Srikalahasti Temple also known as SriKalahasteeswara temple is one of the famous Lord Shiva temples located in Chittoor district of the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh.
This temple is one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams, representing wind. The temple is also regarded as Rahu-Ketu kshetra and Dakshina Kailasam.
Three hills surround the Srikalahasti Temple – Durgambika in the north, Kannappar in the south and Kumaraswamy in the east. This famous pilgrimage destination is along the banks of the Swarnamukhi River.
The name of Srikalahasti Temple is derived from a famous mythological legend. The myth states that a spider (Sri), a snake (Kala), and an elephant (Hasti) used to worship Lord Shiva in the town to attain Moksha.
History of Srikalahasti Temple
According to the Hindu legend, Brahma had worshipped Kalahatiswara at this place during all four of the Yugas. The Pandava prince during the Mahabharata, Arjuna, is believed to have worshipped the presiding deity sitting here.
The hunter who turned into an ardent devotee of Shiva accidentally, known as Kannappa, is also associated with the Srikalahasti Temple. The works of Nakkeerar, and the Nalvars namely Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar, and Manickavasanagar also find their mention in the temple in the canonical works of Tirumura.
Another legend refers to Goddess Parvati’s curse. Lord Shiva cursed Parvati to discard her heavenly body to take a human form. Parvati penanced here to get rid of the curse. Hence, eventually, Lord Shiva recreated her body using various mantras like the Panchakshari. Parvati then became popular as Gnana Prasunamba or Gnana Prasunambika Devi.
A ghost named Ghanakala also prayed here for 15 years following a curse. After he recited Bhairava Mantra many times, Lord Shiva regained her original form. Lord Shiva tested the devotion of Thinnadu before the sages accumulated at Srikalahasti. Shiva created a tremor that caused the top of the roof to fall.
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The temple is classified as Paandal Petra Sthalam as it is respected and revered in Tevaram. It is one of the two hundred and seventy-five temples that find mention in the Saiva canon.
The Lingam of the Srikalahasti Temple is white in colour.
The significance of the temple is that the Linga is white in colour and even the priest does not touch it. This ancient temple is also considered as the Kailash of the South or Dakshin Kailash.
Srikalahasti Temple has two major shrines for Lord Shiva and Parvati. A small shrine, Dakshinamurthy, is for the Guru of Lord Shiva. Additionally, there are many other deities for Venkateswara, Vinayaka, Nataraja, Surya and replica of Lingas of famous Shiva temples from all over India.
Pallava dynasty started Srikalahasti Temple’s construction during the 5th century. The Chola and Vijayanagara kings provided great assistance to the development of this temple. Around the 10th century, the Chola kings renovated the main shrine and constructed the main temple.
Archietecture of Srikalahasti Temple
The Srikalahasti Temple is a beautiful illustration of the Dravidian Style of architecture that was built during the Pallava period in the 5th Century. The temple complex is located at the base of a hill. Some even believe it is a monolithic structure. The grand temple complex has its entrance facing the south, while the main shrine faces the west. The white stone Shiva Lingam inside this shrine resembles the shape of an elephant’s trunk. The main gopuram of the temple is about 120 feet high.
The mandap in the temple complex has 100 intricately carved pillars that were built during the reign of a Vijayanagara King, Krishnadevraya, in 1516. The shrine of Lord Ganesh in the complex is a 9 feet tall rock-cut shrine.
It also houses shrines for Jnanaprasanammba, Kasi Viswanatha, Suryanarayan, Subramanya, Annapurna and Sadyoganapathi that are adorned with images of Ganapati, Mahalakshmi Ganapathi, Vallabha Ganapati and Sahasra Lingeswara. The temple area also has two more mandaps, the Sadyogi Mandap, the Jalkoti Mandap and two water bodies Chandra Pushkarani and Surya Pushkarani.
- Address: Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh 517644
- District: Chittoor
- Affiliation: Hinduism
- Deity: Srikalahasteeswara(Shiva),Gnana Prasunambika Devi
- Festivals: Maha Sivaratri
- Architectural style: Dravidian architecture
- Photography: Not Allowed
- Entry Fee: NIL for normal line but 50INR for special line
- Dress Code: The temple is not very strict on ritual dress code. However, the pilgrims have to wear decent traditional attires for worship.
- Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
- Best Time To Visit: November to February
|Suprabatham seva||05:30 AM|
|Pradhama Kala Abhishekam||07:30 AM|
|Ucchi Kala Abhishekam||10:30 AM|
|Rudhra Homam, Chandi Homam, Nityothsavam||11 AM|
|Nithya Kalyanam||11:30 AM|
|Prodhosha Kala Abhishekam||05:30 PM|
|Nirajana Manthra Pushpam||7 PM|
|Ekantha Seva||9 PM|
|Kala sarpa Rahu Ketu Pooja||6 AM & 6 PM|
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Cost of Pooja
- Suprabhata Seva, Gomatha Pooja: Rs 50
- Archana: Rs 25
- Sahasranamarchana: Rs 200
- Thrisathi Archana: Rs 125
- Rahu Ketu Pooja: Rs 300
- Special Kala sarpa Nivarana Pooja: Rs 750
- Aseervachana Rahu kethu Kala sarpa Nivarana Pooja: Rs 1500
- Special Aseervachana Rahu Ketu Kala Sarpa Nivarana Pooja: Rs 2500
Astonishing Facts About Srikalahasti Temple
- Srikalahasti Temple is the only temple which remains open irrespective of the Solar or Lunar eclipses.
- The significance of the temple is that the Linga is white in colour and even the priest does not touch it.
- It is also a belief that Rahu and Ketu, two of the nine planets in Indian Astrology offered their prayers at this famous temple.
How To Reach?
The nearest airport to the Srikalahasti Temple is the Tirupati Airport, which is just twenty-five kilometers away. There are daily flights to Tirupati from Hyderabad, Delhi, and Bangalore.
There is a railway station at Sri Kalahasti. It is well connected to all the cities in the Southern region of India directly. There are trains from cities like Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Vijayawada.
It takes approximately five hours from Bangalore to Tirupati by road. There are state transport buses like KSRTC and APSRTC which operate during the day and night. APSRTC buses run every half an hour to Tirupati. It also offers a special package called Yatra darshini and Divyadarshini.
Where To Stay?
Bhakta Kannappa Guest House Srikalahasti
This is a temple trust accomodation .
Address: 1-1485, Kondamitta St, Kondamitta, Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh 517644
Average Cost of Stay: 300 INR – 800 INR
Note: We don’t make any guarantees if the above-stated facts are not correct. If you think any information provided by us is wrong then contact us.