Mahabubnagar: One of the famous spiritual places, which has been a destination for yogis and devotees from across south India lies on the Karnataka-Telangana border on a tiny island located in the Krishna River, popularly known as the Sreepada Sreevallabha Dattatreya Devasthan at Kurvapur.
Located about 190 km from Hyderabad and 30 km from Raichur, this spiritual destination has a 700 years of history, when Sripada Vallabha, the Kaliyuga incarnation of Lord Dattatreya established himself here and performed penance, undoing the miseries of his devotees and curing them of their ailments.
Sreepada Sreevallabha was born in Pithapuram in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh to Sumathi Maharani and Appalaraju Sarma couple on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturdhi in Chitra star, Simha Lagna and Tula Rasi, in the fourteenth century. From a very early age, he was gifted and his parents knew very well that he had the blessings of Lord Dattatreya. After attaining adulthood, Sreepada decided to give up all worldly things and travelled to North India and performed penance, took holy dips in punyakshetras and peformed penance at Srisailam before settling down at a place called Kuruvapuram on the Karnataka-side of Krishna River, where he spent the rest of his life. The place is also called Vallabhapuram, Kuruvagadda and Kurugaddi.
Sreepada Sreevallabha used to do dhyana (Meditation) in a cave and also Yoga on a bed of rock, where his foot and palm markings can still be seen. Now the cave has been redone and his footprints have been kept for darshan. A Vata Vriksha (banyan tree), supposedly 1,000 years old, under which Sreepada used to meditate, still exists at Kurvapur. As the reincarnation of Dattatreya, Sreepada’s aim was to bless maha siddhas, maha yogis (seers) and to uplift dharma through them in the universe. According to Sthala Purana (local archives), 28,000 yogis and siddhis of Himalayas visited this holy place and had darshan on Lord Dattatreya.
He was capable of destroying the difficulties, losses, miseries and obstacles occurring in the developments of his dedicated devotees, as per the Guru Charithra, the biography of Sreepada.
On the Telangana-side, on the banks of the Krishna River, in Pasupala village of Makthal mandal, there is another temple of Lord Dattatreya and also a Vittal Baba Ashram which has been serving the needs of devotees coming there. There are coracles (theppas) which can be used to cross the river and reach Kurvapur from the ashram in Pasupala or from Panchdev Pahad. Just a few days ago, due to floods in the Krishna River, the Telangana-side of the temple got inundated with water and the boat service was temporarily halted. Once the water levels recede, the temple services would be restored.
There are many stories about how Sreepada reincarnated as Narasimha Saraswati at Ganagapur, Swamy Samarth at Akkalkot, Manik Prabhu at Bidar and Sai Baba at Shirdi, which can be known after visiting this spiritual destination.