Mantralaya Paadayatra Sangha was founded mainly to perform and achieve in the line of spiritual upliftment and attainment through Sri Raghvendra Swamiji's Seva. As narrated by Vaidya Shri. Baburao Kulkarni ( Founder President of Mantralaya Paadayatra Sangha, Lakshmeshwar Br : Dharwad )

Shri Baburao Kulkarni

My eyes were filled with tears standing infront of the holy Brindavana of Great Guru Shri Rahavendra. I was not myself. An inner voice seemed to convey that if at all, I am to visit Mantralaya again, let it be on foot - by Paadayatra. Coming back to reality, a wave of shivering passed through my nerves, realising the words of promise to the Great Saint of Mantralaya. Though apprehensive of fulfilling the oath; I surrendered myself to the Shri Raghavendra Swamiji. My clouds of fear vanished and thus the saga of great journey began.


The above incident took place sometime in 1953. All the while, the friends and relatives of mine, of who happened to visit Shri Khetra Mantralaya for Darshana and Seva used to narrate the many things about His blessings, which would fill my heart with emotions as I used to feel emotionally disturbed and used to cry all alone in silence When would my turn come. Time and again, I used to feel that What is the worth of my life if I am not under taking a Paadayatra to Mantralaya and seek his blessings. What was the use of mine "Ashtottara Seva" if thay all go in vain? So I used to count my days in and out with the hope of taking a Yatra to Mantralaya. Thus my days were passing just reminding me my promise before the Brindavana of Shri Raghavendra Swamiji at Mantralayam.



After a lapse of couple of months, all of a sudden I decided to undertake the Paadayatra all alone and making necessary arrangements for the same, seeking blessings from my elders at home and other well wishers in the town. The very news of my Yatra spread across the town. I remembered to have herd that someone from my family had undertaken a pilgrimage to Shri Mantralayam, Kashi(Varanasi) and Badrinath in the Himalayas, successfully completing it . But it was very long ago - about 4 generatins back. Infact, I still wonder about his dedication and involvement in his Paadayatra to such places as Badrinath when practically there were no facilities of any kind, including the traversing routes. After seeking his direct blessings I slept that night and on the very next day I was to proceed to Mantralayam on foot. But that particular night was entirely different in my life. How can I forget that night? I saw an ambigous figure in my dream, ordering me not to undertake the Yatra next day which I had decided earlier. My mind filled with mixed feelings and I woke up. On one hand, I was happy that atleast my application for the Paadayatra was registered in the holy note of Shri Raghavendra Swamiji and on the other hand, I was much depressed and said to postpone the Yatra which was unavoidable. I prayed Lord Shri Raghavendra seeking when will my turn come for the Paadayatra. This news of cancellation of the Yatra again spread across the town and the people around made mockery of me and Yatra became a laughing stock of the town.

As the very sound of Paadayatra was still reverberating in my mind since 1953, the decision for the Yatra had not materialized yet. As the days and the weeks passed by, I happened to be in one of my friend's house who was bit senior to me and were discussing on matters of our choice. But eventually the discussions drifted to self discovery, Sadhana, religious discipline of life etc. Everyone's desire was same - in the quest of achieving worthwhile in life and to lead a life of spiritual upliftment. A friend suggested that we all should seek refuge in Great Saint of Mantralayam Shri Raghavendra and pray him for his grace and guidance and to enlighten us, bless us with a life of Sadhana. After spending couple of hours on our discussion on Yatra, everybody agreed to visit the Brindavana at Mantralayam on the banks of the holy river Tungabhadra. But, my decision was as same as the older one - to undertake a Yatra on foot. The entire discussion concluded and it was in the house of none other than Shri Gopalacharya Hombal, and a small group of friends who gathered there infact agreed to accompany me for the Yatra. So the date and the route of the Yatra was then decided. My grateful prayers to Shri Hari, Shri Vayu and Shri Guru as they bestowed upon me the opportunity to perform the Yatra in my own decision. When it became a reality there were no bounds for my joy and excitement. The doors for my path of Sadhana was opened. The day, I feel remarkable in my life even today. Those who agreed hesitantly, honestly with inspiration and Bhakti, to accompany me were - 1.Shri Gopalachar Hombal 2.Shri Bhaurao Kulkarni 3.Shri Ramachandra Hulmani.4.Late Shri Subbannachar Gudi and 5.Shri K.N. Kulkarni all from Lakshmeshwar, whom I never forget because they all stood by my decision and took part in the seva of Shri.Raghavendra in the year 1959. Thus it took six long years for this Yatra though it was conceived way back some time in 1953.




We, the so called Yatriks then, were robed in orthodox dress code and decided to commence our yatra very early, the next morning at 4 o'clock fearing that might prove as a target for the laughing stock of the people around us. Thus the first step of the great Yatra began in our lives. How I can forget the very first Yatra which took almost along an undecided, unknown rocky roads with thorns and uneven altitudes. The bare foot walk through the jungle roads kept us at the gates of fear. Most of the time, the heavy weight of luggage on our back, hunger and thirst.

Unknown roads, rocks & thorns, jungle, bare foot, weight of the luggage on the back, excessive hunger and thirst while walking under the hot sun and for other adverse conditions - we had only one weapon & the Mantra was "GURUSARVABHUMA GOVINDAA GOVINDA". This submissive utterance of the name of Lord with devotion and purity of mind, gave much thrust to our spirit, inplanting confidence in us for this successful Yatra. All through our traversing path we could only concentrate on God and believe in His blessings just forgetting the World and its pleasures, friends and relatives.

With many ups and downs through the path, hide and seek of our luck and fun and pain in our feeling, We traversed for almost 11 days to reach Mantralayam. I could only say that I command walking at the break of the day and experienced the hot sun, ate whatever was available with us, prayed Shri Guru Raghavendra throughout, talked about Him where ever we rested and halted at village outskirts, Temples, Mutts etc. to spend the nights. The experience are unforgettable. Finally, when we reached Shri Brindavana on 11th day and stood before the Lord, we were dumbfold overpowered by our emotion and devotion. We hugged each other laughed and cried together for a while with tears of Joy and gratitude filled in our eyes and a feeling of fulfillment instilled in us, reminding "APEKSHITAPRADATANYO RAGHAVENRDANYA VIDYATHE". It was the movement of Joy and we decided to lead a life of Sadhana in His name till the last breath.




The day we started the yatra in 1959 was on Ashwin Shuddha Tritiya and holds its own importance. The very members who accompanied in the first Yatra, unanimously agreed to take part in the second year's Paadayatra to avoid "Dwiteeya Vighna". Then from 3rd year onwards the Paadayatra took new turn. We stared enjoying the fruits of the Paadayatra, the confidence & belief in Shri Raghavendra consolidated in us and so we under took the Yatra for 12 Years, inspite of many odds from different corners. At one moment, we decided to call it a day, after completing the 12th year and it is considered a "Patta".

The successful Paadayatras of continuous 12 Years, brought remarkable changes in our lives. The devotion deepened, confidence gathered strength and we changed for better, same "aloukik" experiences impressed our lives. The wild experiences of the Yatra, through the hot sun, spending the night at the rainy season, escaping from the poisonous animals unknowingly getting entangled in the criminality of others and coming out unscattered, swimming through the spating river Tungabhadra with full of crocodiles, walking through the path together without food and water - are just a few glimpses of experiences. If I go on narrating events, it can be a run into volumes.

In this world of earthly pleasures where spiritual Sadhana takes a back seat, we decided and made up our mind to continue our Paadayatra for 30 years more to achieve some in our lives.




By the grace of Lord Hari, Vayu and Guru we completed 29 years of Yatras and entered 3rd decade in the history of Paadayatra. The Paadayatra did not confine itself to Yatra but became the vehicle of religion and social reformation influencing a vast section of people. The 30th Paadayatra was celebrated with great fervor and style. The great works of Shri Raghavendra were taken in procession on royally decorated " Gaja Vahana", through the streets of Lakshmeshwar.

As the beginning of the 3rd decade as many as 40 Bhaktas joined the band of yatrikas wearing traditional costumes and the trade mark of Paadayatrikas - Shawl or "SHAATI". The scene of group of Paadayatrikas chanting "RAJADHIRAJA GURUSARVABHUMA GOVINDAA GOVINDA" created a wave of great joy that filled heart with emotion. Everybody was soaked in the rain of Bhakti and devotion of Saint Gursarvabhouma. This Yatra Karma , Bhakti, and Jnana into synergism to form "Triveni Sangam".

To commemorate this Yatra, we concluded it with a function which was presided over by none other than the great Sri 108 Sushamindrathirtha Swamiji himself and followed it up with" SARVA SAMARPANA SEVA" as a crowning glory to Yatra's conclusion at Mantralayam.

The Sangha has been making efforts in propagating and inculcating the philosophy of Shri Madhwacharya and it is becoming a easy vehicle to spiritual upliftment, so we decided to continue with this annual event of Paadayatra for remaining years,of our lives as long as we could walk. The responsibility of continuity of Yatra has already transferred to next generation of devotees who have ably carried over the tradition to the 4th decade.

Over the years, the Sangha has spread its activities and drawn the people from Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum, Kittur, Bangalore etc. and has become popular amongst various religious groups and organizations. Over the last decade, the Sangha has received the blessings of Shri Shri 108 Shri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt Udupi and the members of Sangha have been seeking the guidance and blessings of Shri Swamiji who has patronized the Sangha. The Swamiji has blessed the Sangha by undertaking for atleast one day Paadayatra every year for the last 8 years and also given discorses on Madhwa Philosophy and enlightened the Yatrikas.

The Sangha aims to create an awareness and reform the lives of people who come from various backgrounds seeking the enlightment through Guru Bhakti by practicing self disipline through religious way of life by drawing from the preachings of Shri raghavendra and Shri Madhwacharya.




Even today I feel proud to inform all the Yatrikas that when it was decided to establish Shri Raghavendra Swamiji Mutt at Jogeshwari in Mumbai(Bombay then) in 1971, the Sangha Yatrikas carried the "Moola Mruttika" from Mantralayam to Mumbai.

The Paadayatra Sangha organizes "Astothara Shatha Astothara" every year at time of Pattabhisheka Mahotsava of Shri Raghavendra Swamiji's since 1982. (Falguna Shudda Dwitiya)

Paadayatrikas are planned and organized. Paadayatra to Sonda and Hosaritti every year. We also arranged paadayatra to & conducted religious functions. We publish religious books, perform Upanayans, Sponsors children for education who are poor




"The real relationship is one which is in between Bhaghavad Bhaktas, the blood relationship is secondary"thus says Bhaghavadgeeta. So is the binding relation between the Yatrikas, who come from different towns/cities. The Yatrikas of Dharwad and Hubli are so well knit with their activities that, they opened up a new chapter in the Sangha during the year 1991, becoming the most active Shakha(Branch) after Lakshmeshwar, and members are commencing annual Paadayatra from Shri K.R.Deshpande's home. The day of opening a branch at Dharwad was infact a historic one in the life of Sangha.




How can we repay the Almighty God ,who has given us this Sadhana Shareera and has led us to this karma kshetrta. We are grateful to the Lord and vayu jeevothama for giving us an opportunity to do this Seva as a part of karma and bhakti. It would have been impossible but for the kind blessings of the Kamdhenu & Kalpavruskha of the Kaliyuga the great Shri Guru Raghavendra, to whom we owe everything.

During the period of yatra the people from all walks of life have directly and indirectly helped us a lot(whom if we count would cross 4 figure mark) We appreciate their seva and acknowledge with gratitude their services and pray to the Lord to bless them. "SAMASTHA SANMANGALANI BHAVANTHU"