Kalahasti Temple

Kalahasthi temple is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalam and , represents the Vayu Sthalam . This temple is located in Chitoor district in Andhra pradesh. Sri Kalahasthi temple is situated 36kms away from Tirupathi and it is the only shrine for the God of Vayu . This temple was construced by the Chola King, Rajendra Chola . Vayu is incarnated as Lord Shiva and worshipped as Kalahasteeswara. Goddess Parvathi devi is worshipped here as Gnanaprasunambika.

The Temple :

Vishwakarma brahmin Sthapthis was the one who sculpted this temple. This temple features an enormous, ancient Gopuram over the main gate. The entire temple is carved out of the side of a huge stone hill. The temple is surrounded by two sacred hills, The Durgamba temple is found on the northern hill, while Kannappa Nayanar temple on the southern hill. It is found on the banks oif the river Swarna Mukhi.
The Lingam here is swayambu , and it is white in colour. The Main lingam is untouched by the human beings , even by the priest. Abhishekam is done by pouring a mixutre of water , milk, camphor and panchamrita. Sandal paste , flowers, and the sacred thread are offerred to th e Uthsava murthi , not the main Lingam.
There is a lamp inside the inner sanctum that is constantly flickering despite the lack of air movement inside. The air can be observed even when the priests close the main deity room, which does not have any windows. One can see the flames on several ghee lamps flicker as if blown by moving air.
The temple is also associated with Rahu and kethu, as per astrology to be redeemed from the clutches of Sarpa dosham. The temple is considered as the Kailash of the south or Dakshin Kailash.
Legends :
Sri Kalahasthi is named after the staunch devotees of Lord Shiva. They were Spider (sri), the serpant (kala) and the Elephant (Hasti). Lord Shiva pleased by their devotion , gave them a boon that their names be merged with the Vayulinga and called as Sri Kalahasteeswara. According to the mythology, the elephant used to clean Shiva by watering the idol with the help of river water carried in his tusk and pray for him by offering Vilva leaves. The Spider tried to protect the deity from external damage by weaving his web and to provide shelter. The snake used to place its precious gem on the Lingam to adorn the lord. The elephant not knowing that this is the form of pooja by Sri and Kala , pours water on the linga and cleans it up. This causes a war between the three and in this war the snake enters the elephant trunk and in the process kills itself. Spider is squashed against the linga by the elephant's trunk and the elephant dies due to snake poison. Lord Shiva then appeared and gave moksha to all the three of them for their selfless devotion.

The other legend that go with this temple are the restoration of the original form that of a ghost to Ghanakala who worshipped the lord with the Bhairava Mantra, the redemption of Chandra, Mayura and Devandra from their curses and lord shiva's proclamation of the importance of Guru or the spirutual master to Markandeya, deeming the guru to be Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Goddess Parvathi's curse :
Goddess Parvathi who was once cursed by the Lord to assume a human body, engaged herself in a long penance here which pleased the lord. He presented her with a body that was incomparable to the older form and initiated her with various mantras including the Panchakshari which ultimately bestowed her with Shiva Jnanam or the knowledge of the obsolute truth. She was henceforth then worshipped as Gnanaprasunambika.
Kannappar :
At Sri Kalahasthi, Kannappar plucked out one of his eyes and placed in the eyes of Linga which was oozing with blood and tears. when the tears and the blood were still tricking from another eyes, Kannappa decided to remove his second eye and placed one of his feet on the right eye of Linga. before he could pull out his eye with the arrow, Lord shiva appeared and restored his eye while granting him a boon to occupy his place close to him.
Festivals : Mahasivaratri is an important festival , where people offers prayers to seek the blessings of the Lord to attain Mukthi.
Source : http://living.oneindia.in/yoga-spirituality/faith-mysticism/2008/kalahasti-panchaboothasthalam-151008.html & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalahasti_temple


mallesh seo said...

very nice informative blog . please narrate about
" kalsarp dosh nivarna pooja" as per my reading the "Traymbakeswar" is the only place to perform this pooja.

Gayathri Anand said...

Thanks for ur feedback sir , will try to find details and post it ..

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dimpy roy said...

Very useful post. Vayu (wind) is an incarnation of Lord Shiva (Kalahastiswara) that is specifically worshiped in this temple. It is the site where one of the 63 Saivite Nayanars, Kannappa, was ready to offer both his eyes to cover the blood flowing from the Shiva Linga. But before he could do this, Lord Siva stopped him and granted him salvation. Kalahasti Temple is known for its architecture and has three massive and breathtaking Gopurams (gateways). Apart from this, the most striking feature of the temple is its huge Mantapam with hundred pillars. Explore more about kalahasti temple.

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