The Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple, more popular as Srisailam Temple is present in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is on the top of the Nallamala hills, on the banks of River Krishna. Also, lingam of the presiding deity Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva.
The famous hill is also popular as Siridhan, Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatha as well as Srinagam. It is also one of the most important Saivite pilgrimage sites in India. There are two separate temple complexes present inside – one is in dedication to Lord Mallikarjuna while the other one is for Goddess Bhramarambha.
What is the history of Srisailam Temple?
As per history of Srisailam Temple, mention of Srisailam hills can be traced to the Nasik inscription of the Satavahana King Vasisthiputra Pulumavi in 1st century AD. Ikshavakus kingdom ruled Srisailam from AD200 – 300. The inscriptions dating around AD 375-612 state that the Vishnukundis were the devotees of Sri Parvathsawamy.
According to the Shiva Purana, when Lord Ganesha got married before Lord Karthikeyan, Lord Karthikeyan got angry and left for the Kraunch Mountain. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati tried to console him but were unable to stop him from leaving. Dejected, Lord Shiva took the form of Jyotirlinga and settled on the mountain-top.
There is another legend associated with the Srisailam Temple. Chandravathi, daughter of Chandragupta Patana ran away from her father who made amorous advances towards her. She crossed the River Krishna and went up the hill top where she lived with her servants. She observed that one of her cows would stand over a rock formation and shed milk over it daily. The Princess dreamt that the rock was a self-manifested Linga of Lord Shiva.
Hence, she dug the ground and a glowing Linga emerged out of it. She worshipped the Linga daily by adorning it with Jasmine (Mallika) flowers. Lord shiva was very pleased, so he granted her Mukti and salvation by sending her to Kailash.
What is the significance of Srisailam Temple?
The significance of Srisailam Temple is that Mallikarjuna Linga is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. It is supposed to have appeared in a fiery column of light. Moreover, the Linga is swayambhu. Devotees also believe that the neck of Sati fell here when her corpse was cut.
Anyone, irrespective of caste, creed or religion can perform Abhishekam and Archana to the Mallikarjuna Linga. The unique feature is that you can touch the Linga and perform the Puja yourself.
Beliefs also say that Lord Rama himself installed the Sahasralinga in the Srisailam Temple. The Linga is divided into 25 facets which in turn represent 40 Lingas each. This leads to a total of 1000 small Lingas carved on a single Linga.
The Pandavas placed the Panchapandava Lingas in the temple courtyard. The five Lingas have their names after the different forms of Siva – Sadyojatha , Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusha as well as Eesana. Moreover, stories from the Mahabharata are there on the walls of the temple. The Srisailam temple also has mention as a holy hill in the Mahabharata.
What are the timings of Srisailam Temple?
Here are the timings of Srisailam Temple:
|Open||4:30 AM||10 PM|
|Morning darshan||6:00 AM||3:30 PM|
|Evening Darshan||6:00 PM||10:00 PM|
|Suprabhatha Darshanam||5:00 AM|
|Mahamangala Aarathi (Morning)||5:30 AM|
|Mahamangala Aarathi (Evening)||5:00 PM|
What are the festivals celebrated at Srisailam Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Srisailam Temple are:
- Mahasivaratri Brahmothsavams – The Mahasivaratri Utsav occurs in the month of February or March. The Mahasivaratri day (29th day of Magham) marks the beginning of a seven day festival period. The important events are Ankurarpana, Dhwajarohana, Vahana Seva to God and Goddess as well as Lingodhbhavakala Maharudrabhishekam to God.
- Ugadi – The celebrations happen for five days in which lakhs of people visit the temple for God’s blessings. The festival begins 3 days before Ugadi (Telugu New Year) which occurs in late March or early April. The important events of the celebrations are Vahana Seva to God and Goddess, Alankaras to Goddess, Veerachara Vinyasalu and Rath Yatra.
- Kartheekai Mahothsavam – It is one of the most auspicious months in the Indian calendar. Devotees light numbers of deepams are in the srisailam temple premises. They also perform Jvalathoranam (bonfire) in the temple on the full moon day of the month.
- Sravanamahothsavam – This festival occurs in the Shravan month (August / September). Also, the Akhanda Sivanama Sankeerthana (Bhajans) is takes placeround the clock throughout the month.
What are the poojas and rituals of Srisailam Temple?
The poojas and rituals of Srisailam Temple are:
|Ganapathi Abhishekam||7 AM|
|Ganapathi Homam||7 AM-7:30 AM|
|Rudra Homam||7:30 AM|
|Laksha Bilwarchana||11 AM|
|Sahasralingam Abhishekam||6:30 AM|
|Kumkuma Pooja||7 AM|
|Gouri Vratham||8 AM|
How to reach Srisailam Temple?
Here’s how to reach Srisailam Temple:
- Air – The nearest airport is Rajiv Gandhi International airport at Hyderabad. It is 202 km away from Srisailam.
- Road – The Srisailam Temple is present just 1 km away from the Srisailam Bus Stand.
- Train – The nearest Railway Station is Markapur which is 80 km away followed by Nandyal and Kurnool.
Where to stay near Srisailam Temple?
Devasthanam or the Temple management launched the Kuteera Nirmana Pathakam, a donation scheme under which they have built several suites, cottages, rooms as well as dormitories for the pilgrims. Please bring your Identity card to confirm booking. Also, one cannot cancel the booking.
There are up to 70 private hotels / choultries in the area where one can avail accommodation and food.
What are some places to visit near Srisailam Temple?
Some of the places one can visit near Srisailam Temple are:
- Sakshi Ganapathi – It is located about 3 km away from Srisailam. Devotees believe that Ganapathi keeps attendance / Sakshi of the pilgrims visiting the Srisailam holy town. Also, in the sculpture, the god holds a book in the left hand and a pen in the right hand to note down the names.
- Hatakeswaram – It is 5 km away from Srisailam. The legend says that God Siva appeared to a potter in Atika (Piece of Pot). Hence, this place was famous as Atikeswaram which later became Hatakeswaram.
- Sikhareswaram – It is located at a distance of 8 km away from Srisailam. The temple is located at 2830 feet above the sea level making it as the highest peak in Srisailam. Also, the temple is an ancient stone structure. According to the Skanda Puranam, a glance at the peak will relieve the curses of re-birth.
- Phaladhara Panchadhara – It is located 4 km away from Srisailam. Sri Adisankara performed penance at this place and composed the famous Sivanandalahari.
- Akkamahadevi caves – It is located 10 km away from Srisailam. Beliefs say that Akkamahadevi, a lyricist and philosopher spent some years in these caves in 12th Century AD doing penance and worshiping the Sivalinga. Also, the Linga naturally existed in the deep parts of the cave. These caves are also home to Siddhas who practiced Alchemy.