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Srisailam is one of the most important pilgrimage centers of Lord Shiva in India, and it's one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Srisailam, also known as Sriparvata is situated in the Rishabgiri Hills on the banks of River Krishna in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, at a distance of 215 Kms from Hyderabad and 180 Kms from Kurnool.At an altitude of 457 meters above sea level, this ancient temple built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards is one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagar architecture. Though the exact origins of the temple are not available, the Satavahanas of the 2nd century AD have referred to it. The Kakatiyas and the Vijayanagara kings have made several endowments here. This temple is of immense religious, historical and architectural significance with self-manifested linga. The Skanda Purana has a chapter dedicated to it. The great religious leader Aadi Sankara is said to have visited this shrine and composed his immortal Sivananda Lahiri here.The unique feature of this kshetram is the combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi (in the form of Bramarambha) in one campus, which is very rare and only one of its kind.Srisailam Dam built over River Krishna is one of the largest dams in the state of Andhra Pradesh and the largest hydroelectric project in the state. The dam offers wonderful views of the surrounding Nallamala hills.Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Sanctuary, India's largest tiger reserve is spread over 3500 Sq kms.
At a distance of 1 Kms from Srisailam Bus Station, Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has a great historical and religious significance and it's one of the 12 Jyotirlingas.Situated on the south bank of the river Krishna in the Nallamala Forest, the temple is also the seat of Mahakali in the form of Bhramaramba. This famous temple is built in Vijayanagara style with high operas on all sides of the temple. The Reddy Kings of Kondaveedu contributed a lot to this temple. Shivaji has built north gopuram of the temple. The heroic legends from Mahabharata and Ramayana are sculpted in stone on the walls of temple.According to the legend, Vrishabha, the sacred bull of Lord Siva performed penance here and Siva & Parvati appeared in the form of Mallikharjuna and Bhramaramba. A massive fort, with six meter high walls encloses the temple. The gopuras of the temple were built by Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanaragara and Chatrapathi Sivaji.Everyone is allowed to touch the deity and worship here. The temple is usually crowded on weekends. The festivals of Shivratri and Karthika Powrnami attract lakhs of devotees from all over southern and western India.Timings: 5 AM to 3:30 PM & 6 PM to 10 PM
At a distance of 1 Kms from Srisailam Bus Station, Bramarambha Temple is situated within the main temple complex behind the Mallikarjuna Swamy temple. Srisailam is the only place in India with the combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi (in the form of Bramarambha) in one campus.Bharmara means Bee and goddess Bhramarambika who is termed as Parvati, wife of Lord Mallikarjuna (Lord Shiva). She has assumed herself as a form of bee and worshipped Lord Shiva. Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is one of the eighteen Mahasakthis and she is also in also self-manifested here. You can hear the buzzing of a bee through a tiny hole in the Brahmaramba temple. Devotes are not allowed inside the main sanctum of this temple.Timings: 5 AM to 3:30 PM & 6 PM to 10 PM
At a distance of 1 Km from Srisailam Mallikarjuna Temple, Pathala Ganga is the sacred place in the back waters of River Krishna.Around 500 steps from the Hanuman Temple (Haritha Hotel) need to be trekked down to reach the Pathala Ganga. As a practice, devotees take bath here before entering into the main temple complex.A rope way is operated from Haritha Hotel (Rope way center) to reach Pathala Ganga. Taking the rope way is unique experience with breathtaking views of the backwaters of Srisailam Dam and the surrounding hills.Rope way Timings: 6 AM to 5: 30 PM. Cost: Adult - Rs 50 (two ways), Child - Rs 35 (two ways)Boating is also available at Pathala Ganga and the duration is usually around 20 minutes. Boating here is a pleasant experience. Speed boats are also available (duration - 5 minutes). Cost: Adult - Rs 50, Child - Rs 35. Boating Timings: 9 AM to 5 PMTickets to visit Akkamahadevi Caves can be obtained at boating point at Pathala Ganga.
At a distance of 1 Km from Srisailam Bus Station, Tribal Museum at the entrance of Srisailam town is a wonderful place to experience the culture and life style of tribal living in Nallamala Hills.With a huge collection of tribal artifacts and different sections showcasing the life style of the natives, this is a must visit place in Srisailam. The museum is well maintained with good collection of the daily use articles of tribal, articles of labor, weapons, statues of their gods, musical instruments, etc.There is a large park inside the Museum campus with images of dinosaurs, tribal huts, children play area, etc.Timings: 8:30 AM to 8 PM. Entrance Fee: Rs 10.
At a distance of 3 Km from Srisailam, Sakshi Ganapati Temple, on the main road to Sikharam, is one of the sacred spots frequented by pilgrims since times immemorial. The traditional belief is that the Ganapathi in this temple keeps regular account of all the pilgrims to tender Sakshyam (evidence) of their visit to this Kshetram and so named as Sakshi Ganapathi. The sculpture of this deity is exquisitely made holding a book in the left hand and a pen in the right hand in such a way as noting down the names of devotees. It is in practice that devotees during their return from Mallikarjuna Temple visit this temple. Srinatha, the renowned poet of 14th Century in his Kasikhandam states that this Sakshi Ganapathi is visualized by sage Agasthya during his pilgrimage to Srisailam.Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM
At a distance of 4.5 Km from Srisailam, Phaladhara and Panchadhara, on the way to Sikharam, is one of the most beautiful scenic spot in the surroundings of Srisailam. This spot is located in a narrow valley approachable by a flight of 160 steps with streams of pure water flowing with musical sound reverberate the surroundings. According to locals, these streams signify their origin from the fore head of God Siva, the Phaladhara (Phala = fore head, dhara = Stream) and denote the five aspects of Siva, the Panchadhara (Pancha = five, dhara = Stream). The water from this stream flows uninterrupted in all the seasons. Tradition records that Bhagavan Adisankara performed penance at this place and composed the famous Sivanandalahari here. His Holiness Kanchi Paramacharya confirmed this and marble statues of Sarada Devi and Sankaracharya installed here.The Skanda Purana describes the flow as Bhogavathi and it joins in the river Krishna.
At a distance of 4.5 Km from Srisailam, Hatekeswaram, on the way to Sikharam and opposite to Phaladhara & Panchadhara is a small shrine dedicated Lord Shiva. According to legends, God Shiva appeared to a potter devotee at this place in Atika (Piece of Pot) and hence named as Atikeswaram and later it became as Hatakeswaram. Another tradition gives the name to this place from a particular yogic school known as Hatayoga, one of the forms of Astangayogas (the eight yogas).Some historians located a laboratory of Akhemy (Rasayoga) at this place during medieval times. The present temple dedicated to Hatakeswara Swamy is stone structure built around 12th century. Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM
At a distance of 5 Kms from Srisailam, Kailasadwaram is situated to the South-West of Hatakeswaram. Kailasadwaram is considered as the entrance of pathway leading to Srisailam.In ancient days, devotees used to visit Srisailam by foot. Nowadays, many devotees walk up to Srisailam temple from Kailasadwaram.
At a distance of 8 Kms from Srisailam, Sikharam is the highest point of Srisailam Hills at an altitude of 2830 feet above sea level. The Skanda Purana proclaims that a mere glance of this Sikharam frees the human soul from the fitters of rebirth. In ancient days people used to come to Srisailam on foot and those who unable to reach the shrine returned back by seeing this peak.The Sikhareswaram Temple located here is an ancient stone structure consisting of Garbhagriha, Antaralaya and 16 pillared Mukhamanda. The deity here is named as Veera Sankara Swamy and locally popularized as Sikhareswara Swamy. Historically the Reddy Kings have constructed a flight of steps to this temple in the year 1398 AD and also a tank (Pushkarini) at this place. This place gives a panoramic view of the entire temple complex of Srisailam including the meandering river Krishna.A tough climb through 150 well laid stone steps takes visitors to this temple. There is another entrance at southern side little ahead of the main entrance which has just 30 steps.Timings: 6 AM to 3:30 PM & 5 Pm to 8:30 PM
At a distance of 10 Kms from Srisailam, Akka Mahadevi Caves are the naturally formed caves in thick Nallamalai Hills on the banks of River Krishna. There is no road access to these caves and AP Tourism runs Motor Boat to this place from Pathala Ganga and little trekking is required from the boating spot.These caves have obtained its name in 12th Century AD from Akka Mahadevi, the famous ascetic, lyricist and philosopher, Akkamahadevi who hailed from Karnataka. It is known that Akkamahadevi did penance in this cave and worshipped the Sivalinga naturally existed in the deep and dark end of the cave.This cave is endowed with a geological marvel of natural Rock Arch measuring nearly 200x16x4 feet which stands majestically without any support. The surrounding of the cave and its journey through the river from Srisailam provides a wonderful experience. The cave has 150 meters deep drops and exploration is very dangerous. The boating is often cancelled in case of heavy water flow in monsoons. The boating tickets can be obtained at the Ropeway Center at the entrance of Pathala Ganga (Haritha Hotel) or at the boating point at Pathala Ganga (where the boating starts from ).Timings: 9:30 AM to 12 Noon (Duration: 2.5 Hrs). Cost: Adult - Rs 270, Child - Rs 170.
At a distance of 14 Kms from Srisailam Bus Station, Srisailam Dam is constructed across the Krishna River and it is one of the largest dams in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is also one of the 12 largest hydroelectric projects in the country. The dam was constructed in a deep gorge in the Nallamala hills, 300 meters above sea level. The dam is 512 meters long, 240.79 meters high and has 12 radial crest gates. The dam has a live storage of 274 TMC and provides irrigation water for about 200,000 acres of land in Kurnool District and Cuddapah District, which are in the drought-prone Rayalaseema region. Special permission is needed to go on to the main dam.Surrounded by beautiful nature all around, the dam offers wonderful views during monsoon season when all the gates are open.APSRTC operates a 2.5 hours bus tour covering Srisailam Dam, Phaladhara & Panchadhara, Hathakeswaram and Sikharam at Rs.20 per head.
At a distance of 20 Kms from Srisailam, the ancient Isthakameshwari Temple is located in a dense and picturesque forest. This small shrine of 8th century was a popular pilgrimage spot in ancient days. It is located in a dense forest in a tribal village. The forehead of the idol where traditional Hindu Bindi is kept is as soft as the forehead of an ordinary female. The road the Isthakameshwari Temple is very bumpy and hilly. Only SUVs like Jeeps can travel on this route. Private vehicles are available from Srisailam to reach this place.After travelling for 11-12 Kms on SH8 towards Dornala, a left turn should be taken into the forest. About 8 Kms journey on this bumpy road will take you to Isthakameshwari Temple.
At a distance of 22 Kms from Srisailam and 12 Kms from Akka Mahadevi Caves, Kadalivanam Caves are natural caves with lot of history attached to it. After reaching Akka Mahadevi Caves on Motor Boat from Srisailam, trekking through multiple mountains for a distance of 12 Kms will take you to this place.This is a huge cave like natural rock shelter which can accommodate nearly 500 persons comfortably. Near the rock shelter flows a stream and evidences of stone age man in the form of stone tools were discovered. Akkal Maharaj, who is a famous saint in Maharashtra did penance at this place for several years before heading to Maharashtra.Akkamahadevi is said to have spent her last days at this place. It is said that Bhagavan Dattatreya and his other incarnations are believed to have been dwelling at this place. This excellent spot is considered to be extremely sacred by devotees. Many devotees from Karnataka and Maharastra also visit this place during their trip to Srisailam.
At a distance of 28 Kms from Srisailam, Nagalooty, also known as Longalooty has several temples at foothill of Srisailam Hills. It is the place from where the ancient foot path to Srisailam begins. Located in a dense forest, Nagalooty has many Temples, Gopuras, Pushkarinis, and broken idols speak about its once glorious past. On architectural grounds and iconographical features the temple and sculpture of this place can be dated to a period between 13th - 15th centuries. The sculptures of this place include Veerabhadra, Bhadrakali and Utchista Ganapathi.
At a distance of 60 Kms Nagajuna Sagar, 30 Kms from Srisailam and 140 Kms from Hyderabad, the Nagarjuna Sagar - Srisailam Sanctuary (or Srisailam Sanctuary) is the largest tiger reserve in the country, spread across 3568 Sq. Kms. It is spread between Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir & Srisailam reservoir. It was declared a sanctuary in 1973 and was incorporated under Project Tiger a decade later.Animals that can be found here are the panthers, tigers, spotted deer, mouse deer, black buck, sambars, chousingha nilgai, tree straw, mugger crocodile, and wolfs, sloth beer & wild dogs. Mannanur (104 Kms from Mahbubnagar towards Srisailam), Kandla Kunta (30 Kms from Macherla & 60 Kms from Sagar towards Srisailam), Vatwarla Palle (30 Kms from Srisailm towards Mahbubnagar) are different gateways into the sanctuary. No forest department safaris are available. Accommodation is available at Srisailam, Macherla & Mannanur and private tour operators can arrange trip into the forest from here.
At a distance of 45 Kms from Srisailam, Gupta Mallikarjunam, also called as Loddi by locals, is a beautiful picturesque spot with spiritual significance. This place is located with in Srisailam Sanctuary between Srisailam and Mannanur, at a distance of 10 Kms before Mannanur.This place contains a small shrine of Siva in a shallow cave along with a broken idol of Ganapathi. The Srisaila Khanda of Skanda Purana speaks about this place and named it as Guptha Mallikarjunam.There is a nice waterfall located at this place.
At a distance of 58 Kms from Srisailam & 173 Kms from Hyderabad, Mallela Theertham is a charming waterfall located in the dense Nallamala forest. With a height of about 150 feet, water directly falls from a high cliff on a Shiv Lings kind of rock formations. Bordered by think forest, the surroundings of the falls offer different experience. The water comes from a small stream which flows through the dense jungle and meets the Krishna River. About 380 well laid steps need to be walked down to reach the falls from the road point. The pool below the falls is closed with fencing on all sides. However, there is a path to reach the bottom of the falls and play in the water, if the flow of the stream is not peak.After travelling 50 Kms from Srisailam towards Hyderabad, you have to take right turn into forest at Vatwarlapally and drive for about 8 Kms to reach the falls. The approach road towards the falls is bumpy and gets worse in peak monsoons. Autos and Jeeps are also available from Vatwarlapally. You may not find much water in summer season.The water from main falls flow into another pool in the vicinity forming another small but cute waterfall, though reaching bottom of this fall is little difficult.Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM. Entrance: Rs. 10 per head, Car Parking: Rs 20.
At a distance of 60 Kms from Srisailam, Saleswaram, also known as Sarveswaram and Saileswaram is famous for a Shiva temple built in 6th / 7th century AD. This temple is open for only 5 days in year during Chaitra Pournima Festival.This place also finds reference in ancient puranas. Sriparvatha Purana, a celebrated work of Seshanatha written in 16th century about Srisailam speaks about this place. Here is a cave temple dedicated to God Siva and two ponds named as Sarvesa theertham and Pushkara theertham.This place is located within Srisailam Sanctuary between Srisailam and Mannanur. After travelling for 48 Kms from Srisailam on this road, a left turn should be taken into the forest. After travelling for 10 Kms on the same road, one can reach the nearest road point to this place. A walk for 1-2 Kms is required to reach his place from the road point.Opposite to the temple there is a huge waterfall cascading down the hill holding the visitor spellbound with its raw beauty.
At a distance of 1 Kms from Srisailam Bus Station, Bramarambha Temple is situated within the main temple complex of Mallikarjuna Swamy. Srisailam is the only place in India with the combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi (in the form of Bramarambha) in one campus.Bharmara means Bee and goddess Bhramarambika who is termed as Parvati, wife of Lord Mallikarjuna (Lord Shiva). She has assumed herself as a form of bee and worshipped Lord Shiva. Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is one of the eighteen Mahasakthis and she is also in also self-manifested here. You can hear the buzzing of a bee through a tiny hole in the Brahmaramba temple. Devotes are not allowed inside the main sanctum of this temple.Timings: 4:30 AM to 3:30 PM & 6 PM to 9 PM
At a distance of 110 Kms from Srisailam and 150 Kms from Hyderabad, Uma Maheswaram is famous for Uma Maheswara Temple built in 2nd century. Situated in deep Nallamalai Forests in Mahabubnagar District, the presiding deities are Mallikarjuna (Shiva) and Bhramaramba (Parvati). It is located on Srisailam - Hyderabad road. It is knows as the north gateway to Srisailam.Timings: Not Available
Nagarjuna Sagar, located at a distance of 165 Kms from Hyderabad in Nalgonda district, is one of the most prominent Buddhist centers in India. Known in ancient days as Vijayapuri, Nagarjuna Sagar takes its present name from Nagarjuna, one of the most revered Buddhist monks lived in 2nd century AD. It is also a place of immense archaeological significance & excavations revealed this place as a center for the propagation of Buddhist teachings in South India during 3rd century AD.One of the early river valley civilizations took birth here. Enthused by the peaceful environs of this place, Buddhists made this land a great hub of learning, setting up one of the four major Viharas here. Further down in history, one of the first Hindu kingdoms of South India, Ikshvakus made this city their capital. Today known as Nagarjuna Sagar, this holy land now boasts one of the world's tallest dams.Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was completed in 1966 with a height of 124 meters and a length of over 1450 meters with 26 crest gates. The lake created by the dam is the third largest manmade lake in the world. There is a viewpoint at a distance of 4 Kms from the dam that offers a panoramic view of the amazing landscape. Nagarjuna Konda, where the ancient Buddhist excavations are found is in middle of the waters of Nagarjuna Sagar and can be reached by a boat.AP tourism operates a wonderful cottage on the banks of Sagar lake, called Vijaya Vihar.
At a distance of 190 Kms from Srisailam, 90 Kms from Mantralayam, 90 Kms from Mahanandi and 220 Kms from Hyderabad, Alampur is famous for very ancient Navabrahma temples dedicated to Lord Shiva built in 7th century by Badami Chalukyas. Located at a distance of 20 kms from Kurnool, Alampur is the place where River Thungabhadra and River Krishna confluence, and known as Dakshina Kailasam. Alampur is considered to be the western gateway of SriSailam. The Nava Brahma temples are Taraka Brahma, Swarga Brahma, Padma Brahma, Bala Bhramha, Garuda Bhramha, Kumara Bhramha, Arka Bhramha, Vira Bhramha and the Vishwa Bhramha. These temples are all enclosed in a courtyard on the left bank of the river Tungabhadra. The temples in Alampur exhibits excellent specimen of Chalukyan architecture and sculpture. Several sculptures on the temples which date back to the 8th century are still prominent and beautiful.Frequent buses and private vehicles are available from Kurnool.