Sri Gnana Saraswathi temple at Basara on the banks of river Godavari is the only temple in South India dedicated to the Goddess of learning. Children are brought here for the ceremony of Akshara puja to start their education with the blessings of the Goddess of Knowledge.The Vedavathi Sila, the Ashtateertha are other places of interest around Basar.
Legend / Sthala Purana
The legend has it that after the Mahabharata war, sage Veda Vyasa embarked on a pilgrimage in search of peace. He reached the serene Kumaranchala hills on the banks of river Godavari and meditated and propitiated the Goddess who eventually appeared before him and granted her presence in the form of the divine trinity.
The Goddess ordered the sage to place three handful of sand at three places everyday. Miraculously these sand dunes transformed into the idols of the divine trinity i.e., Saraswathi, Lakshmi, & Kali. These are the presiding deities of Basar today. Despite the presence of the trinity, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi.
Near to 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' (holy water pools) spread across the village known as 'Indra Teeratham', 'Surya Teeratham', 'Vyasa Teeratham', 'Valmiki Teeratham', 'Vishnu Teeratham', 'Ganesha Teeratham', 'Puthra Teeratham' and 'Shiva Teeratham'.