VEMULAWADA

        Vemulawada is situated at about 11 kms to the NorthEast of Sirsilla and 36kms from the Karimnagar on the Karimnagar, KamaReddy bus route. Buses ply regularly from Karimnagar, KamaReddy and Hyderabad. This place owes its importance ti the sacred and famous temple of Sri Rajarajeswara, an incarnation of Lord Siva. There is a Koneru known as Dharmagundam, the waters of which have some curative properties thousands of piligrims from all parts of the state congrgate here especially during Mahasivaratri and Kalyanotsavam of the deity. The income of the temple is said to exceed 3 to 4 lakhs of rupees every year. A great part of it is derived during the course of these festivals. The other shrines of importance are that of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy, Bhimeshwara Swamy, Kodanda Ramaswamy, Kasi Visweswara and Rajaswari. Apart from these there is a tomb of Muslim saint.

How far : 150 km from Hyderabad

What to see : Sri Rajarajeswara Swamy temple and the Mosque inside the premises Vemulawada, located 150 km from Hyderabad is known for Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple. It is one of the very few temples devoted to Lord Siva. Popularly known as Dakshana Kashi (Benaras of South India) the temple attracts lakhs of devotees from all over the country. The Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple is a fine example of communal harmony where both Hindus and Muslims offer obeisance to Lord Siva and Allah. The temple at Vemulawada is next only to Tirupati in terms of its revenues. The temple contributes Rs. 8 lakhs anually to the gram Panchayat for developmental activities in the pilgrim town. Special arrangements are made for the pilgrims during the festival. Several cultural and social activities are also organised by the authorities. Free boarding and lodging is provided to the students. Besides, the temple also offers donations for other small temples. On the Sivaratri day, a record three to four lakh pilgrims through the sacred temple at Vemulawada. Special poojas and darshans are held to mark the festivity. Mahalingarchana is performed by about hundred archakas. At midnight Ekadasa Rudrabhishekham is performed to the deity. The temple is brightly illuminated in the night, presenting an aesthetic look.

LEGEND:
The puranic version has it 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 deity is Sri Raja Rajeswara Swamy, also called Rajanna. To the right of the presiding deity is the idol of Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi and to the left is the idol of Sri Laxmi Sahitha Siddi Vinayaka. In the temple premises 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 posture with five lingas surrounding the holy tank. The lighting of the holy lamp or Ganda Deepam is also considered auspicious by the devotees visiting the shrine. 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 beget 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 also depict the cultures of Jainism and Buddhism. A unique feature of the temple at Vemulawada is that it also houses a 400 year old mosque inside its premises. It is believed that the mosque was built as a tribute to a muslim devot