श्रीशैले मल्लिकार्जुनम् l
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Goddess Parvati in Mallikarjuna Temple

The second shrine/Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva is the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh It is also believed to be the first place where Lord Shiva appeared as an infinite column of fire, thus illuminating the world. This temple is dedicated to two deities Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati. This temple holds significance both for the Shaivam and the shaktam sect of hindus. Shaivam means followers of Lord Shiva whereas Shaktam means the followers of goddess Adiparashakti. Goddess Parvati is the reincarnation of Goddess Adiparashakti, Goddess Sati being the first. Here Lord Shiva is worshipped as Mallikarjuna and Goddess Parvati is worshipped as Brahmaramba.

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Mallikarjuna Temple

The story behind this Jyotirlinga is that once Lord Shiva decided to test both his sons, Kumar Kartikeya and Lord Ganesh. So the test was that whosoever will go around the universe 7 times will be the winner and would be married first. Kumar Kartikeya got on his vehicle, the peacock and flew into the skies above thinking how will Ganesh go around the world on his mushak. After Kartikeya had departed Ganesh started going around his parents i.e. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. When he completed the 7th round Lord Shiva asked him, “What was that?” Lord Ganesh replied, “ Father, you said to go around the universe 7 times so I went around you both because you are the universe for me.” Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati hugged him with love. Meanwhile Kumar Kartikeya also came back. He asked, “how did Ganesh reach before me?” Lord Shiva said, “ Ganesh circled around us and also became the winner. Today I declare that whosoever will worship Ganesh will gain knowledge whereas who will worship Kartikeya will gain strength.”

Hearing this Kumar Kartikeya felt cheated and in his anger left Kailash and came to the Kronch hills. He began to live there by the name Kumarbrahmachari. On seeing his father coming to pacify him he tried to move away from there but on the request of devas stayed. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati also came to stay near their son. They named themselves Arjun and Mallika respectively. Therefore the Jyotirlinga came to be known as Mallikarjuna and the village came to be known as Srisailam.

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Mallikarjuna Lingam

Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a lingam and goddess Parvati in the form of a Shakti peetha. The main festivals of the temple are Mahashivratri and Navratri festival. The temple complex covers 2 hectares and houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Mallikarjuna and Bhramaramba being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the Mukha Mandapa built during the Vijayanagar period. The temple is situated facing East. The center mandapam has several pillars, with a huge idol of Nadikeshwara. The temple is enclosed by tall walls measuring 183 m (600 ft) by 152 m (499 ft) and 8.5 m (28 ft) tall. There are a number of sculptures in the precinct each rising above another. The Mukamandapa, the hall leading to the sanctum, has intricately sculpted pillars. The shrine where Mallikarjuna is housed is considered the oldest in the temple, dating back to the 7th century. There is a Sahasra linga (1000 linga), believed to have been commissioned by Rama and five other lingams believed to have been commissioned by Pandavas.

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Gold plated Gopuram of Mallikarjuna Temple.

How to Reach:

By bus and train:

Srisailam is about 212 km from Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana and there are buses connecting the town with Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur and Kurnool. For service from Hyderabad to Srisailam, tickets and reservations can be made at the Central Bus station Hyderabad. The approximate travel time from Hyderabad to Srisailam is 4 hours. From Kurnool it will take around 5 hours via Atmakur and Doranala. You can get Express buses every one hour from 5.00 am to 11.30 pm from Kurnool. There is no railway station in Srisailam. There are frequent buses from Tirupathi as well and they pass through Nellore. So you can always catch a bus to Srisailam from Nellore too.

By private vehicle/taxi:

If hiring a private taxi, ensure that the driver has experience driving in ghat sections and doesn't have the habit of drinking alcohol. Mannanur, which is around 120 km from Hyderabad, is the place where the Nallamala hills start. After 60-70 km of drive through the forest you'll reach Eegalapenta. From there, it becomes difficult to drive as there are numerous hairpin bends and a kilometer of the stretch has lot of potholes. You can have a good look at the Srisailam Dam from there.

DARSHAN AND AARTI TIMINGS:

Darshan:

6:00AM TO 3:30PM and 6:00PM TO 10:00PM

Aarti:

Pratahkalapuja, Gopuja and Maha Mangala Harathi 5.15 AM to 6.30 AM

Susandhyam and Maha Mangala Harathi. 5.20 PM to 6.00 PM

Rajopachara puja (Parakulu) to Bhramaramba Devi.5.50 PM to 6.20 PM

THE LINKS TO MY OTHER ARTICLES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

Life Lessons to Learn from Lord Shiva:

https://wrytin.com/kabirgupta/life-lessons-to-learn-from-lord-shiva-jxcwgbtr

Art of Living and Significance of Lord Shiva's Attire:

https://wrytin.com/kabirgupta/the-art-of-living-and-significance-of-lord-shivas-attire-jxe8jk4c

Most Powerful Weapons of Lord Shiva (Part 1):

https://wrytin.com/kabirgupta/most-powerful-weapons-of-lord-shiva-part-1-jxif3s8t

Most Powerful Weapons of Lord Shiva (Part 2):

https://wrytin.com/kabirgupta/most-powerful-weapons-of-lord-shiva-part-2-jxsgyqda

Most Powerful Weapons of Lord Shiva (Part 3):

https://wrytin.com/kabirgupta/most-powerful-weapons-of-lord-shiva-part-3-jycjwooi

Book Review of Raavan:Enamy of Aryavarta(Book 3 of Ramchandra Series):

https://wrytin.com/kabirgupta/book-review-of-raavanenemy-of-aryavarta-book-3-of-ramchandra-series-jymoxo4c

Book Review of Sita: Warrior of Mithila(Book 2 of Ramchandra Series):

https://wrytin.com/kabirgupta/book-review-of-sita-warrior-of-mithilabook-2-of-ramchandra-series-jywggte1

Book Review of Ram: Scion of Ikshvaku(Book 1 of Ramchandra Series):

https://wrytin.com/kabirgupta/ramscion-of-iskhvaku-a-review-jzghd2ka

Story of Somnath Jyotirlinga:

https://wrytin.com/kabirgupta/story-of-somnath-jyotirlinga-k00xg9oy

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