Lord Shiva's 12 Jyothirlingas Mallikarjun Temple (Srisailam)
Mallikarjun Temple (Srisailam)
Mallikarjun Temple is situated on Shri Shaila Mountain by the banks of the Patal Ganga, Krishna River in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Also known as Kailash of the South, Mallikarjuna constitutes one of the 12 Jyotirlingam shrines of Shiva and is one of the greatest Shaivaite shrines in India. The presiding deities of Mallikarjuna Temple are Mallikarjuna (Shiva) and Bhramaramba (Devi). Every year there is a fair organized on account of Mahashivratri.
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 also by the fact that Tamil saints of the past millennia have sung praises of this temple. 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 Vrishabha 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. also told is that Hiranyakasipu of Kretayuga has conducted pujas here. It is one of the holiest places in India.
Legend behind the temple
According to Shiva Purana, when Lord Ganesh was married off before his brother Kartikeya, Kartikeya became angry. Despite being stopped and consoled by his parents Shiv-Parvati, Kartikeya went away to the Kraunch Mountain. Even the Gods went and tried consoling Kartikeya but all their efforts were in vain. Because of this incident Shiv-Parvati were very sad and both decided that they would themselves go to Kraunch Mountain. However, when Kartikeya came to know that his parents have arrived, he went away. Eventually Lord Shiva assumed the form of Jyotirlinga and resided on that mountain by the name of Mallikarjuna. Mallika means Parvati, while Arjuna is another name of Shiva. In this way both Shiva and Parvati came to reside in this linga. It is said that by merely seeing the tip of mountain one is emancipated from all his sins and worries. The person becomes free from the vicious cycle of life and death.
When Siva and Parvathi decided to find suitable brides for their sons, Ganesha and Muruga argued as to who is to get wedded first. Lord Siva 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 pacfy him, he tried to move to another place, but on the request of the Devas, stayed closeby. 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 sveral pillars, with a huge idol of Nadikeswarar. Ambal's sannadhi is to the west of Iswaran Sannadhi. River Krishna runs along the foothills. Since it runs underground during parts of its journey, It is known as Paadaala Gangai. Devotees believe in a darshan of the the Sri Saila Sikaram from the Sikareswarar temple situated six miles from Sri Sailam.
HOW TO GET THERE :-
By Air- Nearest airport is Hyderabad.
By Rail- The nearest railway station to Srisailam is Markapur Road.
By Road- Srisailam is well connected by APSRTC bus services.