The chariot decorated with flowers for the procession

The chariot decorated with flowers for the procession

Mahbubnagar: The Chennakeshava Swamy temple at Ganagapur village of Jadcherla mandal in Mahbubnagar has not only attracted thousands of pilgrims and tourists from across the districts of Mahbubnagar, Nagarkurnool, Wanaparthy, Gadwal, Nalgonda, RangaReddy and Hyderabad, but also those from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra who came here to offer prayers to the presiding deity. 

Popularly known as Gangapur Jatara, this festive fair is in fact the triggering point for the beginning of various other Jataras in Mahbubnagar district. The village of Gangapur is about 5 kilometre away from the Jadcherla mandal headquarters and is renowned for the historic temple of Lord Chennakeshava. 

The history of the temple dates back to 1042-1063 AD. It is said that the Chalukya Kings of Badami ruled this region. Sri Thrailokya Malla Someswarudu, the Chalukya King of Kalyani built the temple between 1042 to 1063 AD, and then onwards this place was known as Kesavapuram. 

The earlier name of this place was Mayapuram, Mathsyapuram and Dhurithapuram. However, as the time passed and various ruling dynasties became extinct, this place came to be known as Gangapuram. 

The sculptures of this temple are worth seeing and this has become the topic of research among scholars. The annual festival of the temple is celebrated on Radha Sapthami in grand manner. “Gangapur Jatara is one of our family festivals where every year we come here and offer prayers to Chennakeshava Swamy,” said Anusha, a devotee. 

During the festive season, which spans from 10-15 days, since beginning of the Jatara from the first week of February, every day more than 30,000 pilgrims from across more than 300 surrounding villages of Jadcherla, Balanagar, Midjil and Mahbubnagar in Mahbubnagar district, Kalwakurthy, Veldanda, Timmajipet, Bijinepally, Nagarkurnrool, Achampet from Nagarkurnool district visit the place. 

This year again, the month-long Gangapur Jatara had begun on February 5 and will continue Feb 15 and conclude on the final day after the chariot procession of Lord Keshava. 

Endowment Officer Srinivas Rao of Gangapur temple said that they have made all the facilities for the devotees at the temple and they have taken all the precautions to ensure the festive fare goes on peacefully. 

As some parts of the temple require renovation they have sought funds from the government and had taken up the renovation works in various areas of the temple in a phased manner. 

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