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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.
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