Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam – Abode of Lord Eashwara – at Vemulawada village of Karimangar District in Andhra Pradesh 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 Andhra Pradesh 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.