Kalahasti is a nickname given to Srikalahasti, a municipality near the holy city of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The city, also considered one of the holiest sites in India, was located on the banks of the Swarnamukhi River. Srikalahasti gets its name from a combination of three words; Sri, Kala, and Hasti. The word Sri stands for the spider, Kala refers to a snake and Hasti is an elephant. All three animals are known to have prayed to Lord Shiva and to have found salvation in this area, and a statue representing the three animals was placed in front of a large temple.
Srikalahasti is located among the Shiva Kshetras or the most important Shiva temples in the southern part of India. It is one of the Panchabootha Sthalams that symbolizes the spirit, of five things. In fact, the famous and revered Srikalahasti Temple is located in the area between the base of the hill and the Swarnamukhi bank. That is why this place is called Dakshina Kailasam. Srikalahasti is known as Dakshina Kaashi in reference to the holy city of Kashi in northern India.
The place represents Vayu Sthalam or a spiritual object. According to legend, Lord Shiva took the image of Vayu or the spirit and saw the devotion of the spider, the cobra and the elephant they worshiped him with. God was so impressed with their devotion that he delivered them from their curse, and these animals are believed to have found salvation in this place. The town of Srikalahasti is made up of three Puranas, namely Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana, and Linga Purana.
According to Skanda Purana, Arjuna came to this place to worship Kalahastiswara (Lord Shiva) and met Rishi Bharadwaja at the top of the hill. The earliest reference to poetry by Srikalahasti can be seen in the works of the 3rd century Nakkeerar who was a poet during the reign of the Sangams. It was Nakkeerar, the great poet who named the town Dakshini Kailasam. Dhoorjati was a Telugu poet based in Srikalahasti and wrote a hundred hymns in honor of the city and the Sri Kalahasteeswara.
Sri Adi Sankara also came to this place and was impressed by the dedication of Bhakt Kannappa and said it in Sivanandalahari. Kalahasti is almost like Bhakta Kannapppa, famous among Shiva devotees, who gave his eyes to the Lord! The story of his devotion is well-known to Shiva worshipers and to the Hindu community as a whole.
The temples have a different Architecture
Srikalahasti is well-known for its temples, which attract millions of visitors each year. Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are worshiped in various forms. Kalahasti was under the influence of many kings who had temples built there. Thus, each temple in the city had its own distinctive architectural style that corresponded to the styles of the time and the tastes of the king of that time.
The kings of the Chola and Pallava Dynstasies as well as those of the Kingdom of Vijayanagra all left their invincible mark in the construction of various temples built in their time. It is believed that many of the kings of the Vijayanagra Empire preferred to be enthroned in the consecrated and peaceful temples of temples rather than in palaces. King Achutaraya was anointed in the palace at Mantapam Hundreds of Srikalahasti before returning to his capital to celebrate the festivals.
Tourist Attractions in and around Kalahasti
The unique temples of Kalahasti offer divine visitation to pilgrims and devotees alike. Among the most famous temples in Kalahasti are the Sri Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, the Bharadwaja Thirtham, the Kalahasti Temple, and the Sri Durga temple.
The Best Time to Visit Kalahasti
The area experiences a hot and humid summer so traveling to Kalahasti during the summer months is not recommended. As the place is located in the forest area it is recommended to not go in monsoon also because the animals and some poisonous animals sometimes find their way to humans which is not very good. So it’s a good idea to go there in winter.
You can access it in Kalahasti
Kalahasti enjoys good communication and is reached by train and road. Temples boasting magnificent art and the divine spirit of the surrounding lands contribute to the love of Kalahasti, making it a popular destination for those seeking peace.