Srisailam is famous since the 4th century A.D,
according to Nasik inscription, which was carved by Pulomavi of the
Satavahana dynasty. According to this inscription, the mountain was divided
into 3 parts. One of them was Sirithan. Later, it was called as Nallamala.
Pulomavi ruled Deccan from 102 to 130 A.D. thus; about Srisailam, primarily, we
can see in this inscription only.
Satavahanas: Thomis was the
oldest dynasty, which ruled Andhra. Their rule was ended in 3rd century.
Ikshavakas came to powers that were Samanthas to satavahanas. Ikshavakus were
also known as Sriparvatiyas. They built Vijayapuri near Nagarjunakonda and
ruled part of East Deccan.
Later this East Deccan was ruled by Vasishta
Putrakanthamala defeated by Pugeeya, Hiranyaka and Dhanaka. This was spread in between
Srisaila hill to Gunjdlakamma up to Bay of Bengal. Hiranyaka, the Brahmin ruler
fought to brought up Brahminism. Srisailam flourished during his period because
he was a born devotee of Lord Shiva.
Srimukhavarma of Pallavas, Subedar of Satavahana
princess of Kotanaga family, occupied the kingdom. Later he defeated
Purushadatta, king of Ikshavaka and occupied hi kingdom too. Thus Srisailam was
also under the control of Pallavas during 3rd century.
Pallava deforests the Srisailam area and makes it shelter for Brahmins. Later,
he was defeated by Karikala Chola and became king of this kingdom.
Vishnukundinas: 2nd Rudrasena of
Vakata dynasity belongs to the latter period of 4th century. He was married to
Prabhavathi, daughter of 2nd Chandra Gupta of Magadha. Prabhavathi ruled this
dynasty with her 3 sons after demise of second Rudrasena. During this period,
Srisailam was under their control. Srisailam was developed by both the
dynasties: Vakatakas and Magadhas.
Kakatiyas: During 1370 A.D, this
dynasty ruled Deccan. They were the followers of Chalukyas. After death of VI
Vikramaditya, Kakatikyas dethroned the Chalukyas and occupied the throne. They
segregated all the Telugu people areas and formed a giant kingdom. 2nd Prolaya
ruled between 1110-1150A.D., defeated Chalukya and brought Telangana under his
kingdom. Rudramadevi ruled between 1262-1296 A.D. Prataparudra became king. He
defeated the opponents and established peace in this region. He made some
habitation by destroying the forest area. It was handed over to his chieftain
Patytasahni. Prataparudra and his wife worshipped Srisaila Mallikarjuna and
offered Tulabhaara.Tulabhaara means people wigh themselves in a common balance
with sweets, gold, coins, rice or any such items equal to their own weight and
offer them to God.
Peketi Kommaiah donated part of his kingdom to
lord Mallikarjuna for performing noon-time Pujas.
Reddy rajus of Kondaveedu: After the decline
of Kakatiya dynasty, two dynasties of Reddyrajus were founded by Prolaya Vemareddy
and Vijayanagara kingdom. Prolaya Vemareddy occupied Srisailam. It is he who
paved the steps leading to Patalaganga. He also constructed steps to Ahobilam.
Anavema redddy occupied Srisailam and Tripuraantakam from Vijayanagara kings
and constructed Veerasiromandapam in 1370A.D. Vijayanagaras occupied Srisailam
in 1422A.D. by defeating Reddy rajus.
Vijayanagara kings: 2nd Harihararaya
devotee of Srisaila Mallikarjuna constructed main entrance (Mukhamandapa)
shrine to Lord Mallikarjuna temple. Vithalamba wife of 2nd Harihara also
constructed steps to Patalaganga and there she founded Vithaleswara statue.
Saluva Tirumalaiah given many danas (offerings) to Srisailam temple. Saluva
dynasty people given many offerings to the God. He offered lands, gardens and
took up constructions of the temple.
Srikrishnadevaraya divided Srisailam and made it
a separate state. During this period, Srisailam got fame and due importance was
given to the temple. Parvathanayaka, follower of Srikrishnadevaraya coated
copper layer to Garbhalaya and golden layer to Mukhamandapa in 1513 A.D. In
1529 AD, Chandrasekharamatya, minister constructed kalyaanamandapa and
chinnagudi. Sagalamarri village was also built nearby. Salakaraju constructed
Rulers of Andhra namely Satavahanas, Ikshawakas,
Vishnukundinas, Kadambas, Pallavas, Cholas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas,
Reddyrajus, Vijayanagaras, Maharashtras worshipped Srisailam Mallikarjuna as
their Chief God. Of the above dynasities, Kakatiyas paid greater attention towards
the construction of temple. Ganapathi Deva spent 12 thousand golden coins for
the development of Srisailam every year . Mailamahadevi, sister of Ganapathi
Deva, constructed temple for Mallikarjuna swamy.
It is said that Srisailam experienced golden era
during the rule of Reddy dynasty. During this period, they make Srisailam
become popular visiting place to devotees with the effort of construction of
steps to reach Srisailam. They also constructed Mandapam in the temple
premises. It was said that devotees offered their body parts viz tongue, hands,
legs, and head to god in this Virasiro Mandapam.
Another important dynasty that had put efforts
for the development of Srisailam was the Vijayanagara rulers. 2nd Harihararaya
was constructed the shrine facing South. Srikrishnadevaraya declared Srisailam
as a separate state. He took up constructions for temple Rajagopuram, shelters
for pilgrims (choultries) on both sides to chariot street. Srikrishnadevaraya
carved a wall around the temple with rich sculpture.
Ruler of Maharashtra, Chatrapathi Sivaji was
also served for the development of Srisailam. He took up the works like
construction of North shrine to the temple and allotted some money for the
maintenance of temple and allotted separate army force for the protection of
Place of Srisailam in Literature:
These oldest centuries of Srisailam is mentioned
in all Puranas. It is mentioned in 20th chapter of Padmapuranam uttarakhanda
11th chapter of Markandeya puranam, 6th chapter of Shivapurana Rudrasamhita,
Adityapuranam, and Mahabharatha Vanaparvam, 80th chapter of Bhagavatha
Dasamaskandam, 40th chapter of sheshadarmam of Harivamsam. Skandapuranam, one
of the 18 Puranas, 64th chapter of Srisailakandam describe the complete
features of Srisailam.
Someswara’s ‘Kathasarithsagaram’, Siddhanadhuni’s Rasaratnaakaram,
Bhavabhuthi's Malathimadhvam, Bhanabhattu’s Kaadhambari, Sriharsha’s
‘Ratnaavali’, Nannaya's Bhaaratam, Jakkanna's Vikramarkacharitra, Palkuriki
Samantha’s Basawapuranam, etc are the peices from eminent scholars describing
the greatness of Srisailam.
Besides these there are many books in Tamil,
Telugu, Kannada and Marathi which speak of the greatness of Srisailam. The
foreign travellers like Huen Tsang, Ithsinghansinikicthen, etc had written
about Srisailam in their books.