The shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna or Lord Shiva are picturesquely situated on a flat top of Nallamalai Hills, Srisailam temple is reputed to be one of the most ancient kshetras in India. It is on the right side of the River Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. This celebrated and high mountain is also named as Siridhan, Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatha and Srinagam. It has been a popular centre of Saivite pilgrimage for centuries. The prominence of this Divya Kshetram is highlighted by the fact that while performing our daily household rituals we specify place of location of our existence with reference to Srisailam.
Video - In and Around Srisailam Temple
The presiding Deities of this kshetram Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy is one of the twelve Jyothirlingas and Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is one of the eighteen Mahasakthis and both are self-manifested. The unique feature of this kshetram is the combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi in one campus, which is very rare and only one of its kind.
There is a common belief in vogue that this Holy Kshetram exists from times immemorial. The antiquity and origin of God Mallikarjuna Swamy and Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is not known. The Mallikarjuna Linga is accessible to each and every devotee and anybody can go into the sanctum sanctorum of Mallikarjuna, touch him and perform Abhishekam and Archana himself to recitation of Mantras by Archakas without caste or creed or religion. This clearly reveals that socialistic pattern of society started from this place and it is still in existence.
Peaceful Srisailam, 232 km south of Hyderabad is situated on the banks of river Krishna. The 512 mtrs long Srisailam dam located here is abundant with natural beauty. Situated on the border of the ancient sacred hill of Srigiri on the south bank of the Krishna river, in the Nallamalai range of Andhra Pradesh, is the magnificent temple of Srisailam. The temple complex, whose existing buildings date from the 2nd century AD, is the Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple, it is one of the 12 'Jyotirlingas' in India as well as one of the eighteen most sacred Goddess shrines, or Shakti Pithas. This outstanding collection of major Gods and Goddesses shrines at the same location makes Srisailam one of India's most venerated sites. Shiva is worshipped here in his form of Lord Mallikarjuna, and Shakti, his consort, as Sri Bharamaramba Devi.
The temple is the site of Mahakali in the form of Bhramaramba. It is believed, the Vrishabha, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva performed penance here. Lord Shiva appeared before him, with his consort Parvati in the forms of Mallikarjuna and Bharamaramba. A gigantic fort, with 6 mtr high wall encloses the temple.
The images of the deities, both extremely old, are enshrined in the more recent temple built by the Vijayanagar king Harihara Raya around 1404 AD. The temple, whose popular name is Sriparvata, is bounded by a great fortress-like wall that is 20 ft high, 6 ft wide and 2120 ft in circumference. Built in in 1520 AD, the wall has 3200 stones, each weighing over one ton, and is decorated with fine relief carvings displaying images from Hindu mythology.
A cluster of minor shrines within the temple enclosure include the Sahasra Linga, Panchapandava temples and Vata Vriksha. The most appealing feature of this temple is that anyone of any cast and creed, can touch the deity and worship here.
At Sikharam, the highest of the Srisailam hills, is Sikhareswara Swamy, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Another beautiful temple is Sri Ganapathi temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesh.
Besides, there is a Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary, which covers area in five adjoining districts, has tigers, panthers, spotted deer, giant squirrels, great lizards, pangolins, crocodiles, civets and a variety of snakes.
Srisailam played a dominant role in our religious, cultural and social history from ancient times. The epigraphical evidence reveals that the history of Srisailam begins with the Sathavahanas who were the first empire builders in South India. The earliest known historical mention of the Hill - Srisailam, can be traced in Pulumavis Nasik inscription of 1st Century A.D. The Sathavahanas, the Ikshavakus, the Pallavas, the Vishnukundis, the Chalukyas, the Kakatiyas, the Reedy Kings, the Vijayanagara Emperors and Chatrapathi Shivaji are among the famous emperors who worshipped God Mallikarjuna Swamy.
Prataparudra of Kakatiya Dynasty strived a lot for the improvement of this Kshetram and granted Paraganas for its maintenance. Ganapathideva has spent 12000 Golden Nanyas for the maintenance of the temple.
The period of Reddi Kings is the Golden Age of Srisailam that almost all rulers of the dynasty did celebrated service for this temple. In 14th Century, Prolaya Vema Reddi of Reddy Dynasty constructed stepped path-way to Srisailam and Pathalaganga (Here the river Krishna is called as Pathalaganga) and Anavema Reddi constructed Veera Siromandapam in which the Veerasaiva devotees cut off their hands, tongue, limbs with devotion to attain the realisation of the God. This practice is known as Veeracharam.
The Second Harihararaya of Vijayanagara Empire constructed the Mukhamantapam of Swamy shrine and also a Gopuram on Southern Side of the temple.
In the 15th Century Sri Krishnadevaraya constructed the Rajagopuram on Eastern side and Salumantapas on both sides of the temple.
Festivals in Srisailam Temple
Maha Shivaratri festival, celebrated at Srisailam, is of all-India importance. This festival usually falls in the month of February-March and is a time to solemnly invoke Lord Shiva through fasts and chants. Lakhs of pilgrims throng to worship the deity and have a holy dip in the river Krishna known as the Pathala Ganga.
Goddess Bhramaramba whose festivals come a month or two after Shivarathri attracts even larger crowds consisting of 'Lingayats'. Goddess Bhramarambika is said to be one of the eighteen leading 'Shaktis' of India.
Best time to visit the Temple
Best Time: February-March
Pooja Schedule: Suprabhatha Seva and Viswarupa Darshanam: 5:00am
Mahamangala Harathi: 6.00 am
Darshanam, Poojas etc : 6.30amto 12.30 pm
Dooradarshnam : 1.15pm to 3.30 pm
Susandhyam, Mahamangala Harathi: 5.20pm to 5.45pm
Accommodation Facilities at the Temple
The Devasthanam is having 25 individual cottages, Pathaleswara Sadan with 23 Deluxe Suites, Sivasadanam guest house with 100 rooms, T.T.D Guest House with 10 rooms,Chandeswara Sadanam with 22 rooms and a dormitory Choultry consisting of 7 Halls. Devasthanam has also constructed a modern complex with 112 suites named as Gangasadan and Gowrisadan. There are excellent Choultries built by the Temple Devasthanam, in which poor pilgrims can stay free of cost. Cottages and guesthouses, with all amenities are also available over here.
How to reach the Temple
Through Airways -Through Airways, the nearest airport is at Hyderabad (232-km).
Through Railways- Through Railways, the nearest railway stations are at Kurnool and Nandyal on the Guntur-Hubli road at a distance of 158-km.
Through Roadways- Through Roadways, Srisailam is well connected by APSRTC and Devasthanam buses with Hyderabad, Mahaboobnagar, Nalgonda, Devorkonda, Guntur, Vijayawada, Kurnool, Ongole, Mahanandi, Mantralayam, Anantapur, Tirupati and Chitradurg among other places.