History

During 2nd and 3rd centuries, Syva Nayanarlu Appar, Sunder, Thirugnana Sambandar, Manikya Wachakkar of Tamil Nadu visited this holy shrine and spreaded the temple’s importance and devotion through song’s. Shri Adi Shankara Charyas are the only ones to illustrate Bhakta Kannappa in his Sivananda Lahiri and enshrined Bhuvaneshwari Devi Peetham in this holy place. This holy shrine is built in tribal area, no one has been able to concentrate on temple’s development and growth till 4 and 5 centuries. But due to Pallava’s arrival in South India Architectural Masterpiece has grown politically and locally. In those days temples are constructed by timber, reeds and soil in order to prevent temples from quick destroying. The SriKalahasti temple was adorned by locally influenced Tribal people before the devotion started.

Depending on the evidence available through the ancient proof’s and by sculpture In the 9th century, the Pallava Chola kings found that the temple was built in this place. Kulottunga Chola constructed the temple dome. Hyma, Girija Cave Bhairava Cave, and Gopara Cave, were constructed with bricks by the Veera Narasimha Rayalas. Later In 12th century AD it is said that domes and bridges are constructed by Sri Kalahasti Mahatyam. The southern gopuram was constructed in the 12th century by Kulothunga Chola. It is said that the Bikshala gopuram was constructed by Devadasi bichchalu and the construction was done during the reign of Yadava Narasimha. In the year 1529 AD, in the sixteenth century Mandapam, the coronation ceremony of Vrutharaayaya, brother of Sri Krishna Devarayalu. In the 16th century, Sri Krishna Devaraya’s built a porch. It is called 'royal hall'. And the big air dome was constructed. Golconda Kingdom ministers like Akkanna and Madananna have their names named Shiva Lingams here.

The building expansion of this temple stretches only north, south and west. But the temple didn’t stretch to East because of Mountain. The west side of the sanctorum resembles the style of Pallava without any decoration. This makes the temple known as it is of Pallava’s period temple. The Sanctum Sanctorum of Ammaviranagar is located in the north east of the four meter from Lord Shiva’s Sanctum Sanctorum. The deity in the presence of this is called Gnanaprasunamamba. In the 18th century, the Shiva temple at Nattikotti Shatyar in Tamil Nadu was built in the form of a four-storey palace for the temples and porch.

Sivanandaika Nilayamu (Mount Kailash):

Sivanandaika Nilayam is a mountain located in SriKalahasti. This Sivanandaika Nilayam is the highest mountain among five mountains of Kailash Mountain. Lord Brahma prayed to Lord Shiva to give power in order to create life on earth. Lord Shiva said that where you can lay down the mountain on the ground there it will be called as South Kailasam. Lord Brahma was blessed with the blessings of the Lord. It is the mountain that Lord Shiva granted to Lord Brahma and today it is called as Sivanandaika Nilayam (Kailasam) in SriKalahasti. There is also a shrine of Lord Brahma in this temple. Presently Sivanandaika Nilayam mountain in south kailasam is called as Kannappa mountain. So, this region is known as Siddha region.

In the first days of the world, Goddess "Vayu Deva" is worshiped with reverence by the devotion of the Siva (form of Karpura Linga) and He had done thousands of years of penance for the goddess Siva. The Goddess Siva appeared to Vayu deva, then vayudeva ask a boon that "I should be everywhere in the world, I should be the main thing for the living things and the name of your karpuralingam should be change as my name. The lord siva agreed to vayudeva and fullfill’s his wish.

Sri Gnanaprasunamba:

Gauri Devi was born during the time of Dakshayagna and wanted to marry Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva asked Gauri Devi to get her powers back then he will marry her. Later Parameshwari prepared Sri Chakra with her own hands, got back her powers and got married to Lord Shiva. Then she distributed the acquired knowledge to the world. In Kalahasti Parameshwari is worshipped and known as Gnanaprasunambika. The Bharadwaja Mahamuni (Maharishi), who has been enrolled, has been performing Shadha Puja. After Mahamuni his heirs are performing pooja’s in Sri Kalahasti.

Swarnamukhi River (Divya Ganga):

Agastya Mahi Muni along with his disciples came to the south shore to perform meditation for water. Brahma got impressed with his tapasya and fulfilled Maha Muni’s wish. Ganga Devi takes the form of suwarnamukhari sravanthi in the Agastya Mountain and joins the North ward on the east sea through Srikalahasti. Today in the river many of the pilgrim’s flourish and flow through the south kailasanam. Swarnamukhi flows north ward. It is said that Swarnamukhi river is equivalent to Ganga river. For all rivers “Pushkaralu” comes once in twelve years. But for this river Pushkarulu is celebrated on the day of Full Moon in Magha masam.

In Krita Yuga, the spider built a thick web in the form of temple and the walls of shrine in order to worship Lord Siva. The spider protects deity from external damage by weaving his web and continuously worships Lord Siva. One-day Lord Siva tried to test spider, and burnt the temple built by its web using lamp. By looking at this spider went to swallow the lamp, in the meantime Lord Siva appeared and offered a boon to him. Then the spider wanted to make him without birth. So Lord Siva agreed to spider and make spider united in him.

In Trita Yuga, the snake brought precious gems from the underworld and worshiped Shiva every day. Trita Yuga ended and Dwapara Yuga started. The Elephant used to clean Shiva Linga by carrying river water with its trunk. The Elephant throws the gems brought by snake and places Bilva Leaves and Flowers on top of Shiva Linga and worships the Lord. The next day snake came and see the Flowers, throw them and worships Lord Siva by precious gems. This causes war between them. The Snake punishes the elephant by entering its trunk and in the process kills itself, while the elephant runs and hits its trunk and head against Shiva Linga. This incident leads to the consequences, the frontal part of Shiva Linga is a five-string snake shaped (Panchmukhi Shakti), the head part of Shiva Linga is in the shape of elephant’s two teeth’s and the below part of Linga is in the shape of Spider. All these symbolic shapes of lord Shiva are in the form of "Linga" as Srikalahasthiswara So that, this holy place is called as Sri kalahasthi.

Bhaktha Kannappa:

Arjuna in order to get the lord Shiva blessings, he born as Thinnadu in the Kaliyugam. Nadhanadhadu couple gave birth to a baby boy of "Boya" caste, in the village of Udumooru of Potthipinadu area in Andhrapradesh with lord Shiva blessings. The couple named that boy as "Thinnadu". He is well educated in Archery. One day after hunting he slept under trees. Lord Shiva appeared and told that Shiva temple is located near the hill and worship him, just then Kannappa woke up and saw the Wild Pig. He followed the Pig and finally reaches Shiva Temple. Then Tinnadu got mesmerized by seeing the Shiva in the temple and asked Shiva many times in many ways to visit his house once.

Every day Tinnadu went to forest and hunt Wild Pig and offer it to Lord Shiva and did Abhisheka to Shiva Linga. At the same time a Brahman has been worshipping Shiva for a long time. When he saw all the things done by Thinnadu. Brahman addressed the lord “O Lord you are the purest of all Gods. How can you allow such indignities to happen to yourself”. Then Lord Shiva appeared and said that Thinnadu knows nothing of rituals, but like you he loves me with all his heart. If you wish to see the extend of his love for me,hide somewhere and see what happens.It is time for him to come. Thinnadu came very soon, as usual carrying meat in his hands and water in his mouth. As he poured the water from his mouth on the lingam and made his offerings.

Meanwhile, Thinnadu was surprised when the lord did not accept his offerings as usual. Wondering what he had done wrong, he looked closely at the Lord. Suddenly, he noticed that there was something oozing from the Lord’s left eye! Horrified, he collected herbs and applied them to the eye, hoping to cure the problem, but it only made it worse, for blood started oozing instead of the water. He tried out a few more remedies, none of which worked. Finally, he decided that the only way he could solve the problem was by offering the Lord his own eye. Taking one of his knives, he cut his left eye out of its socket, and placed it on the lord! At once, the blood stopped oozing, and Thinnadu heaved a sigh of relief.

Suddenly, he was shocked to notice that the right eye was now bleeding the same way He now decided to offer his other eye too. But once he had taken his right eye out, how would he see where to place it. He thought for a minute, and came up with a solution. Lifting his leg, he placed it on the place where the Lord had his right eye, and with his knife, proceeded to take out his right eye. Even the lord could not bear to see this great sacrifice by his devotee, and appeared in front of him! At once, Thinnadu regained his sight, and prostrated before the Lord. The Brahmin too came out from hiding, and bowed before the Lord. Lord Shiva blessed both of them and praised them for their devotion, in their own way. He especially lauded Thinnadu, and declared him to be a saint – a Nayanar, as the greatest of Shiva’s devotees were known. Since he had given up his eyes for the Lord, therefore he is known as Kannappa Nayanar.

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