Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple is an 8th-century temple dedicated to Shri Rajarajeshwari. The most important feature that draws visitors is the idol of Sri Rajarajeshwari which is made of a type of clay that has medicinal properties. The temple architecture is worth a mention with exquisite wooden carvings of the Hindu Gods and copper plates on the roofs. The entire structure has undergone several renovations throughout all these years. However, the charm of the deity, her power and the soothing vibe of the temple attracts devotees in large numbers.
Sri Rajarajeshwari is a powerful form of Goddess Shakti and is often considered to be the one with the power to create a universe and even destroy it. She is the one who blesses everyone with life and enables them to enjoy the pleasures of life. Any evil emotion is destroyed by the Goddess, and hence she is considered one of the most powerful deities in Hindu Mythology. The magnificent temple celebrates most of the Hindu Festivals out of which the Annual Festival and the Polali Chendu Festival are the most famous.
Legend of Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple
Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple was built by King Suratha in the 8th century. According to a legend, the King was betrayed by his ministers and lost his kingdom in a war. He took refuge under a sage, Saint Sumedha, in a forest located near the location where the temple now exists. The King is said to have carved the idol of the deity with his own hands. He offered prayers and performed penance to the Goddess and asked for his kingdom to be returned to him. The Goddess appeared and blessed him with a boon. After a few years, the ministers who had betrayed the King visited him and apologised for their actions and requested the King to return to the Kingdom.
According to another legend, Lord Rudra renounced all activities after he lost his wife, Gauri. He devoted all his time to perform severe penance. The Kama shot darts of love at Rudra, but Rudra opened his third eye in rage and destroyed the Kama by burning him into ashes. After a few years, Lord Ganesha used the ashes to sculpt an image of a human and presented it to Lord Rudra who chanted the Rudra mantra compassionately to make it come to life. The being born out of ash also repeated the mantra. He was blessed by Lord Rudra and was named Bhandasura who carried out several demonic activities. When he set out to destroy the Bridge of Dharma along with his evil forces, the Gods got together to manifest the Divine Mother Sri Mahadevi to protect them. The Goddess appeared along with her army to fight Bhandasura. The war went on for five days, and on the last day, the Goddess Killed Bhandasura.
Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple Architecture
Polali Rajarajeshwari Temple was constructed as per the ancient South-Indian temple architecture. It is said that the original structure was built from molten brass and the interior had four platforms. A 5 feet 6 inches tall idol of Sri Rajarajeshwari was installed on the highest platform. The idol was made of gold and had rubies as eyes. Later, the idol was replaced by a stucco image of the deity. This image is made with clay mixed with medicinal herbs and stands 10 feet tall inside the sanctum sanctorum. The temple has a mukha mandap with beautiful carvings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses and copper plates on the roof.