Vemulawada is situated at about 11 kms to the Northeast of Siricilla and 36kms from the Karimnagar district. This place owes its importance to the sacred and famous temple of Sri Rajarajeswara, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The puranic version has it that Lord Shiva after having stayed at Kashi, Chidambaram, Srisailam and Kedareswaram chose to reside at Vemulawada. 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.
Vemulawada Shiva Temple
At the Vemulawada Shiva temple the Lord is seen in a meditation posture with five lingas surrounding the holy tank. Popularly known as Dakshana Kashi (Benaras of South India) the temple attracts lakhs of devotees from all over the country. The temple contributes Rs. 8 lakhs annually 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. There is a Koneru known as Dharmagundam, the waters of which have some curative properties thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the state congregate here especially during Mahashivratri and Kalyanotsavam of the deity.
Dharmapuri is situated at a distance of about 48kms from Jagtial town and 51 Kms. from Peddapalle railway station on the Kazipet-Balharsha Section of the south Central Railway. Dharmapuri attained religious importance owing to the existence of the shrine dedicated to Narasimhaswamy, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Shiva with Dakshinamurthy, Vinayaka and Sapitha Mathrukas are found here carved on a single slab of stone. Mahishasuramardhani, the sixty pillared temple, Mahalakshmi temple and Akkapalle Rajanna temple are the other temples of importance that heighten the sanctity of the places of tourist interest in the State. The kalyanotsavam of Lakshminarasimhaswamy celebrated during February-March attracts nearly lakhs of pilgrims.
Kaleswaram is a village lying in thick forest surroundings at a distance of 16 kms from Mahadevapuram, and 32 kms from Manthani. It is located at the meeting point of the Godavari River and the Pranahaitha. The place is considered to be sacred not only on account of it being a confluence but also due to the existence of many ancient temples. Among these temples, the one dedicated to "Mukteswara Swamy"is the most important. A special significance is attached to this shrine owing to the existence of two Sivalingams on one Panivattam. The Sivalingam in this place is considered to be one of the three Jyothirlingams of Lord Shiva which constituted the three corners of the Andhra Desha, the other two being at Srisailam in Kurnool district and at Draksharama in the East Godavari district. Also found here is a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, a rather uncommon feature here. The Mahashivratri festival celebrated here during the Magha attracts a large number of devotees.
There are thus a number of beautiful temples found at Karimnagar district which are a must-see for tourists visiting the area. 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. It is believed that the mosque was built as a tribute to a Muslim devout. The sculptures on the temples also depict the cultures of Jainism and Buddhism. The temple is located about 150 km away from Hyderabad. Buses ply regularly from Karimnagar, Kamareddy and Hyderabad.
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