In the morning of 12.06.2012, I decided to have the darshanam of the temple once again and accordingly reached there by 06:30 AM. Taking the quick darshanam ticket for Rs. 50, I went inside but after covering some distance, I by mistake took the sarva darshan queue and by the time I realised my mistake, some rush was there behind me. Anyways, I completed the darshanam of both, Mallikarjun Swamy and Bhramarambha Devi by 07:30. After that had my breakfast, of course of Curd Rice and then started for Patalganga, which is nearby within a couple of km. Srisailam is situated on the banks of river Krishna and the temple is situated on the Srisailam hill and down the hill flanked by hill ranges flows Krishna river. This river Krishna down the hill is referred to as Patalganga. The scenic beauty of the place and the view of the river forming into reservoir, all amidst dense forest, cannot be narrated at all by some toddler like me. Better to visit the place and witness the elegance of the youthful nature.
After some distance of 1 km starts the stairs, innumerable indeed may be some 500 or so, and also from the same place starts the rope way. Taking the tickets for Rs. 50 for to and fro, I preferred for ropeway cars’ ride. Followed by some stairs I reached down at Patalganga and bowed to the fresh and pure waters of river Krishna. Srisailam dam is also very nearby and hence we can see river taking shape of a huge reservoir. Services of motorboats are also available which takes us almost upto the dam. I do had the joyride of the motorboat too, which charges only Rs. 30 per head. I was also very much interested in visiting Akkamahadevi caves, being an adventurous trip as per my information. From Patalganga Motor boats are available for the caves, about 16 kms away through the waterways against the charges of around Rs. 250. But on enquiry there I was told that they can start for the caves only when at least 18-20 persons are ready for the trip. As there was dearth of visitors for the caves then and moreover I could not afford to wait for a longtime, dropped the idea of visiting Akkamahadevi. Taking the same ropeway cars I reached back to Srisailam hill.
I wanted to visit Shakshi Ganpati temple, to get myself registered, as a visitor of Srisailam, by Lord Vinayak and also other spots of Srisailam and for the purpose took an autorickshaw, against the payment of Rs. 250 for visit of local sightseeing consisting of five spots. First it took me to Shakshi Ganpati Temple. As the same itself suggest it is a must visit temple if one is visiting Mallikarjun Swami Temple as here Lord Ganpati registers the name of the visitors. After that two small temples one of Hathakeshwara and another of Lalitha devi and then to Phaladhara-Panchadhara. To have the darshanam of Phaladhara-Panchadhara we have to get down a little from the hill through some few dozens of stairs. As can be seen in the picture water is coming out from the rocks of the hills, believed to be originating from the forehead of Lord Shiva. It is also believed that Adi Shankaracharya passed some days of his penance here and composed ‘Shivanandlahiri’ and ‘Soundaryalahiri’.
At the last the autorickshaw wala took me to ‘Shikharam’, regarded as the highest spot of Srisailam. From Shikharam viewing of the Mallikarjun Swami temple is treated as auspicious and also as per Skand Puran, having the darshanam of Shikharam itself bestows Mukti. It is also said, as per the board in the picture depicts, that Lord Rama had darshanam of Srisailam from this hillock siting the authority as Skand Puraan.
After having the local sight seeing and having my second dose of Curd-Rice I returned to the guest house around 12:30 PM took rest for some time before checking out at 02:00 PM and proceeded for Bus-Stand, just walking distance. From there I got the direct Bus for Ongole starting at 03:00 PM and reached Ongole Bus Station by 08:30 PM (Bus fare Rs. 117). In the Ongone Bus Station itself there is a good restaurant where I had my third dose of Curd-Rice. After which I got into a shared auto paying Rs. 8 to reach the Railway Station. After waiting for some three and a half hours from 09:30 PM, at around 01:00 AM of 13th of June I boarded my train, Hyderabad-Chennai Express to reach Chennai (SL class – fare Rs. 170) in the morning at 06:00AM.