Vaaleeswarar Temple, Ramagiri – The Temple
There are two ancient temples, one at the foot-hill dedicated to Lord Shiva but priority given to Kala Bhairava and the other at the hill top dedicated to Lord Muruga. There is no Raja Gopuram (tower) or flag post in the temple. The base temple is basically divided into two divisions. The first division has Bhairava as the main deity whereas the second division has Shiva Linga named as Vaaleeswarar as the main deity. Though, this is a Shiva Temple, the prime deity here is Kala Bhairavar, also called as Santhaana Prapthi Bhairavar.
Normally Bhairavar will be seen in the prakarams of Shiva Temples. But here, Sri Kaala Bhairavar has a separate shrine located in such a way that one has to visit him first before proceeding for the Dharshan of Lord Shiva. The shrine houses tall magnificent idol of Bhairava. Bhairava is in seated posture and is facing east. You can find the idol of dog in front of the main shrine, as dog is the vaahana for Bhairava.
Adjacent to Bhairava shrine, there is a separate shrine for the Goddess Kalikamba facing south. The corridor surrounding the Bhairava shrine has small idols of Bhairava in various postures on the walls. The entrance of Bhairava shrine has two Shiva Lingams and a Siddhi Vinayaka idol with a different look of trunk. Here Sri Bhairavar is worshipped by childless couples to be blessed to get a baby. Many childless couples perform pooja here and are blessed with a child.
Presiding Deity is called as Vaaleeswarar. Here even today, the Shiva Lingam is seen in a tilted position towards North, as it was pulled by the tail of Hanuman. Also, there are marks of the tail on this Shiva Lingam. Another unique feature of this temple is Lord Anjaneya is present in front of the sanctum between the deity and the Nandhi facing Lord Shiva in a praying gesture. Such Shiva temple is not seen anywhere else.
There is also another big artistically beautiful Nandi idol. The entrance of Shiva main shrine has two big idols of Dwarapalakas. Ganesha and Chandramouleeswarar (Shiva Linga) are also found in the entrance. The corridor surrounding the shrine of Valeeswarar has a lot of idols on the platforms and walls similar to any other South Indian Shiva temples. But the beauty of this temple is that each and every idol is carved in artistically beautiful way.
The idols of Brahma, Vishnu, Subrahmanya (Shanmuga), Veerabhadra, Durga, Surya, Chandikeswara, Sapta Mata, Dakshinamurthy, Ayyappa, Anjaneya, and Appar are found in the corridor. The idol of the saint Agastya found in a different posture; his head is covered with a hat like covering. There is an idol for Ganesha named as Gajamukha which is a fantastic example for Pallava sculptural style. The idol of Veerabhadra in the sitting posture is a rare idol. The idol of Ganesha near the entrance of main shrine is also looking different and very attractive.
Mother is called as Maragadambikai. There is a separate shrine for the Goddess of the temple. The idol is big and attractive. Mother is enchanting and calm looking having four arms and facing south. The hall in front of the Ambal is recently built and has a neat tiled floor. In the wall, you can find a small carving depicting the scene of Hanuman pulling the Shiva Linga.
The temple pond which is situated in front of the temple, is called Nandhi Theertham. There is a small Shiva Lingam with a Nandhi nearby. Nandhi’s front half is seen protruding from the wall of the pond. The water originating somewhere from the hill, reaches a small well and from there it passes and comes through this Nandhi’s mouth and flows into the pond. Native villagers say that they have never seen this water flow stop, since their memory.
Also, they are not sure about the source from where the water reaches Nandhi. The Theertham is supposedly of medicinal value in treating Neurological problems. There is also a shrine for Lord Ganesha. Behind the shrine of Ganesha, you can find the steps that take you to the hill top temple of Subramanya. The Subramanya temple at the top of the hill is a new temple built in 1969. The temple is being maintained by Archeology department of Andhra Pradesh.