Lord Veerabhadra Swamy

Temple History

The Veerabhadra Swamy temple is situated in Rayachoti which is the third biggest town in Kadapa District. This temple is built during the era of Vijayanagar Empire by the Vijayanagar Kings. The temple of Veerabhadra Swamy is considered to be 1000 years old and is supposed to be constructed during 12th century A.D. The renovation work of this temple is recently completed and it is attracting devotees in large numbers from all over the State. Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar used to visit this temple to offer prayers.
This is a temple for Lord Veerbadra with a tall tower. Daksha appears in worshipping form near the Lord in the sanctum sanctorum. The Shivalinga worshipped by Sage Mandavya is right of the Lord. First puja is dedicated to the Shivalinga and then to Lord Veerabadra. During morning hours Lord appears in Bala rupa-youth- and as a hero with a moustache in evening hours. As in Lord Vishnu temples, here too Sadari blessing with the lotus feet of the Lord is offered to devotees. Betel leaf is the prasada in the temple.
Sri Nandeeswarar blesses from a shrine with Vimana outside the Rajagopuram. Opposite the shrine of Lord Veerabadra there are two Nandhis-Veera Nandhi and Shiva Nandhi for Lords Veerabadra and Shiva. They are just a little away from the sanctum sanctorum. There is also a Nandhi before Ambica Badrakali.
Spilling the rice: Following Shivrathri pujas in February-March, Brahmmotsavam is celebrated for 11 days in the temple. Killing of Daksha event takes place on the eighth day. A quantity of 365 measures of rice is cooked with pumpkins and other preparations as Athirasam and roots. It is heaped as a hill. They spill it throughout the place with the sword of Lord Veerabadra violently as the yaga sala of Daksha was ransacked by Veerabadra according to the puranic story. This rice is offered as Prasad. During this event, Lord Veerabadra will have the forehead eye as Lord Shiva.
Daksha organized a yagna without inviting Lord Shiva purposely to humiliate Him. Angry Shiva sent Veerabadra to destroy the yagna and Daksha. Veerabadra was very furious. Meantime, Sage Mandavya was on penance on Lord Shiva seeking Veerabadra Darshan. Veerabadra granted darshan to the sage in His fury form. Sage begged Ambica to soften Him. Ambica appeared as Badrakali and cooled Him down. Sage further requested them to stay in the place of his penance. That place is now called Royachoti. A king built the temple later.
Sati was the youngest daughter of Daksha, the chief of the gods. When Sati grew up she set her heart on Shiva, worshipping him in secret. In the Swayamvara of Sati, Daksha invited all gods and princes except Shiva. Sati cast her wreath into air, calling upon Shiva to receive the garland; and behold him stood in midst of the court with the wreath about his neck. Daksha had no choice but to many Sati with Shiva. One day Daksha made arrangements for a great horse sacrifice, and invited all the gods omitting only Shiva. Sati was enraged by this deliberate exclusion of Shiva and set out to attend, and confront her father Daksha. She instructed her father that Shiva was in fact the Supreme Being of the Universe and demanded her father invite Shiva to no avail. Daksha then went on to insult Shiva; and as Sati's rage at the disrespect toward Shiva peaked, she declared to her father, "I will tolerate no more of your filth" and she released the inner consuming fire, and fell dead at Daksha's feet. Then Lord Shiva came to know about this incident through meditation and became furious at the non-righteous yagna. Shiva burned with anger, and tore a lock of hair, glowing with energy in Kailas. At that moment, was born the son of lord Shiva, lord Veerabhadra, the destroyer of agnana, sprang from it, his tall body reached the high heavens, he was dark as the clouds, he had a thousand arms, three burning eyes, and fiery hair; he wore a garland of skulls and carried terrible weapons. Veerabhadra bowed at Shiva's feet and asked his will. Shiva replied, 'Spoil the sacrifice of Daksha'. Then the mighty Veerabhadra, having heard the pleasure of his lord, bowed down his head to the feet of Shiva; and starting like a lion loosed from bonds, despoiled the sacrifice of Daksha, knowing that this had been created by the displeasure of Devi. She too in her wrath, as the fearful goddess Rudrakali, accompanied him, with all her train, to witness his deeds. - InVayu Purana Shiva directed Veerabhadra: "Lead my army against Daksha and destroy his sacrifice; fear not the Brahmans, for thou art a portion of my very self'. On this direction of Shiva, Veerabhadra appeared with Shiva's ganas in the midst of Daksha's assembly like a storm and broke the sacrificial vessels, polluted the offerings, insulted the priests and finally cut off Daksha's head, trampled on Indra, broke the staff of Yama, scattered the gods on every side; then he returned to Kailas. When confronted with Vishnu, according to Skanda Purana, Veerabhadra defeats Vishnu which seems improbable since Lord Vishnu is the killer of Demons. The Srimad Bhagavatam makes a mention about his pastime according to Srila Swami Prabhupada.
Sri Veerabhadra Swamy, Shiva, Ganesha, Bhadrakali, Bhairava, Subrahmanya are the main deities here.


Additional Information

Temple board is maintaining the rooms for devotees accommodation. Private Hotels and lodges are also available for the accommodation. Devasthanam is providing free meals to about 200 to 300 pilgrim on Manday & TuesDay and 400 to 500 pilgrims on Amavasya and above it during Uthsavams days.
Sivarathri and Karthika Pournami celebrations are held on a grand scale every year.
It is a wonder in the temple that the rays of Sun fall on Lord Veerabhadra for five days in the month of March. The rays fall on the feet of the Lord on the first day and go upward each day and touch the face on the fifth day.
Visit old Shivalayam in patha Rayachoti on the other side of the Mandavya river.

Rayachoti is on NH 18 and is well connected to Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and all the major cities of Andhra Pradesh. This temple is just 500 mtrs from the bus station.
Kadapa(52.3 km), Kalikiri(48.7 km) and Rajampeta (56.3 km) are the nearest railway stations to this temple. APSRTC buses and private vehicles are available from these railway stations.
Tirupati Airport is just 129 Km from here to reach by air.
  • Morning 5:00 AM To 12:30 AM & Evening 4:00 PM To 8:30 PM
  • Contact Person: Temple Office
  • Contact Number: +91 8561 250307