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Sri Raja Rajeshwara Temple in Vemulawada under bright street lights during lunar eclipse
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Karimnagar|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Vemulawada|
Vemulawada (or Vemulavada) is a town 35 km from Karimnagar, in the Telangana state, India. It is chiefly notable for the Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple complex, a site of pilgrimage for Hinduworshippers (particularly devotees of Vishnu and Shiva) . It is the major pilgrim destination in northern Telangana. The temple god is famous as Rajanna.
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.
Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swami Temple
This temple of Lord Siva in the form of Raja Rajeshwara Swami is very famous in this part of the region. The presiding deity of the temple is Sri Raja Rajeswara Swamy who is locally popular as Rajanna who is adorned on both the sides by the idol of Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi on the right side and to the left is the idol of Sri Laxmi Sahitha Siddi Vinayaka.This place has a lot of Historical and religious significance and so is also called as Dakhshina Kasi, Southern Banaras as it is, as important as Kashi (Banaras) is in the North for the temple of Lord Shiva. Vemulawada is a town near Karimnagar, Telangana, India.
Vemulawada Rajarajeswra temple is situated 38 km from karimnagar, at Vemulawada. This famous temple dedicated to Lord Rajarajeswra Swamy, draws pilgrims in large numbers. Rajarajeswra Temple of Vemulawada was built by Chalukya kings between the 750 A.D and 973 A.D., houses numerous temples dedicated to Lord Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Goddess Lakshmi, Ganapathy and Lord Padmanabha Swamy. Interestingly there is a Muslim mosque inside the temple complex where all devotees offer prayers, irrespective of caste and creed.
Vemulawada Rajarajeswra temple comprises Mirror Gallery (Addala Mantap) and gallery of Shiva idols. Pilgrims have divine bath in a holy tank, Dharma Gundam, before proceeding for darshan and these holy waters are believed to have medicinal properties. Every year at the time of Maha Shiva Rathri, devotees in large numbers flock to Vemulawada, to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
Other temples in the area include:
- Anantha Padmanabha Swami
- Bhimeshwara Swami
- Kodanda RamaSwami
- Nageshwara swamy
- Baddhi pocchamma
- Kedareshwara swamy
Legend says that Bhavishyothara Purana mentions that the Sun-God [Surya Bhagavan] recovered from disability by praying at the shrine here and so this shrine is termed "Bhaskara Kshethram". And, Indra- the King of Astadikpalaka by devoutly worshipping Lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara-the presiding deity of the shrine, purified himself from Brahmahatya Dosham.
Further, It is said that during 750 to 973 AD this temple was built by Raja Narendra-the grandson of Parikshit who in turn the grandson of Arjuna, was not only cured of Leprosy by which he was afflicted by virtue of killing Muniputra accidentally, by taking bath in Dharmagundam [Pushkarni] but also seen Lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara and Goddess Sri Raja Rajehwari Devi in a vision and received blessings with directions to build a temple and install ‘ Siva Lingam' which was lying in the bed of the Pushkarni.
Vemulawada Bheemakavi is a famous Telugu poet who lived in the 11th century in Vemulawada. He composed many poetic works in Chaatuvu style.
Vemulawada is also believed to be the place where the great Kannada poet Adikavi Pampa was born. Every year on MAHA SHIVARATRI festival around 500,000 people will visit the temple.
Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam – Abode of Lord Eashwara – at Vemulawada village of Karimangar District in Telangana State is one of the ancient and famous Shivate temples. The Institution was categorized as Regional Joint Commissioner Cadre Temple under G.O.Ms.No: 262, Revenue [Endts.I] Department, dated 10/03/1992. The shrine deserves a special mention in terms of its architectural grandeur and spiritual sanctity and is one of the famous Shivate Temples in Telangana State. Existence of this shrine is lost in the mists of antiquity and even Puranas mention the existence of the Deity.
The presiding Deity – Lord Raja Rajeshwara in the form of "Neela Lohitha Siva Lingam is known for his boundless benevolence in fulfilling the wishes of the devotees.
This Shrine is popularly known as 'Dakshina Kasi' [Southern Banaras] and also as "Harihara Kshetram" for their being two Vaisnava Temples in main Temple complex i.e., Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple & Sri Seetharama Chandra Swamy Temple and Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy is Kesthra Palaka of this Temple being consecrated with Pujas/ festive rituals [both Shivate & Vaisnavate festivals] and Sreerama Navami is the 2nd major festival in this temple.
A Dargah within the precincts of the temple stands as an ample evidence for religious tolerance.
Bhavishyothara Purana mentions that the Sun-God [Surya Bhagavan] recovered from disability by praying at the shrine here and so this shrine is termed "Bhaskara Kshethram". And, Indra- the King of Astadikpalaka by devoutly worshipping Lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara-the presiding deity of the shrine, purified himself from Brahmahatya Dosham.
Further, It is said that during 750 to 973 AD this temple was built by Raja Narendra-the grandson of Parikshit who in turn the grandson of Arjuna, was not only cured of Leprosy by which he was afflicted by virtue of killing Muniputra accidentally, by taking bath in Dharmagundam [Pushkarni] but also seen Lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara and Goddess Sri Raja Rajehwari Devi in a vision and received blessings with directions to build a temple and install ‘ Siva Lingam' which was laying in the bed of the Pushkarni.
Historical Importance: Historically this place was the capital of the Vemulawada Chalukyas who ruled from AD 750 to AD 973. Rock cut inscriptions found in this place, however refer to the village as Lemulavatika.
Literary and Traditional Importance: Tradition associate with this place with famous Telugu poet "Bheemakavi" but there is more definite proof of the famous Kannada poet "Pampa" living here as the court poet of Arikesari – II and dedicated his "Kannada Bharatha" to his royal patronage. Inside Temples in Complex:
The Temple picturesquely stands on the bank of a large Tank which is called as Gudicheruvu. The Garbha – Griha [Mahamandapam] has "Sri Lakshmi Ganapathi"; Lord Raja Rajeshwara in the form of Neelalohitha Siva Linga ; Goddess Sri Raja Rajeshwari Devi and Nandeeshwara facing the Lord. The sanctum sanatorium encloses Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple; Sri Seetharama Chandra Swamy Temple; Sri Anjaneya Sahitha Kasi Visweswara Swamy
Temple; Sri Dakshina Murthy Temple; Sreeevalli Devasena Sametha Subramanya Swamy Temple; Sri Bala Tripura Sundari Devi Temple; Sri Someshwaralayam; Sri Uma Maheshwaralayam; Sri Mahisasura Mardhani Temple; Kotilingalu; Sri Kala Bhairava Swamy Temple.
In this shrine, Pujas / Rituals are performed according to Smartha Agama and however in Vaisnavate temples located in temple complex, Pujas / rituals are performed according to Pancharathra Agama. The icon of Lord Raja Rajeshwara is consecrated with Chatukala Pujas i.e., Prathakala Puja; Madhyahnika Puja; Pradosakala Puja & Nishikala Puja etc., every day along with Goddess Sri Raja Rajeshwari Devi Sri Lakshmi Ganapathi located in Maha Mandapam.
- The Official website of Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devastanam, Vemulawada
- Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple
- Vemulada at templenet.com
- Vemulawada Temple blog