Vemulawada is situated at a distance of
about 11-km to the northeast of Sirsilla, 35-km from
Karimnagar. The place was once
known as Lembulavatika and it became gradually corrupted into Lemulawada,
Emulawada and Vemulawada.
It owes its importance to the sacred and famous temple of Sri Raja Rajeswara, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. To the right of the presiding deity is the idol of Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi and to the left is the idol of Sri Lakshmi Sahitha Siddi Vinayaka.
There is a Koneru (lake) known as the Dharmakundam, the waters of which have some curative properties and the people consider a dip in the 'Kundam' as an act of merit ('Punyam'). 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.
A Unique Feature
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 devotee of Lord Shiva who lived for many years in the temple precincts and breathed his last.
One peculiar ritual of this temple is that, in addition to the usual homage's, which devotees pay to the Lord in other temples, there is a peculiar custom in this temple called the "Sahasra Suvarna Abhisheka" by which the Lord is worshipped with 1000 golden pieces.
The Lord is also worshipped with the offerings of bulls; 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. The devotees visiting the shrine also consider the lighting of the holy lamp or 'Ganda Deepam' auspicious.
'Vemulvada' means 'Place of Deities'. The place has extensive remains of temples and sculptures. The sculptures on the temples also depict the cultures of Jainism and Buddhism. The other shrines of importance at the place are those dedicated to Ananta PadmanabhaSwami, 'Bhimeswara Swami', Kondanda RamaSwami, 'Kasi Visweswara' and Raja Rajeswari. There is also the tomb of a Muslim saint, which is regarded as sacred by the Muslims and Hindus.
Mahasivaratri festival and the Kalyanotsavam of the deity celebrated during January-February and February-March respectively attract thousands of pilgrims from all over the Andhra Pradesh.
Road: Vemulavada is around 35-km from Karimnagar, on the Karimnagar-Kamareddy bus route and 66-km from Kamareddy. The APSRTC has provided number of buses for the convenience of the pilgrims. Buses ply regularly from Karimnagar, Kamareddy, Warangal and Hyderabad .
Accommodation is available at the Devasthanam in Vemulavada, or at the hotels in Karimnagar and Warangal.