Darshanam at Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Devasthanam
First of all pilgrims take holy dip in dharma gundam. Then enter the temple from main entrance and visit Bala Rajeshwara and Koti Lingas. Then they proceed further visiting Lord Uma Maheshwara, Lord Someshwara, Goddess Bala Tripura Sundari Devi, Lord Shanmukha, Lord Dakshina Murthy, Lord Chandikeshwara and other deities. Proceed further to visit Nandishwara in the north side of Sri Raja Rajeshwara Temple and enter the main temple from north side. Here pilgrims will find Sri Laxmi Ganapathi statue in north-east part of the temple.Facing south-side is the importance of the Ganapathy statue.
After visiting and offering prayers and abhishekam to Lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara pilgrims proceed further to visit Sri Parvathi Devi. Parvathi Devi statue is located in south side of the temple. The other name of this goddess is “Varaahi”.
After completing prayers at Sri Parvathi Devi, pilgrims visit Sri Parvathi Raja Rajeshwara Swamy and Laxmi Sameta Padmanaba swamy’s festiv idols in the glass house located in the south side of the main temple.
Then devotees visit Sri Ananta padmanabha swamy and Sri Ramachandra swamy temple and take their blessings and come out of it and go around the temple and complete the visit to temple.
History of Rajarajeswari
Sri Raja Rajeshwara Kshetram (holy place) is one of the most sacred spots in the southern part of the India. There are many evidences of inscriptions on stone to provide information of historical, political, religious, cultural and greatness of this holy place. The greatness of this sacred place came with the very existence of Sri Raja Rajeshwara swamy Suyambulingam, which is ancient than the Vemulawada village.
Once upon a time god Indra went to many holy places after he killed Vrithasura and still could not purify his life. Then he took the advice from the guru of gods, Bruhaspathi to visit Sri Raja Rajeshwara kshetram. There he took the holy dip in dharma-gundam and took the blessings of lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara and ruled a golden age of the history. By this ancient story, history gives us the evidence of existence of lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara in Krita yuga.
Another historical story about how the dharma-gundam was built. Once upon a time a king named Sri Raja Raja Narendra came to this place while hunting wild animals. But accidentally he killed a Brahmin boy with an arrow while the boy was drinking water from a pond. Then with the curse of Brahma hatya he got an incurable disease and went on pilgrimage to many holy places and returned back to this place. One day he drank the holy water from the dharma gundam and slept the night praying the lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy. In his dreams lord shiva asked him, that to take lord’s existence, the lingam from the dharma-gundam and put in a temple.
When the king woke up in the morning he found that his incurable disease got cured. Then he built steps to the dharma gundam and cleaned lord Sri Raja Rajeshwara swamy lingam and built a temple on the hill to keep the lingam inside the temple. But while he was sleeping in the night holy sidhas came and established the gods idol inside the temple. When king was worried about missing the chance to establish the shiva linga, god came in to this dreams and promised that kings name will be associated with the place forever.
It has been said in many mythologies that Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy lingam existed in Krita Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dwapara Yuga. And this holy place was visited and praised by many holy persons in Indian ancient history and got never ending importance in holy pilgrimage. Even though the main deity is Lord Shiva at this place, Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy Aalayam, Sri Ananta Padma Nabha Swamy Aalayam are also have the importance from long time for many pilgrims. Because of that reason this place is also called as “ Hari Hara Khestram”.
1. Sri Bheemeshwara aalayam
2. Sri Baddi Pochamma aalayam
3. Sri Nagareshwara aalayam
4. Sri Venugopalaswamy aalayam
5. Sri Kedareshwara aalayam
6. Sri Hanuman devalayam (uppu gadda)
7. Sri Mandapa Hanuman Devalayam
8. Sri Mahalaxmi Devalayam
Offering Kode (calf) to Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy
There is an unique and famous tradition at this devasthanam, which one cannot find in any other temples in India , called "Adde Kodelanu Kattuta (offering rented calfs to swamy)". The legend for this tradition is very interesting. When Dharma devata did tapassu (to do penance) at southern ocean banks for Lord Shiva. After some time he gave darshan. At that time Dharma devata asked a divine gift, "Vahanamto Bhavishyaami Sadaham Parvathi Pate" (always keep me as your transportation mode). Then Lord Shiva gave her the divine gift by saying "Vaahanam Bhavamedarsha Sarvada Loka Poojitha" (you will always be my transportation mode and also prayed by my devotees). So as per the legend, offering calf (kode) to Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy is praying Dharma devata in first place and keeping the legend alive.