond and drew water for the pooja of her husband. Her drawing water from the pond by unnoticing the bathing Rishi Patnis irritated all those Rishi Patnis. On their complaint, the other rishis in Ashrama developed some ill-will and irritation about the domination of Rishi Gautama. They complained to Lord Vighneshwara. Lord Vighneshwara, after having failed to convince the sages about the magnanimity of Rishi Gautama, agreed to create some trouble for Rishi Gautama. Lord Vighneshwara was very much aware of the virtues and innocence of Rishi Gautama and hence, he decided to play some role to pacify the complaining sages and simultaneously grant some Loka Kalyanam through Rishi Gautama.

Lord Vighneshwara transformed into a Cow and started herding in the fields of Rishi Gautama. To protect his fields Rishi Gautama, took a piece of grass and threw it towards the Cow to scare her. The Cow, could not bear the ‘Brahmastram’ of the piece of grass that was thrown by Rishi Gautama and fell dead. Rishi Gautama was accused of ‘Gohatya’ (Killing of a Cow), one of the Pancha Maha Patakams (The Five Worst Sins). To relieve himself from this sin, Rishi Gautama abandoned the Ashrama and started towards the hills in the West. At a secluded place atop the Tryambakeshwar Hills, he performed Tapas and pleased Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva blessed Rishi Gautama and granted his wish to release Holy River Ganga from his Jatas and give her to Rishi Gautama as her Daughter ‘Gautami’. This river followed her father to his house the Gautama Ashrama and instantly on the touch of her waters, the dead cow came alive thereby relieving Rishi Gautama from all his sins. Despite the fact that Rishi Gautama was well aware of the deeds of Rishis and his innocence and virtues of without any sin of killing a Cow, he did all that was expected from him by Lord Vighneshwara.

Rishi Gautama further requested Lord Shiva to be with him at his Ashram and there established the “Goutameshwara Temple” that still exists on the banks of river Godavari.