Nestled at the foot of a hillock, Kaiwara’s rich history has, over the years, made it an important spiritual and religious destination for pious devotees. Numerous mentions of the town in ancient texts further cement its importance through the yugas or the demarcation of time as articulated in Hindu mythology.
The revered text of Bhagavatha Purana recounts an interesting incident during the Kritha Yuga that led to the town getting its name. It is believed that as penance for having slain Vrithrasura, the leader of demons, Indra, the King of Gods, installed idols of Lord Vishnu (also called Sri Nareyana) in three places across the country. In Kaiwara, Indra personally installed the idol himself, along with idols of Lord Vishnu’s consorts, Sridevi (Goddess Lakshmi) and Bhoodevi (Mother Earth). Since the installation was accompanied by the singing of devotional songs (called Kaiwara), the town was named Kaiwara.
The idols of Sri Nareyana, Sridevi and Bhoodevi are still ensconced in Kaiwara’s Sri Amara Nareyana Temple, thus named because it is a temple dedicated to Nareyana, by the amara or immortal Indra.
Local legend also states that Lord Rama graced Kaiwara with his presence not once, but twice in the Treta Yuga. The first time, he accompanied the learned sage, Vishwamitra to ensure the ritual sacrifices (yajnas) by sages were performed without any unwanted interruptions. He also visited the town during the period of his exile, along with his wife, Seeta, and his brother, Lakshmana, to seek the blessings of Sri Amara Nareyana. The Sri Veera Anjaneya Temple on the outskirts of Kaiwara is held as proof of these divine visits.
Kaiwara is also believed to be where the Pandava, Bheema slay the demon, Baka in the Dvapara Yuga. To make amends for the sin of manslaughter, Bheema installed a linga, the symbol of Lord Shiva, in the town. Called Sri Bheemalingeshwara, the linga can still be found in Kaiwara, along with lingas installed by other Pandavas. Together, the five lingas form the Panchalinga Kshetra.