Sri Raja Rajeshwara Temple Vemulawada
Vemulawada,is located 150 km from Hyderabad is known for Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple. It is one of the very few temples dedicated to Lord Siva. traditionally known as Dakshana Kashi (Benaras of South India) , Lakhs of devotees visit this temple from all over the country.
The Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple is a fine example of mutual synchronization of both Hindus and Muslims offer Prayers to Lord Siva and Allah.
Special arrangements are made for the pilgrims during the festival. Several cultural and social activities are also organized by the authorities. Free meals and Accommodation is provided to the students. Besides, the temple also pays donations for other small temples.
Vemulawada temple is next only to Tirupati in terms of its revenues in Andhra Pradesh . The temple contributes Rs. 8 lakhs anually to the Gram Panchayat for developmental activities in the pilgrim city.
On the Sivaratri day, a record three to four lakh pilgrims crowds there in sacred temple at Vemulawada to worship . Special poojas and darshans are held to mark the festivity. Mahalingarchana is performed by about hundred priests . At midnight Ekadasa Rudrabhishekham is performed to the god. The temple is brightly illuminated in the night, presenting an visual look.
The puranic version are that Lord Siva after having stayed at Kashi, Chidambaram, Srisailam and Kedareswaram chose to reside at Vemulawada. History records that Vemulawada was ruled by successive dynasties – the Ikshwakus, the Satavahanas and later by the Chalukyas who made it their state capital.
The presiding god is Sri Raja Rajeswara Swamy, also called Rajanna. To the right of the presiding god is the statue of Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi and to the left is the idol of Sri Laxmi Sahitha Siddi Vinayaka.
In the temple building there is a holy tank called the Dharma Gundam. Three mandapas were constructed on it and the statue of Lord Eshwara resides in the middle. The Lord is seen in a meditation position with five Lingas surrounding the holy tank.
The illumination of the holy lamp or Ganda Deepam is also considered fortunate by the devotees visiting the temple.
Although devotees make offerings to the presiding diety in different ways, the most important one is Kode Mokku (offering of bull to God). The devotees who bring the bull take them round the temple and tie it somewhere in the temple complex. The significance of this ritual is that devotees will be cleansed of their sins and they can be get children.
This temple attracts followers of both Vaishnavism (worshippers of Vishnu), and Saivism (worshippers of Siva), and is also being frequented by Jains and Buddists. The sculptures on the temples describe the cultures of Jainism and Buddhism also .
In the temple at Vemulawada it consists of a 400 years old Mosque which is the unique
Feature of this temple. It is believed that the mosque was built as a tribute to a Muslim devotee of Lord Siva who lived in for many years and breathed his last here .