Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga in Srisailam (A.P.)

The temple of Lord Mallikarjuna is situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is situated in the town of Srisailam on the banks of River Patalganga Krishna. Srisailam mountain is looked upon reverentially as the Kailash of South. The temple situated here is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is among the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. The temple sculptures narrate in stone, epics from thre great Hindu epics-Ramayana nand Mahabharata.This temple is considered very holy and is dedicated to Mallikarjuna Swamy and Bhramaramba. One unique feature of the temple is that all the devotees who visit the temple are allowed to touch the idol which is not prevalent in any other temple. The temple is located at a distance of 245 km from Hyderabad. The Sree Sailam temple has rich sculptural work, fort like walls and towers. The temple is built in Dravidian style. According to popular legends, the religious leader had visited the temple and had composed his famous Sivananda Lahiri. It is also believed that Goddess Durga had taken the form of a bee and worshiped Lord Shiva here and selected this holy place as her abode.

Architecture of Shri Mallikarjun Temple
The architecture of the ancient Mallikarjun Temple is very beautiful and intricate. The temple has fort like walls, towers and a rich endowment of sculptural work.

The huge temple is built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards and is considered to be one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagar architecture. Temple of Tripurantakam, Siddavatam, Alampura and Umamaheswaram located in the vicinity of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlina are considered to be the four gateways to Sri Sailam. Hari Har Tirthdham is here in Somnath. This is the holy place of Bhagvan Shri Krishna's Neejdham Prasthan Leela. The place where Bhagvan Shri Krishna was hit by an arrow of a poacher is known as Bhalka Tirtha. After being hit by the arrow, Bhagvan Shri Krishna arrived at the holy confluence of Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati and their Sangam with the ocean. He performed his divine Neejdham Prasthan Leela at the sacred and peaceful banks of river Hiran.

The Geetamandir is built here where the divine message of Shrimad Bhagavat Geeta is carved on eighteen marble pillars. Shri Lakshminarayan Mandir is close by. The Balramjiki Gufa is the place from where Bhagvan Shrikrishna's elder brother Balaramji took journey to his nijdham-patal.

Here is the Parshuram Tapobhumi, where Bhagvan Parshuramji carried out penance and he was relieved from the sin of Kshatriya killings. The Pandavas have said to have visited this place and taken holy bath in the Jalprabhas and built five Shiv temples.

Theetham :-
The Krishna river, which flows four km away from the shrine, is the holy Theertham known as PaathaalaGanga. Devotees take a dip here and carry holy water uphill to perform abhisheka for the Lord. A shrine dedicated to Lord Umamaheshwara is situated on way to the Theertham.

Legends :-
According to Shiva Purana, when Shri Ganesh was married of before Kartikeya, Kartikeya became angry. Despite being stopped and consoled by his parents Shiv-Parvati, he went away to the Kraunch Mountain. Even the Gods went and tried consoling Kartikeya, but all their efforts were in vain. Shiv-Parvati were very sad and both decided go to the Kraunch mountain themselves. When Kartikeya came to know that his mother-father 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 reside in this linga. The people who visit this Jyotirlinga are emancipated from all their sins and fulfill all their desires. It is for the welfare and well being of one and all. Another legend says Once, a princess named Chandravati decided to go to the Jungles to do penance and meditation. She chose Kadali Vana for this purpose. One day, she witnessed a miracle. A Kapila cow was standing under a Bilwa tree and milk was flowing from all of its four udders, sinking into the ground. The cow kept doing this as a routine chore everyday. Chandravati dug up that area and was dumb founded at what she saw.

There was a self-raising Swayambhu Shivlinga. It was bright and shining like the sun rays, and looked like it was burning, throwing flames in all directions. Chandravati prayed to Shiva in this Jyotirlinga. She built a huge Shiva Temple there. Lord Shiva was very pleased with her. Chandravati went to Kailash wind borne. She received salvation and Mukti. On one of the stone-inscriptions of the temple, Chandravati’s story can be seen carved out.

Kaasyanatu Maranaanmuktihi Smarana Darunachale||
Darsana Deva Sri Saile Punarjanma Na Vidyate||
Sri Saila Sikharam Drushtwa Punarjanma Na Vidyate||


Meaning: By facing death in Kasi, reciting Bhagavannama in Arunachalam and just visiting Sri Saila Ksetra, men are attaining salvation or Mukti.

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.

Youtube videos :-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRs_cdXoQFU&feature=related
 
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