Srisailam Jyotirlinga Temple is revered as one of the 12 Jyothirlingas of India and is one of the top sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. Dedicated to deities Lord Shiva & Maa Parvati, this temple is located at Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh. It is believed that the Lord Shiva of the Srisailam hill is a Swayambulinga (self-manifested). In Skanda Purana and many other religious, there is a beautiful mention of the sanctity of the hill during Mahabharata times. The hills are also sacred to the Buddhists and it is believed that Saint Nagarjuna lived here in the first century AD. Chinese travelers Fahian and Hieun Tsang have termed this pilgrim center as Sri Parvatam and a Buddhist centre.
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.
The architecture of Mallikarjun Temple
The architecture of the ancient Mallikarjun Temple is very beautiful and intricate. Featuring rich endowment of sculptural, well-designed fort wall and rich architecture, this temple is built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards. It is considered to be one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagar architecture. Temple of Tripurantakam, Siddavatam, Alampura, and Umamaheswaram located in the vicinity of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga are considered to be the four gateways to Sri Sailam.
Legend of Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga
As per Shiva Purana, Lord Ganesh was married before his brother Kartikeya and this made Kartikeya angry. To soothe his anger, Kartikeya went away to the Kraunch Mountain. Everybody tried to console and help Kartikeya but all efforts went in vain. This incident made Shiv-Parvati very sad and both decided that they would themselves go to Kraunch Mountain for Katikeya. However, when Kartikeya came to know that his parents have arrived, he went away. Lord Shiva assumed the form of Jyotirlinga and resided on that mountain by the name of Mallikarjuna. Mallika means Parvati, while Arjuna is another name of Shiva. In this way, both Shiva and Parvati came to reside in this linga. Therefore this place holds utmost significance and it is said that by merely seeing the tip of this mountain can emancipate all sins and worries from life.
Top attractions near the temple:
- Bhramaramba Shrine: Located adjacent to the Mallikarjun Temple, this popular shrine is dedicated to Goddess Jagdamba who is known as Bhramaramba here. Legend has it that Durga is said to have assumed the shape of a bee and worshipped Shiva here, and chose this place as her abode.
- Akka Mahadevi Caves: Located in the midst of island and jungle, this is the place where Akka mahadevi meditated to please Lord Shiva. One can enjoy a 2-hour boat ride from Pathala Ganga boating point. The ride on the Krishna River between those hills is scenic and enjoyable. A visit to these caves is a worthy experience.
- Shikaresvara Temple: It is the highest peak of Srisailam Hills. There is belief that whoever can see the shilara of the Srisailam Temple from in between the Nandi's horns will attain moksha. Sikhareswara Swamy is one of the forms of Lord Shiva and is believed to possess the power to free his devotees from their sins.
- Sakshi Ganapati Temple: Located on the way to Srisailam, this temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is visited by every devotee who comes to seek blessings of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy. It is believed that a visit to Srisailam goes unrecorded if a devotee doesn’t visit Sakshi Ganapati Temple. The word Shakshi means the one who witnesses, which is representative of the belief that Lord Ganesha keeps a record of everyone who visits Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, which is then shown to Lord Shiva. The common practice is to visit Sakshi Ganapati Temple first and then the other temples in Srisailam.
Points to Remember:
- Know a bit of Telugu as the pricks don't understand Hindi over here
- Buy flowers/Bel leaves outside and hand it over to the Pandits.
- Photography and mobiles are not allowed inside the temple. One can click photos outside the temple.
How to Reach:
Air: There is no direct flight connectivity as of now to Srisailam. The nearest airport is in Hyderabad, i.e. the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
By Train: There is no direct rail connectivity to Srisailam. The nearest railway station is in Cumbum district, which is some 60 km. away from Srisailam.
By Road: Srisailam is well connected by Devasthanam buses and State-owned APSRTC buses. Regular bus services ply to and fro the city of Srisailam.
Address: Srisaila Devasthanam, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh 518101
Phone: 085242 88883, +91 85242 88881
Major festivals: Maha Shivaratri, Navratri