Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sri Shivaganga Rajeshwari Rajarajeshwara Swamy Temple, Maheshwaram.

Sri Sri Sri Shivaganga Rajeshwari Rajarajaeshwara Swamy Temple at Maheshwaram, 57 kms from Secunderabad is a very ancient Temple. It is about 20 kms. from Hyderabad’s RGI Airport, along Srisailam highway. It is a Temple of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi Devi. The village got its name after the Temple. Maheshwarm means Maha Eashwara that is Almighty Shiva. The Temple is said to be constructed about 1000 years ago by King Ganapathi Deva of the Kakatiya dynasty. This is according to the inscriptions found on the sculptures at the Temple. However the history of the Temple thereafter is vague. In 1672 it was found in ruins by two brothers Akkanna and Madanna. Akkanna and Madanna were in very powerful positions in the court of, Abul Hasan Qutub Shah Ruler of Golconda (more popularly known as Tanisha). Akkanna and Madanna are remembered even today for the loyalty and service they rendered to their king and for the various constructions around Hyderabad, of forts, buildings and Temples.  The renovation of the Temple took eight years. It is said that in 1677 while the Temple was under renovation Shivaji, the great Maratha King visited this Temple; he was actually on his way to Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple at Srisailam.
A few years later the Temple was destroyed by the troops of the Mogul King Aurangzeb. Then its history if full of up and downs. The present main Archaka Sri Veeresham Panthulu of Maheshwaram is with the Temple since last 22 years. He along with some locals and prominent people are; and have been striving to develop and upkeep the Temple.  Every day rituals and festivals like Maha Shivarathiri and Karthika Masam festivities are performed in a befitting manner. Tomorrow is Karthika Pournami and we could see large scale arrangements being made to celebrate the festival.
Some unique and extraordinary facts of the Temple are as follows:
The Temple is located at the center of the Pushkarini that is Temple Pond/Tank, with an approach way over the water. Normally the Temple Ponds are adjacent to Temples. Here the Temple Pond is called Shivaganga. Shivaganga has steps on all four sides for devotees to reach the water. Just sprinkling Shivaganga water over the head is said to purify that person and wash off all his sins.
This is a two-storey Temple. Goddess Rajeshwari Temple is just above Shivaganga and above it is the Temple of Lord Shiva known here as Sri Rajarajeshwara Swamy. The Shiva Lingam consecrated here is a naturally formed one from River Narmada. It is very beautiful; it is a two-toned Lingam, light brown with a large dark brown crescent having ash (Vibuthi) streaks. The sanctum sanctorum has entry doors on all four sides. The original Temple is on rock pillars, it still is, but as the Temple area had to be expanded it is now additionally supported with some reinforced concrete pillars. 
Just along the boundary of the Pushkarini, along its four sides are sixteen small Shiva Temples situated in all cardinal directions. These 16 small Temples are known by different names of Lord Shiva. This layout makes the Temple very unique and the Temple is called as one constructed with Shodashanga Roudrikaranam.
In front of the Temple is a huge tree, it appears as a single tree but it is a combination of three trees, Peepal, Neem and Udumbara/Gular (Raavi, Vepa and Medi Chettu). Under these three-trees combination is a Temple of Naga Raju – Snake God. It is believed that if a childless couple prays here for a child and wraps a coconut in cloth and ties it to a branch, their wish would be fulfilled soon.
I hope the attached pictures will reinforce my description of this ancient and important Temple. 

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