DEURVADA OR DEVALVARA
Deurvada is a village in Acalpur tahsil largely dependant on
agriculture. It has 477 houses inhabited by 2,246 inhabitants
according to the 1961 Census. It is situated on the Purna river-bank about 22 km. (14 miles) from Acalpur, and was, a century and a half ago a town of much importance, containing some 5,000 houses. The tahsil authorities used to reside here, then. Now it has become an insignificant village but is worthy of notice on account of its ancient temples of Narsimha, Vitthal Rakhumai and Hanuman. It is considered to be a sacred place. The chief crops produced are cotton, jovar, tur and betel-nuts. Well irrigation is widely prevalent, there being as many as 23 irrigation wells irrigating nearly 419 hectares of land. The village has a middle school which had 303 students in 1962-63.
Vitthal Rakhumai temple.
The ancient temple of Vitthal Rakhumai stands on the right
bank of the Purna at a spot where the Megha flows into the Purna. A ghat leading down to the river from the temple has
been built. Half way up the ghat on either side there are two small shrines which contain a set of eleven and a half Lingas carved out of a single block of stone and are said to be svayambhu. It is told that one of the Lingas which was coming up to complete the set disappeared at the unholy touch of an ass and hence the set remained incomplete. That particular spot is still shown by the village folk. The left hand side shrine, in addition to the Linga set. also contains idols of Sri Krsna, Ganapati and a certain Rsi. A lofty gate leads into the courtyard containing three identical shrines, close to one another, of unequal size. The first one which is bigger than the other two contains a Linga sheltered by a five hooded brass cobra. In the background in separate niches in the wall are placed the images of Visnu, Ganapati and Annapurna. An attractive sikhar crowns the shrine. In the second shrine is the Mohini incarnation of Visnu. The third, which is a little bigger than the second has the idols of Vitthal, his consort Rakhumai and Rai. By the side is an image of Garuda. There is another set of these idols in the back wall of the courtyard and exactly opposite it in a small shrine is an idol of Hanuman. The temple edifices are constructed of stone and mortar and though old are still in a very good condition. As the
temple is on a higher level overlooking the confluence of the rivers
one can have a beautiful view of the surrounding country. It
was built during the days of Salabat Khan by one Mahadeva
Rav Laksmana of Nagpur at a cost of Rs. 15,000.
Near the ghat is a place called ' Kara Suddhi Tirtha ' or the
holy place of cleansing hands. Legend tells that Narsirhha having killed Hiranya Kasipu, was able to wash the bloodstains from his hands at Deurvada after failing everywhere else. A shrine dedicated to
Narsimha is built here.
Not far from the temple of Vitthal Rakhumai on the knoll of
a hill is the shrine of Narsimha. It. is square in shape and there
is circumambulatory passage round the main shrine. The idol of Narsimha is in a sitting posture and to its left and right in small niches are the images of Laksmi and Pralhad respectively. An ornate sikhar with a minaret-like spire adorns the temple. The whole temple structure is 4.645 sq. metres (50 feet square). On Vaisakh Suddha Caturthi a fair is held in honour of the deity. The maintenance expenditure is met from the income of 1.619 hectares (four acres) of land belonging to the temple and the donations received from the people. Though Deurvada has lost much of its former importance yet it is still revered and considered to he a holy place. Its name has been mentioned in the Hindu mythology in the context of the killing of Hiranya Kasipu at the hands of Narsimha.
There is also a mosque said to be over 350 years old.