Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple
Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple or Srisailam Temple is dedicated to the deities Shiva and Parvati, located at Srisailam . Mallikarjuna Temple is a Swayambulinga (self-manifested) and is revered as one of the 12 Jyothirlingas of Lord Shiva, the holiest of holy shrines of Lord Shiva .The devout believe that one can attain mukti by taking birth at Srisailam. The sanctity of the hill is extolled in Mahabharatha, Skanda Purana and many other religious scriptures.
The name of Srisailam kshetra is chanted with reverence in the sankalpa mantra during ritual bath in holy places. The hills are also sacred to the Buddhists. Saint Nagarjuna lived here in the first century AD. Chinese travellers Fahian and Hieun Tsang have described this pilgrim centre as Sri Parvatam and a Bhuddhist centre.
The shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna picturesquely situated on a flat top of Nallamalai Hills, Srisailam is reputed to be one of the most ancient kshetras in India. It is on the right side of the River Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. This celebrated mountain is also named as Siridhan, Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatha and Srinagam. It has been a popular center of Saivite pilgrimage for centuries.
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.
The Mallikarjuna Linga is accessible to each and every devotee and anybody can go into the sanctum sanctorum of Mallikarjuna, touch him and perform Abhishekam and Archana himself to recitation of Mantras by Archakas without caste or creed or religion. Lord Shiva of the Srisailam hill is a Swayambulinga (self-manifested) and is revered as one of the 12 Jyothirlingas of India The devout believe that one can attain mukti by taking birth at Srisailam. The sanctity of the hill is extolled in Mahabharatha, Skanda Purana and many other religious scriptures.
Bhramaramba Shrine- Located adjacent to the Mallikarjun Temple is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Jagdamba who is known as Bhramaramba here. The Bhramaramba shrine is considered to be of great significance. Legend has it that Durga is said to have assumed the shape of a bee and worshipped Shiva here, and chose this place as her abode.
Legend Of Srisailam Temple - The temple, which shines like a jewel on the Nallamalai range of the Eastern Ghats, is known by different names like Srigiri, Srimala, Srinagara and Rishabagiri. Rishaba or Nandi Deva did penance on this hill and obtained the darshan of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. Hence the name Rishabagiri.
Long ago, Princess Chandravathi of the Chandra Gupta dynasty faced a domestic calamity and decided to forsake royal comforts. She went to the Srisailam forests and was living on fruits and cow's milk. One day, she noticed that one of the cows around was not yielding milk. Later she learned through her herdsman that the cow was going to a secluded spot and showering milk on a Linga amid mallige (jasmine) creepers. The next day she herself went to that spot and witnessed the miracle. The same night Lord Shiva appeared in her dream and asked her to build a temple at this spot. Since the Linga was entangled in mallige creepers, the deity was named Mallikarjuna.
According to anther legend, Lord Shiva once came to the Srisailam forest for hunting. There He met a beautiful girl of the Chenchu tribe, fell in love with her and decided to stay with her in the forest. The girl was none other than Parvati Herself. In the temple, there is a bass relief depicting this story. It is significant to note that even today, people of the local Chenchu tribe are allowed into the sanctum. On the night of Maha Shivaratri, they are permitted to perform abhisheka and puja to the deity. Another interesting feature is that devotees irrespective of caste, creed or sex can go into the sanctum and perform abhisheka and puja.