Located on the banks of the Swarnamukhi River, Srikalahasti is located near the pilgrim city of Tirupati. The name of the town comes from the native names of three animals (spider, snake and elephant) which are said to have received salvation owing to their worship of Lord Shiva. Many different spots of this sacred town have been mentioned in the ancient texts and epics like Mahabharata. The town being a holy spot for the Hindu pilgrims boasts of its various temples which are architectural marvels and are located in few of the most picturesque locations between the surrounding hillocks. The town’s major sources of economy are agriculture and tourism so the visitors can expect good food and hospitality. Here are some major tourist places to visit in Srikalahasti:
• Sri Kalahasti Temple
• Talakona Waterfalls
• Veyilingala Kona Waterfalls
• Ubbalamadugu Falls
• Sahasra Linga Temple
• Bharadwaja Tirtham
• Durgambika Temple
Sri Kalahasti Temple
Sri Kalahasti Temple is the most famous temple and tops the list of attractions in Srikalahasti. The temple is situated 36 kms from the world famous Tirupati. The construction of the inner temple was completed in 5th century and Cholas constructed the outer temple in the 10th century. The temple is famously referred to as the Kailash of the south. The geographical location of the temple is awe-inspiring in itself as you find it placed between two steep mountains, namely Sripuram and Mummidicholapuram. The temple stands proof of architectural brilliance of the past. While people throng the temple for religious reasons, the excellent location of the temple and the magnificent carvings need no other reason to pay a visit.
The 270 feet tall, Talakona Waterfalls is the highest waterfalls in the whole of Andhra Pradesh. The waterfall is situated in Sri Venkateswara National Park in Chittoor. Nature lovers will be fascinated by the stunning landscape. Dense forests with a wide range of plants and animals make the place irresistible. Some of the wild species that are found in the forest area include panther, sambar, Indian giant squirrel and porcupine. Some of the rarest kinds of medicinal plants are found here while sandalwood trees are found in great numbers in the dense forest. You are not short of adventure here with canopy ropewalk at an height of about 40 feet stretching for 240 meter length. Boat rides are available as well.
Veyilingala Kona Waterfalls
The name of the waterfalls is acquired from Telugu and its meaning is ‘The Valley of Thousand Lingas’. Linga forms of rocks are abundant around the waterfalls. Located 8 km from Srikalahasti, the waterfalls is said to have medicinal properties to address various skin diseases. Along with the legends associated with the waterfalls, the spectacular landscape of the place attracts visitors from various parts of the world.
Ubbalamadugu Falls is famously called Tada Falls and Kambakam Falls. Located 35 kms away from Srikalahasti, the waterfalls is a beauty that cannot be missed. It is located amidst the dense Kambakam forest and you are sure to find your adventurous spirits soar high when you are here. The trek to the top to reach the waterfalls is challenging, which makes it more attractive. The lush greenery and the marvelous landscape are not only visual delights but they elevate your spirits and make you feel one with nature.
Gudimallam is a village near Renigunta railway station. The village gains significance on the pilgrims’ map as the famous Parasurameshwara Temple is situated here. The temple is considered the most ancient Indian temple as available evidences point out to the fact that it is over 2300 years of age. The construction of the temple was during the reign of Pallavas and Bana. The granite temple was reconstructed with stones during the period of Vikrama Chola around 1127 AD. The brilliant architecture reflects the artisanship of the past.
Sahasra Linga Temple
With the hill providing a perfect backdrop and the lush greenery seen here are soul captivating. The word Sahasra stands for thousand and this temple is named Sahasra Linga as thousand carved Lingas are seen here. The temple is believed to have the power to absolve one of all sins. Located in the thick of the jungle, the serene atmosphere takes you to a different plane.
Bharadwaja Tirtham is situated amidst three hills to the east of the famous Srikalahasti temple. You could find ancient sculptures on the hilltop. The place acquires its name from the belief that Bharadwaja Maharishi had meditated here centuries ago. The location of the stream of water is serene and the beautiful Vinayaka statue adds religious value to the place.
Located at a height of 800m above sea level, this ancient temple offers panoramic view of the land beneath. One among the ancient temples of the land, the temple holds significance from religious point of view owing to the beliefs held by the people. It is located to the north of Kalahastiswara temple. The broad steps from the base to the top of the hillock where the temple is located make the climb easier.