India is famous for the variety of structures which were built during the early days. There are many different structures which had made the people wonder about its constructions. Tempe architecture is not new to the Indian people, as we all know that the early emperors of the country used these temples as a symbol of their wealth and power. So the early kings competed in the construction of big temples so that their prestige is not questioned. When compared to north india the number of temples in the south is much more and both region followed different styles for the temple construction. Dravidian style of architecture was used by the southerners for temple construction which were completely different from the northern style which followed the Vasara and Nagara style of temple architecture. Mallikarjuna Swamy temple is one such temple which is in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is devoted to the Lord Shiva of the Hindu religion and it is among the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva. The temple is located at a place known as Srisailam which is in Andhra Pradesh. Have you heard of Paadal Petra Sthalams, it is nothing but the shiva temples which are referred in some of the verses of the Saiva sect known as Nayanars (6th to 9th century AD). There are around 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams and the Mallika Arjuna Swamy temple is included in this 275 temples. Now let us try to find out what is the secret behind the Jyotirlingas.
There is a story behind the formation of the Jyotirlingas, as we know that Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu are the three primary gods of the Hindus. It is believed that the Jyotirlingas were three worlds of endless pillar of lights which were pierced by the Lord Shiva in order to test Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Both of them were asked to travel through the world and to find the end of it, Lord Brahma lied that he had found the end of it but Lord Vishnu accepted his defeat. Lord shiva was irritated by the attitude of Lord Brahma and cursed him that he will get a place in any ceremonies. So from this story it is clear that the Jyotirlingas are places where the Lord Shiva appeared as a column of light. There are around 64 Jyotirlingas and only 12 of them are important and these temples had the Lingam as the primary idol. Now let us discuss the story of Srisailam.
There is a story in Hindu mythology which tells us about Bhupradakshina. We all know that Ganesha and Karthikeya were the sons of Lord Shiva and Parvathy. Shiva and Parvathy decided to find brides for both their sons and this led to a clash between Ganesha and Karthikeya, about who will marry first. So Lord Shiva told his sons that the one who first completes the pradakshina around the world will be married first and this made Karthikeya to start the travel around the world in Pradakshina. But the wise Lord Ganesha walked around his Parents for seven times and which was equivalent to Bhoopradakshina and thus he was married first. Thus lord Karthikeya decided to go away from his parents but they just followed him and Shrisailam is the place where Lord Shiva and Parvathy stayed during their journey. It is believed that Parvathy Devi visit Lord Karthikeya on Poornima nad Lord Shiva on Amavasya. These are some of the stories which had given this place such importance among Hindus. The main festival which is celebrated in this temple is Mahashivaratri.
People planning to visit Andhra Pradesh should not miss the chance to visit this great place, which will give you a chance to go through the painstaking efforts made by the early people for building such a beautiful structure for us. Both free and paid darshans are available in this temple and the starting rate of the ticket is from INR 50.