As per Skandapuran, all 12 jyotirlingas of lord Shiva are enlisted in the Dwadash Jyotirling Stotra as follows:
According to this Shloka following are the 12 jyotirlingas spread in all over India:
1. Somnath Jyotirling in Somnath Distt. Junagarh (Gujarat).
2. Mallikarjuna Jyotirling in Srisailam Distt. Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh)
3. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling in Ujjain Distt. Ujjain (M.P.)
4. Mamleshwar Jyotirling in Omkareshwar Distt. Khandwa (MP)
5. Vaijnath/Vaidyanath Jyotirling in village Parli Distt. Parbhani (Maharashtra)
6. Bhimashankar Jyotirling in village Bhimashankar Tehsil Kher Distt. Pune (Maharashtra)
7. Rameshwar Jyotirling in Rameshwaram Island Distt. Ramanathpuram (Tamil Nadu)
8. Nageshwar Jyotirling in Nageshwar (Dwarka) Distt. Jamnagar (Gujarat)
9. Vishweshwar Jyotirling in Varanasi Distt. Varanasi (UP)
10. Triyambak Jyotirling in Nashik (Maharashtra)
11. Kedareshwar Jyotirling in Kedarnath Distt. Rudraprayag (Uttarakhand)
12. Ghrushneshwar Jyotirling village verul near Ellora Distt. Aurangabad (Maharashtra )
We have decided to visit and have darshan of at least one jyotirling each year, and in this series our last jyotirling yatra was Somnath & Nageshwar (Dwarka). During this yatra we had decided to visit Shrisailam as our next visit and therefore we finalized our tour in the month of October, last year (2010). Since the plan was final, so I got our to and fro reservation well in advance (2.5 months). The tickets were from Bhopal to Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh Sampark Kranti Express 2708) & return tickets from Chennai to Bhopal (Lucknow Express 6093). The members of trip were I, my wife Kavita, my 11 yrs. Daughter Sanskriti & my 4 yrs. son Vedant. The trip was seven days from 17th Oct. to 23rd Oct.
After getting reservation done, the reverse counting was started and we were eagerly waiting for our journey day to come. Finally the day came and we started on 17th from our home at 10:00 AM and reached Bhopal by bus at 05:00 PM. The trains departure time was 05:55 PM.
17.10.2010 (First Day)
We had some refreshment and got some eatables packed from Bhopal railway station. The train was right time, we boarded the train and started our journey by the holy name of lord Shiva.
It was an overnight journey and we reached Secunderabad at 09:00 AM. We got down from train and took an auto rickshaw for Jubilee bus stand. From there the buses of APSRTC ply at a good frequency for Shrisailam.
Here I feel it necessary to give you a brief introduction of Srisailam:
Srisailam is a sacred town located in the dense forest of Nallamalla hills in the northeastern area and on the banks of river Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. It houses the famous Shri Bharamarambha Mallikarjunaswamy temple which is the adobe of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of lord Shiva. It is situated at 235 kms from Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh. Temple is located on a 457 mtr high hill and has Sri Mallikarjunaswamy as a presiding diety
We boarded a bus of APSRTC for Srisailam at 10:00 AM from Jubilee bus stand Secunderabad, the bus took us first the Imliban bus stand at Hyderabad stayed there for approx. 1 hour and then started for Srisailam at 11:00 AM.
From Hyderabad to Srisailam journey usually takes 7 to 8 hours. The entire road is covered with thick forests of Nallamalla and offers the magnificent view of ghats and jungle.
Finally we reached Srisailam at 8:00 PM. After getting down from bus we asked the local people for a good place to stay, and they suggested us to take the guest house of Mallikarjunaswamy trust. There are various guest houses managed by Temple trust in different name. We stayed in “Chandeeswara Sadan”. It was a good room with two beds and attached lat. Bath.
Since we were very tired after a continuous journey of 32 hours (From our home near Indore to Srisailam) and also we were very hungry as it was Monday and was a fast of both of us. We first looked for some north Indian food in Srisailam town but after a search of half an hour we could not get the same, another big problem was language, the local people were not able to speak in hindi I was failed to understand whether they were really not knowing hindi or were pretending to because it is a famous pilgrimage centre and lots of people from other states visit here daily. We felt that nobody was interested in entertaining us so we managed to eat whatever we were offered.
Well, after dinner we gone to bed and because we were badly tired from a very long journey we slept immediately.
We woke up at around 7:00 AM in the morning and decided to go to temple for darshan and abhishek of lord. The temple was some 1 km. from our guest house. The means of local transport here is auto rickshaws and they are easily available anywhere in the town.
We proceeded to the temple and came to know while reaching the temple that the charge of ticket for early darshan is Rs. 100 per person and charge of Abhishek is Rs. 600, we paid for both and after being in queue for approx. 1 hour we reached inside the temple. The view inside the temple is fascinating; there is a huge statue of Nandi in front of sanctum sanctorum of jyotirlina. Photography inside the temple is strictly prohibited. So we couldn’t take photos inside the temple.
So after some shopping we preceded towards Lord Mallikarjuna Temple. The entrance to main temple is not allowed from front main gate, one can reach temple from the queue complex only which is from the left side of the main gate.
The temple looks very beautiful because of its magnificent architecture and very tall and attractive gopuram.
After a very good darshan and Abhishek we came back our guest house, since we were very tired we gone to a very sound sleep.
In the morning we planned to take a sightseeing tour to the places of interest around Srisailam. We hired a tempo for Rs. 150 for sightseeing around Srisailam. The auto driver played music system in auto, but the songs were going beyond our head as they all were in Telugu and we were not able to understand even a single word. Well we reached our first destination Sakshi ganapati.
It is a temple of Lord Ganapati present beside the main road before arriving to Srisailam. The temple is small and old.
It is believed that lord Ganesh records the names of pilgrims who come to Srisailam and shows the list to Lord Shiva so that they will be blessed. All the pilgrims who come to Srisailam should visit him and pray to enter their names in the list.
Sikharam is the most important of all sightseeing places in Srisailam. It is the highest peak of the Srisailam Mountain range and is 2830 feet above sea level, we climbed up the steps and stood on the peak to have an aerial view of the Srisailam temple and the surrounding mountains. Skanda purana tells that one can attain Mukti by just seeing Sikharam. There is also a temple of Shiva built here and are hundreds of small shivalingams inside this beautiful temple. There is a view point to see the Mallikarjuna temple from here.
After enjoying beautiful mountain Shikharam we moved to our next destination:
Paladhara – Panchdhara:
We then proceeded to Paladhara-Panchadhara. We climbed down a hill to a spot where there is a small waterfall. The water is said to have medicinal properties. Here there is a small temple dedicated to the Hindu guru and Saint Adi Shankaracharya of the 8th century who meditated here. The surroundings is thick with vegetation and there are locals selling herbal plants, seeds, roots and bark that claim cure to some of the common diseases.
After this cherishing sightseeing tour in and around Srisailam we returned back to our guest house, took our dinner and gone to bed as next day we had to start our journey for Tirupati. Thus ended our memorable trip to Srisailam. This place is a paradise for devotees and nature lovers. Remaining story will be soon reached to you as Srisailam Tirupati Tour Part 2.