Srisailam is the spiritual station which
contains 8 gateways to the sides & corners of Srisailam. Every inch of the
surroundings of Srisailam has its unique and sacredness. It is clearly revealed
in Puranas, inscriptions and other sources available in this area. It has a
very vast circumference, comprising of thousands of temples, streams(Teerthas) with
portraits of Gods / goddesses stationed here. Of all these, some are in dilapidated
condition, some have demised and some got extinct in due course of time.
Srisailam is in thick and dense forest of Nallamalla. Even today, most of the
places are out of common man’s reach due to lack of proper information on the
accessibility. Because of this the devotees of lord Shiva are not able to visit
In this vast Kshetra, besides the main temple
of Sri Mallikarjuna swamy temple and Sri Bramaramba temple, every step land on
here gives a feeling of sanctity to the devotees. Even though thousands of
places are here to see, a few places are being brought before you. It is our
intention to explain about Srisailam accessories as one of the devotees of lord
Mallikarjuna Swamy temple:
1.Vrudhamallikarjuna Swamy: This
lingam is said to be older than the present Mallikarjuna Swamy Lingam. There is
no Nandi (Bull, vechicle of Lord) in front of it. The Lingam is uneven on its
outer face which indicates the old age of Lord Shiva which was prayed by
Chandravathi. Hence it is called Vrudhamallikarjuna Swamy.
2. Ardhanareeswar: This
idol is in the northern side of the main temple. This is the oldest idol.
Details and period of the idol remains unknown yet.
3. Lingas incarnated by Pandavas: Five
temples are situated besides Arthanaareseswara temple. These were incarnated by
Pandavas according to the historic sources.
4. Mallika Gundam: (Mallika
water point): According to the Hindu mythology, this Gundam was part and parcel
of Saraswathi river, which flows beneath the Krishna river. The river Saraswathi
is called ‘Antaarvahine’ which means it is flowing beneath the river Krishna.
Many devotees used this Mallika Gundam water to heal their diseases. Another
important thing is, the shade of the gopuram (monumental tower) of Mallikarjuna
swamy’s temple is being reflected in this ‘Gundam’.
5. Veerabhadra Swamy Temple: This idol is in temple and having North
face. He is guarding the Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy always.
6. Sanagalabasavanna: It is situated in front of the Veerasiro mandapam. It
is known as “Nandi mandapam”. This Nandi is called Nandeeswara (Baswanna). Kannadigulu
call this as ‘Chennu kallu Basawanna”.
7. Addala(Mirror) Mandapam: Place for Swamy where he takes rest during nights
called as pavalimpu seva.
8. Tri fruit tree (Triphala uruksham): Juvvi (white fruited wavy
leaf fig tree), Raavi (Sacred
Fig or Bo-Tree), and Medi (Cluster
Fig Tree) plants together
become grown as one tree. It was said that Acharya Nagarjuna and others performed
deeksha under this tree. One superstition was there, that couples who had no
children, simply they circumambulated the tree (walking round the tree) to get
children(santanam) in coming years.
9. Nityakalyana mandapam(marriage hall): This is to the south west of temple where daily
Kalyanam (Marriage) of the Mallikarjuna Swamy and Bramarambika ammawaru is perfomed
in the eveninings.
10. Sri Rama and Sita Devi’s sahasralingams: Shahasra meaning thousand. Sahasra linga means 1000 Lingas
carved in one linga. Sri Rama linga is situated in Swamy’s temple whereas the
one installed by Sita Devi is in Ammavari temple.
Bramaramba devi temple:
The main temple of
Bramaramba devi, the first of Asthadasa Maha Sakthi Peethas is the one with
fabulous sculptures. You can hear a kind of BEE
FLY’s whizzing (Bhramara means Bee
Fly) behind the main temple.
1 .Lopa mudra: Lopa mura shapes of Agasya Maharshi wife are only
seen in Srisailam. We can see them in sala mandapam of devi temple.
of interest in and around Srisailam
1. SakshiGanapathi: It is just 1.5 miles away from Srisailam. According
to the Hindu Mythology, it is believed that the details of devotees visiting
Srisailam will be recorded by him and provided as witness to Lord Shiva. That way
he is called Sakshi (withness) Ganapathi.
2. Vitalesvara temple: In 14 century AD, Vitalamba wife of Harihararaya II laid
steps to Paatalaganga and this temple was built. This temple is rich in
sculpture. The deity residing here is called Vitalesvara Swamy.
3. Shivaji spurthi kendram: Once Chatrapati Shivaji has visited the Srisailam
and resided here for some time. He had built northern shrine. In front of it,
he built a small mandapa and used to live there. Now it has been collapsed. Adjecent
to that a well architected modern building has been constructed in the name
Shivaji spurthi kendram. A life size idol of Shivaji can be seen in the
building which stands as an inspiration to everyone.
4. Hatakeswaram: It is about 5 km from Srisailam. ‘Hataka’ means
gold. Lord Shiva killed Tripurasura by making Meruparvatham as bow and arrow.
Here, Shiva has been worshipped in golden Lingam shape. Hence it is being
called as Hatakeswaram. In front of the temple, a water pond of over 150 ft
area can be witnessed. It is called Hatekeswara theertham. It is believed that
devotees who dip here (bath) and drink water in paladhara-Panchadhara, fulfill
5. Paladhara-Panchadhara: It is about 200 meters from Hatakeswaram.
Paladhara-Water steams flows continuously. It originates and flows 6 meters and
demise there itself. It exists throughout the year irrespective of any season.
It is called Paladhara because it is believed that this was originated from the
forehead of Lord Shiva. Panchadhara- it is originated from 5 faces of Lord
Shiva viz Satyojatha, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpursha and Esana. Water is of
medicinal values, devotees carry water from here in order to cure their
diseases. Sanctity of these dharas: by bathing in Hatakeswaram and drinking
water in Paladhara and Panchadhara, devotees’ desires will be fulfulled. The
book Shivanandalahari is said to be written here.
6. Sikhareswaram: It is the highest peak of Srisailam moutain range
above to 2830 feet to MSL. It is about 8 km from main temple. Lord Veerasankara
being called as Sikhareswara. In the past centuries, devotees used to reach Srisailam
on foot through the dense forest. Being tired they were unable to move any
further and wanted to have a look of the shrine. From there they might have returned.
According to Puranas “Srisaila Sikharam drustya punarjanma navidyate….” By looking
at this Sikharam it is said that one gets emancipated from all sins. The person
becomes free from the vicious cycle of life and death.
7. Ishtakameswari Devi: It is about 21 km from main temple, situated in dense
forest of Srisailam hill. This temple belongs to 8th –10th centuries.
Ishtakameswari is another name of Parvathi devi. There is no word like
Ishtakameswari in the puranas and literature except Kameswari. In the present
day also it is difficult to reach there. Private vehicle or not allowed and so
one has to hire vehicles. There is a specialty in the idol that if you touch
the forehead u can feel like a human skin. If you visit the place once, you
will feel like visiting the same place again.
8. Paathalaganga:It is 1 km from main temple. One has to climb down
nearly 500 steps to reach river Krishna which flows at the foot of the hill and
called as Pathalganga. Now rope way to this was constructed making it
convenient for the people who cannot reach the place through steps.
9. Akkamahadevi caves: It is about 10 km from Pathalaanga. Akkamahadevi was
strong believer of Lord Mallikarjunaswamy. She belongs to 12th century. She was
born in ‘Udutadi’ village in Shimoga district of Karnataka. Her parents Sumathi
and Nirmala Setty, were veerashiva devotees. Being uninterested in marriage
with the king Koushikudu, she came to Srisailam to engross in Lord Mallikarjuna
and reached caves, now being called Akkamahadevi caves. She performed penance (Tapassu)
for some time in these caves and later went to Kandhalivanalu. She has been
worshipped as prime Sivasaran in ‘Veerashiva’ tradition. These caves are naturally
formed, very attractive and station of natural beauty.
Places and distance from Srisailam:
|| 4 km|
||Istakameswari devi temple
|| 11 km|
|| Akkamahadevi caves
|| 11 km|
|| 64 km|