Akka Mahadevi Caves
Nature | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 10 km from Srisailam Temple & 25 km from Srisailam Dam, Akka Mahadevi Caves are the naturally formed caves in thick Nallamala Hills, just above the upstream flow of the river Krishna. The best way to reach these caves is by Motor Boat from Pathala Ganga in Srisailam. It is one of the popular Srisailam tourist places while visiting the holy shrine of Mallikarjun Temple. A narrow mud road is also available from Hyderabad - Srisailam Road (20 km before Srisailam Dam) from where the caves are about 5 km away. Only high clearance vehicles can take this 5 km rough stretch which is often inaccessible in monsoon season.
While travelling by boat, after an hour ride across River Krishna, take a little trek for 10 minutes to reach the Akka Mahadevi Caves. The trek is easy but one has to be a little careful because the path is close to the edge.
The caves are named after Akka Mahadevi, the famous philosopher, ascetic and lyricist, who hailed from Karnataka in 12th century AD. It is known that Akka Mahadevi did penance in this cave and worshipped the Sivalinga naturally existed in the deep and dark end of the cave. To reach the Siva Linga through the tunnel, one has to crawl and then walk sideways because it becomes very narrow towards the end. This cave is endowed with a geological marvel of natural Rock Arch measuring nearly 200x16x4 feet which stands majestically without any support. The caves are completely devoid of any light and at the extreme end where the Siva Linga is found, there is very little oxygen to breathe freely. Visitors will need torch lights to enter the cave as it is very deep and dark.
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. This cave was the seat of many violent and secret Saiva sects such as the Kapalikas as mentioned in medieval literature.
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.