Rayachoty Veerabhadra Swamy Temple is one of the most famous and beautiful temple located in Rayachoti in Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Veerabhadra Swamy. This temple has a 3 tier Rajagopuram with 5 kalasas. This temple was built in the 12th century. Veerbhadra Swamy Temple is a renowned temple of the region that lies on the banks of the River Kundu.
Veerabhadra Swamy Temple Darsanam Timings:
Morning: 5:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Evening: 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple Sevas:
- Rudrabhi Shekam 5.00 AM to 6.30 AM
- Rudrabhi Shekam 9.30 AM to 11.00 AM
- Sivalayam, Subramanyam Swamy, Ammavari Abhishekam
- Nandhi Puja
- Astottara Bilva Archana
- Vahana Puja (2, 3 Wheeler)
- Vahana Puja (4 Wheeler)
- Swamivari Kalyana Kattadi
- Vivaha Kattadi
Veerabhadra Temple Saswatha Poojas:
Special Performed Poojas/ Seva Services Timings:
Ganapthi Abhishekam: 5.00 am to 7.00 am
Veerabhadra Swamy Abhishekam: 5.30 am to 6.30 am
Bhadrakali Ammavari Abhishekam: 5.00 am to 7.00 am
Aghora Lingeswara swamy Abhishekam: 9.30 am to 11.00 am
Subramanya Swamy Abhishekam: 5.00 am to 6.30 am
Kalabhairava Swamy Abhishekam: 5.30 am to 7.00 am
Veerabhadra Swamy Temple History:
Rayachoty Veerabhadra Swamy Temple has a history of 1000 years. Whenever the great King Krishnadevaraya visited the Srivari temple at Tirupathi, he used to camp at Rayachoti. A stone was found near the Old Rayachoti own, which had a Tamil inscription dated S.S. 1155 (A.D. 1233). It says that a king called Nissankapratapa Raya, the lord of Karkatapura gave a grant to a temple, but those names could not be identified with any place in the vicinity. Another inscription of the same date found at Abbavaram, a village in the Rayachoti constituency, mentions another king’s name, Thomba, who was ‘first ruling from Kalukatayapuram and then Marujavaduyandapuram his capital.’ It is possible that both Karkatapura and Kalukatayapuram are the same place and it is also possible that Thomba who ‘was first ruling’ there was expelled from there by Nissankapratapa who called himself as ‘lord of Karkatapura.’ However, it is not known to what dynasties these kings belonged.
Veerabhadra Swamy Temple Legend:
Daksha was the chief of the gods and Sati was his youngest daughter. When Sati grew up she loved Shiva and worshipped him secretly. Daksha invited all gods and princes except Shiva to participate in Sati’s Swayamvara. Sati did not like this and she summoned Shiva to receive the garland. Daksha had no other choice but to give Sati to Shiva.
One day Daksha decide to perform a great horse sacrifice, and now also he invited all the gods except Shiva. Sati became furious by this act and she went alone to meet his father. She argued with her father and tried to convince him that Shiva was in fact the Supreme Being of the Universe. But Daksha continued insulting Shiva and unable to tolerate her father’s words, she released the inner consuming fire and fell dead at Daksha’s feet. Lord Shiva knew about it through his inner eye and he burned with anger. The infuriated Shiva created lord Veerabhadra, the destroyer of agnana. He had a huge body as high as the heavens, he was as dark as the clouds, a thousand arms, three burning eyes, and blistering hair. He carried terrible weapons and wore a garland of skulls. Veerabhadra bowed at Shiva’s feet waiting for his order. Shiva ordered him to destroy the sacrifice of Daksha. Then the mighty Veerabhadra rushed to the place of sacrifice like a lion released from bonds and destroyed the sacrifice of Daksha.
Vayu Purana narrates a slightly different version. Shiva instructed Veerabhadra to lead Shiva’s army against Daksha and destroy the sacrifice. He added that he should not fear the Brahmans because he is a portion of Shiva’s very self. As directed by Shiva, Veerabhadra led Shiva’s ganas and appeared amidst Daksha’s assembly like a storm and broke the sacrificial vessels, polluted the offerings, insulted the Brahmans and priests and finally cut off Daksha’s head. He did not leave anybody and even insulted Indra and Yama. He scattered the gods on every side and finally returned to Kailas.
According to Skanda Purana, when opposed by Vishnu, Veerabhadra defeated Vishnu, which appears improbable as Lord Vishnu is the killer of Demons.
Veerabhadra Swamy Temple Events/Festivals:
A large number of devotees from distant places, especially from Karnataka, regularly visit the temple. Sivarathri and Karthika Pournami are celebrated on a grand scale every year.
Every Monday Lord Veerabhadra and Mother Badrakali bless the devotees from a palanquin. Devotes seeking leadership positions perform a special pooja to Lord Veerabhadra and dress him as a hero on a horse. Those suffering from skin diseases worship the Lord. They place a coconut at his feet, consume the water and also apply it on their skin. Lord Veerabhadra is also called Rajarayudu, which means Supreme Leader. Instead of just Shivalinga Bana, Lord Shiva appears on the Avudayar in full form and hence he is called Avudai Shiva. Other shrines include those dedicated to Varasiddhi Vinayaka, Kala Bhairava, Shanmugha, Twin Lingas, Agora Shiva, Ellamman and Navagrahas the nine planets. The temple has a 3-tier Rajagopuram. Devotees visiting this temple pray for fearlessness and peace of mind. They perform Abhishek to Lord and Mother Goddess and offer clothes. They also offer sweet pudding or Sweet Pongal nivedhana.
Veerabhadra Swamy Temple Specialty:
Rayachoty Veerabhadra Swamy Temple is constructed in such a way that the rays of the Sun fall on Lord Veerabhadra’s image for five days in the month of March. On the first day, the rays fall on the feet of the Lord and it goes upward each day and finally touches the face on the fifth day.
Greatness of Veerabhadra Swamy Temple:
This temple for Lord Veerabhadra has a tall tower. In the sanctum sanctorum, Daksha appears in worshipping form near the Lord. On the right side of the Lord is the Shivalinga worshipped by Sage Mandavya. The first puja is dedicated to the Shivalinga and then to Lord Veerabhadra. In the morning hours Lord appears in Bala rupa and in the evening hours, he appears as a hero with a mustache. Similar to the rituals in Vishnu temples, here also the devotees are offered Sadari blessing with the lotus feet of the Lord. Betel leaf is the Prasada in this temple. Outside the Rajagopuram, Nandeeswarar graces from a shrine with Vimana. Opposite to the shrine of Lord Veerabhadra, a little away from the sanctum sanctorum, there are two Nandhis, Veera Nandi and Shiva Nandi, for Lord Veerabhadra and Lord Shiva. There is another Nandi before Ambika Badrakali.
Spilling the rice: After performing Sivarathri pujas in February-March, Brahmostavam is celebrated for 11 days. The killing of Daksha is on the eighth day. 365 measures of rice are cooked with pumpkins and other ingredients as Athirasam and roots and it is heaped like a hill. Then it is spilled throughout using the sword of Lord Veerabhadra violently to symbolize Veerabhadra’s destruction of Yaksha’s yagasala. This rice is then offered as Prasad. During this ceremony, Lord Veerabhadra will have a forehead eye similar to that of Lord Shiva.
Sub-Shrines in Veerabhadra Swamy Temple:
Lord Varasiddhi Vinayaka
Kala Bhairava Swamy
Shanmugha Swamy (Subramanya Swamy)
Three tier Rajagopuram
Temples Near Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple:
Sri Gangamma Devatha Temple. 15 Kilometers.
Sri DevaRai Nallagangamma Devatha Temple, Sambepalli (M) Kadapa 15 Kilometers.
Sri Polatala Malleswara Swamy Temple, Polatala, Pendlimarri(M), Kadapa 70 Kilometers.
Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple, Vontimitta(M), Kadapa 75 Kilometers.
Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, Devunikadapa, Kadapa 50 Kilometers
Rayachoti Veerabhadra Temple Address:
Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple,
Andhra Pradesh – 516269.
Mr. Srikanth – 9397891377