Srisailam - Devasthanam

Srisailam is a holy town, situated in Nallamala Hills of Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located on the banks of River Krishna, about 232 km south of Hyderabad. This is also one of the most frequent visit places for the wanderlust people staying in Hyderabad since there are several other places to visit nearby Srisailam which is of special mention. This travelogue is mainly to highlight those places.

The greenery along the road to Srisailam gives a relief from the tiring daily life and makes us feel refreshed.

About 100 kms from Hyderabad you will cross the Dindi dam and reservoir. One should definitely stop by this and enjoy the breeze standing on the Reservoir wall. We spent some time here and ultimately quite reluctantly went back to drive for the rest part of the journey.

Dindi Reservoir

Little after, we could see that the Nallamala forest area had started. You have to enter your vehicle details at the Forest Check Post. Beyond this you will not be allowed to enter after 6 PM and before 6 AM. This forest is said to be the home of tigers, deers and many species of rare birds. If time permits, you can have a jungle safari. Forest Department has Safari Jeeps and they provide an hour's trip inside the forest. We had it planned for our return journey.

Srisailam Forest

The last part of the journey includes the climb through the ghat road on the Nallamala hill ranges with the meandering Krishna River by the side. Srisailam is at a height of 1500ft above sea level. About 10 kms approx from Srisailam, we crossed the Srisailam Dam or Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy Dam, which is a multipurpose dam built across River Krishna to caters to the irrigation and power needs of the state. Most parts of the year one will not be able to see water flowing from the gates. However, during the rainy season, the view is astounding with the water flowing from the gates; Even the water sprinkles out to the road. I have heard from many that the mist created by the sprinkles creates a rainbow during the heavy monsoon season.

Srisailam Dam
Another View of the Dam

Before entering Srisailam, SAKSHI GANAPATHI is small shrine located about 3 Kms from Srisailam and is one of the sacred spots frequented by pilgrims. The traditional belief is that the Ganapathi in this temple keeps regular account of all the pilgrims to tender Sakshyam (evidence) of their visit to this Kshetram and so named as Sakshi Ganapathi.

Krishna River

The main attraction of Srisailam is the Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple which is dedicated to Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy (a form of Shiva) and Devi Bhramaramba (a form of Parvathi) and it is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.

This is the main attraction for the local people who often visit the place for different reasons be it Darshanam, Abhishekam, Homam or different other Pujas.

For pilgrims, places like Paladhara, Panchadara are must visit. There are other places like Sikharam, 8 Km from the main temple at a height of 2830 feet above the mean sea level. It is the highest peak of Srisailam Hills. This place give a panoramic view of the entire temple complex of Srisailam including the meandering river Krishna.

In order to go to PatalaGanga, you can take the steps to the river or take ropeway till half the way. Boats for Dam trip can be taken from here. We had a small half an hour ride towards the dam. You can also try the Coracle boat made of bamboo. AP tourism also has boats from the same place to Akkamahadevi Caves. This starts at around 11 AM every morning and there is only 1 trip a day.

Round trip for Akkamahadevi  caves takes around 5 hours including halt. These caves are about 16 kms away from Srisailam. Surrounded by dense trees, it is said that this cave is naturally formed. To reach the cave, you will have to climb few hundred meters which can be slippery during the rainy season. The cave have a naturally formally Shivling nearly 200 meters inside. The cave is filled with bats and dark. Candles were lit to make our way to the Shivling. Overall, it was a good and adventurous trip.

Yet, another place without which the trip would not be complete is the Mallela Theertham falls. Mallela Theertham is a waterfall in the middle of the dense forest,50 km before Srisailam, take a turn to the destination and drive on a bumpy, muddy road which is unmotorable during the rainy season and around 250 steps down the valley to the waterfall.

Will wait till the next visit...