Srisailam is a small town of great religious significance located on the Nallamala Hills in Andhra Pradesh. The town was established on the banks of River Krishna and is considered a holy town by the Hindus. It is visited each year by millions of devotees from all over the country. The town has temples and theerthams that make it a popular destination among pilgrims and tourists alike.
Akka Mahadevi Caves
The Akka Mahadevi Caves are located in the ranges of Nallamalai Hills. There is evidence to believe that these caves have been in existence since the prehistoric times. In fact, the caves have played an pivotal role in the history of the town. The cave has obtained its name from the famous 12th century philosopher and lyricist Akka Mahadevi, who is said to have done penance and offered prayers to a Shivalingam that has naturally existed deep inside the cave. The main cave has a naturally formed rock arch that is considered a geographical marvel. Tourists are attracted more to the arch than to what lies inside the caves. The rocks, without doubt, are the most attractive things inside the cave especially since they are proven to be as old as life on earth. Exploring the depth of the cave is an experience that is sure to leave the travellers spellbound.
The Shiva Lingam inside the cave.
Photo Courtesy: రహ్మానుద్దీన్
Mallela Theertham Falls
Mallela Theertham is a waterfall having religious significance and is visited by thousands of devotees each year. The waterfalls are in the middle of a thick jungle but are easily accessible via road. The waterfalls hold importance for the Hindus because it is believed that bathing in the holy waters of the fall will wash off your earthly sins and help you attain salvation. It is also believed to have magical healing powers that can cure a number of diseases related to skin and muscle joints. You have to be a little careful when approaching the waterfalls because around 250 steps descend into the valley to reach it.
Scenic view of the waterfalls.
Photo Courtesy: Ylnr123
The Srisailam Dam that has been constructed across river Krishna has been strategically built over a deep gorge within the Nallamala Hills. The dam has the distinction of being the second largest hydroelectric project in India. Today, the dam provides water for an area covering 2,200 sq km. The inflow into the Srisailam reservoir do not require power generation for storage and hence are stored in large quantities. During the flooding, the Srisailam reservoir gets filled up pretty quick and the rest of the flood water flows into the Nagarjunasagar dam that is located at a lesser height. Travellers coming here can enjoy the scenic view of the region from atop the dam.
Water gushing out of the open dam gates.
Photo Courtesy: Chintohere
The Srisailam Sanctuary is India's largest tiger reserve. Going around the sanctuary is an adventure in itself as the region covers a rugged terrain with winding and deep gorges at every other step. The area inside the sanctuary is completely covered with dry deciduous forests that include many bamboo plants as well. Inside the sanctuary, you can spot a variety of wild animals including tigers, leopards, hyenas, jungle cats, palm civets, sloth bears, deers and pangolin. It is located very close to the Srisailam dam and is hence also home to a wide variety of crocodiles that can be found lazing in the waters of the dam.
Picture of a Tree Pangolin.
Photo Courtesy: Valerius Tygart
How to Reach Srisailam
By Air: There is no airport in the city of Srisailam. The nearest airport is at Hyderabad, about 201 km from the town of Srisailam. The airport at Hyderabad is well-connected to major cities and towns of the country as well as with some important cities in the world.
By Train: Srisailam has no railway station either, and the nearest railway station is situated at Markapur, 85 km from Srisailam. It is well-connected with the other railway junctions of Andhra Pradesh.
By Road: Srisailam is well-connected to some of the major town and cities in the region via good network of roads. The Andhra Pradesh bus transport service has many buses plying to and from Srisailam.
So when are you travelling to Srisailam?
Photo Courtesy: sai sreekanth mulagaleti