Kalahastheeswarar Temple (or) Sri Kalahasthi Temple is located in Chitoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The kalahastheeswarar temple is believed to be represents the element Air. The Pancha Bhoota temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and these five temples are said to be the important pilgrimage places of South India. The word Pancha refers to the number ‘five’ and Bhoota refers to ‘elements’. And the five elements are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky. These five elements are believed to be manifested in the form of five Lingams, the divinity of Lord Shiva. Kalahastheeswara Temple is one among the Pancha Bhoota Lingam temples. The Pancha Bhoota Lingam Temples are:
- Ekambareswarar Temple (Kanchipuram,Tamilnadu)
- Jambukeswarar Temple (Tiruchirapalli,Tamilnadu)
- Arunachalaeswarar Temple (Tiruvannamalai,Tamilnadu)
- Kalahastheeswarar Temple (Sri Kalahasti, Andhrapradesh)
- Thillai Natarajar Temple (Chidambaram,Tamilandu)
Kalahastheeswarar Temple is believed to be built by Chola dynasties in the 5th century. The Gopuram (tower), of this temple is of 120 feet high and the temple contains 100 pillar mandapam (worshipping hall). The legend says that by the selfless devotion of a spider, a snake and an elephant towards Lord Shiva, Lord Shiva blessed them that their names get merged with the Vayu lingam (one form of Lord Shiva), and is known as Sri Kalahastheeswara, where Sri refers to Spider, Kala refers to Snake and Hasti refers to Elephant.
The main deities of this temple are Lord Shiva worshipped as Lord Sri Kalahastheeswara and Goddess Shakthi worshipped as Gnanaprasunambika. This temple is famous for its Vayu Linga (air lingam), and the Lingam is white and is called Swayambhu (Self manifested). The Vayu Lingam can be seen moving even the doors of the shrine has been closed. The Lingam in the main shrine cannot be touched by the humans, even by the priest.
Kalahastheeswarar temple is the place where the famous Kalamkari (art of textile painting) is first originated. It is believed that the people who suffers from Rahu, Kethu and Sarpa Doshas and other major problems will get relieved of if they visit and worship this temple. Hence this temple is also called as Rahu Kethu Kshetra. This temple is surrounded by sacred shrines around it like Durgama temple in its north, Kannabeswara temple in its south.
- Suprabatham – 5.30 AM
- Sarvadarshanam – 6.00 AM
- Pradhama Kala Abhishekam – 7.30 AM
- Dwthiya Kala Abhishekam – 9.00 AM
- Uchi kala Abhishekam – 10.30 AM
- Rudhra Homam – 11.00 AM
- Chandhi Homam – 11.00 AM
- Nityothsavam – 11.00 AM
- Nithya Kalyanam – 11.30 AM
- Prodhosha Kala Abhishekam – 5.30 PM
- Nirajana Manthra Pushpam – 7.00 PM
- Ekantha Seva – 9.00 PM
- Maha Shivaratri – February or March
- Thirukarthigai – November or December
- Makara Sankranthi – January
The state government runs Non Stop bus service to this place from Tirupati. The pilgrims have the facility of Bus services to almost all the places of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Through railways there is a railway station at Sri Kalahasthi. Srikalahasti is on Tirupati-Vijayawada broad gauge rail route and all express trains have stop at Srikalahasti. It is well connected to all major cities in South India directly. There are trains from Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Kolkata. The closest railway junction is Renigunta and all trains plying between Chennai and Mumbai stop at Renigunta. The Renigunta is just 25 kms from Sri Kalahasthi.
The nearest airport is in Tirupati Airport, which is just 25 kms. There are daily flights from Hyderabad, Delhi, and Bangalore. Chennai International airport is the major closest airport to Srikalahasti at about 99 Kms. Bengaluru International Airport is about 230 km.