Basar is a village with wonderful gardens surrounded by the temple premises amidst the dry and barren patches of the north Telangana region, 30-km from Nizamabad. Basar is situated on the banks of River Godavari. It is located at a distance of about 220-km by road and 190-km by rail from Hyderabad.
This is an ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi. The temple at Basar is also the abode of Goddess Lakshmi and Kali. The current structure dates back to the Chalukya period.
This temple has no exquisite carvings like other temples. Walking ahead a few steps, one enters the sanctum sanctorum - a feeling better experienced than described. A feeling of peace, brightness and unlimited joy engulfs one. The presiding deity, 'Gnana Saraswathi Devi', is in a seated position with a 'Veena' in hand and bedecked with turmeric. Adjacent is the shrine of Goddess Maha Lakshmi and a little distance away, on the eastern side is the Maha Kali temple.
Legend suggest that Maharshi Veda Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata, came to the forests of Dandakaryana to meditate. He began meditating on the banks of the River Godavari and found the place to be very peaceful. The divine mother is believed to have appeared before the sage and ordained him to build temples for the Shakti trio: Maha Saraswathi, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Kali. The sage Veda Vyasa did so by bringing three handfuls of sand and sculpts out the figures. This place was initially named after Vyasa and was called "Vyasapuri". Later on it got took names Vasara and ultimately Basara/Basar.
The Eight Pushkarnis
Some 100m from the temple there is the cave, where the devout 'Narahari Maluka' is believed to have performed rigorous penance. There is a four-sided monolith rock called "Vedavathi", which produces different sounds on each side when struck. It is said to contain jewels of Sita Devi. There are eight 'Pushkarnis' spread across the village known as 'Indra Teeratham', 'Surya Teeratham', 'Vyasa Teeratham', 'Valmiki Teeratham', 'Vishnu Teeratham', 'Ganesha Teeratham', 'Puthra Teeratham' and 'Shiva Teeratham'.
The most important festivals celebrated are Maha Shivaratri (February-March) and Devi Navaratrulu (Septmber-October) and on both the occasions about 10,000 pilgrims visit the place from all parts of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Now a days there is heavy rush of pilgrims coming to Basara to perform "Akshara Abhyasam" for the children. According to the legend Maharishi vyasa and his disciples and sage Suka decided to settle down in a cool and serene atmosphere after the kurukshetra war. In the quest for the peaceful abode, he came to Dandaka forest and pleased with serenity of the region selected this place. After his ablutions in the river Godavari Maharishi Vyasa used to bring three fistful of sand and place it in three small heaps and made images Sarada, Laxmi, Gowri with his mystic power and later conducted prayers. This idol made of sand has its face smeared with turmeric. Eating a little bit of this turmeric paste, it is believed, will enhance one's wisdom and knowledge. Many people, in fact, take their kids to Basara for "Akshara Abhyasam" before commencing formal school education. Special poojas and celebrations are held at the temple during Maha Sivarathri, beginning 15 days before (Vasantha Panchami) and continuing 3 days after the festival. Devi Navarathrulu is celebrated for ten days during Dasara. Since Maharishi Vyasa spent considerable time in prayers, the place was then called "Vasara" and turned into Basara due to the influence of the Marathi language in the region.