The Kalahastiswara Swamy Temple in Srikalahasti is an important Shaivite pilgrimage centre, which has earned it the moniker of Dakshina Kasi.
People come from afar to perform the Rahu Ketu Pooja, a prayer performed to remove the ill-effects of the inauspicious planets The temple is one of the panchabhuta lingas (pancha-five, bhoota-element), one of the five Shiva shrines that symbolize elements. The Srikalahasthi temple enshrines the vayu (air) linga. Devotees point out that the sanctum is quite airy and a lamp lit inside constantly flickers even though there is no apparent source of air.
Legends have it that a spider (sri), snake (kala) and elephant (hasti) chanced upon linga in a forest and worshiped it-the spider spun a web around it, the snake placed stones nearby and the elephant brought water in his trunk to wash it. However, they were not aware of other existence and so,the snake's stones inadvertently destroyed the web and the elephant's stones. They eventually found out about the others actions and got into a tussle, which ended with the elephant crushing the spider and spearing the snake with his tusk. The snake managed to bite the elephant,who died due to poisoning. Shiva was impressed with their piety and the temple was named after his three ardent devotees.
The picturesque shrine shrine stands by the Swarnamukhi River with hillocks on the fingers, though haphazard constructions and booming traffic somewhat diminished its charm. To the north of kalahastiswara, atop a hillock is Durgambika Temple, accessible by a staircase cut into the slope.
It offers stunning views of the Kalahstiswara Temple and the surrounding landscape. To its south is the Manikanteswara Temple, which was built under the Cholas in the 12th century. Pathala Ganapathi is a subterranean cave accessible by steep, narrow steps. There is usually a long queue to visit the cave,where only a few people are allowed at a time. There are numerous other shrines around the temple.
In 2010, the 136-ft-tall Rajagopuram temple collapsed. There were no human fatalities, but about 100 monkeys living in the temple premises were crushed to death.Krishnadevaraya of the vijayanagara Empire had built the structure to commemorate his triumph over the Gajapatis in the 16th century. Make sure to sample the prasadam at the shrine, especially the pulihore and laddoos. The temple also offers free lunch at noon.
Nearest airport is Tirupati which is 29 kms from away from Srikalahasti
Srikalahasti is well connected to other major cities of the country
Srikalahasti have regular buses to from other major cities of the country.
Timings 4.00 am - 9.00 pm.
"One can pay a visit to this temple at any time of the year. However, the best time is during the celebration of the festivals".
SV Museum-The Museum has about 6,000 artefacts and displays, both historical and contemporary, related to the temple.
Silathoranam-One of the few natural arches in Asia, Silathoranam is a unique geological formation that took shape about 1,500 miilion years.
Chakra Theertham-A sacred waterfall next to which there are shrines with idols.
Srivari Padalu-It said that Lord Venkateswara first set his feet on earth at Narayanagiri.
Akasaganga Theertham-On the route from Tirumala to Akasaganga, you will first come across the Gogarbham Dam on your left.
Papavinasam-Papavinasam is where visitors go to wash off their sins (papa-sin,vinasam-destruction).
Govindaraja Swamy Temple-It is one of the largest and most significant temples in the region, built in 1130 CE by Ramanujacharya.
Kapila Theertham-Waterfalls cascading from the Seshachalam Hills to Tirupati, Kapila Theertham is one of the most marvellous.
Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park-Spread over an area of 290 hectares in the Seshachalam foothills has about 500 animals, birds and reptiles.
Tiruchannur- A trip to Tirupati customarily ends at the padmavathi Ammari Temple in Tiruchanur, also known as Alamelumangapuram.
Chandragiri Fort-Have been established in 1000 CE by Immadi Narasinga Yadavaraya who ruled from Narayanavanam
Talakona Waterfalls-Cascading from a height of 270ft,Talakona is the tallest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh.
Horsley Hills-From atop Horsley Hills, the terrain seems beautiful yet bleak. Dry, rugged hills and stony plains stretch as the eye can see.
Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple-After that,prayers are offered at the Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple before heading to the Venkateswara Temple