Srikalahasti Temple

South India is a heavenly abode with a lot of beautiful and majestic monuments – from mighty forts to divine temples, from pillars of Chalukyas to minute stone carvings of Krishnadevaraya. They all are unique in their history, architecture, built, and their story. South Indian architecture has been a prime example of ancient architecture throughout history.

 

From Dravidian architecture to the Vijayanagara style, there are a variety of temples to see here. Temples like Virupaksha Temple, Meenakshi Temple, Venkateswara Temple, etc are just a few names from the plethora of temples here. Srikalahasti Temple is a temple that has a rich history and has been here since what seems like the beginning of time.  Hotels in Kalahasti can be found by going for online bookings.

About Srikalahasti Temple

Srikalahasti Temple

This divine temple is located in the Chittoor district of the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. Srikalahasti is a temple town popular among devotees who visit the temple. The Srikalahasti Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is a God with immense religious significance for Hindus. It was constructed in the year 1516 by Krishnadevraya – the king of the Vijayanagara empire. The temple has an elaborate structure that takes one’s breath away with its breathtaking design right from the entrance. The temple has intricate carvings of numerous mythological stories that can be explored in the divine environment. The temple is often referred to as the Kailasa and Kashi of the south. It is advisable to book hotels in Kalahasti near the temple to enjoy a memorable time with friends and family.

 

The temple is constructed in such a way that it represents one of the five elements – Air or Vaayu. There is an abundance of divine and vibrant energy in the air over there. The temple manages to attract visitors from all over the world with its mesmerizing architecture and beauty. South India has many temples famous for their architecture, but the Srikalahasti Temple stands out from all. The architecture of this temple is to be noted as the temple has highly ornamented gopurams with intricately carved interiors. This temple is like a treasure trove for people who love studying and exploring South Indian temple architecture.  Book the best hotels in Srikalahasti to make your stay splendid and memorable.

History of Srikalahasti Temple

Srikalahasti Temple

The name of Srikalahasti Temple is derived from a famous mythological legend. The myth states that a spider (Sri), a snake (Kala), and an elephant (Hasti) used to worship Lord Shiva in the town to attain Moksha. Therefore, during the Pallava period in the 5th century, the Srikalahasti Temple was built by Krishnadevraya, the king of the Vijayanagara Empire.

 

The Chola Kingdom brought about many changes in the infrastructure of this temple in the 11th century. The temple was further developed by expanding the temple complex, renovations, the addition of some new structures, etc during the reign of the Chola kingdom as well as the Vijayanagara Dynasty in the 16th century. Nakkeerar, a Tamil poet, has mentioned the Srikalahasti Temple numerous times in his work thus proving its existence during the Tamil Sangam Dynasty. Dhoorjati, who was another famous Telugu poet, wrote numerous stanzas about the Srikalahasti Temple, praising its divine beauty.

The Architecture of Srikalahasti Temple

Srikalahasti Temple

The Srikalahasti Temple boasts of the beautiful Dravidian style of architecture. It was built during the Pallava period in the 5th century. This majestic temple has a fantastic view for the visitors to gaze at as it is situated at the base of a hill. Some people believe that it is a monolithic structure, meaning that it is made of a single large block of stone. Hotels in Srikalahasti near the temple area can be found with a lot of ease since it is a popular tourist destination.

 

The main entrance of the Srikalahasti Temple faces the south and the main shrine faces the west direction. The Shiva Lingam inside the shrine is made up of white stone and is in the shape of an elephant’s trunk. The principle gopuram of the temple is approximately one hundred and twenty feet high. The temple complex has a mandap inside which has about a hundred intricately carved pillars that were built during Krishnadevraya’s reign, a Vijaynagara King in 1516. There is a nine feet tall rock-cut shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The temple also houses shrines for Jnana Prasanna Mamba, Kasi Viswanatha, Suryanarayan, Subramanya, Annapurna, and Sad Ganapathi. They all are adorned with images of Ganapati, Mahalakshmi Ganapathi, Vallabha Ganapati, and Sahasra Lingeshwara. The temple complex also has two additional mandaps – The Sadyogi Mandap and the Jalkoti Mandap. It also has two water bodies – Chandra Pushkarani and Surya Pushkarani.

Religious Significance of Srikalahasti Temple

Srikalahasti Temple

The Srikalahasti Temple is considered as one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalam, where the presiding deity is worshipped as Air or Vaayu Lingam. This temple is considered as the Kashi and Kailasa of the South. The temple is mentioned numerous times in the songs sung by Saivite saints of the first century. All the other temples close down during the Solar and the Lunar eclipse, except for the Srikalahasti temple which is the only temple to remain open on those days in India. Rahu-Kethu pooja is a significant pooja done here and Srikalahasti Temple is famous for the same. People believe that if one performs this pooja, it will protect the people from the astrological effects of Rahu and Kethu. Book hotels in Kalahasti near the temple to avoid travel fatigue.

 

According to the Hindu legend, Brahma had worshipped Kalahatiswara at this place during all four of the Yugas. The Pandava prince during the Mahabharata, Arjuna, is believed to have worshipped the presiding deity sitting here. The hunter who turned into an ardent devotee of Shiva accidentally, known as Kannappa, is also associated with the Srikalahasti Temple. The works of Nakkeerar, and the Nalvars namely Appar, Sundarar, Sambandar, and Manickavasanagar also find their mention in the temple in the canonical works of Tirumura. The temple is classified as Paandal Petra Sthalam as it is respected and revered in Tevaram. It is one of the two hundred and seventy-five temples that find mention in the Saiva canon. Book hotels in Kalahasti near the temple to avoid travel fatigue.

Timings for Visiting Srikalahasti Temple

The temple is open to people from 6:00 in the morning to 9:30 in the evening. But on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the temple is open from 6:00 in the morning to 9:00 in the evening.

The timings for different types of pujas in the Srikalahasti Temple are mentioned below:

 

Temple Abhishekam: The timing for this puja is 6:00 in the morning, 7:00 in the morning, 10:00 in the morning, and 5:00 in the evening. The puja is conducted every day of the week.

Rahu Ketu Puja: This puja is conducted from 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening. It is conducted every day of the week. 

Asservachana Rahu Ketu Kaal Sarpa Nirvana Puja: The timing for this puja is 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening. 

Special Ashirvachanam Rahu Ketu Kaal Sarpa Nirvana Puja: The timing for this puja is 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening.

Ticket Price for Srikalahasti Temple

Although there is no entry fee to visit or pray in the Srikalahasti Temple, there are different entry fees charged depending upon which puja one is going to see. The prices for each puja are mentioned below:

Temple Abhishekam: The entry fee is Rs 600 per person.

Subrata Seva: There is a nominal fee of Rs 50 per person here.

Archana: Per person charge for the same is Rs 25.

Gomatha Pooja: There is a charge of Rs 50 per person. 

Sahasra Namarchana: There is a fee of Rs 200 per person for attending this puja.

Trisathi Archana: There is a fee of Rs 125 per person.

Rahu Ketu Puja: There is an entry fee of Rs 500 per person for attending this puja. It is done in the outer courtyard of the temple. 

 

Kaal Sarp Nirvana Puja: There is an entry fee of Rs 750 for witnessing this puja.

 

Ashirvachanam Rahu Ketu Kaal Sarpa Nirvana Puja: There is an entry fee of Rs 1500 per person for the puja. This puja is done within the temple premises. 

 

Special Ashirvachanam Rahu Ketu Kaal Sarp Nirvana Puja: There is an entry fee of Rs 2500 for visiting this puja.

Best Time to Visit Srikalahasti Temple

The best time to visit the beautiful Srikalahasti Temple is in the winter season from November to February. This time frame is preferable as the weather will be pleasant to explore the location. Book hotels in Kalahasti near the temple to avoid travel fatigue.

How to Reach Srikalahasti Temple

There are various ways through which one can reach the temple: 

By Airways: The nearest airport to the Srikalahasti Temple is the Tirupati Airport, which is just twenty-five kilometers away. There are daily flights to Tirupati from Hyderabad, Delhi, and Bangalore. The closest major airport is the Chennai airport which is ninety-nine kilometers away from Srikalahasti Temple. Book hotels in Kalahasti near the temple to avoid travel fatigue.

By Railway: There is a railway station at Sri Kalahasti. It is well connected to all the cities in the Southern region of India directly. There are trains from cities like Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Vijayawada. 

By Road: It takes approximately five hours from Bangalore to Tirupati by road. There are state transport buses like KSRTC and APSRTC which operate during the day and night. APSRTC buses run every half an hour to Tirupati. It also offers a special package called Yatra darshini and Divyadarshini. Book the best hotels in Srikalahasti to enjoy a hearty stay in Andhra Pradesh.

Places to see Near Srikalahasti Temple

If one wants to explore more, there are other places to visit near Srikalahasti Temple: 

Sahasra Linga Temple: The word “Sahahsara” stands for thousand. It holds true to its name as one can find thousand carved Lingas here. Located in a lush green jungle, this place is just like a whole new world.  

Talakona Waterfall: It is a beautiful two hundred and seventy feet tall waterfall. Adventure freaks can visit this beautiful waterfall to explore more of Southern India’s natural beauty. 

A hint of South India’s beauty can truly be experienced during a visit to the Srikalahasti Temple. If you don’t believe us, experience it for yourself! 

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