Sri Kalahasti is a town located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is famous for its ancient and revered Shiva temple, Sri Kalahasteeswara Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva in his Vayu Linga form. The town is a prominent pilgrimage destination and attracts devotees from all over the country. Here are the main highlights of Sri Kalahasti:
1. **Sri Kalahasteeswara Temple**: The temple is the centerpiece of the town’s spiritual significance. It is known for its intricate Dravidian architecture, rich sculptures, and association with Vayu (wind god). The temple’s main deity, Lord Kalahasteeswara, is worshiped as the embodiment of the five elements.
2. **Rahu-Ketu Pooja**: Sri Kalahasteeswara Temple is renowned for its Rahu-Ketu Pooja, which is believed to provide relief from malefic planetary influences. Devotees often visit to perform this special puja to seek blessings and mitigate astrological difficulties.
3. **Vayu Linga and Jeeva Samadhi of Sri Bharadwaja Maharshi**: The temple complex houses the Vayu Linga, representing the element of air, and the samadhi (final resting place) of Sri Bharadwaja Maharshi, a revered sage associated with the temple.
4. **Kailasa Kona Waterfall**: Located near the temple, Kailasa Kona is a picturesque waterfall surrounded by lush greenery. It’s a popular spot for devotees and tourists to enjoy a refreshing dip and relax in the natural beauty.
5. **Bhakta Kannappa Temple**: This temple is dedicated to Bhakta Kannappa, a legendary devotee of Lord Shiva known for his unwavering devotion and offering of his own eyes to the deity.
6. **Durgambika Temple**: Adjacent to the main temple complex is the Durgambika Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga. It’s another important shrine within the premises.
7. **Sahasra Linga Temple**: Situated around 2 km from the main temple, this temple complex features a thousand lingas carved on a single rock.
8. **Srikalahasti Temple Car Festival**: The annual car festival, also known as “Ratha Saptami,” is a grand celebration where the temple’s deities are taken out on ornate chariots, attracting a large number of devotees.
Sri Kalahasti holds immense spiritual significance and is believed to be one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalas (temples representing the five elements) of Lord Shiva. The town’s ambiance and the reverence associated with its temple make it a significant pilgrimage spot for devotees seeking blessings, spiritual experiences, and relief from astrological afflictions.