The pilgrim town of Srisailam, in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, is known for housing one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. But sitting on the banks of the Krishna River, the ancient temple town also boasts scenic natural surroundings, making it a refreshing destination.
Table of Contents
- Things to do
- History of Srisailam
- How to Plan a trip to Srisailam
- Places to stay in Srisailam
Things to do in Srisailam
Apart from Srisailam sightseeing of religious places, you can also try other activities on your trip. Rich in forests, hills, waterfalls, rivers, caves, and wildlife, there are a lot of things you can do in Srisailam –
- Explore the flora and fauna of the Nallamala Forest and its natural surroundings. The forests lie at 17KM from the town, in the Kurnool district and form a part of the Nallamala Hills. There are options for eco-tourism, forest camping, and other outdoor adventures like flying fox, rappelling, etc.
- In Nallamala, you can also visit the waterfall of Mallela Theertham, one of the most gorgeous waterfalls near Srisailam town. The rapid torrents flow down a 150 feet high cliff made of unique rock formations. The stream originated somewhere on top of the cliff and flows through the forests, before joining the Krishna River.
- Take a tour of the Chenchu Lakshmi Museum and discover the livelihoods, lifestyle, and culture of the local ethnic tribes of Andhra Pradesh. They also source and sell organic honey at the museum store which you can buy, among other souvenirs.
- Visit the underground streams of Pathala Ganga. It is believed to be as sacred as the Ganges. The perennial stream originates in a cave and is said to have healing properties. You can either trek from the nearby Hanuman Temple or take the cable car ride to reach. You can also take a 20-minute boat ride to the nearby Akkamahadevi Caves and turn your tour into an adventurous experience.
Famous Temples in Srisailam
1) Shikaresvara Temple
- Temple History – The temple’s existence is mentioned in the Puranas. In 1398AD, the Reddy Kings built a flight of steps to this temple and a water tank.
- Interesting Facts – Sikhareswara Swamy, one of the forms of Shiva and the temple’s presiding deity, is believed to possess the power to free his devotees from their sins
- Temple timings – 6 Pm-2 PM, 5 PM-8.30 PM
- Dresscode – Ethnic formal
- Best time to visit – Early morning
2) Ista Kameshwari Devi Temple
- Temple History – The temple is said to have been built somewhere between the 8th and 10th centuries.
- Interesting Facts – It is believed that the presiding goddess can grant any wish to the devotees if they visit it even once.
- Temple timings – 5 AM-9 PM
- Dresscode – Casual
- Best time to visit – Morning
3) Hemareddy Mallamma Temple
- Temple History – The temple was built by Karnataka Veerashaiva Reddy Samaj and inaugurated on 26 May 2010 by the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh at that time.
- Interesting Facts – This temple is named after an ardent devotee from the 14th century, Mallamma, who devoted herself completely to worship Mallikarjuna.
- Temple timings – 6 AM-7.30 PM
- Dresscode – Ethnic formal
- Best time to visit – Anytime
4) Sakshi Ganapati Temple
- Temple History – There are mentions of this temple in the 14th-century poetry of Telegu poet, Srinatha. It states that the existence of this temple dates back to as far as the time of sage Agasthya.
- Interesting Facts – It is said that the presiding deity, Ganesha, keeps a record of all visitors to Srisailam. Hence a visit to this temple before visiting Srisailam is a must otherwise, their visit/pilgrimage is not recorded by the divine.
- Temple timings – 6 AM-9 PM
- Dresscode – Ethnic formal
- Best time to visit – Morning/Afternoon
Tourist Places to visit in Srisailam
Besides the religious visiting places in Srisailam, there are a host of Srisailam tourist places that you can visit –
1) Srisailam Dam
- Open Timings – 6 AM-5 PM
- Fee – Free
2) Octopus View Point
- Open Timings – 8.30 AM – 6 PM
- Fee – INR 10 per person
3) Pataldhara Panchadhara
- Open Timings – 9 AM – 5 PM
- Fee– Free
Places to visit nearby
Besides all the popular temples and nature hotspots in the town, you can also visit these places near Srisailam –
- Srisailam Tiger Reserve, 20KM – Spreading over 3568 acres of forest area, the massive wildlife reserve covers five neighbouring districts with forests, grasslands, and reservoirs. A part of Project Tiger, it is considered to be the largest tiger reserve in India, among other animals like blackbucks, pangolins etc. You can try safaris, jungle camping, and other activities.
- Uma Maheshwaram, 87.4KM – A major pilgrimage destination, Uma Maheshwaram is known for its beautiful natural cascade. The perennial waterfalls are hidden in the thickets of the Nallamala forest and flow down incredible rock formations, making it look like a tiered waterfall. To reach the falls, you have to take a walk through the forest for about half an hour.
- Akka Mahadevi Caves, 180 KM – These naturally formed caves have a lot of geographical and historical significance. The caves enshrine an idol of Shiva but archaeological findings suggest the existence of these caves to be over millions of years. This site is a popular destination among hikers and explorers. You can take a boat ride from Patala Ganga to sail upstream on the Krishna River reach the base of the caves and trek to the top.
Places to eat
These are some of the best-rated places to grab a grub on your Srisailam tour –
- Trishul Family Restaurant
- Sri Sai Food Court
- Sri Rama A1 Canteen
- Joshi Hotel Appam
- Hyderabadi Chai Adda
- Hotel Murugan
History of Srisailam
Srisailam is located at 180KM from the district headquarter of Kurnool, 216KM from Hyderabad, and 264KM from Vijayawada.
The history of Srisailam dates back to the 2nd century BC, during the rule of the Satavahana dynasty. The main Srisailam temple is believed to have been constructed at this time, followed by further additions during the Vijayanagar Empire.
[Also Read: 10 Unique Temples of India]
Srisailam Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple
Srisailam tourism is centred on this prime religious site. This ancient Srisailam Shiva temple of Mallikarjuna is considered a sacred pilgrimage destination for devotees of Shaivism and Shaktism.
The temple is also referred to as one of the sites of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. The Mallikarjuna temple is dedicated to both Parvati and Shiva, where Parvati is worshipped as Mallika and Shiva as Arjuna. The massive temple complex spans about 2 hectares and houses four towers or gopurams, along with numerous shrines. Of all the shrines, the one of Mallikarjuna and that of Bhramaramba are considered to be the most prominent. Built-in the Dravidian style, the temple’s architecture shows specimens of the Vijayanagar art style.
Interesting Facts on Mallikarjuna Temple
The Mallikarjuna temple is associated with significant events of Hindu mythology. Legends say that the presiding deity was a form of the Lingam of Shiva and was traditionally worshipped using jasmine flowers, also locally called Mallika. And thus, the name of the presiding deity was named Mallikarjuna.
Every year, the temple hosts Mahashivratri as their cornerstone event, attracting thousands of visitors, pilgrims, devotees, etc. and making for the best time to visit the temple.
How to Plan a Trip to Srisailam
How to Reach
There are no direct trains to Srisailam. The nearest railway station is in Makrapur, at about 81KM drive. The nearest major railhead is in Kurnool, about 180KM away. From either of these stations, you can take the local bus or book a cab to reach Srisailam by road.
Srisailam is well connected to the nearest metro of Hyderabad by NH 765 and SH 5, among other major cities and towns in Andhra Pradesh. A drive from Srisailam to Hyderabad takes about four and half hours. There are regular state-run and private buses from Hyderabad, Guntur, Vijaywada, Kurnool, etc. The best way to travel is to book a cab or rent a private car from any of these places or Hyderabad to Srisailam and do a quick road trip.
There is no flight service to Srisailam. The nearest domestic airport is in Kurnool, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy Airport, about 175KM away. The nearest international airport is in Hyderabad, at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, about 180KM away. If you are travelling from other cities and towns in India to Srisailam, you can fly to Hyderabad and from there, book an airport taxi and drive to Srisailam.
Best time to visit Srisailam
Being surrounded by the hills and forests of Eastern Ghats, Srisailam weather is quite pleasant weather most parts of the year. But summers can get hot and humid if you are planning a lot of outdoor trips. So, the winter, between November and February, is the best time to visit Srisailam, when the temperature is Srisailam remains comfortable, making it perfect to explore.
Hotels and Resorts in Srisailam
Check out some of these best-rated Srisailam resorts and hotels for a comfortable stay –
- Hotel Srisaila’s Nest
- Pathaleswara Sadanam
- Kakatiya Anna Satra Sangam
- AP Tourism Hotel – HARITHA
- Hotel Grand Akkamahadevi
- Mallikarjuna Sadan Dormitory
Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by blogadmin