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Srikalahasti TEMPLE


  Srikalahasti TEMPLE

Srikalahasti (Telugu: శ్రీకాళహస్తి), is a holy town and a municipality near Tirupati in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi. It is also informally and wrongly referred to as Kalahasti. Recently,it has been included in the TUD (Tirupati Urban Development Authority) region.

It is one of the important ancient Shiva Kshetras (Shiva Temples) of Southern India. The Srikalahasti Temple occupies the area between the river bank and the foot of the hills and is popularly known as Dakshina Kailasam. The three lofty Gopurams of the temple are remarkable for their architecture. This temple was originally built during Pallava period and current structures are built by Chola Tamil King Kulothunga Cholan I,II and III during 11th century. A huge hundred pillared mantapam is built by Krishnadevarayar during 16th century which is another important feature of this shrine.

It is one of the ancient temples included in the Saiva pilgrimages and the site of a famous Shiva temple with magnificent gopurams and is fairly close to the famous hill temple of Lord Venkateshwara at Tirupati, one of the richest and famous temple cities in the world. It is also the origin of the popular textile painting art called kalamkari.

The 'Rajagopuram' or main gate of the 500-year-old Srikalahasti Temple in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor District collapsed on 26 May 2010. Srikalahasti is popularly known as "Dakshina Kaashi".


STALA PURAN OF SRIKALAHASTI TEMPLE

   Sri Kalahasti is named after the staunch devotees of Lord Shiva. They were the Spider (Sri), the Serpent (Kala) and the Elephant (Hasti). Appeased with their unflinching devotion, Lord Shiva gave them a boon that their names be merged with the Vayulinga and called as Sri Kalahasteeswara.  
Parvati gained Shiva-Gnanam and came to be known as Gnana Prasunamba or Gnana
Cursed to became a ghost Ghanakala prayed at Srikalahasti for 15 years and after chanting Bhairava Mantra many times Lord Shiva restored her original form. Mayura, Chandra and Devendra were also freed from their curses after taking bath in the river Swarnamukhi and prayed at Srikalahasti. Mahasivaratri is an important festival when lakhs of people offer prayers to seek the blessings of the Lord to attain Mukti. To Bhakta Markandeya, Lord Shiva appeared in Sri Kalahasti and preached that a Guru alone could make esoteric teachings and, therefore he is Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. Cursed to became a ghost Ghanakala prayed at Srikalahasti for 15 years and after chanting Bhairava Mantra many times Lord Shiva restored her original form.



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