This temple is also associated with Rahu and Ketu, (of the nine grahams or celestial bodies in the Indian astrological scheme). Sri Kalahasti Temple is also famous for performing poojas for Sarpa, Rahu, Ketu Doshas.
People come here and perform pujain for "Kala Sarpa Yoga".
Please do follow this:
Kuja-Rahu Sandhi - Ghati Subramanya
Sarpa Samskara & Ashlesha Bali - Kukke Subramanya
Kala Sarpa Dosha or Yaga - Sri Kalahasthi
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.
This ancient Sri Kalahasti temple dedicated to Lord Siva is one of the five Panchabhootha stalams (temples celebrating Lord Siva as the embodiment of the five primary elements), air (wind) being the element in this case; the other elements being water at (Thiruvanaikaval), fire at (Annamalaiyar Temple), earth at (Ekambareswarar Temple) and space at (Chidambaram Temple) that Siva embodies.
According to Hindu mythology, the elephant or Hasti used to clean the Shiva deity by watering the idol with the help of river-water carried in his trunks and pray for him by placing Bilva leaves. The spider or Sri tried to protect the deity from external damage by weaving his web and to provide shelter for the Shiva lingam. The snake or Kala used to place its precious gem on the linga to adorn the lord. In this way, they all worshipped the Vayu linga separately without knowing what the other was doing.
One day, the spider had built a very big and thick web around the deity to protect it from dust and weather while the snake places its gem. The elephant not knowing this and assuming that this form of puja by Sri and Kala is a desecration by the seeming miscreants, pours water on it and cleans it up. This causes a war between the three. The snake punishes the elephant by entering its trunk and in the process kills itself while the elephant runs amock and hits its trunk and head against the shiva linga. During this struggle, the spider is squashed against the linga by the elephant's trunk and the elephant dies due to the snake's poison. Lord Shiva then appeared and gave moksha to all three of them for their selfless devotion. The spider takes rebirth as a great king while the elephant and the snake reaches heaven for satisfying all its karma.
The spider was Vishwakarma's (architect of the deva ganas) son Oornanabha. He was replicating Brahma-the creator's job and an annoyed Brahma cursed him to become a spider.
The snake was once cursed by Siva himself.
The elephant was a Deva (Pramadha) cursed by Siva's wife, Parvathi, when he intruded their privacy!
The Siva linga at Srikalahasti is an amalgamation of the three animals.
This king continues his good work from his previous birth and builds a variety of temples that seeks to protect the underlying deity with tons of stones. It is interesting to note that all his temples, keep the deity beyond the access of an elephant. In this temple, access to the deity is through a narrow passage in the side of the building that prevents an elephant from extending its trunk over the lord from any side.
Antoher one is Kannappa:
At Sri Kalahasti, Lord Shiva tested the unshakable devotion of Kanna (Later became Bhaktha Kannappa) before the sages gathered at SriKalahasti. With his divine power, Lord Shiva created a tremor and the roof tops of the temple began to fall. All the sages ran away from the scene except Kannappa who covered the linga with his body to prevent it from any damage.
In another incident, Kannappa plucked out one of his eyes and placed in the eye of Linga which was oozing with blood and tears. When the tears and the blood were still trickling from another eye, Kannappa decided to remove his second eye and placed one of his feet on the spot of the right eye of the Shiva Linga. Before he could pull out his second eye with the arrow, Lord Shiva appeared and restored his eye while granting him a boon to occupy a place close to him.
According to Swami Sivananda's book, Sixty-Three Nayanar Saints, pg. 44, some Saivite traditions believe that Kannappa was the reincarnation of Arjuna. Arjuna, worshipped Siva for seeking the Pasupatha Astra and failed to recognize Him in the form of a hunter. Thus, according to this tradition, Arjuna had to be born as a hunter and adore the Lord before attaining final liberation. This belief is not adopted by all Hindus.
Dhoorjati Maha Kavi(poet) written Sri Kalahasti Mahtyam in Telugu at Krishna Devaraya times.
Sri Kalhasti temple is situated near by Suvarnamukhi River.
Mayura, Chandra and Devendra were also freed from their curses after taking bath in the river Swarnamukhi and prayed at Srikalahasti.
Patala Ganapati is a small underground temple located in the temple complex. Pilgrims should make it a point to visit this interesting place. One has to bow down carefully to worship this Ganapati 20 feet below on a very narrow staircase.
KALASARPA DOSHA POOJA:
The Rahu Ketu Sarpa dosha nivarana puja is a popular puja undertaken by devotees at this temple. This is offered in three variations, all of which serve the same purpose but offer varying degrees of comfort and special treatment for the devotee. There are 3 rates for pooja; Rs. 250/, Rs. 1000/- and Rs. 1500/-. While Rs. 250/- pooja is performed outside prakaram (a wall surrounding main temple premises), Rs. 1000/- pooja is performed within in prakaram (at Subramanya swamy temple), and Rs. 1500/- is performed within temple premises. While you can perform pooja at any time, performing pooja during rahu kalam is considered to be auspicious.
The fee(I'm talking about is Rs.1500 option, here) is inclusive of the puja samagri (which consists of 2 metal representations of Rahu and Ketu, along with the prasadam of Laddu and Vada. make sure you ask the people for guidance/clarifications, as in addition to what you are given at the counter, you need to go around and get the flowers n leaves from others counters (at a nominal extra charge- which is very much required during the puja). make sure you carry your ticket around.. (very, very important.. u'll need it everywhere till the exit.)
The puja is not a fire ceremony(homa/havan). It's mostly about praying to the two (snake like) metal representations of Rahu and Ketu and doing offerings with kumkum(vermilion) and haldi(turmeric) powders and flowers while repeating the mantras which the Priest recites. During Pooja You'll be asked to tell the priest your name and gotra.
The process takes not more than 20 - 30 minutes.
After Pooja comes the Dakshina (This tradition is one of acknowledgment, respect, and thanks):
Dont be surprised when the priest murmurs something in your ears like a mantra, after the puja.. and you hear something like 200 rs.! yeah, he's refering to the dakshina! you are required to keep 2 crisp 100rs notes on the betel leaf and hand it over to him. I told you, its inevitable! c'mon, someone who spends 1500 per head for a puja shouldnt be bothered about shelling out another 200 bucks, eh?
After the puja, one should take bath and discard the clothes / ornaments that were worn at the time of the puja (which is symoblic of washing away all the ill-effects).
So my little advise is avoid wearing diamond/ navaratna rings and Rado watches and brand new Lee jeans etc. Wear a dhoti for pooja and avoid your costly clothes / ornaments as much as possible.
On the way to /back from the temple don't visit any other temple. Reach your home directly after Rahu Ketu Sarpadosha Nivarana Puja or Kala Sarpa Pooja.
For any kind of pooja details please contact the temple directly at the following address and phone numbers:
Sri Kalahastiswaraswamy vari Devastanam
Chittoor District. Andhra Pradhesh
Telephone: 08578-221655, 222787
Temple Executive Officer Info:
The Executive Officer,
Sri Kalahastheeswar Devasthanams,
SriKalaHasti, PIN 517640
The Executive Officer,
Sri Kalahastheeswar Devasthanams,
Inside Temple Office,
Sannidhi Street SriKalaHasti, PIN 517640
Phone: (08578)221140, 221185, 221336, 222430, 222510,
How To Reach:
Sri Kalahasti temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the five major Shiva temples. It is situated on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi and it is 36 kms from Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Bangalore - Hoskote - Chintamani - Madanpalli - Pileru - Chandragiri - Kalahasti
Distance = 321 km
Sarpa Dosha Nivarana Mantra:
Sankhapaalo Dhaatharaastraha Takshaka Kaaliyasthatha
Ethaani Navanaamaani Nagaanaam cha
Saayamkaale pateth nityam praathakaale'