Sri Raja Rajeshwara Temple

About The Temple

Sri Raja Rajeshwara temple, Telangana Is A Holy Site For Many

The Sri Raja Rajeshwara temple is located at Vemulawada, which is 38 kilometers from Karimnagar in Telangana. According to legends, this temple was built by Sage Parashurama before the commencement of the Kali Yug and was renovated by the kings belonging to the Mushika Kolathiri dynasty. The temple received its present form in the eleventh century.

Influence on religion and culture

The temple called the Raja Rajeshwara Temple Andhra is one of the most sacred places in the Hindu religion. A theatre in the Sanskrit language called Koodiyattam is performed here whose origin is almost 2000 years old. This theater is typical of Kerala and is the only surviving example of its kind. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and non-Hindus who visit the complex are not allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Men can go in and pray inside the sanctum sanctorum at any time of the day or night. But women are allowed to enter only after five p.m. As per the schedule, the most important days for worshipping Lord Shiva are Wednesdays, which is different from other places where Lord Shiva is worshipped on Mondays.

The presiding deity

Lord Shiva is the presiding deity with the “Jyothirlingam” representing the god. As with all other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, people address their prayers to the Linga, which is the main deity. The sanctum sanctorum has four doors on each side of the temple of which only the doors on the eastern and southern sides are opened for the pujas. The other doors remain closed. The view to the presiding deity is accessible through the eastern door on two occasions, once at 5.30 am and the second time at 9.30am in the morning.

Details of idol

The Jyothirlingam is lighted up by an array of ghee lamps that hang from two sides. The most auspicious holy lamp is called “Bhadradeepam” which was supposed to have been lighted by the sage Agasthya himself when he had installed this linga. It is kept to the left of the Shiva linga. Holy lamps burning ghee are kept on the floor to give more light to the linga. A golden Prabha is situated at the back of the deity while the face of a mystical being named Vyaalimukham hangs above the deity.

Other nearby shrines

A small shrine dedicated to the guardian deity Yakshi is located on the northern side of the main shrine. The guardian deity represents benevolence and prosperity instead of malevolence that is the case normally. The Idol of this deity is made of wood. The shrine of Goddess Annapoorneshwari is located in the south-west corner while the shrine of goddess Bhadrakaali is on the west of the main shrine.

Worship and rituals

The deity is worshipped with pots of ghee that are kept on the steps leading to the sanctum sanctorum. Every day in the morning, the floral decorations that were placed in the previous day are removed. The sacred water from Ganga Thirtam is brought, and the deity is bathed with it to complete the Abhishekam. Then the deity is adorned with fresh garlands made of flowers, and the puja called “Natravat” starts. The next puja called “Pantheeradi” starts after this puja is completed. Then the garlands are removed, and the “Navaka” puja is performed. Normally at other temples the Abhishekam and the Navaka pujas are done on only days that are auspicious. But they are performed daily at this temple.

Festivals and special occasions

Shivratri is the most important and auspicious day when devotees worship Lord Shiva in this temple. The start of the Malayalam year starts from this period. The day before the auspicious event, the idol of Lord Krishna is brought from the Thrichabaram temple for few hours and worshipped here along with Lord Shiva. The Balibimbam is one of the pujas that are performed during this festival. An elephant is dressed up in caparison, and other decorations are taken on a round of the temple grounds. Priests recite Hymns and play instruments as the elephant goes round the temple.

Another festival when hundreds of people worship Lord Shiva at this temple is on the occasion of the harvesting season or Sankranti. This festival is called Vishnu and takes place in the month of July and pujas are performed during Nira and Sankraman. The festival is held annually starting from the first week of March and stretching over 21 days.

Pilgrimage to Vemulawada

Hindus from all over the country and neighboring countries come to this place for pilgrimage As it is the place where the head of Sati had fallen it is of utmost importance to the followers of the Hindu faith. Earlier people used to come here on a pilgrimage that included two more temples called Thrichambaram Sree Krishna Temple and the Kanjirangad Sree Vaidyanatha Temple, but the custom has been abandoned for some time now. This pilgrimage was called Moonnambalam.

Timings of Puja

As per the Raja Rajeshwara Temple timing, the temple is opened for pujas every day at 5 am in the morning and closes at 12 noon after the “Uchha” puja is completed. The pujas held during the mornings include “Kanikku Thurakkal” or opening ceremony that is held at 5 am followed by “Natravat” puja at 7 am. Next the “Pathiradi” puja is performed at 8 am and the “Uchha” puja at 8.30am. The closing ceremony is called “Nada Adakkal” which is performed at 12 noon. In the evening, the pujas start at 5 pm with the “Nada Thurakkal” opening ceremony which is followed by the “Deeparadhana” puja at 6 pm. Next the “Athazha” puja is performed at 7.45 pm with the “Nada Adkkal” or closing ceremony coming next at 8.30 pm

How To Reach

Reaching the temple location is possible by road, rail and by air. Velumawada village where the Raja Rajeshwara Temple Telangana is located can be reached by:

  • By road – There are a large number of buses that ply between the location of the temple and the various cities of the state and neighboring regions. T You can take a bus from Hyderabad or Yadagirigutta via Siddipet or a bus from Khammam, Kothagudem or Mahabubabad via Warangal and Karimnagar. There are bus routes that originate at Warangal, Narsampet and Parkal, which reach this place via Karimnagar. There are many other routes followed by the buses to reach this place. The bus service is very frequent and quite comfortable. The distance from Karimnagar to Vemulawada is only 35 kilometers.
  • By Rail – The nearest railway station with a broad gauge line is Warangal. It is an important station on the Southeastern Section of the Indian railways and a large number of trains travelling to the Southern part of the country stop at this station. From Warangal, you can catch a meter gauge train to Kamareddy. From there you have to travel by auto-rickshaws and other means to reach the village of Vemulawada where the temple is located.
  • By Air – The nearest airport is the International airport at Hyderabad which is connected to cities in the country and abroad by domestic and international carriers.

 

Nearby Attractions

Near to the Sree Rajarajeshwar temple are other places of interest which you can visit to complete your Raja Rajeshwara Temple Yatra tour. Most of these places are in and around Karimnagar, which is the nearest and most important city in the region. The places that interest you the most are given below:

  • Elgandal Fort – Thus fort is situated on the banks of Manair river. It was the seat of power for a large number of dynasties such as theQutub Shahis, Mughals, Bahmanis, Kakatiyas and the Asaf Jahi dynasties. This fort has a lot of historical significances which is interesting for the tourists and those who love ancient Indian History.
  • Kondagattu Anjaneya Swamy Temple – This temple is located about 37 kilometers from the city of Karimnagar. The local people believe that a shepherd had initially built this temple about 300 years ago. The temple in its current form was rebuilt almost 160 years ago by Krishna Rao Deshmukh. Hanuman Jayanti, which is the birthday of Lord Hanuman, is celebrated at this temple with pomp and glory.
  • Vemulawada – The village of Vemulawad is famous for the healing powers of the water of the pond named Koneru. It is also famous for Dharma Gundam and is visited mostly during Mahashivratri.
  • Nugunur Fort – The kings of the Kakatiya dynasty had their seat of power at this fort. It also has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva for which it is famous in the region.
  • Kaleswaram – The Mukuteswara temple is located here. The temple has two Shiva lingams that are enshrined in a single place. The village is situated at the converging point of the Godavari and the Pranahitha rivers.

History Of Temple

There are many legends related to the Raja Rajeshwara Temple history. As per legend, the head of Goddess Shakti, wife of Lord Shiva, fell here when the gods dismembered her body to stop Lord Shiva’s Tandava dance. Shakti or Sati had committed suicide because of humiliation showered upon her by her father Daksha regarding her husband. It is believed that the Shiva Linga installed at this temple is several thousand years old. It is said that Lord Shiva had given Goddess Sati there Shiva lingams for worshipping. When a sage named Maandhata prayed to Lord Shiva with utmost and sincere devotion, Lord Shiva presented him with one of these lingas. It was with the condition that it could not be installed in any place where there was any place for cremating people.

The sage installed the Linga in Taliparamba but it disappeared into the earth after his death. His son Muchukunda offered the same intense prayers to Lord Shiva and was awarded a second linga that also disappeared after some time. After some centuries had passed by, the third linga was given by Lord Shiva to Satasoman, a king belonging to the Mushika Kolathiri dynasty for his devotion. The king installed the Linga in the present temple that had been built by him. It is believed that sage Agastha had himself come and installed the Linga.

The temple is called Sri Rajarajeshwara or the Emperor of Emperors as it is dedicated to Lord Shiva the supreme. There were two seven-storied Gopurams in the temple complex that were destroyed by Tipu Sultan at the end of the eighteenth century. The debris of the destroyed still remains beside the two entrances on the East and the West side of the temple.