Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Visiting Places near by Srisaila Devasthanam

Visiting Places near by Srisaila Devasthanam


These are popular as the Panchamathas namely Ghantha Matham, Bheemasankara Matham, Vibhoothi Matham, Rudraksha Matham and Sarangadhara Matham.
The Mathas played an important role in the History and Cult of Srisailam. They are well associated with the religious and social activities of the temple in the medieval times. These Mathas acted as educational institutions dedicated to higher learing in various branches and catered to the intellectual and spiritual needs of the society. Srisailam became a powerful saivate centre because of the existence and activities both spiritual and profane of these Mathas. The origin of the Mathas seems to be as early as 7th Century A.D. The historical inscriptions related to Srisailam speak about eleven Mathas in Srisailam. But only 5 Mathas are still in existence and all of them are in dilapidated condition. These Mathas are rich in sculptural and architectural wealth, where several Sivalingas were installed and worshipped since centuries.
These Mathas also looked after the administration of the temple and its rituals along with the revenue accured from more than 70 Villages in various parts of Andhra which were donated to the temples by various rulers in the medieval period. The existing Mathas are located with in a distance of 1 Km to the west of the main temple.
The Devasthanam is planning to renovate all these Mathas.


sikharamThis most sacred spot is located at about 8 Km from the main temple at a height of 2830 feet above the mean sea level. It is the highest peak of Srisailam Hills.
The Skanda Purana proclains that a mere glance of this Sikharam frees the human soul from the fitters of rebirth. (Srisaila Sikharam Drustva Punarjanma Na Vidyathe).
In ancient days people used to come to Srisailam on foot and those who unable to reach the shrine returned back by seeing this peak.
sikhareswara-swamyThe Sikhareswaram temple is an ancient stone structure consisting of Garbhagriha, Antaralaya and 16 pillered Mukhamanda. The deity here is named as Veera Sankara Swamy and locally popularized as Sikhareswara Swamy.
Historically the Reddy Kings have constructed a flight of steps to this temple in the year 1398 A.D. and also a tank (Pushkarini) at this place.

During the medieval times this spot was the centre for many secret sects of Saivisam who performed their rituals in the cave like chambers which can be seen even today.
This place give a panoramic view of the entire temple complex of Srisailam including the meandering river Krishna.

About  Hatakeswaram

hatakeswaramThis picturesque spot is on the way to Srisailam of about 5 Km away in a serine atmosphere.
Tradition hopes that at this place God Siva appeared to a potter devotee in Atika (Piece of Pot) and hence named as Atikeswaram and later it became as Hatakeswaram.
Another tradition gives the name to this place from a particular yogic school known as Hatayoga, one of the form of Astangayogas (the eight yogas).
Some historians located a laboratory of Akhemy (Rasayoga) at this place during medieval times. The present temple dedicated to Hatakeswara Swamy is stone structure datable to 11th � 13th century A.D. and is consists of a Garbhagriha and opened pillered Mukhamandapa.
sikharam-templeDuring the medieval times this spot was the centre for many secret sects of Saivisam who performed their rituals in the cave like chambers which can be seen even today.
This place give a panoramic view of the entire temple complex of Srisailam including the meandering river Krishna.

About  - Phaladhara Panchadhara

phaladharaThis most beautiful scene spot in surroundings of Srisailam is located about 4 Km from the main temple. Tradition records that Bhagavan Adisankara performed penance at this place and composed the famous Sivanandalahari here. His Holiness Kanchi Paramacharya confirmed this and marble statues of Sarada Devi and Sankaracharya installed there and daily regular Poojas are being offered also.
This spot is located in a narrow valley approachable by a flight of steps where subterranean streams of pure water with musical sound reverberating the surroundings. According to local folk these streams are known as Phaladhara Panchadhara and these two signify their origin from the fore head of God Siva the Phaladhara (Phala = fore head, dhara = Stream) and denote the five aspects of Siva, the Panchadhara (Pancha = five, dhara = Stream). The water from this stream flows in interrupted at all seasons. The Skanda Purana describes the flow as �Bhogavathi� and it joins in the river Krishna.

About  - Sakshi Ganapathi
Sakshi Ganapthi
 This small shrine located about 3 Kms from Srisailam and is one of the sacred spots frequented by pilgrims since times immemorial. The traditional belief is that the Ganapathi in this temple keeps regular account of all the pilgrims to tender Sakshyam (evidence) of their visit to this Kshetram and so named as Sakshi Ganapathi. The sculpture of this deity is exquisitely made holding a book in the left hand and a pen in the right hand in such a way as noting down the names of devotees. It is in practice that devotees during their return had the darshan of this Ganapathi and informed their name and gotra to him. Srinatha the renowed poet of 14th Century A.D. in his Kasikhandam states that this Sakshi Ganapathi is visualized by sage Agasthya during his pilgrimage to Srisailam.


Kailasadwaram is about 5 K.M from Srisailam to the South-West of Hatakeswaram which is the dwaram (entrance) of path-way leading to Srisailam. In present days also people of Karnataka and Maharastra and Sivadeeksha Devotees are reached Srisailam on foot through this Kailasadwaram.
Devasthanam is arranging various facilities and Annadanam at this place during Mahasivarathri and Ugadi Festival days.

About  - Bheemuni Kolanu

bheemuni-kolanuThis is one of the most important and historical spot through which the ancient foot path of Srisailam from the southern and western sides pass. Located between two steep hills this rock ledge endowed with spectacular water falls, particularly in rainy. It is at an attitude of 585 meters above the Sea level at attitude of 160031 north and longitude of 780511 east.
Traditionally this place is said to have acquired its name through an epic episode. During the exile of Pandavas, Bheema while passing through this place was said to have broken the sheet rock with his mace and brought this spring water, and hence its name Bheemunikolanu (Kolanu = Pond). Pleased by this flow of water Bheema is said to have consecrated a Sivalinga at this place which was later referred to the Srisaila Khanda of Skanda Purana as Bheema Linga and the Spring as Bheema Kunda.
The pathway of Srisailam with excellently laid steps of solid stone, slabs can be seen even today which are beginning from Nagalooty, a temple spot in Nallamala Hills. These steps were constructed by the Reddy Kings in 14th Century.
At the top of the hill ascending nearly 850 steps from Bheemunikolanu, there is another place called Kailasadwaram where remains of once magnificent gate way can be seen even today. The pilgrims after excruciating sojourn through step hills and valley, when finally reaches the planty surface, they get the feeling of Kailasa i.e., Srisailam and hence named as Kailasadwaram. It is 5 Kms road and there on steps.
At Bheemunikolanu there are two dilapidated temples which are locally known as Bheemeswara and Bheemunikolanu temples and both are datable to 8th - 10th Centuries A.D.

About  - The Temple of Istakameswari

Istakeswari TempleThe ancient temple of Istakameswari is located in a dense and picturesque forest environment about 21 Km to the east of Srisailam. Datable to the 8th � 9th Centuries A.D, this small shrine appears to have wide popular significance during medieval times. The sculpture of the deity is very unique and have no parallel anywhere in India. The Goddess has a serene and beautiful smiling face which at once captures the attention of one and all.
Not only from the religious angle but also from the spiritual point of view the place has got its own importance from the ancient times. The perennial stream encircling the temple adds additional attraction to the shrine.
A visit to this temple is a rewarding experience both to a believer and a non believer.
This shrine is now in a bad state of existence and needs to be renovated to revive its past glory.
The Devasthanam has now taken up the renovation of this temple.
It is said that by having the Darshanam of Istakameswari, one can fulfill all his desires.

About  - Akkamahadevi Caves

akkamahadeviThe Nallamalai Hill ranges are studded with innumerable natural caves and caverns which were known to human beings since the prehistoric times, some of them became more famous and played a role in the significance of Srisailam. One such among them is the Akkamahadevi Caves. This naturally formed cave just above the flow of the river Krishna upstream is of about at a distance of 10 Km from Srisailam.
This cave is endowed with a geological marvel of natural Rock Arch measuring nearly 200 x 16 x 4 feet which stands majestically without any support.
The wind weathered rock in and around the cave keeps the visitor spellbound.
The surrounding of the cave and its journey through the river Krishna from Srisailam provides a wonderful experience to one and all. Exploring the meandering cave to 150 meters deep is also very adventurous.

akkamahadevi-cavesThis cave was the seat of many violent and secret Saiva sects such as the Kapalikas which fact in ancient medieval literature.
During 12th Century A.D. this cave appears to have attained its present name Akkamahadevi caves after the famous ascetic, lyricist and philosopher, Akkamahadevi who hailed from Karnataka. It is known that Akkamahadevi did penance in this cave and worshipped the Sivalinga naturally existed in the deep and dark end of the cave.
The A.P. Tourism Department has arranged Motor Boat to see the said caves.

About  - Kadalivanam

kadalivanamThis spiritually and historically famous sacred spot is endowed with many exclusive and interesting features. There is a huge cave like natural rock shelter which can accommodate nearly 500 persons comfortably at a time. Near the rock shelter flows a perennial stream close to which evidences of prehistoric man in the form of stone tools were discovered.
The place derived its name dell to wild plantain grooves. This excellent spot is considered to be extremely sacred by devotees. The people of Karnataka and Maharastra make it a point of visit in their pilgrimage of Srisailam.
It is said that Bhagavan Dattatreya and his other incarnations is believed to have dwelling at this place. Akkamahadevi is said to have breathend her last at this place. After reaching to Akkamaha Devi caves through A.P. Tourism Motor Boat and there on there is a foot path to reach the said place.

About  - Nagalooty

veerabhadraswamyNagalooty, where a complex of temples are located is of about 28 Km from Srisailam. In historical inscriptions of medieval period, this place is referred as Longalooty. It is the place from which the ancient foot path to Srisailam begins and is the most popular route to Srisailam as it connects the region of Karnataka, the strong hold of Veerasaiva Cult. Pilgrims from south and western sides to Srisailam, particularly Kannada people use this pathway even today.
Located in a dense forest setting Nagalooty stands as a testimony to the ravages of time and man. Many dilapidated temples, Gopuras, Pushkarinis, and broken idols speaks about it�s once glorious past. On architectural grounds and iconographical features the temple and sculpture of this place can be dated to a period between 13thand 15th Centuries.

The sculpture of this place include Veerabhadra, Bhadrakali and Utchista Ganapathi.

About  - Brahmaramba Cheruvu

brahmaramba-deviThis place is of about 70 Km from Srisailam and located in the ancient northern pathway to Srisailam from Umamaheswaram. It is at attitude of 16091 north and longitude of 78041 east. This place houses one of the most beautiful man made huge water storage tank amidst wild and beautiful forest environment. The tank appears to have been enlarged and renovated in 16th Century A.D. the historical remains at this place consist of a temple dedicated to Siva, Devi Shrine, and a hero stone. The temples of this place have a huge compound wall probably constructed in 16th and 17th Centuries A.D. Those who are interested in observing the ethnographic present can not miss the place where a small group of Chenchus, the local tribal still leading a primitive way of life.

About  - Sarveswaram

sarveswaramVariously known as Saleswaram and Saileswaram this place is one of the sacret spots of Nallamalais, nearly of about 90 Km from Srisailam. Located in the beautiful forest environment it is at an attitude of 395 feet above the Sea level, at an attitude of 780481 north and longitude of 160061 east. This place is popular not only in folk tradition but also in the puranic lore also. The Sriparvatha Purana, a celebrated literary work of Seshanatha in 16th Century about Srisailam speaks glorifyingly with regard to this place. It is endowed with a cave temple dedicated to God Siva and two ponds named as Sarvesa theertham and Pushkara theertham. This temple seems to be datable to 6th and 7th Centuries A.D., and constructed within the shallow cave with bricks and mortor. Infront of the temple there is a huge water fall from a height of about 200 meters cascade down the hill holding the visitor spellbound with its raw beauty. This place is the most beautiful one which has natural picturesque locales and it is a sight to be seen.
About  - Guptha Mallikarjunam

 guptha-mallikarjunamThis place is one of the most beautiful picturesque and treacherous spot which gives immorable pleasant and happiness at the sight of tremendous water fall located there. It is of about 36 Km from Srisailam.
The sacred complex of Srisailam during medieval times provided shelter to many secret saivaite sects who performed their ritual acts in such inaccessible spots such as this. Hence such places derived the name such as Guptha meaning secret.

shallow-caveThis place contain a small shrine of Siva in a shallow cave along with a broken idol of Ganapathi.
The Srisaila Khanda of Skanda Purana speaks about this place and named it as Guptha Mallikarjunam. It is said that by mere seeing this place one can get free off from his sins.


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