By Vishnu Swamy Dasa
The state of Telangana is located in south India. It is the twelfth largest state in India with an area of 112,077 square kilometres (43,273 square miles) and a population of 35,193,978. Its major cities include Hyderabad, Warangal, Khammam, Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Nalgonda. The first Telangana padayatra started on December 6th 2012 and was completed on November 1st 2015. The padayatra travelled approximately 4500 kilometres to all 10 districts in Telangana and visited 500 villages and towns there. Our small team of devotees decided to do another padayatra in Telangana. We set off on January 22nd 2017 and have covered 500 kilometres and visited 60 villages thus far.
Our daily routine on padayatra starts with mangal arati at 5 am, Guru-puja and Bhagavatam class from 7 am and prasadam at 9:30 am. We generally travel from one village to the next after mangal arati or in the evenings according to the weather conditions. We usually have supper prasadam at 5 pm and then sankirtana with our Gaura Nitai chariot from 6 to 9 pm. When people give us donations we give them a book in return. Many people also give us donations of rice and flowers and other things.
We originally started with four padayatris: another devotee named Vishnu Swamy Das, Srinivasa Sevananda Dasa, Ramanuja Dasa and myself. Ramanuja Dasa had to leave after a month so there are just the three of us of now. We travelled to the area of Narsampeta in the Warangal district from April 7th to April 13th. While there we stayed at the ‘Narsampeta Orphanage’.
Our padayatra party will be attending the vyasa puja celebrations of Bhakti Vikas Swamy on May 20th in Mayapur. We will leave our chariot at the Khammam Sri Venkateswara Goshala while we are in Mayapur.