Srisailam is one of the Jyotirlingas in India. It is the abode of Sri Mallikarjuna (lord Shiva). This holy place has one of the 18 Shakti peethas in India. The goddess here is called Bhramaramba. The place is famous for many divine medicinal plants. The place is so powerful both divine and modern ways. It has a Hydel project to its credit which rightly shows the sample of the divine power that Sri Adi Sankara himself adored.
The tradition of choultries in Srisailam goes back a century, when Karivena Brahamins established one to provide free food to pilgrims. It was welcomed at that time, when no provision was available for pilgrims for food or stay. The organisers had offered rice flour mixed with jaggery as an energy provider to tired pilgrims who reached the place after weeks of trekking through dense forests. Hot water to clean wounds and castor oil for application was also provided.
The tradition continues and the pilgrimage has increased in volume.
For more information on Srisailam, you may visit this page.
The town (as well as the mandal) of Srisailam is reputed for the shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna on the flat top of Nallamala Hills. It has played a dominant role in the Hindu religious, cultural and social history since ancient times. The epigraphical evidence reveals that the history of Srisailam began with the Satavahanas who were the first empire builders in South India. The earliest known historical mention of the hill, Srisailam, can be traced to the King Vasishthiputra Pulumavi's Nasik inscription of 1st Century A.D. Srisailam or Srisailamu (Śrīśailaṁ, Śrīśailamu) is situated in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is on the banks of the Krishna River about 212 km south of Hyderabad and 179 km from Kurnool. It is sometimes spelled Shrishailam.
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.
The narrow flow of the river at such deep valley is fine looking and more pleasant near Srisailam where it is called as Pathalaganaga. Actually the river takes two repeated bends at Pathalaganga with in a short distance and makes a large stretch of high Plateau in each bend. The right part of it we have Srisailam and whereas on the left there is ruined Chandraguptanagara which is mentioned in the Skandapurana and also some of the celebrated Literary works of 12th to 16th centuries.
In the traditional Hindu mythology, this Kshetram is identified as the Kailasa on the earth and named as ILA - KAILASAM. Besides its mythical antiquity, Srisailam is also having a hoary historical antiquity. Starting from the Satavahanas who were the earliest rulers of Andhradesa, the region around Srisailam appears as a prominent religious centre and it continues to be so into the present times. The inscriptional evidences available at Srisailam are of the 12th century A.D and afterwards, which is very intriguing. However, the inscriptions belonging to various early historical places found in various parts of the Deccan and Andhra Pradesh, testify to its historical antiquity starting from first century A.D. In this small book the temple complex of Srisailam is analysed from the view point of chronology, art and architecture, sculpture and iconography.
In the olden days there are four important routes to Srisailam which passes thick forests. Among these routes two routes are from the right side of the river Krishna and other two are from its left side. These routes are named as – Sikhareswaram Route, Bheemunikolanu Route, Neeliganga Route, Jatararevu Route.
The Sikhreswaram route was used by the piligrims coming from costal Andhra. In this route they first visit the temple of Tripuranthakam which is the Eastern Gate way of Srisailam. At present Tripuranthakam is in Prakasam district and is of about 92 KM from Srisailam in Guntur – Srisailam road. After Tripuranthakam , they passes through Yerragondapalem, Venkatadripalem, Ganjivaripalli, Duddanala nagaru and Telagarayanicheruvu by bullock carts. From there they reach Chintala, a small tribal village on foot and then to sikhareswaram and reach to Srisailam through a path way covered with slabs.
The prominence of this Divya Kshetram is highlighted by the fact that while performing our daily household rituals we specify place and location of our existence with reference to Srisailam. According to Agni Puranam, in the Krithayuga the Demon King Hiranyakasyapa did penance at the Kshetram and worshipped God Mallikarjuna Swamy. This Kshetram was his Puja Mandiram and Ahobila Kshetram which is about 220 K.M. from Srisailam was his Sabha Mandapam.The Skanda Purana proclaims that in the Trethayuga Lord Sri Rama with Seetha Devi during their banish has visited this Kshetram and consecrated Sahasra Lingas (One thousand Lingas) here.The Epic literatures clear that in the Dwapara Yuga, Arjuna while his pilgrimage and the Pandavas during their exile spent some time in this Kshetram and worship the Deities. Even now there is a pond at the foot way of Srisailam called as Bheemuni Kolanu.
Parvatha, son of Silada Maharshi is said to have performed penance, pleased Siva and made him agree to live on his body. He also prayed Siva that all the Devathas and sacred waters of all theerthas permanently remain on his top and all the Devotees irrespective of cast or creed visiting the scared place should be blessed with the Moksha. God Siva granted these desired of Parvatha. The Parvatha assumed the shape big Hill ‘Srisailam’ and siva lived on its top as Sriparvatha Swamy.
Srisailam is about 212 km from Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana State, and there are buses connecting the town with Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur and Kurnool. For service from Hyderabad to Srisailam, tickets and reservations can be made at the Central Bus station Hyderabad. The approximate travel time from Hyderabad to Srisailam is 4 hours. From Kurnool it will take around 5 hours via Atmakur and Doranala. You can get Express buses every one hour from 5.00 am to 11.30 pm from Kurnool. For those who are planning from Chennai you can either go from Kurnool, Nellore or Tirupathi. From Kurnool there are many buses to Srisailam. You can reach Kurnool by Kachiguda express which starts from Chennai Egmore railway station. There is no railway station in Srisailam. There are frequent buses from Tirupathi as well and they pass through Nellore. So you can always catch a bus to Srisailam from Nellore too.
If hiring a private taxi, ensure that the driver has experience driving in ghat sections and doesn't have the habit of drinking alcohol. Mannanur, which is around 120 km from Hyderabad, is the place where the Nallamala hills start. After 60-70 km of drive through the forest you'll reach Eegalapenta. From there, it becomes difficult to drive as there are numerous hairpin bends and a kilometer of the stretch has lot of potholes. You can have a good look at the Srisailam Dam from there.
from Srisailam you need to travel 16 km into deep forest which is very adventurous. Don't try to go in your own vehicle because the way is sprinkled with huge rocks and water. Engage a jeep from Srisailam. If you have a team of 10 they will charge 1200 Rupees.Or else you can share with other in which case you will be charged 300 Rs. Bargain the amount with the drivers. After reaching the temple try to cross the temple and you will find very good place with water falls and valleys.(Temple timings are from 8AM to 2PM only. Start early if this is a part of your trip)
The elderly need to take precautions before the visit. A quite adventurous journey. Cross the temple and you will find a valley and waterfalls, which are very beautiful.
This is the most interesting part of the journey in Srisailam.To reach the caves you need to go to Patala Ganga.You can reach Patala Ganga by rope way and ride a boat from there to reach the caves. After travelling 16 kms (for more than an hour) on the Krishna river with high mountains on either sides and walking for some distance,you will reach the caves.There will be a guide with you in the boat who will lead into the caves.You need to take a candle with you as the caves are 80 feet deep and very dark.(Due to AP & TN bifurcation, as of now tour to these caves are held. Please wait for latest news and plan your trip accordingly).
Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development boats need to be reserved in advance in the early hours on the date of journey. The ticket cost is 180 rupees. Minimum of 18 members are to be there for the boats to be started. You can also engage a private boat.
You can buy pure Girijan (Tribal) honey, AGMARK certified honey which is supplied by government of Andhra Pradesh. It is regarded as very pure and tasty. You can get it in Chenchu Lakshmi Tribal Museum. Don't buy it elsewhere.
As a temple town, only vegetarian food is available. Delicious food varieties are available in the temple run annadana satram (free kitchen) and restaurants along with the street food. It is advised, for people to keep hydrated by eating food with high carbohydrates and drink lots of water while on the treks in the hills and camping in the forests.
There are lots of budget hotels and lodges around the Mallikarjuna Swami Temple in Srisailam. Most of these do not require any prior reservation except during peak seasons and festivals, and most Mondays. The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department runs a few hotels by name Ganga Sadan, Gouri Sadan and Punnami Guest House. These are clean and well maintained, and are within the budget of most pilgrims. There are also some lodges and choultries that cater to particular communities.
Mallela Theertham is a waterfall located in the Nallamala Forest in Andhra Pradesh, India. The River Krishna flows through this forest. It is located around 58 KM from Srisailam and 185 KM from Hyderabad.