Jul 012011
 

Reaching Srisailam:

I got an opportunity to visit Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh during two months stay at Hyderabad in 2010. It is about 230 kms from Hyderabad and two days weekend break was well enough to visit this place. I have already booked bus ticket from Hyderabad to Sri Sailam by a state bus on Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation website. As usual I was again alone for the trip. But at the last moment two of my friends Vishwadeep Meena and Punit Tirkey agreed to join me for the trip. We were three now, but they did not have tickets. We reached the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Stand in Hyderabad at 9 PM. I requested the bus conductor to arrange two tickets for my friends also. The conductor was a kind-hearted man and allowed all three to sit in the bus. Later, he arranged two tickets for us on that crowded night. We started from Hyderabad at 10 PM and reached Sri Sailam in early morning at 4.30 AM. Nothing special was happened in the night. It was an uneventful quiet journey.

Srisailam and Around:

Srisailam is a holy town situated in Nallamala hills (means Black Hills) of Kurnool district. Srisailam is one among the various Jyotirlingas of India.A multipurpose dam has been built across River Krishna and caters to the irrigation and power needs of the state.

Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple

At that morning, town was just waking and very few people were there around. We booked a room in a lodge for two hours just to be got ready for temple visit.

Srisailam in the early morning

We reached temple around 6 AM and there was already a long queue of devotees waiting for their turns. We enquired at one of the facilitation counter there and they said after getting the tickets of Rs.50, we can get a priority over other normal devotees. What a system is there in the temples of South India? Even god is on sale there. We took three tickets of Rs. 50 each and bypassed the long queue to enter in the temple alongwith 20-30 other people.

A beautiful temple in the early morning

The temple complex, whose existing buildings date from the 2nd century AD, is the Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple. It is one of the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’ in India as well as one of the eighteen most sacred goddess shrines, or Shakti Pithas.The temple is the site of Mahakali in the form of Bhramaramba. It is believed, the Vrishabha, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva performed penance here. Lord Shiva appeared before him, with his consort Parvati in the forms of Mallikarjuna and Bharamaramba. The view inside the temple is fascinating.Photography inside the temple is strictly prohibited. So we couldn’t take photos inside the temple and came outside.

Another view of the temple

We passed through a long queue of Sadhus sitting on the road in a row to get morning breakfast offered by devotees. There were lot of people selling these breakfast item to the visitors, so that they can offer these to the Sadhus. I was just amazed as it was only about 6.45 AM and these people are eating so much of food. It seemed a lunch time rather than a breakfast time.

Sadhus waiting on the roadside

We reached the main market and roamed around. The market was still opening. We went to a road side dhaba and took our breakfast. After breakfast we decided to visit a nearby ghat on Krishna River.

Srisailam Market

Patal Ganga:

We went to the riverside and there is a ropeway offering a ride to the Patal Ganga, where the bathing ghats on the banks of the river are. We took ropeway ride in Rs. 40 per head both ways. The ghat at river was full of devotees. People were taking bath and performing religious rituals there. There were some boats offering a half an hour boat ride to a dam. We took a ride and went upto the dam and came back. It was enchanting to sit in a wooden boat, with water on all sides, framed by the hills.

Ropeway to Patal Ganga

A ghat near Patal Ganga

A view of ghat from the river

A dam from the boat

Akkamahadevi Caves:

There we have heard about Akkamahadevi Caves, which is around 18 kms away and accessible by boats only. We registered for Akkamahadevi caves boat trip around 10 AM. The charge was Rs. 160 per person for the round trip. The boat trip was scheduled to start at 10:30 AM . There is only 1 boat that goes to this place daily and the requirement is minimum of 18 people have to register!  Though you can also engage a private boat there. The trip to Akkamahadevi caves started off a bit late at around 11:30 AM and it took about 1 hour 15 minutes to reach the place.

En-route Akkamahadevi Caves

En-route Akkamahadevi Caves

Fishermen's Hemlet En-route Akkamahadevi Caves

En-route Akkamahadevi Caves

A distant view of Akkamahadevi Caves

The boat trip in that hot weather was not a very good idea but the riverside views gave us courage to hang on the trip. A guide accompanied us through the entire trip. The entire trip is covered by forest area and mountains. We did not miss a chance to enjoy the nature and captured every moment. The caves are quite good – depending on your liking for such places – its absolutely dark inside and we bought a couple of candles over there to go in. Its around 80 meter walk inside the caves and after few meters it was really suffocating. But we managed to offered our prayer at Shiva Lingam there and came back to our boat.

V.D. and Puneet after leaving the boat

Puzzled Punit inside the Cave

An inside view of the cave

Torch, Candles and Flash inside the cave

Oops...Its so hot

The boat was supposed to be there for an hour.It took another 75 minutess to return back in the scalding heat. Though the boat was covered, the heat was quite exhausting – all in all, in my personal opinion, I did not feel that the effort was worth to visit the cave – so be sure if you want to visit this place.

Exterior of the caves

Two small children rowing a small boat

Small circular boats tied together

Return Journey to Hyderabad:

We went to the bus stand at Sri Sailam to catch a return bus to Hyderabad. We got the 3 PM bus to Hyderabad.

Waiting for the bus at Srisailam Bus Stand

On the way, we have passed through the famous Sakshi Ganapati Temple. There is a story about this temple. Shiva told that whoever visits Srisailam will reach Kailash after the end of this birth. Ganesha told Him “You are an asutoshi and hence people will tell you that they have visited Srisailam without visiting and hence I will reside there as Sakshi Ganapati. Whoever visits Srisailam, after the dharshan, should visit me also, so that I will note down”.Hence the Srisailam visit is complete only after having a darshan of Sakshi Ganapati.(Unfortunately we didn’t know this important piece of information beforehand and we didn’t visit – we didn’t have time as well). Hope Ganeshji was able to see us in the bus and recorded our journey to Srisailam.

Sakshi Ganapati Temple from the bus

We have a splendid view of the Srisailam Dam during return journey that we missed last night.The beautiful dam is located in a gorge between two mountains and crossing over the dam is not allowed. You have to descend from the first mountain pass through a narrow bridge to start the ascend of the second mountain. The bridge runs parallel to the dam and at least a couple of kilometers away.

Srisailam Dam

The return journey gave us a pleasant surprise that we missed our onward journey in the night. Srisailam route criss-crosses rustic villages and Nallamala forests which houses Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve. Nallamala forest is the hotbed of Naxal movement and the forest covers are profuse hide outs of naxalites.These are full of Ghats, Jungles and some very beautiful and scenic locations. The bus passed through a dense forest and by the time it was dark outside, I was able to spot some cheetals, peacocks and lot of monkeys along the road.

We reached Hyderabad around 11 PM, went straight to the famous Paradise, ordered two packed Biryani and reached to the hotel. It was a wonderful one day trip to the Lord Shiva’s adobe.

  13 Responses to “Srisailam and Akkamahadevi Caves Trip”

  1. dear,
    thank u for your valuable information about srisailam
    with regards
    skalidoss 09345664544

  2. Happy journey to you all

  3. Hi to all,
    Please tell me if it is possible to go and come back fro Srisailam in a day.
    I am going to have a nigh halt at Srisailam. Next day I am completely free. May be if possible I am thinking to go to Akkamahadevi Caves + KADALIVANAM and come back to Srisailam for night halt.

    Please help.

    Shrinivas Gramopadhye | CELL: 09822521799

    • Hi Shrinivas, In my opinion, it is not advisable to complete this journey in a single day. The A.P.Tourism Boat starts from Srisailam to Akkamahadevi caves at 10.30 AM, which can be delayed. It takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to reach at Akkamahadevi Caves. So, if you are able to reach the place, say by 12 PM, it will take at least 1 hour to complete the visit there. Then, Kadalivanam is at the other bank of Krishna River, opposite to Akkamahadevi Caves, where this boat does not go. You have to arrange a private boat. Once you reach on that side of the river, you have to trek for another 7 kms inside a dense forest, full of animals. It is not advisable to go alone. 7 kms trek to Kadalivanam caves and then 7 kms return trek to Krishna River and then arrange a boat to Srisailam, these all are not possible in a single day. Please note that no public boat goes to the Kadalivanam side of Krishna River. You have to arrange a private boat and getting a boat from Akkamahadevi cave to cross the river at other side is also very difficult. If you hire a private boat from Srisailam and start your trip early in the morning, then also it will be very difficult to complete this trip in a day. There is no option to stay back in the forest in the night. But, if you are visiting this place during Kartika Purnima, you may find some devotees staying there in the night. So in that case, you can stay there in the night and return back to Srisailam next day. So, if you have only one day at Srisailam, go to Mallikarjunaswamy Temple in the morning and Akkamahadevi caves by A.P. Tourism Boat during the day. Leave Kadalivanam for another day, when you have a group or you can arrange a night stay there. Keep traveling and Celebrate this life on the road.
      Regards.

      • Dear Avanish,

        If possible, please tell me What are likely charges/rates for the fair directly from SRISAILAM to KADALIVANAM OR AKKAMAHADEVI CAVES to KADALIVANAM.

        Really thank for the valuable information you provided to me.

        Shrinivas Gramopadhye
        CELL: 09822521799

        • No Idea on this..I went there 3 years ago and that time round boat trip between Sri Sailam and Akkamahadevi caves cost us Rs.160 per person in the shared boat of A.P.Tourism. Kadalivanam is just opposite side of Akkamahadevi caves, so distance is almost the same from Srisailam (except further 7 kms trek in the forest). But 3 years ago, for Kadalivanam, you had to take a private boat only. If possible, please update me on the current situation there after your trip.

          Thanks and Regards,
          Avanish

  4. Hi Dear,
    I am from Mumbai and planning visit to Akkamahadevi Caves, Kadaliban and Cave where from Dattatraya Maharaj (i.e. Swami Akkalkot) was came out. I want to knw whether both the caves r on same side and what is the total distance to walk. As a precautionary we are carrying some mountaineering equipments also. Pls suggest/give yr opinion. If u can gv me yr mobile no. i wl talk 2 u. My mob. nos. are 9967124226 / 99695 00786.

    Waiting for your reply.

    • Hi Ajay,
      I only went to Akkamahadevi Cave during my visit. So, I have no authentic information on Kadalivan and other. But, what I knew is that Kadalivan is on the opposite bank of Krishna River. First go to Akkamahadevi Cave. After visiting this cave, take your privately-hired boat to the just opposite bank of the river, i.e., known as Kadalivanam Ghat. From the Ghat, you have to hike in the forest for 7 kms to reach Kadalivan and then 30 steps down is the Kadalivan Cave. Please do not go alone in this part. This is the only information I have.

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  6. My advice – do not go in summer.

  7. Boss, nice to see ur writeup. I am going alone to Srisailam 15.03.2012. Can i have your guidance. My mobile number is 08754454421. I am from Chennai.

    Thanks,
    Ashok

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