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Sri Raja Rajeshwara Temple in Vemulawada under bright street lights during lunar eclipse
The city has a population of more than 60,000. The city serves as a business capital for the neighbouring villages. Being a pilgrimage, the city has visitors from all over India.
The temple is one of the very old and powerful ones devoted to Lord Siva, popularly known as Dakshina Kashi (Benaras of South India). Built by Chalukya kings between AD 750 and 975, the complex is named for its presiding deity Sri Raja Rajeswara Swamy, an incarnation of Shiva. It houses several temples dedicated to other deities including Rama, Lakshmana, Lakshmi, Ganapathy, Lord Padmanabha Swamy and Lord Bhimeshwara. Architectural features include its open galleries (such as the Mirror Gallery Addala Mantapa and a corridor with a number of Shiva idols) and a Dharma Gundam, a holy tank where pilgrims bathe then proceed for darshan and whose water is believed to have curative properties. Every year at the time of Maha Shiva Rathri, more than 500,000 people visit Vemulavada.
During August, Sravana Masa, which is auspicious for Hindus, the temple is crowded and the temple provides accommodation for pilgrims.