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Hindu Temples Index
Srisailam (Mallikarjuna Swamy) Temple
Srisailam is reputed to be one of the most ancient kshetras in India and has the The shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna situated on a flat top of Nallamalai Hills.  It is on the right side of the River Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. It has been a popular centre of Saivite pilgrimage for centuries.

The prominence of this Divya Kshetram is highlighted by the fact that while performing our daily household rituals we specify place of location of our existence with reference to Srisailam.

The presiding Deities of this kshetram Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy is one of the twelve Jyothirlingas and Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is one of the eighteen Mahasakthis and both are self-manifested.  The unique feature of this kshetram is the combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi in one campus, which is very rare and only one of its kind.

There is a common belief in vogue that this Holy Kshetram exists from times immemorial.  The antiquity and origin of God Mallikarjuna Swamy and Goddess Bhramaramba Devi is not known.

History

Srisailam played a dominant role in our religious, cultural and social history from ancient times.

The epigraphical evidence reveals that the history of Srisailam begins with the Sathavahanas who were the first empire builders in South India.  The earliest known historical mention of the Hill  - Srisailam, can be traced in Pulumavi�s Nasik inscription of 1st Century A.D.

The Sathavahanas, the Ikshavakus, the Pallavas, the Vishnukundis, the Chalukyas, the Kakatiyas, the Reedy Kings, the Vijayanagara Emperors and Chatrapathi Shivaji are among the famous emperors who worshipped God Mallikarjuna Swamy.

Prataparudra of Kakatiya Dynasty strived a lot for the improvements of this Kshetram and granted Paraganas for its maintenance.  Ganapathideva has spent 12000 Golden Nanyas for the maintenance of the temple.


Legends

A number of legends have grown round Srisailam and its principal deities.  Among them the most significant one is that Parvatha, son of Silada Maharshi is said to have performed penance, pleased Siva and made him agree to live on his body.  This Parvatha assumed the shape of big Hill "Sriparvatha" and Siva lived on its top as Mallikarjuna Swamy.

According to one story Chandravathi the ruler of Chandraguptha Patana situated near Srisailam on the opposite bank of the river Krishna ran away from her father who made amorous advances to her went up the hill and settled down there with few servants.  One day she found that one of her cows standing above a natural rock formation resembling the Sivalinga and shedding its milk over it.  The princess in dream was informed that the piece of the stone was a self-manifested Linga of God Mallikarjuna and took to worshipping it.  This story is mentioned in the Skanda Purana.  Two sculptures of the Prakara Wall of the temple also represent this story.

According to another story, the daughter of a Rishi did penance, pleased Siva and got her name associated with the name of the Hill (Sailam) which thereafter came to be known as Srisailam.

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