Monday, 6 October 2014

Bhramaramba Devi

SriShailam have two significances Bhramaramba is one of the Ashtadasa Maha Shaktipeethas and Mallikarjuna Swamy is one of the Jyotirlingas. It is believed that the neck part of Sati devi has fallen here when Lord Vishnu has cut the corpse. The shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna picturesquely situated on a flat top of Nallamalai Hills, Srishailam is reputed to be one of the most ancient kshetras in India. It is on the right side of the River Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. This celebrated mountain is also named as Siridhan, Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatha and Srinagam. It has been a popular centre of Saivite pilgrimage for centuries. The Sathavahanas, the Ikshavakus, the Pallavas, the Vishnukundis, the Chalukyas, the Kakatiyas, the Reddy Kings, the Vijayanagara Emperors and Chatrapathi Shivaji are among the famous emperors who worshipped God Mallikarjuna Swamy. Bhramaramba is a very ferocious deity and worshipped by the people of Chenchu.


There are 4 gate ways to this sacred ancient temple in cardinal directions.

Tripuranthakam in Prakasam District in the east where God Tripurantakeshwara Swamy and Goddess Tripurasundari Devi are presiding deities.

Siddhavatam located on the bank of the river Penna in Kadapa District in the south where Jyothisideswara Swamy and Goddess Kamakshi Devi are the presiding deities.

Alampur is on the bank of the river Tungabhadra in Mahaboobnagar District in the west where Navabrahma Alayas, a group of nine temples of the Chalukya period, are. This Kshetram is also the seat of Goddess Jogulamba, one of the eighteen Mahasakthis.



UmaMaheswaram is located in Rangapur, Achampeta Mandal, Mahaboobnagar District in the North where God Umamaheswara Swamy and Goddess Umamaheswari Devi are the presiding deities.



The temple is the site of Mahakali in the form of Bhramaramba. It is believed, the Vrishabha, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva performed penance here. Lord Shiva appeared before him, with his consort Parvati in the forms of Mallikarjuna and Bharamaramba. A gigantic fort, with 6 mtr high wall encloses the temple. The images of the deities, both extremely old, are enshrined in the more recent temple built by the Vijayanagar king Harihara Raya around 1404 AD. The temple, whose popular name is Sriparvata, is bounded by a great fortress-like wall that is 20 ft high, 6 ft wide and 2120 ft in circumference. Built in in 1520 AD, the wall has 3200 stones, each weighing over one ton, and is decorated with fine relief carvings displaying images from Hindu mythology.



SthalaPuran:

When Shiva and Parvati decided to find suitable brides for their sons, Ganesha and kartikeya argued as to who is to get wedded first. Lord Shiva bade that the one who goes round the world in Pradakshinam could get married first. By the time Lord Kartikeya could go round the world on his vahana, Lord Ganesha went round his parents 7 times (for according to Shastras, going in pradakshinam round one's parents is equivalent to going once round the world (Bhupradakshinam). Lord Siva got Buddhi(intellect), Siddhi (spiritual power), and Riddhi (prosperity) married to Lord Ganesha.

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. 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 JyotirLinga Mallikarjuna. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati visit this palce on Amavasya (No moon day) and (full Moon day) Pournami, respectively. Visiting this JyotirLinag not only blesses one with innumerable wealth, but also name and fame and fulfils all the desires.



Another Legend says 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 every day. Chandravati dug up that area and was dumb founded at what she saw. There was a self-raising Swyambhu SivaLinga. It was bright and shining like the sun rays, and looked like it was burning, throwing flames in all directions. Chandravati prayed to Siva in this 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.


                           Sri Sailam Dam
Jyotirlinga:

As per Siva Mahapuranam, once Brahma (the Hindu God of creation) and Vishnu (the Hindu God of saving) had an argument in terms of supremacy of creation. To test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga. Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either directions. Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Shiva appeared as a second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped till the end of eternity. The jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The jyotirlinga shrines, thus are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. Originally there were believed to be 64 jyotirlingas while 12 of them are considered to be very auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve jyotirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity - each considered different manifestation of Shiva.  At all these sites, the primary image is lingam representing the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva.

Mallikarjuna Swamy temple:



1.Vrudhamallikarjuna Swamy: This lingam is said to be older than the present Mallikarjuna Swamy Lingam. There is no Nandi (Bull, vechicle of Lord) in front of it. The Lingam is uneven on its outer face which indicates the old age of Lord Shiva which was prayed by Chandravathi. Hence it is called Vrudhamallikarjuna Swamy.

2. Ardhanareeswar: This idol is in the northern side of the main temple. This is the oldest idol. Details and period of the idol remains unknown yet.

3. Lingas incarnated by Pandavas: Five temples are situated besides Arthanaareseswara temple. These were incarnated by Pandavas according to the historic sources.

4. Mallika Gundam: (Mallika water point): According to the Hindu mythology, this Gundam was part and parcel of Saraswathi river, which flows beneath the Krishna river. The river Saraswathi is called ‘Antaarvahine’ which means it is flowing beneath the river Krishna. Many devotees used this Mallika Gundam water to heal their diseases. Another important thing is, the shade of the gopuram (monumental tower) of Mallikarjuna swamy’s temple is being reflected in this ‘Gundam’.

5. Veerabhadra Swamy Temple: This idol is in temple and having North face. He is guarding the Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy always.

6. Sanagalabasavanna: It is situated in front of the Veerasiro mandapam. It is known as “Nandi mandapam”. This Nandi is called Nandeeswara (Baswanna). Kannadigulu call this as ‘Chennu kallu Basawanna”.

7. Addala(Mirror) Mandapam: Place for Swamy where he takes rest during nights called as pavalimpu seva.

8. Tri fruit tree (Triphala uruksham): Juvvi (white fruited wavy leaf fig tree), Raavi (Sacred Fig or Bo-Tree), and Medi (Cluster Fig Tree) plants together become grown as one tree. It was said that Acharya Nagarjuna and others performed deeksha under this tree. One superstition was there, that couples who had no children, simply they circumambulated the tree (walking round the tree) to get children (santanam) in coming years.

9. Nityakalyana mandapam(marriage hall): This is to the south west of temple where daily Kalyanam (Marriage) of the Mallikarjuna Swamy and Bramarambika ammawaru is perfomed in the eveninings.

10. Sri Rama and Sita Devi’s sahasralingams: Shahasra meaning thousand. Sahasra linga means 1000 Lingas carved in one linga. Sri Rama linga is situated in Swamy’s temple whereas the one installed by Sita Devi is in Ammavari temple.

The main temple of Bramaramba devi, the first of Asthadasa Maha Sakthi Peethas is the one with fabulous sculptures. You can hear a kind of BEE FLY’s whizzing (Bhramara means Bee Fly) behind the main temple.

1 .Lopa mudra: Lopa mura shapes of Agasya Maharshi wife are only seen in Srisailam. We can see them in sala mandapam of devi temple.

Places of interest in and around Srisailam



1. SakshiGanapathi: It is just 1.5 miles away from Srisailam. According to the Hindu Mythology, it is believed that the details of devotees visiting Srisailam will be recorded by him and provided as witness to Lord Shiva. That way he is called Sakshi (withness) Ganapathi.

2. Vitalesvara temple: In 14 century AD, Vitalamba wife of Harihararaya II laid steps to Paatalaganga and this temple was built. This temple is rich in sculpture. The deity residing here is called Vitalesvara Swamy.

3. Shivaji spurthi kendram: Once Chatrapati Shivaji has visited the Srisailam and resided here for some time. He had built northern shrine. In front of it, he built a small mandapa and used to live there. Now it has been collapsed. Adjecent to that a well architected modern building has been constructed in the name Shivaji spurthi kendram. A life size idol of Shivaji can be seen in the building which stands as an inspiration to everyone.

4. Hatakeswaram: It is about 5 km from Srisailam. ‘Hataka’ means gold. Lord Shiva killed Tripurasura by making Meruparvatham as bow and arrow. Here, Shiva has been worshipped in golden Lingam shape. Hence it is being called as Hatakeswaram. In front of the temple, a water pond of over 150 ft area can be witnessed. It is called Hatekeswara theertham. It is believed that devotees who dip here (bath) and drink water in paladhara-Panchadhara, fulfill their desires.

5. Paladhara-Panchadhara: It is about 200 meters from Hatakeswaram. Paladhara-Water steams flows continuously. It originates and flows 6 meters and demise there itself. It exists throughout the year irrespective of any season. It is called Paladhara because it is believed that this was originated from the forehead of Lord Shiva. Panchadhara- it is originated from 5 faces of Lord Shiva viz Satyojatha, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpursha and Esana. Water is of medicinal values, devotees carry water from here in order to cure their diseases. Sanctity of these dharas: by bathing in Hatakeswaram and drinking water in Paladhara and Panchadhara, devotees’ desires will be fulfulled. The book Shivanandalahari is said to be written here.

6. Sikhareswaram: It is the highest peak of Srisailam moutain range above to 2830 feet to MSL. It is about 8 km from main temple. Lord Veerasankara being called as Sikhareswara. In the past centuries, devotees used to reach Srisailam on foot through the dense forest. Being tired they were unable to move any further and wanted to have a look of the shrine. From there they might have returned. According to Puranas “Srisaila Sikharam drustya punarjanma navidyate….” By looking at this Sikharam it is said that one gets emancipated from all sins. The person becomes free from the vicious cycle of life and death.

7. Ishtakameswari Devi: It is about 21 km from main temple, situated in dense forest of Srisailam hill. This temple belongs to 8th –10th centuries. Ishtakameswari is another name of Parvathi devi. There is no word like Ishtakameswari in the puranas and literature except Kameswari. In the present day also it is difficult to reach there. Private vehicle or not allowed and so one has to hire vehicles. There is a specialty in the idol that if you touch the forehead u can feel like a human skin. If you visit the place once, you will feel like visiting the same place again.

8.  Paathalaganga: It is 1 km from main temple. One has to climb down nearly 500 steps to reach river Krishna which flows at the foot of the hill and called as Pathalganga. Now rope way to this was constructed making it convenient for the people who cannot reach the place through steps.

9. Akkamahadevi caves: It is about 10 km from Pathalaanga. Akkamahadevi was strong believer of Lord Mallikarjunaswamy. She belongs to 12th century. She was born in ‘Udutadi’ village in Shimoga district of Karnataka. Her parents Sumathi and Nirmala Setty, were veerashiva devotees. Being uninterested in marriage with the king Koushikudu, she came to Srisailam to engross in Lord Mallikarjuna and reached caves, now being called Akkamahadevi caves. She performed penance (Tapassu) for some time in these caves and later went to Kandhalivanalu. She has been worshipped as prime Sivasaran in ‘Veerashiva’ tradition. These caves are naturally formed, very attractive and station of natural beauty. 




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