The Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple, also known as the Srisailam Temple is a sacred place of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati located in Andhra Pradesh. It is revered by devotees as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are believed to grant salvation or mukti upon birth at this holy site. The spiritual significance of this hill has been eulogized throughout Mahabharatha, Skanda Purana and other religious scriptures.

The very mention of Srisailam kshetra elicits a sense of reverence in the sankalpa mantra, chanted during ritual baths at holy sites. Buddhists consider these hills to be especially sacred; Saint Nagarjuna is even said to have lived here in the first century AD. Chinese visitors Fahian and Hieun Tsang both wrote about Sri Parvatam and its significance as a Bhuddhist center—a place that continues to draw pilgrims today.

For centuries, the renowned Nallamalai Hills have been home to Lord Mallikarjuna’s picturesque shrine – Srisailam. Situated on its flat summit, this ancient Indian kshetra is located in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh near the banks of River Krishna. It has also been referred to as Siridhan, Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatha and Srinagam over time and serves as a major centre for Saivite pilgrimage.

Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy, one of the twelve Jyothirlingas and Goddess Bhramaramba Devi, one of the eighteen Mahasakthis are both self-manifested deities presiding over this kshetra. Indeed, what makes this place special is that there’s a combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi in a single campus – something rare yet unprecedented!

The Mallikarjuna Linga is open to all devotees, regardless of caste, creed or religion. Everyone has the opportunity to enter the sanctum sanctorum and perform Abhishekam and Archana with recitation of Mantras by Archakas. This Swayambulinga (self-manifested) Lord Shiva at the Srisailam hill is one of India’s 12 Jyothirlingas which believers consider can provide mukti through birth in this holy area. Praised in Mahabharatha, Skanda Purana as well as other religious scriptures, its purity cannot be denied.

Perched next to the Mallikarjun Temple is a sacred shrine devoted to Bhramaramba, also known as Goddess Jagdamba. This place of worship carries immense importance according to folklore; it’s believed that Durga incarnated into an insect and venerated Shiva at this site before choosing it as her eternal home.

The majestic Srisailam Temple, which glistens like a diamond on the Nallamalai range of the Eastern Ghats, is often referred to by multiple names such as Srigiri,Srimala,Srinagara and Rishabagiri. It was here that Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati were first seen by Nandi Deva after he performed immense penance in this place – hence its name ‘Rishabagiri’.

A long time ago, Princess Chandravathi of the Chandra Gupta dynasty was in a difficult situation and chose to abandon her royal luxuries. She settled down at Srisailam forests where she lived off fruit and cow’s milk. One day, she observed that one of the cows had stopped producing milk. After inquiring from her herdsman, it came to light that this particular animal was travelling to an isolated area and pouring its liquid nourishment on a Linga which was surrounded by mallige (jasmine) creepers.On the following day, she went to that same place and was witness to a wondrous occurrence. That night Lord Shiva visited her in a dream and asked her to construct His temple at that very spot. Since the Linga was surrounded by mallige creepers, He came to be known as Mallikarjuna.

A popular legend tells of Lord Shiva’s visit to the Srisailam forest for hunting which led him to meet Parvati disguised as a Chenchu tribal girl. To this day, members of the local Chenchu tribe are allowed entrance into the temple and on Maha Shivaratri can perform abhisheka and puja directly to the deity. This story is depicted in an amazing bass relief located inside of the temple as well.An exceptional feature is that people of any age, gender, or religion may enter the sanctum and complete rituals such as abhisheka and puja.

If you’re travelling to Srisailam, the nearest airport is located in Hyderabad, around 195 km away. You can take a bus connecting with cities such as Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur or Kurnool – alternatively hire a private taxi and make sure the driver has experience driving through ghat sections. For those looking for rail transport options nearby stations are available at Marakpur (62 km), Vinukonda (120 km) and Kurnool (190 km).

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