I decided to hire a cab the Ryali Temple since the distance was about 25 kilometres from ISKCON. The distance was a lot, but I knew that it would be worth the visit because I have heard good reviews about the temple.
While in the cab, I recalled that Ryali is a small district situated on the Eastern side of River Godavari. The locals call the place “KonaSeema”. In an hour and a half, I was at the Ryali Temple. It was truly a beautiful temple. Known to most people as the Jagan Mohini Kesava Swamy Temple, the top of the temple was golden in colour. Below it, there were small architectures of gods, all miniature and creatively designed.
Once inside the temple, I could see the uniqueness of the idol. When viewed from the front, the idol has the appearance of Lord Vishnu whereas from the back, it appeared to be that of Mohini. Mohini is the female form, which Lord Vishnu took, in order to mock the demons. The entire idol was in black stone.
The “Puajri” narrated the story and history of the idol patiently to all the devotees. The carving of the designs on the idol was so intrinsic that I could actually see the lines on the palms of Lord Vishnu. The aspect that astounded me was that they built the entire idol out of a single stone!
The architecture, both inside and outside and, that of the temple is fantastic. Just a few distances away, is the Shiva temple. The rare feature of these temples is that the Vishnu temple and the Shiva temple face each other, since they are on the opposite side of each other. Shiva temple is also good in architecture and is a good shrine to visit.
The story of Shiva temple is that while Vishnu was in the guise of Mohini, Lord Shiva saw her and her beauty astounded him. As he was trying to woo her, a flower fell out of Mohini’s hair and Shiva realized that it was Lord Vishnu in disguise. The place where the flower falls is Ryali meaning “Fall”. I finished my visit by 12.00, when the temple closed.