SriKalahasti Temple is a Hindu temple located in the town of Srikalahasti in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered one of the most important Shiva temples in South India. It is also known as one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, representing the element of air. The temple is believed to have been built during the Pallava dynasty in the 5th century AD and was later renovated by the Chola dynasty in the 10th century AD and the Vijayanagara Empire in the 16th century AD.
The SriKalahasti Temple is known for its unique architecture, which is built in the Dravidian style and features intricate carvings and sculptures. The temple is surrounded by a large wall with four gopurams (entrance towers) and has several halls and shrines dedicated to various deities.
The temple is also famous for its association with the legend of Rahu and Ketu, two mythical planets in Hindu astrology. It is believed that offering prayers at the SriKalahasti Temple can bring relief from the negative effects of Rahu and Ketu.
The SriKalahasti Temple celebrates several festivals throughout the year, including Maha Shivaratri, Brahmotsavam, and Kartik Purnima. These festivals attract thousands of devotees to the temple.
Visitors to the SriKalahasti Temple are expected to dress modestly and cover their shoulders and knees. Shoes must be removed before entering the temple. The temple provides accommodation for devotees in several guest houses and choultries located near the temple, which can be booked in advance through the temple's website.
History of SriKalahasti Temple
The history of the SriKalahasti Temple dates back to the 5th century AD when it is believed to have been built during the Pallava dynasty. The temple was later renovated by the Chola dynasty in the 10th century AD and the Vijayanagara Empire in the 16th century AD. The temple has undergone several changes and renovations over the centuries, resulting in the unique Dravidian-style architecture that it has today.
According to legend, the SriKalahasti Temple is associated with the story of Kannappa Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanars or holy saints of Shaivism. Kannappa was a hunter who lived in the nearby forest and was a devotee of Lord Shiva. He would offer the Lord the meat of the animals he hunted as a form of worship. One day, while hunting, he saw a Lingam (an abstract representation of Lord Shiva) and offered it some of the meat he had collected. He noticed that the Lingam was bleeding from a wound on its forehead and decided to help it. Kannappa used his own mouth to suck the blood from the wound, earning the Lord's blessings.
The temple is also associated with the legend of Rahu and Ketu, two mythical planets in Hindu astrology. It is believed that these planets have a negative effect on one's life and that offering prayers at the SriKalahasti Temple can bring relief from their negative effects.
Architecture of SriKalahasti Temple
The SriKalahasti Temple is a magnificent example of the Dravidian-style architecture that is characteristic of South India. The temple complex covers an area of 12 acres and includes several shrines and halls dedicated to various deities. The temple's main tower or gopuram is a towering structure that rises to a height of 120 feet and is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures of various deities.
The temple's inner sanctum or garbhagriha houses the main deity, Sri Kalahasteeswara, in the form of a Lingam. The Lingam is made of black granite and is believed to be self-manifested or swayambhu. The sanctum is surrounded by a circumambulatory passage or pradakshina path and is covered by a golden roof supported by 100 pillars.
The temple also has several halls or mandapams, including the Ardha Mandapam, the Mahamandapam, and the Raja Gopuram Mandapam. These halls are adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures of various deities and are used for various rituals and ceremonies.
The SriKalahasti Temple also has several shrines dedicated to various deities, including Gnanaprasunambika, Sri Subramanya Swamy, and Sri Purushothama Perumal. These shrines are built in the same Dravidian style and feature intricate carvings and sculptures.
Overall, the SriKalahasti Temple is a magnificent example of South Indian Dravidian-style architecture and is known for its intricate carvings, sculptures, and towering gopurams.
Festivals of SriKalahasti Temple
The SriKalahasti Temple celebrates several festivals throughout the year, which are an important part of the temple's cultural and religious significance. Here are some of the major festivals celebrated at the temple:
- Maha Shivaratri - This is one of the most important festivals celebrated at the SriKalahasti Temple, which falls in the Hindu month of Phalguna (February/March). On this day, devotees offer prayers and perform abhishekam (ritual bath) to Lord Shiva.
- Brahmotsavam - This is a nine-day festival that is celebrated in the Hindu month of Vaishakha (April/May). The festival is marked by several processions of the deities around the temple and is a major event in the temple's calendar.
- Kartik Purnima - This festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartik (October/November) and is marked by the lighting of lamps and offering of prayers to Lord Shiva.
- Arudra Darshanam - This festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Margazhi (December/January) and is dedicated to Lord Nataraja, a form of Lord Shiva. The festival is marked by the performance of special puja and the offering of prasadams.
- Ugadi - This is the Telugu New Year's Day and is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March/April). The festival is marked by the offering of prayers to the deities and the exchange of sweets and gifts.
Overall, the festivals celebrated at the SriKalahasti Temple are an important part of the temple's cultural and religious significance and attract thousands of devotees every year.
Visiting hours of SriKalahasti Temple
The SriKalahasti Temple is open every day of the week and visitors can visit the temple during the following hours:
Monday to Sunday: Morning: 5:30 AM to 12:30 PM Afternoon: 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Please note that the temple timings may vary on special occasions and during festivals, so it is always a good idea to check the temple's official website or with the temple authorities for any changes in timings before planning your visit. Also, during peak season, the temple may be crowded, so it is advisable to plan your visit accordingly.
Dress code of Srikalahasti Temple
There is a strict dress code for visitors to the SriKalahasti Temple. Men are required to wear traditional Indian attire like dhoti and angavastram or kurta pyjama. Women are required to wear traditional Indian attire like sarees or salwar kameez. Western attire like jeans, shorts, skirts, and tops are not allowed inside the temple premises.
In case visitors are not dressed appropriately, the temple provides traditional attire for rent or purchase at nominal rates. Visitors are advised to comply with the dress code to avoid any inconvenience and to show respect to the temple's cultural and religious significance.
Poojas and rituals of Srikalahasti Temple
The SriKalahasti Temple is known for its elaborate poojas and rituals that are performed throughout the day. Here are some of the important poojas and rituals at the temple:
- Abhishekam - This is a ritualistic bath performed to the deity, where holy water, milk, honey, and other sacred items are poured on the deity.
- Rudrabhishekam - This is a special pooja dedicated to Lord Shiva and is performed every day at the temple.
- Sahasranamarchana - This is a recitation of the 1000 names of Lord Shiva and is considered a powerful pooja that helps to remove obstacles and bring prosperity.
- Pradosha Puja - This is a special pooja performed on the thirteenth day of both the lunar fortnights and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Navagraha Puja - This is a pooja performed to the nine planets and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
- Special Darshan - This is a paid darshan, where visitors can have a closer view of the deity and perform special poojas.
- Kalyanotsavam - This is a special pooja performed to the deity, where the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is celebrated.
Overall, the poojas and rituals at the SriKalahasti Temple are an integral part of the temple's religious and cultural significance and attract devotees from all over the world.
Accommodation Near Srikalahasti Temple
There are many accommodation options available near the SriKalahasti Temple to suit different budgets and preferences. Some of the options are:
- Temple Guest Houses - The temple has several guest houses that offer basic accommodation facilities at nominal rates. These guest houses are located close to the temple and are convenient for visitors.
- Budget Hotels - There are many budget hotels and lodges available near the temple that offer clean and comfortable rooms at affordable rates. Some of the popular budget hotels are Sri Sai Teja Residency, Hotel KSR Grand, and Hotel Aryaas.
- Luxury Hotels - For visitors looking for luxury accommodation, there are several options available in and around Srikalahasti. Some of the popular luxury hotels are Fortune Select Grand Ridge, Marasa Sarovar Premiere, and Hotel MGM Grand.
- Home Stays - Visitors who prefer a more personalized experience can opt for home stays near the temple. These home stays offer a comfortable and homely atmosphere and are a great way to experience the local culture.
It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak season and festival times, to avoid any inconvenience.
Attraction Near Srikalahasti Temple
There are several places to visit near the SriKalahasti Temple. Here are some of the popular attractions:
- Talakona Waterfalls - Located about 50 km from Srikalahasti, the Talakona Waterfalls is the highest waterfall in the Andhra Pradesh state. The waterfall is surrounded by lush green forests and is a popular spot for trekking and camping.
- Kanipakam Temple - Located about 70 km from Srikalahasti, the Kanipakam Temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is one of the famous pilgrim centers in the region.
- Sri Venkateswara Temple - Located about 20 km from Srikalahasti, the Sri Venkateswara Temple is one of the most famous temples in India and attracts millions of devotees every year.
- Srikalahasti Handloom Sarees - Srikalahasti is famous for its handloom sarees, and visitors can visit the local markets to purchase these beautiful sarees.
- Pulicat Lake - Located about 100 km from Srikalahasti, the Pulicat Lake is a saltwater lake that is home to several migratory birds and is a popular spot for bird watching.
Overall, there are several places to visit near the SriKalahasti Temple, and visitors can explore these attractions to make the most of their trip.
Things To Do In Srikalahasti Temple
Here are some of the things to do in the SriKalahasti Temple:
- Darshan - The SriKalahasti Temple is a famous pilgrim center, and the main attraction is the darshan or the worship of Lord Shiva. Visitors can take part in the puja rituals and seek blessings from the deity.
- Prasadam - The temple offers prasadam or sacred food to the devotees, and visitors can partake in the prasadam and experience the divine taste.
- Rahu-Ketu Pooja - The temple is famous for its Rahu-Ketu Pooja, which is believed to remove the negative effects of the Rahu-Ketu doshas in one's horoscope.
- Temple Architecture - The SriKalahasti Temple is known for its beautiful architecture, and visitors can admire the intricate carvings and sculptures on the temple walls.
- Temple Tank - The temple has a sacred tank or kund called the Swarnamukhi River, and visitors can take a dip in the tank to cleanse themselves of their sins.
- Shopping - Visitors can shop for souvenirs and religious items at the local shops and stalls outside the temple.
Overall, the SriKalahasti Temple offers a divine and spiritual experience for visitors, and there are several activities that visitors can take part in to make the most of their trip.
Best Time To Visit Srikalahasti Temple
The best time to visit the SriKalahasti Temple is from November to February, during the winter months. The weather during this time is pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 15°C to 25°C, making it comfortable for visitors to explore the temple and its surroundings. The winter months also coincide with several festivals and events, including the Kanuma Festival and the Pongal Festival, which attract a large number of visitors to the temple.
However, the temple is open throughout the year, and visitors can visit the temple at any time of the year. The summer months from March to June can be hot and humid, with temperatures ranging between 30°C to 40°C, while the monsoon season from July to October can be rainy and humid, which may not be ideal for outdoor activities.
How To Reach Srikalahasti Temple
SriKalahasti Temple is located in the town of Srikalahasti in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Here are the different ways to reach the temple:
- By Air: The nearest airport is the Tirupati Airport, located about 20 km away from the temple. Regular flights operate from major cities in India to Tirupati.
- By Train: Srikalahasti has a railway station that is well-connected to major cities in India. Tirupati is the nearest major railway station, located about 25 km away from the temple.
- By Road: Srikalahasti is well-connected by road to major cities in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The temple is located on the Chennai-Tirupati Highway, and regular buses operate from Chennai, Tirupati, and other nearby cities to Srikalahasti.
- By Taxi: Taxis and cabs can be hired from Tirupati or Chennai to reach Srikalahasti. Private taxi operators and cab companies offer various packages for visitors to the temple.
Once you reach Srikalahasti, the temple is located in the heart of the town, and can be easily reached by foot or by hiring a local taxi or auto-rickshaw.
What is the significance of SriKalahasti Temple?
The SriKalahasti Temple is one of the most famous Shiva temples in India, known for its unique architecture and rich history. It is believed to be one of the Panchabhoota Sthalas, representing the element of air (Vayu). The temple is also known for its role in the Rahu-Ketu dosha nivarana puja, a powerful ritual believed to remove the ill effects of Rahu and Ketu in one's horoscope.
What is the dress code for visiting SriKalahasti Temple?
Visitors to the SriKalahasti Temple are required to dress modestly and adhere to the temple dress code. Men are required to wear dhoti or pyjama with a shawl, while women are required to wear a saree or salwar kameez.
What are the poojas and rituals performed at SriKalahasti Temple?
Several poojas and rituals are performed at the SriKalahasti Temple, including the Rahu-Ketu pooja, abhishekam, Rudrabhishekam, and Navagraha pooja. The temple also offers special poojas and sevas during festivals and auspicious occasions.
What are the visiting hours of SriKalahasti Temple?
The SriKalahasti Temple is open from 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM every day.
What are the festivals celebrated at SriKalahasti Temple?
Several festivals are celebrated at the SriKalahasti Temple, including Maha Shivaratri, Brahmotsavam, Ugadi, Vinayaka Chaturthi, and Karthika Deepam. The temple also hosts special events and performances during these festivals.
Are there any accommodations near SriKalahasti Temple?
Yes, there are several accommodations near the SriKalahasti Temple, including budget hotels, guest houses, and resorts. The temple also has its own guest house and accommodation facilities for visitors.
What are the nearby attractions to SriKalahasti Temple?
Some of the nearby attractions to SriKalahasti Temple include the Kanipakam Temple, Srikalahasti Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Talakona Waterfalls.