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Sri Kalahasteeswara Swamy Devasthanam

Temple History

Sri Kalahashi Temple is the abode of Sri Kalahasteeswara Swamy(Lord Shiva) and Goddess Gnana Prasunambika Devi(Goddess Parvathi Devi). The Main deity of the temple is the Vayu(air)Linga. Vayu is incarnated as Lord Shiva and is known as Kalahasteeswara.

Sri Kalahasteeswara temple stands on the banks of River Swarnamukhi (a tributary of the river Penna) and adjoins a hill which provides support to the temple wall at some points located at Sri Kalahasthi, near Tirupati, Chittor Dsitrict, Andhra Pradesh, India. Thousands of pilgrims visit Sri Kalahasti, also called as Dakshina Kailasam and Dakshina Kashi. In this temple compound, there is an underground temple for Lord Ganesha and an entrance leading to Kannappa Hills. The Holy Temple was constructed in the 12th century by the Chola King, RajaRajendra.

From Tirupati, the Kalahasti temple is easily accessible through both train and roads. At a location about 38 km from the north of Tirupati central, you can reach the town through any of the Vijayawada-Tirupati trains. It is also accessible through the numerous APSRTC buses plying through the route.

Among the many illustrious south Indian Shiva temples, the Sri Kalahasti temple always commands special respect and devotion. With its ardent Purana and rich architecture, the Sri Kalahasti temple is assured to be a great experience for a devotee. Apart from the blissful Darshan, Sri Kalahasti is also the place that liberates you from the effects of faulty planetary orientation.
This temple is also associated with Rahu and Ketu, (of the nine grahams or celestial bodies in the Indian astrological scheme).While all the temples are closed during the eclipse, the temple of Srikalahasteeswara is open and special Abhishekams are performed here.
There is a lamp inside the inner sanctum that is constantly flickering despite the lack of air movement inside. The air-linga can be observed to move even when the priests close off the entrance to the main deity room, which does not have any windows. One can see the flames on several ghee lamps flicker as if blown by moving air. The linga is white and is considered Swayambhu, or self-manifested.
The main Linga, which is in the shape of an elephant trunk, with tusks on each side and a figure of a spider at the bottom, is untouched by human hands, even by the priests. Abhisheka (bathing) is done to utsava-murti by pouring a mixture of water, milk, camphor, and panchamrita. Even sandal paste, flowers and the sacred thread are offered to the utsava-murti, not the main linga.
History:
The name Sri Kalahasti comes from the three unlikely, but ardent devotees who sacrificed their lives for Lord Shiva – ‘Sri’ for a ‘Spider’, ‘Kala’ for ‘Serpent’ and ‘Hasti’ for ‘Elephant’. Each of the above was occupied with Shiva Pooja in their own ways. The Elephant (Hasti) used to Abhishek the Lord’s Linga with the water brought from the neighboring river. The Spider (Sri) used to weave his strong threads around the Linga to protect it from the natural elements. At this time Serpent (Kala) used to place his dear stone (Naga Manikyam) as a decoration for the Shiva Linga. Once these three happened to cross their paths. The elephant considered the action of the spider to be disrespectful to the lord and at once splashed away the spider’s web with his trunk-full of water. The spider and serpent were enraged by how the elephant’s destroyed their Pooja. The serpent entered the elephant’s trunk and discharged its venom there…The elephant in writhing-pain smashes its trunk against the Lingam and kills the serpent. The spider also dies in this tussle. It is followed by the death of poison-driven elephant. The Lord Maheshwara mightily pleased with this self-sacrifice gave Moksha’s to all the three creatures. The spider takes birth as a great king who continues with his divine task while the elephant and the serpent reaches the heaven attaining liberation from their earthly life- cycle.
Bhakta Kanappa’s hill:
One of the popular legends associated with Sri Kalahasti is the story of Bhakta Kannappa, a tribal who was a devotee of Lord Shiva and worshipped an idol on top a hill near Sri Kalahasti. It is said that being a crude tribal Kannappa, Thinna is the original name of Kannappa would clean the idol with water held in his mouth and place meat as offerings. So the story goes that Lord Shiva to test his devotion caused the temple to collapse and when the falling stones injured the idol, the Shiva Linga’s eye bled, he plucked out his eye and placed it in the place of the bleeding eye. The other eye began to bleed too and Kannappa plucked out both his eyes and gave them up for the Lord. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva restored both his eyes. From then, he was called as Kannappa as he offered his "Kannu", meaning "eyes" in Telugu, to the Lord. Hence there is an image of this devotee of Lord Shiva, in the sanctum. This story of Kannappa is believed to have happened in a steep hill very close to the temple.

Mahashivaratri is the main festival of this temple.
The Maha Shivarathri Brahmotsavam is a 12 day festival of great importance that attracts lakhs of people from various parts of our country. Mahasivarathri, Kannappa Dwajarohanam, Swami vari Dwajarohanam, Nandi Seva, Lingodbhavam, Rathotsavam, Teppotsavam, Sri Swami-Ammavarla Kalyanotsavam, Tiricchi Utsavam, Giri pradikshana, Pallaki seva are the important aspects of this festival.
Pacha karpur Abhishekam, Rudra Abhishekam, Pala(Milk) Abhishekam, Panchamrutha Abhishekam are the daily abishekams offering to the God. Nityakalyanam, Shaneeshwara abhishekam are the other daily offerings here.
The nearest temples in Srikalahasti are Sri Prasanna Varadarajaswamy temple, Sri Kanaka Durga temple, Sri Kumaraswamy temple, Sri Mutyalamma temple, Sri Gangamma temple, Sri Prasannanjaneya temple, Sri Bangaramma temple, Sri Sahasralingeshwara swamy temple, Sri Bharadwaja theertham.

 

Additional Information

The Srikalahasti temple is always crowded with the devotees coming from various part of the country to perform "Rahu-Ketu Sarpa Dosha Nivarana Pooja" . This pooja is for the Devotees who have Rahu-Ketu Doshas, Sarpa Doshas and other problems like Unmarried, No Children, Health and more in their life's shall perform the most effective & result oriented Pooja in this temple.
This Pooja is performed from 6:00am to 7:00pm except on the day of Maha Shivaratri. Devotees who are willing to perform the pooja shall purchase the tickets available at Temple Ticket Counters in the Temple premises. The tickets rates are Rs300(Pooja will be done in a huge hall outside the temple premises), Rs750(Pooja will be done near the main temple premises in an A/C hall which has Shiva Sannidhi inside) and Rs1500(Pooja will be done inside the temple, which are also considered as VIP tickets). Devasthanam will arrange all Puja materials.

Tirupati is the most convenient base for visiting Kalahasti as it (Tirupati) is endowed with several modern lodging facilities. Srikalahasti is also having Devastanam accommodation facility at nominal charges and private lodges and hotels are available for the devotees.

This temple have travel access from all the major cities. Srikalahasti is well connected by roadways and railways. Coming by train to visit the temple the nearest is Srikalahasti railway station - 2.6 Km and by bus the Srikalahasti Bus stand is 1.5 Km in distance. Temple operates Free Bus to the piligrims from Temple to Railway Station and Bus-stand and vice-versa as a free service.
The nearest airport is Tirupati Airport which have flights from Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi etc.,
The Temple city Tirupati is 36.9 Km from this temple. Pilgrims who are visiting the Balaji Temple they are easily travel to Srikalahasti to have Darshan. Many travel services are available to visit the temple. This temple is located on the way from Tirupati to Chennai.
  • Suprabatham 05:30 am, Saturday to Monday 6:00am to 9:30pm, Tuesday to Friday 6:00am to 9:00pm
  • Contact Person: Temple Office
  • Contact Number: (+91) 08578 222240, 221336, 9885974050,
www.srikalahastidevasthanam.com