2. MALLIKARJUNA JYOTIRLINGA


Srisailam is located in Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh. Shouts of joy fill the place. This whole area is full of forests of Kadali, Bilva trees,mountain ranges and Patalaganga. All of them echo from these joyous voices of devotees.

In the ancient times, Lord Shankara was supposed to be visiting this very place. He decided to make this his permanent abode. This place is called Kailash Niwas.

When Kumar Kartikeya returned to Kailash after completing his trip around the earth, he heard about Ganesha's marriage from Narada. This angered him. In spite of being restrained by his parents. he touched their feet in obeisance and left for Krounch Mountain. Although, several attempts were made to pacify Parvati and make her understand the situation, they were all in vain. She was very sad. Then Lord Shankara sent the Deva Rishis to Pacify Kumar and bring him back. But even those attempts failed. Parvati was very distraught at having to be away from her son, implored Shankara to look for their son. Together, they went in search of Kumara. But, Kumara went away a further three Yojanas, after learning about his parents coming after him to Krouncha Mountain. Not finding their son there, Shiva and Parvati were worried. Before embarking on a further search for their son on each mountain, they decided to leave a light on every mountain they visited. From that day. that place came to be known as JyotirLinga Mallikarjuna. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati visit this place on Amavasya (No moon day) and (full Moon day) Pournami, respectively. Visiting this JyotirLinga not only blesses one with innumerable wealth, but also name and fame and fulfils all the desires.

Legend has it that, in the ancient times, once Arjuna went on a pilgrimage. During his pilgrimage, he came to his Kadali Vans (banana groves). Lord Shankara wanted to test Arjuna's bowing prowess. He assumed the form of a Bhil (Mountain tribal) and went after him hunting for wild boar, after which Arjuna was also running. Both of them staked their claim on the boar. They fought and Arjuna won ultimately. Being very pleased, Lord Shankara appeared before him. He is famous for Kiratarjun Yuddha.

Once, a princess named Chandravati decided to go to the Jungles to do penance and meditation. She chose Kadali Vana for this purpose. One day, she witnessed a miracle. A Kapila cow was standing under a Bilwa tree and milk was flowing from all of its four udders, sinking into the ground. The cow kept doing this as a routine chore everyday. Chandravati dug up that area and was dumb founded at what she saw. There was a self-raising Swyarnbhu ShivaLinga. It was bright and shining like the sun rays, and looked like it was burning, throwing flames in all directions. Chandravati prayed to Shiva in this incarnation as JyotirLinga. She built a huge Shiva Temple there, Lord Shankara was very pleased with her, Candravati went to Kailash windbome. She received salvation and Mukti. On one of the stoneinscriptions of the Temple, Chandravati's story can be seen carved out.

Shaila Mallikarjuna's holy place is located on the banks of River Krishna Here River Krishna is in the form of Patalaganga (underground spring). Lakhs of devotees take a holy dip here and then go for the Darshan of the JyotirLinga.

During the Karnataka Movement, Chatrapati Shivaji used to come to take a Darshan of the JyotirLinga during the Maharatri He built a tower on the right side of the Temple and also opened a free-meal center.

The kings of the VijayaNagar Dynasty too built a Temple, Tower, Portico and a pond. Ahelyadevi Holkar, a great devotee of Shiva built a strong bath wharf consisting of 852 steps on the banks of the Patalganga.

Earlier, this part of the Shaila mountains was an unreachable tough terrain and fraught with danger. Even them, devotees, with their sheer power, used to reach there in large numbers. Hiranyakashipa, Narada Pandavas, Sri Ram are some of the great mythological personalities who are supposed to have visited this holy'shrine.

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