This time of the year is for travelling and touring India’s pilgrimage centres. I am just back from one of the twelve Jyotirlingas or centres of Shiva’s Light called Mallikarjun temple on mountain Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh near Hyderabad very close to river Krishna.
As photography was prohibited inside the temple premises, I could only take a few at the gate of the temple. Although most of South India temples look alike in architecture outwardly, the inside of the temple has a variety of styles of wonderful temple architecture to offer. And Mallikarjun temple was no different. It was one of the most beautiful temples I have ever seen in South India!!
A highly charged ground made all the more difference to the place and added so much more power to the premises . There were many small temples dedicated to various deities but this temple is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Ma Parvati.
I shall give you more information on this later as I will need some time to settle down and compose a new blog entry regarding my insights. Until then, take a look at these pictures of the recent journey that I made to Sri Sailam.
As usual, I was attracted to this blooming tree full of mauve flowers at the Mumbai airport. As I alighted, I grabbed the opportunity to take some shots of these beautiful flowers. What a lovely way to start the journey ahead!
Saw these blooming trees in abundance at Hyderabad airport too.
We began our journey on 6th Feb from Hyderabad. It takes about five hours by car and seven or eight by bus.
The setting of the golden Sun as we drive and were about to reach…
The special moon on the journey with us. At dusk, the moon became more splendid by showing its face in between the branches and with shades of pink and lavender sky as the backdrop!!
Just about half an hour away from Sri Sailam, in the mountains and forests flows river Krishna. Took a spontaneous stop to capture this mystic image- Krishna at night!!
Next day morning, at the feet of Lord Shiva…
The main gate of the temple with five golden kalash.
So many people’s faith and devotion embedded in these….Nandi bull and Shivalingas made of cement sold in the road side shops…..
It is an exclusive opportunity to catch a glimpse of beautiful birds in my city. As birds are quick to take a flight, this picture of Bulbul was taken delightfully near the dam on river Krishna while we were having a small cup of tea!
We visited a few significant places in the mountains. One was called Shikharam, the highest place in the area where a small Shiva Temple was built on a hill top and we can see the whole region with a clear view. On top of this temple is a small Nandi bull.
We have to see through the horns of the Nandi bull by resting the thumb and the index finger on its horns and sort of making a circumference out of it all. If we are able to see the far off golden kalash of the Mallikarjun temple through it in that position, one is sure to get Moksha in this life time!
Or so they said! Everyone tried their faith and luck and I don’t know if this is true but I enjoyed the whole experience and took some very interesting pictures also!!
Close to the complex of the temple is a place called Paaldhara, the stream of milk and Panchdhara, five streams. It is this special place laden of tranquility where Adi Shankaracharya meditated and composed two important compositions- Shivananda Lahiri and Saundarya Lahiri…
A small temple dedicated to Adi Shankaracharya.
Streams flowing next to the temple which have healing properties.
The place had thick foliage and large trees. Some huge Banyan Trees were acting like an umbrella protecting the sacred place.
Paid my respects to the pious soul Shri Adi Shankaracharya at this holy place and felt gratified.
The next day morning as we were returning to our base, we stopped at one more important place called Paataal Ganga. It was the holy river Krishna where I paid my respect and fond remembrance to my father and other relatives who are no more with us. I did a small ‘tarpan’ without any formal ceremonies.
‘Tarpan‘ is an offering of holy waters done at river sites in India where we offer our memories or respects to the departed souls. It is also done for spiritual redemption. During the shraddha month of Hindu calendar, ‘tarpan’ or water is given to all the forefathers and other relatives who are no more.
This journey was very special for many more reasons which I may write about in my forthcoming articles . It will always be recalled with sweet memories in future for years to come. It felt like there was a paradise in the Sri Sailam precincts, such was the wellness feeling all around the place. No wonder it is called the Kailash of the South. The thoughts lingered with me when I took this picture from the flight which I have titled where- Heaven meets Earth!!!
# Kailash of South India, Mallikarjun
# Pilgrimage to Mallikarjun, one of twelve Jyotirlingas
# River Krishna
# Paaldhara, Panchdhara, Adi Shankaracharya composed Shivananda Lahiri, Soundarya Lahiri
#Paataal Ganga, Tarpan, offering to departed souls