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Kalahasti Temple – History, Temple Info, Travel, Hotels, Weather

Kalahasti Temple in Tirupati

If you’re planning for a trip to South India, be sure to include the Kalahasti temple in your itinerary. The Shiva temple is located in Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh. The temple is located 36 kms away from the famous Tirupathi Temple.

King Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara dynasty built the Kalahasti Temple in 1516. The temple is one of the Panchabhoota Sthalam(five elements) representing Vayu or air. Additionally, Kalahasti temple is considered to be one of the historic temples of India. Featuring a Dravidian style of architecture, you’ll see that embellished gopurams with detailed carved interiors decorate the Srikalahasti temple. Also, a visit to the religious sanctum like Kalahasti temple will surely purify your spiritual heart.

Kalahasti temple in Andhra Pradesh
The aerial view of Kalahasti temple

The History Of Kalahasti

The era of Pallava dynasty in the 5th century saw the construction of the temple under the regime of King Krishnadevaraya. During the 10th century, the Chola Kings undertook the temple’s work relating to renovation and construction of the main structure.

This temple is famous for worshipping Lord Shiva in the form of Kaalhasteshwara. The Kalahasti temple is named after a Spider (Sri), a Snake (Kala) and an Elephant (Hasti) who all worshipped Lord Shiva to attain liberation or moksha. It is also believed that the small hill nearby the temple is considered to be equivalent to Himalayan Kailas. Therefore, the Kalahasti temple is popularly referred to as Kailas of south or Dakshina Kailasam. The self-manifested (Swayambhu) lingam is considered to be one of the Panchabhoota lingam (made up of wind, water, fire, earth and ether).

At the Kalahasti temple, the Vayu Lingam is believed to be made of wind. The lingam is out of bounds for tourists and priests. Moreover, the temple has no windows. It is enthralling to see the Vayu lingam move despite closed temple doors. Also the lamp inside the temple flashes despite restricted movement of air.

The Legends of Srikalahasti Temple

The legend of Srikalahasti temple states that Lord Shiva impressed by Lord Vayu’s penance granted him three boons. Lord Vayu asked for him to grant him universal presence, to be a part of every living organism on the planet. He also asked the permission to rename the Karpoora Lingam as Vayu Lingam.

Another legend states that Goddess Parvati performed penance at Srikalahasti temple to relieve herself from a curse. Appeased by Goddess Parvati Lord Shiva recreated the goddess as Gnana Prasunambika Devi or Shiva-Gnanam Gnana Prasunamba.

Saint Kannappa wanted to offer his eyes to hold the flow of blood from Lord Shiva’s lingam. Lord Shiva stopped him and granted mukti.

Kalahasti Temple's Miniature Model
Miniature of Kalahasti Temple

Kalahasti Temple Darshan Timings and Cost

Kalahasti temple darshan timings are from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM. The abhishekam at the temple begins at- 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday to Sunday costing Rs.600.

Kalahasti Temple Rahu Ketu Pooja

Sri Kalahasti temple is especially popular for performing Rahu Ketu Pooja. Devotees across the country throng to attain the benefits of this special pooja. The timings for Rahu Ketu pooja is between 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. At the ticket counter, pooja materials will be provided. The ticket for this pooja costs you around Rs.300. The temple priest will guide the devotees throughout the pooja formalities with the help of a mike. Following which the priest will brief them about the pooja proceedings in English, Tamil and Telugu. Kalahasti temple Rahu Ketu pooja timings differ, but it takes around 20-25 minutes for completion. After completing the pooja you need to place a silver idol in The Hundi, which is inside the temple.

Rahu Ketu Pooja formalities at Kalahasti temple
Temple Priest guiding Rahu Ketu Pooja formalities at Kalahasti temple

The Kalahasti temple lays down certain procedures for performing the Rahu Ketu Pooja. They are:

  1. Firstly, you need to sleep on the floor prior to the day of Pooja
  2. Secondly, you need to reach the temple early morning after having a bath. Later, you need to perform abhishekam with milk to the idols at Rudra Padam and also do three pradakshinam.
  3. Following the Abhishekam you need to proceed with Rahu Ketu Kala Sarpa Dosha pooja formalities
  4. After completion of the pooja, grant  meal packets to the poor
  5. Lastly, you can safely reach home and have a bath.

Travel Route to Kalahasti

You can opt for public transport from Srikalahasti Town to reach the famous Kalahasti Temple. However, APSRTC bus services can be availed from the Srikalahasti Bus Stand which is located at a distance of 2 kms from the temple’s premises.

Kalahasti Temple's light design
Beautiful Lights at Kalahasti Temple

Tirupati Airport which is at a distance of 45-minute drive from the temple’s complex. The Srikalahasti Railway Station which is about 3 kilometres away from the temple premises.

Best Hotels Near Kalahasti Temple

Hotel MGM Grand and SSR Hotel Srikalahasti are easily accessible from the famous Kalahasti temple. The hotel claims to provide vegetarian meals as well as international delicacies too. The hotel claims to provide modern amenities like free WiFi, free parking, air conditioning, telephone set, and 24/7 front desk services.

If you’re planning to make a religious and spiritual yatra to the south of India, do consider Kalahasti temple in Andhra Pradesh. The best time to visit Kalahasti temple is between November to February, since the weather conditions are favourable in winters. For darshan ensure that you dress up in traditional Indian attire.