The pilgrimage town of Srisailam is reputed for the shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna on the flat top of Nallamala Hills. Situated on the banks of Krishna River, about 212 km south of Hyderabad, is most famous as the site of one of the 12 jyotirlings of Lord Shiva. A unique combination of a widlife and pilgrimage, makes Srisailam an ideal destination in Andhra Pradesh.
The epigraphical evidence reveals that the history of Srisailam began with the Satavahanas who were the first empire builders in South India. The earliest known historical mention of the hill, Srisailam, can be traced to the King Vasishthiputra Pulumavi's Nasik inscription of 1st Century A.D.
The popular Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is situated on the southern bank of Krishna River, at a height of 457 metres. The hill temple resembles a large fort and is famed for the wealth of sculptures of heroic legends from the Mahabharata and Ramayana on its walls which gives it a gallery like appearance.
Earlier, it was called Srigiri. The Bhramarambha Temple is also located in the same complex. It is considered as one of the eighteen Shakti Peethas in India. Bhramarambha is a very ferocious deity. Originally she was worshipped by the Chenchu people. The temple was built in typical Vijayanagara architectural style around six centuries ago. The sanctum enshrines Lord Mallikarjuna in the form of a linga protected by a three-hooded cobra. Another linga of Mallikarjuna under a banyan tree is considered the original linga.
Tradition, literature as well as epigraphical sources state that the sacred hill of Srisailam has four gateways in the four cardinal directions namely, besides the main gateways, there are four Secondary Gateways in the four corners.
Other notable places around Srisailam that one shouldn't miss are - Ista Kameswari Temple, located 16km deep into the forest which is very adventurous journy. Behind the temple is the picturisque waterfalls located in the valley of the forests. Akkamahadevi Caves are located near Srisailam can be reached by taking an thrilling ride in the boat and a rope way from Patala Ganga. The River Krishna meanders through the woods of the Nallamalai Hills and leaves in its wake a lush forest that is home to one of India’s largest tiger reserve. The Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is huge and spreads over five districts in Andhra Pradesh.