Also known as the Srisailam temple, the Mallikarjuna Temple is popularly known for being one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Jyotirlinga is worshiped as a representation of Shiva and means “radiance.” It is considered a holy shrine and is present across various parts of India like Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh.
The article talks about one such temple, which is the center of divinity and holds great religious importance for Hindus. So let us dive in and know more about the temple’s mesmerizing beauty and ancient history.
Srisailam Temple History
The temple gets its name from the town where it is situated. Srisailam is present in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district besides the beautiful Krishna river.
The temple is famous for one of Shiva’s Jyotirlingas, known as Mallikarjun. It is believed that Shiva resides here as “Arjun” and Devi Parvati as “Mallika,” making it the second jyotirlinga among the 12. The temple has two deities- one is Lord Mallikarjuna, and the second is the Shakti Peeth of Devi Bhramarambha. There are a total of 18 shakti Peethas in India, and this one has been mentioned in many Hindu scriptures.
The temple has an immense significance in religious aspects. This is where both the deities Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati are staying in the same area of a temple, which means a Jyotirlinga and Shakti Peeth together.
Mallikarjuna Temple History
The story of the jyotirlinga is associated with Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati’s elder son, Kartikeya. It once happened that Shiva and Parvati were trying to decide which son should be married first, they could not land on a conclusion.
So, they decided to conduct a contest where whoever would first take complete round worldwide wins.
As both of them heard about the contest, Kartikeya immediately went on to complete the round on his peacock. After that, their younger son, Lord Ganesha, started revolving around their parents. He believed that his parents resembled the world to him, and he quickly completed the round and won the contest.
Both Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati were very happy and decided to marry Ganesha. Later, he was married to Riddhi and Siddhi, who is known as the Goddess of prosperity and spirituality, respectively.
When Kartikeya returned and heard about the incident, he was unhappy and decided to be unmarried forever. He also went to live on Mount Krounch separately. Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati went there to visit him, and thus the temple marks their presence.
It is also said that Shiva emerged as Arjun on Amavasya, which is the night without a moon, and Devi Parvati as Mallika on Purnima, a full moon night.
The temple is an east-facing one and has three main divisions – Mukha Mandapa, Antarala, and Garbhagriha. Devi Bhramarambha is present inside the Garbhagriha in the form when she killed an evil Mahishasur. The form represents Devi standing on the devil with eight hands and is known as “Mahishasur Mardini.”
The best time to visit the temple is usually during winter. Mahashivratri is celebrated in a grand manner. Apart from Shivratri, Pongal and Ganesh Chaturthi are also celebrated in the Srisailam temple. People visiting the temple strongly believe that it will save them from the cycle of rebirth.
Who Built the Mallikarjuna Temple?
As per history, many rulers contributed to building the temple. It goes back to 1 AD from the Satavahana dynasty, and then the temple was worshiped by many followers like Ikshavakus, Pallavas, Chalukyas, etc.
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was also among the followers and also made improvements in the temple. Major architectural work of the Vijayanagara period can be seen. The Pandavas also came to visit the temple for worship, so it has some mentions in Mahabharata too. Some other names of the temple include Srinagar, Srigiri, Siridhan.
With the temples of Mallikarjun Swamy and Devi Bhrambhrambha, the temple also includes Nandi Mandapa, Veerasiromandapa. All the temples are in a row from east to west. The inner area also has some small temples like Vridha Mallikarjuna, Veerbhadra, Uma Maheshwar, Ardhanariswara, Sahasra Lingeswar.
The Vridha Mallikarjun shrine is surrounded by many temples built by rulers of many dynasties who came and devoted their worship to the temple.
How to reach Mallikarjun Temple?
There are mainly three modes – By Train, Airways, and by road. So it is not very difficult for Srisailam, all the modes of transport are easily available. The visiting time for the temple starts from 6 am in the morning to 8 pm.
Markapur railway station in Cumbum district is the closest to traveling to Srisailam by train. Trains are available at regular intervals for Srisailam, and you do not have to wait a lot.
If you are willing to travel by airways to Srisailam, Rajiv Gandhi airport is the closest. The best part is connected with many big cities like Mumbai, Goa, Indore, etc.
Now, coming to traveling by roadways. You can travel via bus to Srisailam, and the roads are decent and maintained. One can travel from station to Srisailam by cabs or taxis too. If you wish, you can travel to neighboring cities by bus. The fair varies between Rs. 200- Rs.500, which does not cause a burden on your pocket.
Other places to visit while you are in Srisailam are- the Akka Mahadevi caves, Srisailam dam
India is a hub of such holy places which are associated with firm religious beliefs and stories. The article shows that Srisailam is a beautiful tourist place and that taking a trip to the town is completely worth it. Temples like these are a source of rich Indian culture and beauty.
Jyotirlingas like Mallikarjun Swamy are present in many states of India and project the great power of Shiv and Shakti. If you are someone who loves to stay close to nature, it will prove to be a great religious trip with a blend of wildlife and greenery.
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