Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple in NandyalKailash of the South - this is what Srisailam mountain is known as in Andhra Pradesh! Srisailam town is situated on the banks of Patalganga Krishna river where the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple is also located. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the linga here is believed to be self manifested.This temple finds mention in various religious scriptures such as Skanda Purana and also in Mahabharata etc.
Srisailam mountain is sacred for Buddhists too! In the first century A.D., saint Nagarjuna resided here. Even Chinese travellers Fa Hein and Hieun Tsang have mentioned this religious centre as Sri Parvatam and a Buddhist centre.
What is Special about Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga TempleThe temple shrine is situated on the top of Nallamalai hills Kurnool district). Anyone can enter the temple and perform 'abhishekam' and 'archana' irrespective of caste and religion. Devotees can even go farther into the sanctum sanctorum, touch the idol and offer prayers. The temple is special in a number of ways -
- The temple comprises of linga which is 'swayambulinga' or self manifested.
- It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.
- Jyotirlingam and Mahashakti are both in one campus which is a rare and unique feature of this temple.
- Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.
- On the walls of the temple, there are scriptures depicting heroic legends from Mahabharata and Ramayana.
- The temple faces towards the East and the centre mandapam has many pillars with a very large idol of Nandikeswarar.
- It is believed that Shiva and Parvati visit the temple during No moon day (amavasya) and Full Moon day (Poornima). Thus, devotees are blessed with wealth, name and fame and all their desires are fulfilled.
Presiding Deities in the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga TempleLord Mallikarjuna Swamy and Goddess Bhramaramba devi (Mahashakti) - both self-manifested, are the main deities of this temple.The temple is also popular as Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy temple. Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva while Devi Bhramaramba is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati.
Legend Associated with Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga TempleAccording to an ancient legend, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati wanted to find suitable brides for their sons - Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. However, to decide who would marry first, Lord Shiva explained that whoever goes around the globe first would marry first. Lord Ganesha went around his parents 7 times and was married to Siddi and Buddhi, daughters of Vishwaroopan. He was married first!
When Lord Kartikeyan came to know about this, he went to Mount Kravunja and started residing there all alone. However, when Lord Shiva approached his abode, Kartikeyan tried moving to another place but was requested by the Gods (devas) to stay close by. Sri Sailam was the place where Lord Shiva and Parvati stayed. This is the reason why Sri Sailam is also referred to as 'Sri Parvatam' which means 'The Blessed hill'.
Main Festival Celebrated in Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga TempleThe most significant festival celebrated in this temple is Mahashivratri. This is the time when the temple is visited by thousands of devotees for offering prayers and receiving 'prasadam'.
How to Reach Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple
- Nearest Airport: Hyderabad Airport (175 kms.)
- Nearest Railway Station: Nandyal Railway Station
Other Tourist Places near Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga TempleThere are many other beautiful sites to explore after you offer your prayers in Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple.
- Sakshi Ganapathi: It is situated about 3 kms. from Srisailam. People believe that Ganapathi keeps an account (as evidence or 'sakshyam') of pilgrims visiting this temple. Hence it is named as Sakshi Ganapathi.
- Srisailam Dam: The dam has been built across river Krishna and covered with greenery all around.
- Sikharam: It is situated at a distance of 8 kms. from Srisailamand is the highest peak on Srisailam hills! Sikhareswaram temple is an ancient temple --- a stone structure with the deity here being Veera Sankara Swamy, also popularly known as Sikhareswara Swamy.
- Akkamahadevi Caves: Akka Mahadevi, an ascetic from Karnataka, did penance at this place, She worshipped the swayambu (self manifested) Shivalinga which is located at the deep and dark end of the cave.
- Phaladhara Panchadhara: Located 4 kms. away from Srisailam, this is the site where Adi Sankara performed penance. He also composed his popular work Sivanandalahari at this place.
- Hatakeswaram: Just 5 kms. from Srisailam, this place is sacred as people believe that Lord Shiva appeared in a Atika or piece of pot and gave darshan to a potter! The place became famous as Atikeswaram and later began to be called as Hatakeswaram.
- Alampur: Alampur is 27 kms. from Srisailam and located on the banks of Tungabhadra river. It is famous forgroup of temples of Chalukya period.
- Srisailam Sanctuary: Srisailam sanctuary is a large Tiger Reserve with other animals like jungle cat, hyena, deer etc. for you to see.
- Mallela Theertham: This is a scintillating waterfall just 50 kms. from Srisailam.