Monday, 25 June 2012

Srisailam Temples


                                                                 Om Namah Shivaye

The shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna picturesquely situated on a flat top of Nallamalai Hills, Srisailam is reputed to be one of the most ancient kshetras in India. It is on the right side of the River Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. This celebrated mountain is also named as Siridhan, Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatha and Srinagam. It has been a popular centre of Saivite pilgrimage for centuries.

The prominence of this Divya Kshetram is highlighted by the fact that while performing our daily household rituals we specify place of location of our existence with reference to Srisailam.

About the temple

The shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna picturesquely situated on a flat top of Nallamalai Hills, Srisailam is reputed to be one of the most ancient kshetras in India. It is on the right side of the River Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. This celebrated mountain is also named as Siridhan, Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatha and Srinagam. It has been a popular centre of Saivite pilgrimage for centuries.

The prominence of this Divya Kshetram is highlighted by the fact that while performing our daily household rituals we specify place of location of our existence with reference to Srisailam.

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, which is very rare and only one of its kind.

There is a common belief in vogue that this Holy Kshetram exists from times immemorial. The antiquity and origin of God Mallikarjuna Swamy and Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is not known.

The Mallikarjuna Linga is accessible to each and every devotee and anybody can go into the sanctum sanctorum of Mallikarjuna, touch him and perform Abhishekam and Archana himself to recitation of Mantras by Archakas without caste or creed or religion. This clearly reveals that socialistic pattern of society started from this place and it is still in existence.

History

Srisailam played a dominant role in our religious, cultural and social history from ancient times.

The epigraphical evidence reveals that the history of Srisailam begins with the Sathavahanas who were the first empire builders in South India. The earliest known historical mention of the Hill - Srisailam, can be traced in Pulumavis Nasik inscription of 1st Century A.D.

The Sathavahanas, the Ikshavakus, the Pallavas, the Vishnukundis, the Chalukyas, the Kakatiyas, the Reedy Kings, the Vijayanagara Emperors and Chatrapathi Shivaji are among the famous emperors who worshipped God Mallikarjuna Swamy.

Prataparudra of Kakatiya Dynasty strived a lot for the improvements of this Kshetram and granted Paraganas for its maintenance. Ganapathideva has spent 12000 Golden Nanyas for the maintenance of the temple.

The period of Reddi Kings is the Golden Age of Srisailam that almost all rulers of the dynasty did celebrated service for this temple. In 14th Century Prolaya Vema Reddi of Reddy Dynasty constructed stepped path-way to Srisailam and Pathalaganga (Here the river Krishna is called as Pathalaganga) and Anavema Reddi constructed Veera Siromandapam in which the Veerasaiva devotees cut off their hands, tongue, limbs with devotion to attain the realisation of the God. This practice is known as Veeracharam.

The Second Harihararaya of Vijayanagara Empire constructed the Mukhamantapam of Swamy shrine and also a Gopuram on Southern Side of the temple.

In the 15th Century Sri Krishnadevaraya Constructed the Rajagopuram on Eastern side and Salumantapas on both sides of the temple.

The last Hindu King who strove hard for the improvement of the temple is Chatrapathi Shivaji who constructed a Gopuram on northern side in the year 1667 A.D.


Accomdation

The Devasthanam is having 25 individual cottages, Pathaleswara Sadan with 23 Deluxe Suites, Sivasadanam guest house with 100 rooms, T.T.D Guest House with 10 rooms,Chandeswara Sadanam with 22 rooms and a dormitory Choultry consisting of 7 Halls.

Devasthanam has also constructed a modern complex with 112 suites named as Gangasadan and Gowrisadan.

Tariff
S.No Cottages & Rooms Rent Per Day
1 Sivasadanam 100
2 Pathaleswara Sadanam(A/C  ) 800
3 Chandeeswara Sadan (A/C) 400
  Chandeeswara Sadan ( Non A/C) 250
  Chandeeswara Sadan (One A/C, One Non A/C) 600
4 T.T.D (A/C) 300
  T.T.D Non A/C 100
5 Aditya Cottage 2000
6 Soma Enterprises 1200
7 Eswaramma Cottage 1000
8 Siddeswara Cottage 1200
9 Ramanaidu Cottage 600
10 Cottage (2 A/C & 1 Non A/C ) 1000
11 Cottage (2 A/C ) 800
12 Cottage (1 A/C & 1 Non A/C) 600
13 Bramari Sadanam Hall 200
14 Ganga & Gouri Sadan (A/C) 650
Ganga & Gouri Sadan (Non A/C) 400
Ganga & Gouri Sadan (Hall 20 Beds) 2000
15 Pilgrim Sheds (No Beds) 450
Pilgrim Sheds (No Beds) 350
Besides this there are 40 private choultries consisting of about 1200 rooms and they are also providing accommodation to the pilgrim.

The Department of Tourism is maintaining Punnami Guest Houses consisting about 50 suites.

Free Accomodation
The Devasthanam has constructed pilgrim sheds at Pathalaganga Road and at Filter Bed with number of toilets and with drinking water facilities. They are being given to the pilgrims who came through Tourist Buses.

(a). Abstract of Devasthanam Accommodation available :
Sl.No Description A.Cs Non A.Cs Halls
1 Cottages 27 2 Nil
2 Sivasadanam Nil 83 Nil
3 T.T.D. Choultry 8 4 Nil
4 Pathaleswara Sadan 24 Nil Nil
5 * Ganga Gouri Sadanams 35 85 6
6 Chandeeswara Sadan 4 23 Nil
7 Bhramarisadan Nil Nil 3
  Total : 98 197 9
Grand Total : 304

In addition to the above Devasthanam accommodation, 1553 Rooms are available in various private choultries. A statement showing the above details is annexed.

Sl.No Name of the Choultry Total Rooms
1 Lingayat Choultry 42
2 Srungeri Sankar Mutt 14
3 Vasavi Satram 150
4 Kambam Satram 110
5 Kshetraya Satram  (Rajula Satram) 60
6 Saranabasaveswara Satram 22
7 Karivena Satram 150
8 Karnataka Guest House 25
9 Padmasaleeya Satram 65
10 Arya Gowda Anna Satram 60
11 Kakateeya Kmma Satram 72
12 Akhila Bharata Redla Satram 159
13 Telaga, Kapu, Balija Satram 90
14 Karna Bhakta Satram 16
15 Sarangadhara Satram 20
16 Devanga Satram 50
17 Sholapur Anna Satram 21
18 Velama Satram 35
19 Togata veera Kshetriya Satram 36
20 Viswabrahmna Satram 33
21 Warangal Satram 14
22 Jagadguru Anna Satram 73
23 Yadava Anna Satram 66
24 Salivahana Anna Satram 28
25 Tourisam Guest House 37
26 Manikyeswari Matha Asramam 16
27 Mudi Rajula Anna Satram 11
28 Rajaka Anna Satram 10
29 Sridevi Veda Vidyalayam 24
30 Gurukula Patasala 6
31 Nayee Brahmana Anna Satram 8
32 Zilla Parishad Guest House 6
33 Vadiyala Rajula Satram 10
34 R & B Guest House 6
35 Mallikarjuna Anna Satram 8
  Total : 1553


How to Reach

Air:
The nearest Airport is Hyderabad (230 K.M.) from where buses are plying to Srisailam everyday frequently.

Rail :
Markapur, which is 91 K.M. from Srisailam in Guntur-Hubli, line on South Central Railway from where buses are available to Srisailam.

Road:
Srisailam is well connected by A.P.S.R.T.C.Buses not only from all corners of the State but also from Bangalore, Chennai etc. The Karnataka Road Transport Corporation is also running buses from various main cities of that state.

About Visiting Place - Panchamatams
These are popular as the Panchamathas namely Ghantha Matham, Bheemasankara Matham, Vibhoothi Matham, Rudraksha Matham and Sarangadhara Matham.

The Mathas played an important role in the History and Cult of Srisailam. They are well associated with the religious and social activities of the temple in the medieval times. These Mathas acted as educational institutions dedicated to higher learing in various branches and catered to the intellectual and spiritual needs of the society. Srisailam became a powerful saivate centre because of the existence and activities both spiritual and profane of these Mathas. The origin of the Mathas seems to be as early as 7th Century A.D. The historical inscriptions related to Srisailam speak about eleven Mathas in Srisailam. But only 5 Mathas are still in existence and all of them are in dilapidated condition. These Mathas are rich in sculptural and architectural wealth, where several Sivalingas were installed and worshipped since centuries.

These Mathas also looked after the administration of the temple and its rituals along with the revenue accured from more than 70 Villages in various parts of Andhra which were donated to the temples by various rulers in the medieval period. The existing Mathas are located with in a distance of 1 Km to the west of the main temple.

The Devasthanam is planning to renovate all these Mathas.







About Visiting Place - Sakshi Ganapathi

This small shrine located about 3 Kms from Srisailam and 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 had the darshan of this Ganapathi and informed their name and gotra to him. Srinatha the renowed poet of 14th Century A.D. in his Kasikhandam states that this Sakshi Ganapathi is visualized by sage Agasthya during his pilgrimage to Srisailam.

Sikharam

This most sacred spot is located at about 8 Km from the main temple at a height of 2830 feet above the mean sea level. It is the highest peak of Srisailam Hills.

The Skanda Purana proclains that a mere glance of this Sikharam frees the human soul from the fitters of rebirth. (Srisaila Sikharam Drustva Punarjanma Na Vidyathe).

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 is an ancient stone structure consisting of Garbhagriha, Antaralaya and 16 pillered 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 A.D. and also a tank (Pushkarini) at this place.





During the medieval times this spot was the centre for many secret sects of Saivisam who performed their rituals in the cave like chambers which can be seen even today.

This place give a panoramic view of the entire temple complex of Srisailam including the meandering river Krishna.

Istakameshwari

The ancient temple of Istakameswari is located in a dense and picturesque forest environment about 21 Km to the east of Srisailam. Datable to the 8th � 9th Centuries A.D, this small shrine appears to have wide popular significance during medieval times. The sculpture of the deity is very unique and have no parallel anywhere in India. The Goddess has a serene and beautiful smiling face which at once captures the attention of one and all.

Not only from the religious angle but also from the spiritual point of view the place has got its own importance from the ancient times. The perennial stream encircling the temple adds additional attraction to the shrine.



A visit to this temple is a rewarding experience both to a believer and a non believer.

This shrine is now in a bad state of existence and needs to be renovated to revive its past glory.

The Devasthanam has now taken up the renovation of this temple.

It is said that by having the Darshanam of Istakameswari, one can fulfill all his desires.

About Visiting Place - Phaladhara Panchadhara
This most beautiful scene spot in surroundings of Srisailam is located about 4 Km from the main temple. 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 there and daily regular Poojas are being offered also.

This spot is located in a narrow valley approachable by a flight of steps where subterranean streams of pure water with musical sound reverberating the surroundings. According to local folk these streams are known as Phaladhara Panchadhara and these two 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 in interrupted at all seasons. The Skanda Purana describes the flow as �Bhogavathi� and it joins in the river Krishna.


2 Comments:

At 26 November 2012 22:47 , Blogger kamban said...

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Rudraksha - Vedic Folks

 
At 4 December 2012 03:41 , Blogger Best Templesindia said...

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