Jyotirlingas

Mallikarjuna

The town (as well as the mandal) of Srisailam is reputed for the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga on the flat top of Nallamala Hills. The Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva and is also one among the 275 Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalangal. Srisailam has played a dominant role in the Hindu religious, cultural and social history since ancient times. The epigraphical evidence reveals that the history of Srisailam began with the Satavahanas who were the first empire builders in South India. The earliest known historical mention of the hill, Srisailam, can be traced to the King Vasishthiputra Pulumavi’s Nasik inscription of 1st Century A.D. Srisailam or Srisailamu (Śrīśailaṁ, Śrīśailamu) is situated in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is on the banks of the Krishna River about 212 km south of Hyderabad and 179 km from Kurnool. It is sometimes spelled Shrishailam.
When Lord Murugan returned to Kailash after completing his trip around the earth, he heard about Ganesha’s marriage from Narada muni. This angered him. In spite of being restrained by his parents, he touched their feet in obeisance and left for Krounch Mountain. Parvati was very distraught at having to be away from her son, implored Lord Shiva to look for their son. Together, they went to Kumara. But, Kumara went away a further three Yojanas, after learning about his parents coming after him to Krouncha Mountain. 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 Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati visit this place on Amavasya (No moon day) and (full Moon day) Pournami, respectively. Visiting the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga not only blesses one with innumerable wealth, but also name and fame and fulfills all the desires.
Once, a princess named Chandravati decided to go to the Jungle 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 Swyambhu Shiva Linga. 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 the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga. She built a huge Shiva Temple there. Lord Shankara was very pleased with her. Chandravati went to Kailash wind borne. She received salvation and Mukti. On one of the stone-inscriptions of the temple, Chandravati’s story can be seen carved out.