Srikalahasti Temple is located in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is famous for its Vayu linga, one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams, representing wind. Srikalahasti is popularly known as “Dakshina Kasi”.
Open on Eclipse Days
This is the only Hindu temple opened even during Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse.
Maha Shivaratri is one of the greatest festivals celebrated here with the procession of the deities.
Legend has it that Lord Shiva disguised as Vayu (Air) observed that the Spider (Sri), Cobra (Kala) and Elephant (Hasti) worshipped him with devotion. So Lord Shiva made them to relieve from the curse and attain salvation, hence this place is called Srikalahasti. A statue showing all three animals is situated in the main shrine.
The Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana and Linga Puranas have a mention about Srikalahasti. The Skanda Purana says that Arjuna visited this place, worshipped Kalahastiswara and met the sage Bharadwaja on the top of the hill. It is believed that Kannappa, a tribal devotee worshipped Lord Siva at Srikalahasti.
The temple is also associated with Rahu and Ketu, (of the nine grahams or celestial bodies in the Indian astrological scheme).
Sri Adi Sankara visited this Kshetra and praised the bhakti of Kannappa in his Sivanandalahari. Other saints like Sambandar, Appar, Manikkavasagar, Sundaramurti, Pattinathar and Sri Ramalinga Swami have also visited this shrine.
Marvels in Architecture
The three lofty Gopurams of the temple are remarkable for their architecture. The temple was built during Pallava period and current structures are built by Chola kings Kulothunga Cholan I, II and III during the 11th century. A huge hundred pillared mantapam was built by Sri Krishnadevaraya during the 16th century.
Every day thousands of devotees visit the temple to have darshan of Sri Kalahasteeswara and Sri Gnanaprasunambika Devi.