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MALLAKARJUNA SWAMY TEMPLE


 MALLAKARJUNA SWAMY TEMPLE

                      shrIshailashRinge vibudhatisange tuladritunge.api muda vasantam |
               tamarjunam mallikapUrvamekam namami samsarasamudrasetum ||


Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy is one of the twelve Jyothirlingas of Lord Shiva situated at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh state, India.

STORY OF MALLIKARJUNA SWAMY:

When Shiva and Parvathi decided to find suitable brides for their sons, Ganesha and kaarthikeya argued as to who is to get wedded first. Lord Shiva bade that the one who goes round the world in Pradakshinam could get married first. By the time Lord Muruga could go round the world on his vahana, Lord Ganesha went round his parents 7 times (for according to Sastras, going in pradakshinam round one's parents is equivalent to going once round the world (Boopradakshinam). Lord Siva got Siddhi & Buddhi, the daughtersof Viswaroopan married to Lord Ganesha. Muruga on his return was enraged and went away to stay alone on Mount Kravunja in the name of Kumarabrahmachari. On seeing his father coming over to pacify him, he tried to move to another place, but on the request of the Devas, stayed close by. The place where Lord Siva and Parvathi stayed came to be known as Sri Sailam. Lord Siva visits Lord Muruga on Amavasai day & Parvathi Devi on Pournami. The temple is situated facing East. The centre mandapam has several pillars, with a huge idol of Nadikeswarar.

Mahashivratri is the main festival celebrated at Srisailam Mallikarjuna Swamy temple.

Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple:

The Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple located in Srisailam is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.

History

Srisailam

Entrance to Srisaila Devasthanam
Name
Proper name: Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple
Location
Country: India
State: Andhra Pradesh
Location: Srisailam

The origins of this temple have been lost in antiquity. The Skanda Purana has a chapter called Srisaila Kandam dedicated to it, which points to the ancient origin. This is confirmed by the fact that saints of the past millennia have sung its praises. It is said that Adi Sankara visited this temple and at that time he composed his Sivananda Lahiri.

Srisailam is referenced in the ancient Hindu Puranas, and the epic Mahabharata.

Shiva's sacred bull Nandi is said to have performed penance at the Mahakali temple till Shiva and Parvati appeared before him as Mallikarjuna and Brahmaramba. The temple is one of the 12 hallowed jyotirlingas; Lord Rama himself installed the Sahasralinga, while the Pandavas lodged the Panchapandava lingas in the temple courtyard.

Heroic legends from the Mahabharata and Ramayana are sculpted in stone on the temple walls and the Mahabharata epic refers to Srisailam as Sri Parvata — the blessed hill. You can hear the buzzing of a bee through a tiny hole in the Brahmaramba temple, where Parvati, in the form of a bee, slew the demon Mahisasura.

It gained prominence in the twelfth century due to the Sharana movement and Vachana Sahitya headed by Basavanna. According to legends one of the Srisailam caves is said to be the place where the most famous poet and social reformer Akka Mahadevi achieved salvation.

Gateways:

Tradition, literature as well as epigraphical sources state that the sacred hill of Srisailam has four gateways in the four cardinal directions namely,

  • Tripuranthakam is in Prakasam District in the east where God Tripuranthakeswara Swamy and Goddess Tripurasundari Devi are presiding deities.
  • Siddhavatam is located on the bank of the river Penna in Kadapa District in the south where Jyothisideswara Swamy and Goddess Kamakshi Devi are the presiding deities.
  • Alampur is on the bank of the river Tungabhadra in Mahaboobnagar District in the west where Navabrahma Alayas, a group of nine temples of the Chalukya period, are. This Kshetram is also the seat of Goddess Jogulamba, one of the eighteen Mahasakthis.
  • Umamaheswaram is located in Rangapur, Achampeta Mandal, Mahaboobnagar District in the North where God Umamaheswara Swamy and Goddess Umamaheswari Devi are the presiding deities.

Secondary gateways

Besides the main gateways, there are four Secondary Gateways in the four corner directions:

  • Eleswaram: Located in Mahaboobnagar District now submerged in the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam in the northeast with Eleswara Swamy and Katyani as presiding deities.
  • Somasila: Located on the bank of the river Penna in the southeast with Skanda Someswara as the presiding deity.
  • Pushpagiri: Located in Kadapa District in the southwest with Santhana Malleswara as presiding deity.
  • Sangameswaram: Located at the confluence of the River Krishna and Tungabhadra in Kurnool District in the northwest and submerged at Srisailam Dam with Sangameswara as presiding deity. This temple has been re-built at Alampur.

Other places of interest

Akka Mahadevi caves

During the 12th century A.D. this cave appeared to have attained its present name after the famous ascetic, lyricist and philosopher, Akka Mahadevi who hailed from Karnataka. It is believed that Akka Mahadevi did penance in this cave and worshiped the Sivalinga that naturally existed in the deep and dark end of the cave.

The A.P. Tourism Department has arranged motor boats for visitors to see these caves.

Srisailam Dam

Srisailam Dam is built on the Krishna River and is 512 m long. It is set amidst beautiful natural scenery — ghats, cliffs, craggy ridges, plateaus and dense forests. It has twelve crest gates to hold a maximum water level of 885 ft (270 m). It has a live storage of 274 thousand million cubic feet. This reservoir was originally designed for hydropower generation only but was later converted to a multipurpose facility for water supply and irrigation.

Due to the construction of Srisailam Hydro Electric Project across river Krishna, nearly 102 villages in Kurnool and Mahboobnagar districts along the banks of the rivers Krishna, Tungabhadra, Bhavanasi and their tributaries were submerged.


Srisailam Sanctuary

Srisailam also boasts of one of the largest tiger reserves in India. This sanctuary covers an area of 3568 km². The terrain is rugged and winding gorges slice through the area. It is covered by dry deciduous forests with scrub and bamboo thickets.

These forests provide shelter to a range of animals like the tiger, leopard, deer, sloth bear, hyena, jungle cat, palm civet, bonnet macaque and pangolin.

The down waters of Srisailam Dam is home to a variety of crocodiles. The local government supports a breeding program which has been highly successful.

Hemareddy Mallamma Temple at Srisailam

HEmareddy Mallamma Temple at Srisailam was inaugurated on 26 May 2010. It was built at Srisailam by Karnataka Veerashaiva Reddy Samaj. In the adjoining ashram, one can see the place where she lived with cattle. The place is visited by lakhs of pilgrims who offer prayers at this temple. The temple is situated about a half kilometer on the western side of the Mallikarjuna Temple.


Mallela Theertham

Mallela Theertham is a waterfall in the middle of the dense forest. It lies 50 km before Srisailam; take a turn to the destination and drive on a bumpy, muddy road which is unmotorable during the rainy season and around 250 steps down the valley to the waterfall.





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