One of the top places to visit in Andhra Pradesh is the holy town of Srisailam. It is in the Kurnool district and by the Krishna River. The town is most famous for the Mallikarjuna Temple and also for the Nagarjuna Sagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve. The Srisailam Dam is also a major attraction here.
Srisailam is at a distance of 229 km (approx.) from Hyderabad and 263 km (approx.) from Vijayawada. So, if you are looking for low budget trips in Andhra Pradesh or near Telangana then you can plan a visit to Srisailam.
The Srisailam Temple
The Srisailam Temple or the Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple is one of the most famous temples of India. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples and devotees from far and wide plan to visit it at least once in their lifetime.
What breathes life in a temple? Is it the presiding deity? Is it the structure and the architecture? Is it the story or the mystery behind it? Is the faith of the devotees?
Perhaps it is all of the above!
The very air inside the Srisailam Temple vibrates with holy particles. For those with faith can sense a divine presence in the courtyards and even before the deities’ darshan.
Yes, deities and not deity as the Srisailam Temple is unique in the sense that both Shiva and Shakti are worshipped here. Otherwise; in Jyotirlinga Temples; Shiva is the only deity. Shiva’s consort Parvati is present here as Lady Bhramaramba; hence the temples’ name: Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple. The temple is not only the 2nd Jyotirlinga Temple; it is also the 6th Shakti Peetha; out of a total 18 main ones in the country. And it is quite unique in this sense.
The temple is considered a very powerful place of worship and is referred to as the Srisaila Mahakshetram.
The town itself is surrounded by the Nallamalla Forest cover. The sacred water of the Krishna touches it on three sides. On usual days; the Darshanam commences from 6 AM. It is best to check the temple’s website for any changes in the darshan timings before planning your trip. Though Srisailam temple timings are unlikely to change unless there is a genuine reason for it.
You can visit the temple during Shravan Maas or on the occasion of Mahashivratri for special celebrations.
Nagarjuna Sagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve
Nagarjuna Sagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR)This tiger reserve has the distinction of being the largest tiger reserve in India. It covers an area of 3500 sq km approximately. As per a new survey done recently, the tiger population in the reserve is now over 60. In the 2018 Census, the number in the reserve stood at 48.
The period between October to June is considered ideal time to visit this reserve. Since the state’s bifurcation, it is now spread over five districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The safari tours at NSTR start around 7 AM and last till 5 PM. Though, it is best to check the reserve’s website for any changes in the timings before planning your trip. Expect to see other animals also here such as sambhar deer, wolves, black bucks, chausingha etc. The forest cover is largely deciduous.
It is at a distance of around 30 km from the main town. It is best to reserve an entire day for visiting the reserve.
Visit the Srisailam Dam over Krishna River during your trip to Srisailam. It has the distinction of being the country’s 2nd largest hydroelectric station. Combine it with its scenic beauty; and you have a sight to behold. It lies amidst Nallamalla Hills and during monsoons; the sparkling water from the Krishna River and the green cover of these forests create a stunning natural symphony. The dam’s structure (145 m in height and 512 m in length) alone is enough to awestruck visitors. When the water is released from its gates; the sight is even more mesmerizing.
The dam itself remains open for visitors 24/7 (unless there is a reason to close it). But the road leading up to the dam (in the Hyderabad-Srisailam route) is often closed at night (around 9 PM) until six in the morning.
Srisailam is one of the top places to visit in India due to its religious significance. The tiger reserve further adds to its appeal. It is ideal for family trips. There is much to see and do here.
You can book direct or connecting flights to Hyderabad and then travel to Srisailam by road. The scenery during the journey is just a prelude to the beauty and wonder awaiting you in this town. The fragrant air and the reverent surroundings are powerful enough here to disperse all fatigue and stress.
Pay your respects to Lord Shiva, marvel at ancient temple architecture, and spend a day at the largest tiger reserve in the country. Or simply gaze at the town’s beauty and let the breeze from the fresh water of the Krishna dissipate all your worries (at least for the time being).
Srisailam is not only one of the best options for low budget trips in Andhra Pradesh but a great place for spiritual sojourn and a weekend trip.
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