Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, shrines which are said to be the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located on the mountain named Shri Shaila by the banks of the Patal Ganga, Krishna River in the state of Andhra Pradesh of southern India. The temple is also known for its scenic beauty and historical significance, as it was once a center of Shaivism and a seat of learning.
Location of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple
The Mallikarjuna temple is about 212 km from Hyderabad city, which is well connected by flights, trains and buses from various cities in India. The temple can also be reached by road from nearby towns such as Kurnool, Markapur and Nandyal. The temple is located on a hill that is surrounded by thick forests and valleys. The temple complex has four gateways facing four directions. The main entrance is on the eastern side, which leads to a huge courtyard with several shrines and structures.
Timing of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple
The Mallikarjuna temple is open for darshan (viewing) from 4:30 am to 10 pm every day. The temple has five aartis (rituals) daily: at 4:30 am, 10 am, 12 noon, 5 pm and 8 pm. The temple also has a special aarti called Mahamangala Aarti, which is performed at 5 am on Mondays and at 5:30 pm on other days using camphor and flowers. This aarti is considered to be very auspicious and powerful, as it symbolizes the devotion and surrender to Shiva. The temple charges a nominal fee for entry and photography.
Rituals of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple
The Mallikarjuna temple has various rituals and ceremonies that are performed by the priests and devotees throughout the year. Some of the main rituals are:
- Abhishek: This is the ritual of bathing the idol of Shiva with water, milk, honey, curd, ghee and other substances. This is done to express devotion and gratitude to Shiva and to seek his blessings. Devotees can perform abhishek by themselves or by booking online through the temple website.
- Rudrabhishek: This is a special abhishek that involves chanting the Rudram, a hymn from the Vedas that praises Shiva as the destroyer of evil and the source of all creation. This is done to invoke Shiva’s grace and protection from all kinds of troubles and calamities. Devotees can perform rudrabhishek by themselves or by booking online through the temple website.
- Mahapuja: This is a grand puja (worship) that involves offering various items such as flowers, fruits, sweets, clothes and ornaments to Shiva. This is done to express love and reverence to Shiva and to seek his fulfillment of all desires. Devotees can perform mahapuja by themselves or by booking online through the temple website.
- Pradakshina: This is the ritual of circumambulating (walking around) the temple in a clockwise direction. This is done to show respect and devotion to Shiva and to imbibe his positive energy and vibrations. Devotees can do pradakshina as many times as they wish.
Importance of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple
The Mallikarjuna temple is considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus, especially for Shaivites (followers of Shiva). The temple has a long and rich history, with evidence of its existence dating back to the 6th century AD. The temple has been visited and praised by many saints, poets and kings, such as Adi Shankara, Basavanna, Harihara Raya II and Krishnadevaraya.
The Mallikarjuna temple is believed to be the place where Shiva manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga, a pillar of light, to prove his supremacy over other gods. The temple is also believed to be the place where Shiva reunited with his consort Parvati after she performed penance for him. The temple is also believed to be the place where Shiva blessed his son Kartikeya with victory over the demon Tarakasura. The temple is also believed to be the place where Shiva granted his devotee Chandravathi with a golden lotus.
The Mallikarjuna temple is a symbol of faith, power and devotion for millions of Hindus across the world. The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year, who come to seek the blessings of Shiva and to witness the beauty and magnificence of the temple.
Significance of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple
The Mallikarjuna temple has a great significance for Hindus, as it represents one of the aspects of Shiva, the supreme god of Hinduism. Shiva is known by many names and forms, such as Mahadev (the great god), Nataraj (the lord of dance), Rudra (the fierce one), Neelkanth (the blue-throated one), Bholenath (the simple one) and many more. Shiva is also known as Mallikarjuna, which means “the lord of jasmine flowers” or “the lord of Parvati”.
Mallikarjuna is the aspect of Shiva that symbolizes love and compassion. He is the consort of Parvati, who is also known as Mallika or Shakti. He is the father of Kartikeya and Ganesha, who are also worshipped in the temple. He is the lord of the mountains, forests and valleys, where he resides with his family. He is the lord of joy and happiness, who bestows his devotees with peace and prosperity.
The Mallikarjuna temple is dedicated to Shiva as Mallikarjuna, who is worshipped as the giver of love, health, wealth and happiness. The temple is also dedicated to Shiva as Jyotirlinga, which means “the linga (symbol) of light”. A Jyotirlinga is a representation of Shiva’s infinite power and presence, which can be seen and felt by his devotees. A Jyotirlinga is also a manifestation of Shiva’s grace and compassion, which can heal and transform his devotees.
The Mallikarjuna temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India, which are considered to be the most sacred shrines of Shiva. Each Jyotirlinga has a different name and story associated with it, which reveals a different aspect of Shiva’s personality and attributes. By visiting and worshipping these Jyotirlingas, devotees can experience the various facets of Shiva’s glory and benevolence.
How to reach Mallikarjuna temple?
The Mallikarjuna temple can be reached by road, rail or air. The nearest airport is Hyderabad airport, which is about 212 km away from the temple. The nearest railway station is Markapur Road railway station, which is about 91 km away from the temple. The temple can also be reached by road from nearby towns such as Kurnool, Markapur and Nandyal.
When is the best time to visit Mallikarjuna temple?
The best time to visit Mallikarjuna temple is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and comfortable. The temple can also be visited during festivals such as Mahashivaratri, Ugadi, Dussehra and Kartika Purnima, when the temple is decorated and celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm.
What are the other attractions near Mallikarjuna temple?
There are many other attractions near Mallikarjuna temple that can be explored by the visitors. Some of them are:
Srisailam Dam: This is a dam built across the Krishna river near Srisailam town. It offers a scenic view of the river and the hills. It also has a ropeway that connects the dam with the hilltop.
Srisailam Tiger Reserve: This is a wildlife sanctuary that covers an area of about 3568 sq km. It is home to various animals such as tigers, leopards, deer, bears and birds.
Sakshi Ganapati Temple: This is a temple dedicated to Ganesha, located near Srisailam town. It is believed that Ganesha keeps a record of all the pilgrims who visit Srisailam.
Hatakeswaram Temple: This is a temple dedicated to Shiva, located near Srisailam town. It is believed that Shiva appeared here as a hand (hata) to bless his devotee Pandava Arjuna.
Paladhara Panchadara: This is a natural spring that flows from the hill near Srisailam town. It is believed that Adi Shankara meditated here and composed his famous hymn Soundarya Lahari.
The Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is a sacred and ancient temple that showcases the power and devotion of Hinduism. The temple is a testimony of the faith and courage of the Hindus, who have preserved and maintained the temple despite several invasions and damages. The temple is a source of inspiration and solace for millions of pilgrims and tourists, who come to seek the blessings of Shiva and to witness the beauty and magnificence of the temple. The Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is not just a temple, but a living legend that embodies the spirit and essence of Hinduism.