Srikalahasti Temple is located in the town of Srikalahasti, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the most famous Shiva temples in South India, and is said to be the site where Kannappa was ready to offer both his eyes to cover blood flowing from the Shiva linga before the Lord Shiva stopped him and granted him mukti. Srikalahasti temple, situated 36 km away from Tirupati is famous for its Vayu linga, one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams, representing wind. The temple is also regarded as Rahu-Ketu kshetra and Dakshina Kasi. The inner temple was constructed around 5th century and the outer temple was constructed in the 12th century by the Chola kings and the Vijayanagara kings. Lord Shiva in his aspect as Vayu is worshiped as Kalahasteeswara.
There are several other legends connected to the glory of the temple. Prominent among them is of Parvati who was cursed by Lord Shiva to discard her heavenly body and assume the human form. To get rid of the above curse Parvati did a long penance here. Pleased with her deep devotion Lord Shiva again recreated her body – a hundred times better than her previous heavenly body and initiated various mantras including the Panchakshari. Consequent to this, Parvati gained fame and came to be known as Shiva-Gnanam Gnana Prasunamba or Gnana Prasunambika Devi.
Cursed to become a ghost, Ghanakala prayed at Srikalahasti for 15 years and after chanting the Bhairava Mantra many times Lord Shiva restored her original form. Mayura, Chandra and Devendra were also freed from their curses after taking bath in the river Swarnamukhi and praying at Srikalahasti. To Bhakta Markandeya, Lord Shiva appeared in Srikalahasti and preached that a Guru alone could make esoteric teachings and, therefore he is Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.
The initial structure of this temple was constructed by the Pallava dynasty in the 5th century. Like other great temples, the construction period of Srikalahasthi temple lasted centuries. Around the 10th century, the Chola kings renovated the temple and constructed the main structure.
The temple received contributions from various ruling dynasties like Cholas and Vijayanagar Empire. The hundred pillared hall with intricate carvings was commissioned during the regime of Krishnadeva Raya during 1516 AD.
The 120 feet (37 m) high main gopuram and the 100 pillar mandapam were constructed by Krishnadevaraya, the Vijayanagara king in 1516. The presiding image of Shiva in the form of Linga is made of white stone in a shape resembling trunk of elephant. The temple faces south, while the sanctum faces west. The temple is located on the foothills of a hill, while there is also a belief that the temple was carved out of a monolithic hill. There is a rock cut shrine of Vinayaka, 9 ft (2.7 m) below the ground level. Vallaba Ganapathi, Mahalakshmi-Ganpathi and Sahasra Lingeswara are some of the rare images found in the temple. There is a large shrine of Jnanaprasanammba, the consort of Kalahatisvara. There are smaller shrines in the temple for Kasi Viswanatha, Annapurna, Suryanarayana, Sadyoganapathi and Subramanya. There are two large halls namely Sadyogi Mandapa and Jalkoti Mandapa. There are two water bodies associated with the namely, Surya Pushkarani and Chandra Pushkarani.
How to reach Srikalahasteeswara temple
The nearest Domestic Airport is Tirupati Airport, Chittoor, roughly half an hour drive from Srikalahasti.
Nearest Airport : Tirupati Airport, Tirupati
It has its own Railway Station named as Srikalahasti Railway Station which is connected to all the major cities of Andhra Pradesh. It is very well connected to the major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Pune via Tirupati-Secunderabad Narayanadri Express, Tirupati-Adilabad Krishna Express, Tirupati-Secunderabad Padmavathy Express, Tirupati-Vishakapatnam Tirumala Express and Thiruvananthapuram Central-Hyderabad Sabari Express.
Nearest Bus Station: Srikalahasthi Bus Station
Famouse place near to Srikalahasteeswara temple
Veyilingala Kona Waterfall
Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple
Information source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srikalahasteeswara_temple