Once upon a time, Silada Maharshi, the son of Soma Muni performed an intense Tapasya in the name of Lord Shiva. Pleased with the Tapasya performed by Silada Maharshi, Lord Bhola Shankara granted him his wish of ‘sons who would carry forward worshipping Lord Shiva. Silada Maharshi named his sons as Nandi-Parvat. As the granted wish goes, Nandi-Parvat learnt all the knowledge about Lord Shiva and became great devotees of the Lord.


When Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva about his most desired place apart from Kailasa in the Universe created by him, he chose the eternally beautiful place nestled among picturesque nature, the avatar of Sri Chakra, the holy Srisailam. In such a significant location, Shiva-Shakti take the form of Sri Mallikarjuna Bhramaramba to bless all their devotees.

As proven in Puranas, Srisailam has great ancient significance. Among the 12 Jyotirlingas, the 2nd is the Mallikarjuna Swamy Lingam; among the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, the 6th is Sri Bhramaramba Devi temple. Srisailam is the only temple where two such icons exist under one temple premise, such is its significance. Srisailam has many other names like Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatam and Srinagam. Narasimhaswamy in Satyayugam, Sri Rama alongside Sita Devi in Tretayugam, all five Pandavas in Dvaparayugam, many Yogis, Rishis, Munis, preachers, spiritual teachers, Kings, poets and devotees in Kalyug have visited Srisailam and earned the blessings of Sri Bhramarambika Devi and Mallikarjuna Swamy.


About History

Srisailam has great ancient significance. With great significance since many eras, Srisailam where Sri Bhramarambika Devi-Mallikarjuna Swamy reside has been a worshipping place for mmillions of devotees over thousands of years. History is always told through books or through stories of various dynasties. If one looks at dynastic prevalence, one would find inscriptional evidence from South India’s first dynasty, the Satavahanas at Srisailam. Satakarni who was the third of the Satavahana kings was also an ardent devotee of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy and was popular for naming himself as Mallanna.

There is a mention of Srisailam in ancient scriptures belonging to the 3rd century C.E. Satakarni in scriptures describing lands under his rule mentioned Srisailam as Chakora Shetagiri. Post the Satavahanas, the Ikshvaku dynasty ruled Andhra. Although these rulers no more exist to tell the tale, it is fair to say that they considered Srisailam as a holy destination. In the 6th century C.E, Kadamba king Mayura Sharma addressed Srisailam as Sriparvatam. A kind called Bruhaddhana with the help of Kadamba’s won over then rulers, the Pallava dynasty to conquer and rule over the land. They unified Sriparvatam along with the land they won over. In the dynasty of Badami Chalukyas, the ruler Pulakeshi constructed many temples and known to be the king of temples. He was known to be the first Kshatriya to have performed Shiva Deeksha.

During 735-755 C.E, Dantidurga, the ruler of the Rashtrakuta Empire ruled the lands in and around Sriparvatam. During 980-1058 C.E, Kalyana Chalukyaraju, Trayalokamalya Deva established a gopuram on Garbhalayam. His grandson during 1069 C.E donated a village to Srisailam for Satrams and Dharamshala. By the end of the 11th century, Srisailam has earned the reputation of Maha Shiva temple and a temple that is home to Vedas. Rulers of the Hoysala dynasty collected Crystal Shiva Lingams from Patalaganga near the Krishna River in Srisailam and constructed numerous temples using them. Maharashtrians since then have been calling Srisailam as Southern Kashi. Prataparudra who hails from the Kakatiya dynasty alongside his wife visited Srisailam, performed Tulabhaaraseva and earned the blessings of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy and Bhramaramba. Reddy Rulers of the 13th century played an important role in developing Srisailam. The great devotee of Lord Shiva, Prolaya Vema Reddy ruled over Srisailam, donated a village called Raamatheertham and helped uplift the development of Srisailam. His son, Anavema Reddy laid steps for devotees who come from Telangana. He constructed a hall called Veerasiro Mandapam as an ancestral memory. It is said that great devotees during that time used to offer their body parts as their way of showing their devotion. In 1405 C.E Katyavema Reddy laid steps to Srisailam and Pedakomati Vema Reddy laid steps to Patalaganga. In the 14th century C.E, Vijayanagara Dynasty ruled Andhra Pradesh. Among its rulers, Viroopaksha, Saalupa Parvatayya, donated many villages to Srisailam. The wife to Hariharaya
II, Vitalamba laid steps that lead to Patalaganga. On the auspicious occasion of Shivaratri, Hariharaya II directed the construction of the main hall of the main temple.Above three are of history. Sri Krishnadevaraya considered Srisailam as separate Kingdom and appointed his loyal minister Chandrasekhara as Administrator of Srisailam. Chandrasekhara made Mandapas on the name of Sri Krishnadevaraya and his uncle Dhemarasu. History say that the gopuras in the southern, eastern and western sides of the temple were constructed by Sri Krishnadevaraya. The icon of Maharashtra, Sri Chatrapathi Shivaji who was a devotee of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy and Bhramarambika Devi ordered the construction of Northern Gopuram. During the 18th and 19th centuries, in the temple of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy and Bhramarambika Devi, many chenchus graced the temple grounds and were part of many rituals and prayers. It is believed by locals that long ago when Mallikarjuna Swamy was hunting in the forest, a local girl fell in love with the god and was later married to the god in presence of the locals. Ever since Mallikarjuna Swamy who resides in Srisaila Kshetram is considered as their son-in-law by the locals and hence called Chenchu Mallanna and Chenchu Mallayya.

About Mythology

Mallikarjuna Swamy:
Once upon a time, Silada Maharshi, the son of Soma Muni performed an intense Tapasya in the name of Lord Shiva. Pleased with the Tapasya performed by Silada Maharshi, Lord Bhola Shankara granted him his wish of ‘sons who would carry forward worshipping Lord Shiva. Silada Maharshi named his sons as Nandi-Parvat. As the granted wish goes, Nandi-Parvat learnt all the knowledge about Lord Shiva and became great devotees of the Lord. With his father’s permission, Parvat performs a Tapasya and pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva asks him what his wish was. To which, Parvat says: “Just how all holy things reside in Kailasa, I would want to be a similar mountain filled with gods who reside as one family, holy 9 rivers, holy water bodies, many peaks, animals, birds, all eight Bhairavas, munis and rishis, fruit-bearing and medicinal plants and trees. While I take the form of a Mountain, you shall reside atop me on the highest peak in the form of a prime Jyotirlinga.” To which Lord Shiva said, “You were the only devotee to have asked for such a lovely wish! You shall now reside as a mountain that shall be known as Sriparvatam, Srinagam, Srisailam, Shrigiri. My devotees shall walk across you while reciting their prayers and you shall mark your place in history.” This is how Lord Shiva took the form of Jyotirlinga in Srisailam.

Sri Bhramaramba Devi:
Skanda Puranam and Srisaila Khandam beautifully describe the origin and divine form of Parvati Devi which is known as Bhramaramba Devi. Once upon a time, a Raakshas called Arunasura performed an Upasana in the name of Gayatri Devi. He wished for immortality to which Gayatri Devi said she would not be able to grant such a wish and only Lord Brahma would be able to do it. Taking the advice, Arunasura started his intense Tapasya to please Lord Brahma by reciting ‘Om Brahmadevaya Namaha’. His prayers reached all the worlds and the troubled gods met with Lord Brahma and requested him to do something about it. Lord Brahma appears before Arunasura and asks him what his wish was. Upon hearing about immortality, Lord Brahma says that such a wish is against the principles of the universe and asks him to request another wish instead. Arunasura after deep thought says he shall never face death because of 2 legged or 4 legged living beings. Brahma grants his wish. Arunasura who considered himself immortal and unbeatable proceeds to trouble people and doesn’t spare the gods too. The gods who were fed up with his antics share their concerns with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Parvathi Devi takes the incarnation of a thousand bees(Bhramara) and kills the cruel Arunasura. The happy gods request the goddess to take the form of Bhramaramba in her favourite place so that they can worship her for eternity. Parvati Devi chooses Srisailam to reside as Bhramaramba Devi as Srisailam is also dear to Lord Shiva. Since then, Bhramaramba Devi resides here to bless all her devotees.

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