Vidurashwatha is a small village located in the Gauribidanur taluk ofChikkaballapur district in the state of Karnataka, India. Situated near the Karnataka–Andhra Pradesh border and about 6 km from Gauribidanur, it played a major role in the Indian independence movement
The name Vidurashwatha is derived from that of a big Ashwatha (sacred fig) tree located in this village. According to a legend of the times of Mahabharata, this tree was planted by Vidura, a courtier in the kingdom of Dhritarashtra; hence the name Vidurashwatha. In 2001, this ancient tree fell to the ground.
The legend says that Yamadharma Raja was cursed to be born as a human being and was thus born as Vidura. After seeing all the bloodshed during the war, Vidura became remorseful and asked Krishna for salvation. Krishna asked him to go for a theerthayatra (pilgrimage). After visiting many places, Vidura came to this place, which was actually a hermitage of Maitreya Maharishi. Once during sandhyavandhana in the river, Vidura got a small sapling when he was about to offer argya to Surya. Maitreya Maharishi asked Vidura to worship the sapling to get salvation. With great devotion, Vidura worshipped the sapling and Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, pleased with the devotion, gave him darshan, and thus the name of the location became Vidura Ashwatha.
Elevation: 694 metres
Official Languages: Kannada
Time zone: UTC+5:30 (IST)
Another story is that a long time ago when the river was flowing rapidly, two brothers who could not cross the river took shelter on the other side of the river bank where there is a temple to Shiva. In the night, one of the brothers dreamed that Ashwathnaryana came and asked the brother to worship him so that he and his future generations would be benefited. The next day the brother was found on the other side of the riverbank under the great sacred fig. From then on, the worship of Ashwathnaryana was done by this family only.
Vidurashwatha is known as the "Jallianwala Bagh of the South". On 25 April 1938, as a part of the freedom struggle of India, a group of villagers had congregated to organise a Satyagraha. Similar to what happened at Jallianwala Bagh, police fired indiscriminately at the group, resulting in the death of around 35 people. A memorial has been erected in this location bearing the names of those who lost their lives in this incident.
One of the most important ceremonies which are done in this place is Nagaprathista, it's done by the people who have sarpa dosha in their horoscope. Here the devotees come and pray to the Lord asking for a specific boon (such as a child or marriage). Once the boon is fulfilled, they perform a prathistha. Not all devotees need to do the same, only those devotees who had taken a vow in front of the lord need to do it.
Nagaprathista, when done under the fig tree, is the most auspicious and fruit-bearing for the devotees, as this fig trees is the oldest and most sacred doing prasthita here is considered most beneficial.
Adi Shankaracharya interprets this tree as representing the entire cosmos. 'Shwa' in Sanskrit means tomorrow. 'a' indicates negation, and 'tha' means one that stands or remains. He interprets Ashwatha to indicate "One which does not remain the same tomorrow", or the universe itself. The eternal life of the Ashwatha Tree has inspired many Indian philosophers and Hindu thought.
The village has a mosque and a temple and few Shadi Mahals (marriage halls).
GAURIBIDANUR A CITY IN KARNATAKA (Vidurashwatha) an important pilgrim centre which is 6 km from Gauribidanur, is also in this taluk. This place is also known as the second Jallianwallahbagh or Karnataka's Jallianwallahbagh of Indian freedom struggle, as there was a police firing on a peaceful congregation of people on the river banks of Uttara Pinakini where many died. Viduraswatha is the last railway station before entering Andhra Pradesh in the Bangalore-Hyderabad railway line. It lies on the National Highway 234
Gauribidanur is at 13.61°N 77.52°E. It has an average elevation of 694 metres (2276 feet).
As of the 2011 Indian census, Gauribidanur had a population of 37,947. Males constitute 49.72% of the population and females 50.28%. Gauribidanur has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 67%. In Gauribidanur, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
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