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PM Modi visits Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple: Know significance, how to reach, and more

Unveiling the grandeur of Sri Raja Rajeshwara Temple, Telangana. PM Modi offered prayers at this ‘Dakshin Kashi,’ known for its ancient Shiva linga and blend of architectural styles. Explore history, significance, architecture, and how to reach this sacred site.

Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: May 08, 2024 12:10 IST
Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple
Image Source : FILE IMAGE PM Modi visits Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam in Vemulawada, which is located in the Rajanna Siricilla district, on Wednesday. During his visit, he offered his prayers to the main deity of the temple, Lord Shiva, and this temple is famously referred to as Dakshin Kashi. Nestled in the quaint town of Vemulawada, the Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple stands as a testament to centuries of devotion and cultural heritage. This sacred site, dedicated to Lord Shiva, holds immense significance for devotees from across the country, drawing them to its hallowed grounds seeking spiritual solace and divine blessings.

History and significance:

The Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple, also known as Dakshina Kashi and Harihara Kshetram, is an ancient Shiva temple in Vemulawada, Telangana, India. This temple is claimed to have been constructed between 750 and 973 AD by Raja Narendra, grandson of Parikshit who in turn was the grandson of Arjuna. The temple complex houses other shrines including Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple and Sri Seetharama Chandra Swamy Temple, making it a pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.

The temple is renowned for its architectural beauty and its towering gateway. The presiding deity, Lord Shiva, is enshrined here as the "Neela Lohitha" Shiva Linga, meaning "blue-red". Devotees believe this form of Shiva is particularly benevolent and fulfils wishes. Every year during Maha Shivaratri, the temple sees a surge in devotees performing the 'Kode Mokku' ritual, where they circumambulate the temple with a bull, the sacred vahanam (mount) of Lord Shiva.

How to reach:

Here's how to reach Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple in Vemulawada, Telangana, India by air, train, and road:

By air:

The nearest airport to Vemulawada is the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD) in Hyderabad, approximately 170 kilometres away. Several domestic airlines operate flights to Hyderabad from major cities across India. From Hyderabad, you can either hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Vemulawada.

By train:

The nearest major railway station is Karimnagar Railway Station (KRMR), situated about 37 kilometres from Vemulawada. Several trains connect Karimnagar to other parts of India. From Karimnagar, you can take a taxi, bus, or auto-rickshaw to reach the temple.

By road:

Vemulawada is well-connected to other cities and towns in Telangana and neighbouring states by road. You can take a state-run bus or hire a taxi to reach Vemulawada. The roads are generally in good condition.

Temple timings

The Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple is open for general darshan (viewing) from 4:00 AM to 10:20 PM daily. Specific puja (worship ceremony) timings vary, but some major ones include:

Morning puja - 5:15 AM to 6:15 AM

Afternoon puja - 11:40 AM to 12:10 PM (except Mondays, Masa Sivaratri, and Sani Pradosam)

Evening puja - 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Architecture and design:

The Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple showcases a blend of architectural influences. The towering gateway, a later addition, reflects the Kakatiya style with intricate carvings and sculptural grandeur. The star of the show however is the sanctum sanctorum, built in the regal Chalukya style. This two-tiered rectangular structure features a copper roof culminating in a beautiful gold Kalasham (finial). The sanctum sanctorum has four entrances, with the eastern and southern doors typically open for darshan (viewing) of the enshrined Lord Rajarajeshwara.

 

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