Bhramarambha Mallikharjuna Swami
the shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna is on the flat top of Nallamala Hills. 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. It is on the banks of the Krishna River about 212 km south of Hyderabad and 179 km from Kurnool.
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 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.
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 Tripurantakeshwara 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.
Besides the main gateways, there are four Secondary Gateways in the four corners:
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 Someshwara as the presiding deity.
Pushpagiri: Located in Kadapa District in the southwest with Santana Malleshwara 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.
A number of legends have grown round Srisailam and its principal deities. Among them the most significant one is that Parvatha, son of Silada Maharshi is said to have performed penance, pleased Siva and made him agree to live on his body. This Parvatha assumed the shape of big Hill Sriparvatha and Siva lived on its top as Mallikarjuna Swamy.
According to one story Chandravathi,the ruler of Chandraguptha Patana situated near Srisailam on the opposite bank of the river Krishna ran away from her father who made amorous advances to her went up the hill and settled down there with few servants. One day she found that one of her cows standing above a natural rock formation resembling the Sivalinga and shedding its milk over it. The princess in dream was informed that the piece of the stone was a self-manifested Linga of God Mallikarjuna and took to worshipping it. This story is mentioned in the Skanda Purana. Two sculptures of the Prakara Wall of the temple also represent this story.
According to another story Sri,the daughter of a Rishi did penance, pleased Siva and got her name associated with the name of the Hill( Sailam ) which thereafter came to be known as Srisailam.
The important annual festivals celebrated in the temple are: Mahasivaratri Brahmothsavams, Ugadi Celebrations, Dasara Celebrations, Kumbhothsavams, Sankranthi Uthsavams, Arudrothsavam, Kartheeka Masothsavams, Sravananamosothsvam.
From Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad the temple is 202 Km, from Secunderabad Junction it is 234 Km, from Nampally Railway Station it is 230 Km, from Kachiguda Railway Station it is 214 km, from Kurnool Railway Station it is 184 km. Markapur Road station is the nearest , 87.4 km. Srisailam Bus Stand is 260 m from the temple.
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.
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