Saleshwaram Cave Temple Nallamala Forest Mahbubnagar Andhra Pradesh
Saleshwaram Cave Temple
is dedicated to Lord Shiva located inside a cave of "Tiger Reserve Nallamala Forest"
situated around 30km from Mannanur, 60km from Srisailam, Mahbubnagar District of Andhra Pradesh, India. This temple is also known as "Lingamaiah Temple"
as the Lord is in Lingam form. The Temple and the road connecting it are closed throughout the year as it is situated in deep valley, but are opened for 5 days during (March-April
). Pilgrims from far off places come to visit this temple in Full Moon light on Chaitra Purnima
(The full moon day of Chaitra (March-April)) as it is meant auspicious. The APSRTC arranges special Buses during this time from Acchampeta and Kalvakurthi Bus Depots for the convience of the pilgrims.
Lord Shiva in Cave of Nallamala Forest
History of this Temple:
The Saleshwaram Cave Temple in Srisailam is dated around 6th or 7th century. The whereabouts of this cave temple is written in several ancient hindu scripts, one such script is the 'Sri Parvatha Purana'. This Cave Temple is open only for 3-5 days in a year during the festival of Chaitra Purnima.
Beauty of Nallamala Hills:
There are numerous valleys in Nallamala Range, which flow towards south of the Krishna River.
These Nallamala Hills
are part of Eastern Ghats
which stretch from Kurnool, Nellore, Guntur, Prakasam, Cuddapah and Chittoor Districts of Andhra Pradesh
and Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda districts of Telangana State
. These also connect at some point with the Tirumala Hills. The one interested in trekking would surely lost in its beauty. In Ancient times, this forest path was used by the devotees to reach Srisailam - Abode of Lord Shiva.
This forest is home to a large Tiger population, Monkeys, Deers, lots of Sloth Bears, Leopards, Russell's Vipers, Owls and Spectacled Cobras. Recently, the Government and Forest Department
has taken several steps for the safety of these animals and devotees visiting this place as it is the largest 'Tiger Reserve in India'
. Soon the project which is undergoing to give us a glimpse of these animals is about to finish. In future the pilgrims visiting Srisailam Temples can also visit this 'Tiger Forest'
which is arranging Safari's and providing accomodation to the tourists
. The rocks of Nallamala hills are esentially of Quartzite
compositions that can peel off in large chunks seen overlaid with an irregular slaty formation. There are some Sandstones
also found in the forest.
Tiger Reserve at Nallamala Forest
Bears present in Nallamala forest of Srisailam
Significance of this Temple:
The significant feature of this temple is that, it is opened only for 3 to 5 days during Chaitra Purnima
or the Full Moon Day in April
. 'Saleshwaram Lingamaiah Temple'
is found about 10km from Nalamalla forest
. It is famous for its wedge-shaped water fall, which seems to have been chiselled across a huge stone. The Shiva Linga is in a cave next to the waterfall
Deity in Saleshwaram Cave Temple Nallamala Forest
Festivals and Celebrations:
A fair named ''Lingamaiah Jathra", is organised in Saleshwaram Temple, once in two years. It attracts thousand of devotees towards the temple.
Best Time to Visit:
This temple is visited between March and April. Saleshwaram is a favorite spot for the trekkers in Andhra pradesh who love trekking. Thousands of devotees and other people visit the temple and the water falls every year.
Devotees on Way to Saleshwaram Cave Temple Nallamala Forest
Saleshwaram Temple is closed most of the year. It is open to tourists on the first full moon day after Ugadi (Telugu New Year) and usually falls in the month of April. There will be heavy rush of people at this time. Apart from this time one needs to get permission from forest officer to visit this beautiful place. There are plenty of buses and other vehicles to the temple, throughout day and night. On the way to Temple one have to cross the Mannanur check post which is closed between 9:00 PM to -5:00 AM during that time none of the vehicles are allowed. An entry fee has to be paid to make an entry into the forest-all the 4 wheelers.
After crossing this one has to walk down through the valley for about 4kms to reach the temple. The path inbetween this dense forest is full of stones and small streams which flow in the mid of the path, the devotees should have a stick in their hand to balance their body. There is a waterfall opposite to this temple which flow from 300 ft high, devotees first take bath here and then start climbing the rock to reach the temple. Now as this temple is open for only 3-5 days a large crowd of devotees is seen at this place. The devotees have to move in a line to visit this temple as it is placed below the huge rock in a cave.
Walking Path of Pilgrims to Saleshwaram Cave Temple
Saleshwaram Water Falls Opposite to Cave Temple
Other Attractions : Srisailam is a perfect combination of Temples and Scenic spots.
To visit the below places one can travel in their own vehicles or book with Srisailam Tourism
Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary
Sakshi Ganapathi Temple, Srisailam
Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Srisailam
Kadalivanam Caves, Srisailam
Pathala Ganga, Srisailam
Chenchu Lakshmi Tribal Museum, Srisailam
Shikaresvara Temple, Srisailam
Akka Mahadevi Caves, Srisailam
Mallela Theertham, Srisailam
Bhramaramba Devi Temple, Srisailam
Hatakeswaram Temple, Srisailam
Paladhara Panchadara, Srisailam
Ishtakameshwari Temple, Srisailam
Hemareddy Mallamma Temple, Srisailam
How to Reach:
By Road: The journey by road with own vehicle is the best means of transport which allows us to experience the whole beauty of Nallamala Forests and Tiger Reserve of India. One can also hire taxis or cabs to reach this temple. The other way is the APSRTC buses which ply from Hyderabad at a distance of 230kms taking 7 1/2hrs and from the Acchampeta and Kalvakurthi Bus Depots.
By Train:y Train:Srisailam does not have a railway station. But the state highway and the Vijayawada-Guntakal line of the South Central Railway pass through these hills entering at the Nandikama Pass near Cumbum Lake. So the nearest option is Cumbum.
By Air:There are no regular flights from other major cities of the country to Srisailam. Nearest airport is Rajiv Gandhi International Airport around 156km away from Srisailam and the other is Vijayawada Airport around 199km away from it.
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