Vemulawada, which is about 180 kms from Hyderabad is famous for Raja Rajeshwara Temple. If you want to visit the most beautiful and the most popular Shiva Temple in Telangana region, then the Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy aalayam in Vemulawada is a must see.
Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam, the abode of Lord Eshwara or Shiva is situated in Vemulawada village of Rajanna Sircilla district. It is one of the ancient and famous Shaivite temples in the region. The shrine is known for its architectural grandeur as well as spiritual sanctity and is one of the famous Shaivite temples in South India, which has been mentioned in the puranas.The presiding deity of this temple, Lord Raja Rajeshwara is seen in the form of NeelaLohitha Siva Lingam and is known for great benevolence towards fulfilling the wishes of the faithful.
The presiding deity of the temple, Sri Raja Rajeswara Swamy is fondly called as Rajanna. This shrine is also known popularly as ‘Dakshina Kasi’ and ‘HariharaKshetram’ due to the presence of two Vaishnava Temples in the main complex namely Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple and Sri Seetharama Chandra Swamy Temple. Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy is considered the KshetraPalaka of this temple.
There is also a durgah within the precincts of this temple, which stands as a symbol of religious tolerance. Pilgrims have divine bath in a holy tank called ‘Dharma Gundam’, before they head for darshan as these holy waters are believed to possess medicinal properties. Every year during Maha Shivarathri, devotees flock in large numbers to Vemulawada, to offer prayers to Rajanna.
According to BhavishyotharaPurana, the Sun God Surya Bhagavan had recovered from disability after praying at the shrine and therefore the shrine is also termed “BhaskaraKshethram”. Lord Indra worshiped Lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara swamy for purifying himself from BrahmahatyaDosham.
The temple was initially built by Raja Narendra, the grandson of Parikshit who was in turn the grandson of Arjuna, and was cured of Leprosy when he killed Muniputra accidentally. After taking bath in the Dharmagundam i.e. Pushkarni, it is said that Lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara and Goddess Sri Raja Rajeshwari Devi appeared in a vision and directed him to build a temple and also to install a Shiva Lingam which was until then lying in the bed of the Holy Pushkarni
Historically the region was the capital of the Vemulawada Chalukyas, from 750 AD to 973AD. There are rock cut inscriptions discovered here, which refers to this place as Lemulavatika. The place is known for its association with well-known Telugu poet “Bheemakavi” and the famous Kannada poet “Pampa” who lived here at the court poet of Arikesari – II, dedicating his “Kannada Bharatha” to the rulers. This temple is known for a special offering called Kodemokku by devotees. It is a ritual where the devotees perform pradakshinam of the temple with a kode (bull), which is the vahanam (nandi) of Lord Shiva.
Maha Shivarathri is the main festival here. Maha Lingaarchana is performed by about hundred Archakas. Festivals grandly celebrated at this temple are Bhogi, Makara Sankranthi, Ratha Saptami, Bheeshma Ekaadasi, Maha Shivarathri, Ugadi, Sri Rama Navami, Hanuman Jayanthi, Varalakshmi Vratam, Krishnastami, Vinayaka Chavithi, Dusera Navaratrulu, Deepavali etc.