Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple is generally known as Srisailam temple. It is located on the top of Nallamalla hills besides river Krishna in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. This temple is one of the supreme temples amongst the Hindus. It inherits not only one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva but also one of the 18 Shakti Peethas of Goddess Parvati.
In fact it is one of the only three temples in India where Jyotirlinga and Shakti Peetha exist together. Here Shiva is worshiped as Mallikarjuna, the lingam; and Goddess Parvati as the Bhramaramba.
According to the legends, Kartikeya, the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati left mount Kailash after getting angry. He came to the Kronch Hills. Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati followed him and stayed here with the name of Arjun and Mallika. Thus the place and the temple got its name Mallikarjun.
According to the other legends this temple has been revered in all the yugas starting from Satyug when Rama and Sita visited it.
In Dwapara Yuga, Arjuna and other Pandava brothers had spent some time here and offered prayers during their exile.
Even today that is in Kaliyuga, the importance of this temple has increased manifolds. Saints and philosophers such as Siddha Nagarjuna, Adisankara, Saint Allama Prabhu and others had spent a considerable amount of time here.
Understanding the Architecture:
The main temple complex has two main shrines one for Lord Mallikarjuna and the other for Bhramaramba Devi respectively. It has a number of mandapams, halls with splendid pillars and other small shrines dedicated to Vriddha Mallikarjuna, Sahasra Lingeswara, Arthanariswara, Veerabhadra and the Uma Maheswara.
There are nine more temples in its inner courtyard. They are known as Nava Brahma Temples. The wall of the temple complex is made of stones and it has three entrances. They are called Dwaras. The main entry point is located on the eastern side and is called Mahadwaram. Next to Mahadwaram is a Mandapam with multiple pillars. There is a huge sculpture of Nandi at the centre of this Mandapam facing lord Mallikarjuna. It has another Mandapam called Nandi Mandapa along with Veeraiah Mandapam towards its west.
Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy’s temple is located at the centre of the inner courtyard facing the east direction having sections as Mukha Mandapa, Antarala and Garbhagriha.
Festivities and Celebrations:
Maha Shivaratri Brahmotsavam is the most popular 7 day long festival celebrated here. It is celebrated in the month of February or March during the time of Maha Shivratri. It is the best time to visit this temple.