Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva situated at Srisailam in South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.
When Shiva and Parvati decided to find suitable brides for their sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya argued as to who is to get wedded first. Lord Shiva bade that the one who goes round the world in Pradakshinam could get married first. By the time Lord Kartikeya could go round the world on his vahana, Lord 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). Lord Siva got Buddhi, Siddhi , and Riddhi married to Lord Ganesha.
Kartikeya on his return was enraged and went away to stay alone on Mount Kravunja in the name of Kumarabrahmachari. On seeing his father coming over to pacify him, he tried to move to another place, but at the request of the Devas, stayed close by. The place where Lord Siva and Parvati stayed came to be known as Shrishailam. Lord Siva visits Lord Kartikeya on Amavasya day & Parvati Devi on Poornima. The temple is situated facing East. The centre mandapam has several pillars, with a huge idol of Nadikeshwara.
The architecture of the ancient Mallikarjun Temple is very beautiful and intricate. The temple has fort like walls, towers and a rich endowment of sculptural work.
The huge temple is built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards and is considered to be one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagar architecture. Temple of Tripurantakam, Siddavatam, Alampura and Umamaheswaram located in the vicinity of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga are considered to be the four gateways to Sri Sailam.
Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Srisailam
According to Shiva Purana, when Lord Ganesh was married off before his Kartikeya, and because of this brother Kartikeya became angry. Despite being stopped and consoled by his parents Shiv-Parvati, Kartikeya went away to the Kraunch Mountain. Even the Gods went and tried consoling Kartikeya but all their efforts were in vain. Because of this incident, Shiv-Parvati were very sad and both decided that they would themselves go to Kraunch Mountain.
However, when Kartikeya came to know that his parents have arrived, he went away. Eventually, Lord Shiva assumed the form of Jyotirlinga and resided on that mountain by the name of Mallikarjuna. Mallika means Parvati, while Arjuna is another name of Shiva. In this way, both Shiva and Parvati came to reside in this linga. It is said that by merely seeing the tip of the mountain one is emancipated from all his sins and worries. The person becomes free from the vicious cycle of life and death.
The best time to visit Srisailam is during the winters, especially the months of November, December, January, February and March. The temperature remains moderate and comfortable, between 14 degrees Celsius and 28 degrees Celsius. It is the perfect weather for sightseeing, and charming hill town sees most of its tourist footfall during these months.
The summers start from March and go on until May, and they are hot and dry and generally avoided by tourists. Temperatures range from 22 degrees Celsius and soar to around 40 degrees Celsius. From around June to September, Srisailam sees its rainy season and experiences moderate rainfall. It also experiences moderate humidity during this period.
Srisailam experiences typically tropical weather, but because it is situated on a hilly terrain, the winter months are not so harsh. The November to March period is especially conducive to travelling, although the off-season period does see the tariff rates going down significantly.