Come March 8th and the celebrations of Maha Shivratri at the Srikalahasti Temple will engulf the devotees and tourists in an unthinkable atmosphere of divinity and festivity. Maha Shivaratri is one of the major Hindu festivals in the country and celebrated in reverence of Lord Shiva mostly during the months of February and March. The festival will see an array of colorful processions of religious significance being carried around the temple premises. Though the majority of Shiva temples all around the globe will observe the festival, the one at Srikalahasti Temple carries a deeper significance and even has historical roots.
The Srikalahasti Temple is famously known as the ‘Kailash of the South’ and was established more than two thousand years ago on the banks of the ‘Ganges of the South’, the Kaveri River. Mount Kailash, according to Hindu mythology, is the revered home to Lord Shiva. The presence of the lord, as the locals consider highly auspicious at all times and places, is celebrated on a grand scale in the festival of Navratri at the Srikalahasti Temple. If you’re wondering why Srikalahasti Temple is denoted with a holy name, try looking at the little hill at the side of the temple which has been described as the Mount Kailash of the region.
With locals observing fast, chanting holy mantras and offering ornaments and tonnes of milk to the temple deity, you can easily assume the sheer enthusiasm devotees carry for Lord Shiva. The Mahashivratri celebration at the temple is also a sign of positive Karma i.e., the fruits that you receive for your good deeds. According to the temple priests, who see a lot of people who do not believe in the sayings, there’s a simple theory behind getting good Karma – An apple seed will only grow to become an apple tree and you cannot expect mangoes from it, just the same way the good you’ve done will reap as positivity to you and there’s no way you can turn that back. And not only this, but the majority of devotees offering prayers at the temple are in for reducing graha doshas from their lives. About the several processions held around the premises, you’re guaranteed to have an enthralling time watching the revelers showcasing utmost divinity for the lord. From little kids dressed as Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh and Karthik to big trucks decorated as Mount Kailash, you can find all types of Shiva bhakts at the temple processions.
The Srikalahasti Temple is regarded as one of the ancient holy places in the country. Several locals believe that the temple clashroyaleboom was the home turf where several saints attained mukti or salvation. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is considered as one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalas (the five primary elements to constitute the universe of which the temple is noted as air). The temple itself is named after the sri (spiders), serpents (kala) and elephants (hasti), who are known for showcasing unconditional devotion towards Shiva and attaining salvation at this very spot.