Mallikarjun Temple is situated on Shri Shaila Mountain by the banks of the Patal Ganga, Krishna River in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Also known as Kailash of the South, Mallikarjuna constitutes one of the 12 Jyotirlingam shrines of Shiva and is one of the greatest Shaivaite shrines in India. The presiding deities of Mallikarjuna Temple are Mallikarjuna (Shiva) and Bhramaramba (Devi). Every year there is a fair organized on account of Mahashivratri.
Legend of Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga
According to Shiva Purana, when Lord Ganesh was married of 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 mountain one
is emancipated from all his sins and worries. The person becomes free
from the vicious cycle of life and death.
Architecture of Mallikarjun Temple
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 Jyotirlina are
considered to be the four gateways to Sri Sailam.
Located adjacent to the Mallikarjun Temple is a shrine dedicated to
Goddess Jagdamba who is known as Bhramaramba here. The Bhramaramba
shrine is considered to be of great significance. Legend has it that
Durga is said to have assumed the shape of a bee and worshipped Shiva
here, and chose this place as her abode.