Srikalahasti, prominently known as Kalahasti is one of the old and most vital Shiva Kshetras located in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Srikalahasti is popular for Srikalahasteeswara Temple (called as Srikalahasti Temple) constructed in the 10th century. The whole temple was cut out of the side of an enormous stone hill. Srikalahasti is perfect for the weekend break from Chennai city for a two-day trip and furthermore one of the best places for experimentation.
Srikalahasti got its name came after from three words — ‘Sri’ which means a spider, ‘Kala’ which means a serpent and Hasti means an elephant, as these three animals are accepted to have prayed Lord Shiva in this place and get salvation. It is situated on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi, which is a tributary to River Pennar, one of the significant river in South India. The old Shiva shrine of Srikalahasti distinguishes in the three old epics the Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana, and the Linga Purana. As indicated by Skanda Purana that Arjuna came to this place to adore Kalahasteeswara (Lord Shiva) and met Rishi Bharadwaj on the pinnacle of a hill.
Srikalahasti is remarked as one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams of Lord Shiva; the other four incorporates Tiruvannamalai, Thiruvanaikaval, Chidambaram, and Kanchipuram. The place is illustrative of the Vayu Sthalam or the Element of Air. This place is also known as Dakshin Kashi in the reference to holy city Kashi located in Northern Part of India.
Attractions: Srikalahasteeswara Temple, Swarnamukhi River, Pathala Vinayaka Temple, Bharadwaja Tirtham, Tada Falls / Ubbalamadugu Falls, Pulicat Lake & Sanctuary, Kannappa Temple, Varadaraja Swamy Temple, Veyilingala Kona Waterfalls, Tirupati.
Nearby places: Tirupati, Tirumala, Talakona Waterfalls, Kanipakam, Kanchipuram, Vellore.
Best Time to visit: October to March.
Peak Season: November & February to May.
How to Reach
- By Air: Tirupati is the nearest airport which is situated at a distance of 27 km.
- By Road: State and private buses are available to reach here from major cities, towns, and villages of the state. And rental vehicles are also available to reach Srikalahasti.