Indian country is popular for temples, culture, and tradition. Every state contains its own tradition as well popular and powerful temples. Temples can be classified into two categories. One is only worshiping the deity and another is doing rituals to diminish the affliction of Navagrahas, deities. Kalahasti is one such the oldest temple where devotees come to pray the main deity Lord Shiva and remove the affliction of Navagrahas Rahu, Ketu. Join here to read more about the Kalahasti Temple.
Kalahasti Temple is situated in Srikalahasti town, Andhra Pradesh. From Tirupathi, 36 km has to be passed to reach the temple. The temple’s Linga form is considered as Lord Shiva who is worshipped here as Lord Kalahasteeswara.
History & Architecture behind the shrine
Srikalahasti is divided into three words as ‘SRI’ means a spider, “KALA” means a serpent and “HASTI” indicates an elephant. These three creatures worshipped Lord Shiva at this shrine and attained salvation. The temple is situated on the River Swarnamukhi bank and the river is the major river in South India. The holy temple has been referred in Shiva Purana, Linga Purana, and Skanda Purana. Skanda Purana states that Arjuna came to the place and worshipped Kalahasteeswara. He met Rishi Bharadwaja on a hill peak.
There is a 120 feet altitude of ancient gopuram over the main entrance. With a huge stone, the entire temple was carved out. In the 5th century, Pallava kings constructed the initial structure of the temple. The main structure was constructed by Chola kings after some renovations in the 10th century. In the period of Vijayanagara kingdom, the four gopurams and huge outer walls were constructed. The great Vijayanagara king Krishna devaraya constructed the main gopuram and hundred pillar mandapam in the year 1516.
Sri kalahasti is worshipped as one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams of Lord Shiva. Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram, and Thiruvanaikaval are other four shires. This temple is represented as Vayu Sthalan. Besides all, it has been the ritual place to remove the negativity caused by both celestial bodies Rahu and Ketu in horoscopes.
Why Sri Kalahasthi?
If a person has faults in Rahu-Ketu planetary position, he/she may suffer from a lot in personal life, delayed marriage, problems in career, infertility, and disease. An authentic astrologer only can find the problem and it has been called Sarpa Dosha. For Kala sarpa & sarpa doshas, Rahu dosha, Ketu dosha, an efficient pooja is performed in Sri Kalahasti in front of Lord Shiva. The deity with his divine power obliterates the difficulties from the person’s horoscope and shower with prosperity, peace.
How is Rahu – Ketu pooja performed?
People who suffer from Rahu, Ketu, Sarapa dosha, Kalasarpa dosha affliction are advised to perform Rahu-Ketu pooja in this shrine. The pooja location merely depends on the cost of the ticket. It is performed in the different places of the temple. To perform the ritual, devotees need not buy the pooja material from outside. The ticket costs include the pooja items. Rahu-ketu ritual is performed in the halls and mandapams of the temple. The entry and exit ways are different. After completing the ritual, the devotees will go through the exit way to get the Lord Shiva darshan. The pooja takes up to 30 minutes and the temple staffs will be near to the devotees while performing the ritual. Soon after completing the ritual, the devotees will carry the silver idol and drop them in the Hundi.
The best day to perform Rahu Ketu Pooja:
Panchami, Chaturthi, Purnima, Sasthi, Lunar Eclipse, Solar Eclipse, Ashlesha star day and Tuesdays, and Sundays. The pooja is performed throughout the day in the temple. However, doing the pooja in Rahu Kalam will be more effective.
Lakhs of people from various part of the India participate devotedly in the Sivarathri Brahmotsavam which is celebrated for 12 days. Maha sivarathri, Rathotsavam, Teppotsavam, Nandi seva, Lingodbavam are other important traits of the festival. Maha sivarathri is celebrated in February to March.
Sri Kalahasti darshan timings:
Devotees can see the deities’ darshan on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 am to 9 pm and other days from 6.00 am to 9.30 pm.
When to visit Srikalahasti?
October to March is the favorable time to visit the shrine. November, February to May are the peak seasons. Mahasivarathri and Karthika Poornima is celebrated as the major festival in this shrine.
Photo by Soumyadeep Paul