Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga

Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh

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Shiva is worshiped as Mallikarjuna, and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Brahmaramba. It is the only temple in India which is revered as both Jyotirlinga and Shaktipeeth.

Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deities Shiva and Parvati, located at Srisailam in Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is significant to the Hindu sects of both Shaivam and Shaktam as this temple is referred to as one of the twelve Jyothirlingas of Lord Shiva and as one of the eighhteen Shakti Peethas of goddess Parvati. Shiva is worshiped as Mallikarjuna, and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Brahmaramba. It is the only temple in India which is revered as both Jyotirlinga and Shaktipeeth.

Legend

When Shiva and Parvati decided to find suitable brides for their sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya argued as to who is to get wedded first. Shiva bade that the one who goes round the world in Pradakshinam could get married first. By the time Kartikeya could go round the world on his vahana, Ganesha went round his parents 7 times (for according to Shastras, going in pradakshinam round one's parents is equivalent to going once round the world (Bhupradakshinam). Siva got Buddhi(intellect), Siddhi (spiritual power), and Riddhi (prosperity) married to Ganesha. kartikeya on his return was enraged and went away to stay alone on Mount Kraunja in the name of Kumarabrahmachari. On seeing his father coming over to pacify him, he tried to move to another place, but on the request of the Devas, stayed close by. The place where Siva and Parvati stayed came to be known as Shrishailam.

As per Hindu legend, the presiding deity in the form of Linga (an iconic form of Shiva) was worshipped with jasmine (locally called Mallika), leading to the name of presiding deity as Mallikarjuna.

Mahashivratri is the main festival celebrated at Srisailam Mallikarjuna Swamy temple.

Architecture

The temple complex covers 2 hectares and houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Mallikarjuna and Bhramaramba being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the Mukha Mandapa built during the Vijayanagar period. The temple is situated facing East. The center mandapam has several pillars, with a huge idol of Nadikeshwara. The temple is enclosed by tall walls measuring 183 m (600 ft) by 152 m (499 ft) and 8.5 m (28 ft) tall. The are a number of sculptures in the precint each raising above another. The Mukamandapa, the hall leading to the sanctum, has intricate sculpted pillars. The shrine where Mallikarjuna is housed is considered the oldest in the temple, dating back to 7th century. There is a Sahasra linga (1000 linga), believed to have been commissioned by Rama and five other lingas believed to have been commissioned by Pandavas. A mirror hall in the first precinct has images of Nataraja.

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