is a town and a municipality
in the Indian state
of Andhra Pradesh
. It is located on the banks of river Swarnamukhi
, a tributary to river Pennar
. It is also informally referred as Kalahasti
It is one of the important ancient Siva kshetras of South India. The temple occupies the area between the river bank and the foot of the hills and is popularly known as Dakshina Kailasam. The three lofty Gopurams of the temple are remarkable for their architecture. This temple is built in the period of Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar. A huge hundred pillared Mantapam is another important feature of this shrine.
It is one of ancient Hindu piligrimages and the site of a famous Shiva temple with magnificiant gopuras, and adjacent to Tirupati, the richest and famous temple city in the world. It is also the house of popular textile painting art called kalamkari.
The name of the place comes from three animals, Sri(spider), Kala(snake) and hasti(elephant) who worshipped Shiva
and gained salvation here. A statue that shows all three animals is situated in the main shrine.
The Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana, and Linga Purnas mention about Srikalahasti. The Skanda Purana says that Arjuna visited this place, worshipped Kalahastiswara, and met the sage Bharadwaja on the top of the hill. It is believed that Kannappa(also called as Bhakta kannappa), a tribal devotee has worshipped Siva at Srikalahasti.Tamil saints Nayanars like Appar , Sundarar and sambanthar praised the deity in their hyms tevaram
Brahma, the God of creation, is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva, and bathed in the swarnamukhi river to get rid of "sisuhathya patakam" (the sin of killing children).
The river Swarnamukhi got its name from a belief that gold was found in its stream. Swarna means gold and Swarnamukhi means gold faced in Sanskrit.
The sukabrahmashrama was established by a noted scholar (equally well in Sanskrit and English) called Sri Vidya Prakasananda Giri Swamy. He is known for his knowledge on Hindu philosophy. He delivered so many talks on Hindu Dharma. His short stories are much talked about among the folklore. The main characterestic of his stories is the lucidity in style that makes essence of the story understandable even to a layman.
The historical reference to this temple occur in the works of Nakkeerar, a Tamil poet in 3rd Century BC during the Tamil Sangam Dynasty. He called it as Southern Kailash. Many more Tamil Saivite saints like Sambandar, Appar, Manikkavasagar, Sundaramurti, Pattinathar and Sri Ramalinga Swami of Vadalur have also visited this place.
The hill adjacent to temple has still carvings in Pallava style. The Cholas renovated the old Pallava temple in 11th century. Kulottunga Chola I constructed the Galigopuram, the main entrance facing south and Kulottunga Chola III constructed few other temples. In 12th Century A.D., King Veeranarasimha Yadavaraya built the present Prakaras, and the four Gopurams connecting the four entrances. According an inscription of Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara empire dating back to 1516 A.D., he constructed the Hundred Pillared Mantapam and the other tall Galigopuram that faces west to east. In 1529 A.D., King Achutaraya of the Vijayanagara empire got his coronation performed here, before he celebrated in his capital City. The Natukottai Chettiars of Devakottai gave the final shape to the temple in 1912 by donating around nine lakhs of rupees.
Srikalahasti is located at on the bank of river Swarnamukhi. It is located 35 km north of Tirupati
. It is one of the assembly constituencies in Chittor District.
The town depends on agriculture and tourism. The main crops are paddy, sugar cane and ground nuts. Ground nut was grown extensively that a pathological condition of the crop is found exclusively here, and named as Kalahasti malady. Hundreds of Kalamkari
artists also add some revenue. Pilgrims visitng Tirupati also visit Kalahasti temple , rendering it many footsteps each day , making it the second famous temple in the state. The sleek and stylish infrastructure of Tirupati is spread till Srikalahasti and they are more oftenly regarded as Twin Cities.
It is located under administration of Chittoor district. It is an MLA Constituency and a Municipality In Andhra Pradesh. It is part of Tirupati constituency in Indian Parliament. The present MLA of this constituency is SCV Naidu(INC).
As of 2001
, Srikalahasti had a population of 1,20,000. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Srikalahasti has an average literacy rate of 67%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 75%, and female literacy is 59%. In Srikalahasti, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Former President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy was elected from this constituency as an MLA in 1956. Also Bojja Gopal Krishna Reddy got elected from this constituency 3 times
The nearest airport is Tirupati Airport
20 km. It is a short and pleasant drive by road from the city of Tirupati, Chennai
, the main junction in Madras-Vijayawada rail line. All trains from Vijayawada to Tirupati halt at Kalahasti. The local transport is by taxis or autos and city buses plying between Renigunta to Srikalahasti or Chandragiri - Tirupati - Alipri- Renigunta - Srikalahasti Shuttles, which run every 10 mins.
Andhra Pradesh State owned Bus services are available from Tirupati at a frequency of 10 minutes and other tour operators provide package visit to the temple in Srikalahasti from the City centre of Tirupati. Taxis are also available from Tirupati.
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The people predominantly speak Telugu
and can understand English and Tamil
. The residents wear both traditional like Dhoti
and as well as modern suits and dresses. The city is also famous for kalamkari
art, painting on cotton or silk textiles with dyes made from vegetables. The Rahu-ketu sarpa dosha puja is frequently performed activity.
The Telugu poem collection 'Sri Kalahasteeswara Satakam' by Dhurjati explains the traditions associated with this temple during the times of Vijayanagara Empire. Muthuswamy Deekshitar, one of the foremost composers in the Karnatic Music Tradition has sung of this temple in his bhajans 'Sree Kaalahasteesa'. Other works on this temple include the Sree-Kalattipuranam of the three brothers Karunapprakasar, Sivapprakasar and Velappa Deekshitar, Tirukkalattipuranam by Aanandakoottar of Veerainagar and Tirukkalatti Ula by Seraikkavirayar.
While all Hindu festivals are observed, Sivaratri is major festival. The town also celebrates Gangammala Jatara in December every year. The movie threatres are popular entertainment.
- Temple of Srikalahasteeswara and his consort Gnana Prasunambika Devi.
- Viswanatha temple.
- Kannappa temple on Hill.
- The Manikarnika temple.
- Two wells called Surya Pushkarani and Chandra Pushkarani.
- The Suryanarayana temple.
- The Vijaya ganapathi temple.('kondamitta').
- Baradhwaja thirtham (Nandanavanam or 'lobavi')
- The Krishandevaraya Mantapa, the Jalakoti Mantapa and the Palagar Mantapa etc. are all situated closes
- Sri Sukabrahmaashramam.
- Veyyalingala kona (the valley of the thousand lingas).
- Durgambha Temple on Hill.
- Subramanya swamy temple on Hill.
- Ponnalamma temple (Panagal)
- Ankamma temple (Near Main Bus Stand)
- Dharmarajula Temple (Madras Road)
- Dakshina Kali Temple (Vaedam)
- Sri Panduranga swami temple (Muchivolu)
- SaiBaba Temple (Madras Road)
Srikalahasti is an assembly constituency in Andhra Pradesh.
Cricket is most watched and played sport. Local clubs sponsor annual Lawn Tennis tournaments.
All major telugu news papers like Eenadu and Vaartha and local magazines like Kalahasti Zone
are read, which are published from Tirupati. The district special versions cover Kalahasti news. The popular TV Channels are state wide telugu cable channels ETV, Maa TV, Gemini and Teja and local cable channels.