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Ashtadasabhuja Durga Darshana - 02. Sree Gnanaprasunambika Temple, Kalahasti

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Ashtadasabhuja Durga Darshana - 02. Sree Gnanaprasunambika Temple, Kalahasti
Guruji Shri Narendra Babu Sharmaji has started new section in his Bruhat Brahmanda programme called Ashtadasabhuja Durga Darshana. In which Guruji reveals the details on Lalitha Sahasranamam. Guruji have divided the Lalitha Sahasranamam into 18 sections, he plays each section and reveals the Goddess Durga Temple related to it. The Second Temple in Ashtadasabhuja Durga Darshan is Sree Gnanaprasunambika Temple, Kalahasti. The Lalitha Sahasranama verse played by Guruji, related to it are given below.

Sree Lalitha Sahasranamam Adhyaya 2

Nijasanlapa madhurya vinirbhastitakachapi
Mandasmita prabhapura majatkamesha manasa – 11

Anakalita sadrusya chubuka shree virajita
Kamesha bada mangalya sutra-shobhita kandhara – 12

Kanakangada keyura kamaniya bhujanvita
Ratnagrai-veya chintakalola mukta phalanvita – 13

Kameshvara prema-ratna mani prati-panastani
Nabhyalavala romali lata phala kuchadvaei – 14

Lakshya romalata bharata samunneya madhyama
Stana-bhara dalanmadhya patta-bandha-valitraya – 15

Arunaruna kaostunbha vastra bhasvatkatitati
Ratna kinkinikaramya rashanadama bhushita – 16

Kamesha-gynata saobhagya marda-voru dvayanvita
Manikya makuta kara janudvaya virajita – 17

Endra-gopa parikshipta smaratunabha janghika
Guda-gulpha kurma prushtajaeishnu prapadanvita – 18

Nakhadidhiti sanchanna samajana tamoguna
Padadvaya prabhajala parakruta saroruha – 19

Shinjanamani mangira mandita shrepadanbuja
Marali mandagamana maha-lavanya shevadhih – 20

Sree Gnanaprasunambika Temple, Kalahasti:

Ashtadasabhuja Durga Darshana - 02. Sree Gnanaprasunambika Temple, Kalahasti
Kalahasthi temple is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalam and , represents the Vayu Sthalam . This temple is located in Chitoor district in Andhra pradesh. Sri Kalahasthi temple is situated 36kms away from Tirupathi and it is the only shrine for the God of Vayu . This temple was construced by the Chola King, Rajendra Chola . Vayu is incarnated as Lord Shiva and worshipped as Kalahasteeswara. Goddess Parvathi devi is worshipped here as Gnanaprasunambika.

The Temple:

Ashtadasabhuja Durga Darshana - 02. Sree Gnanaprasunambika Temple, Kalahasti
The temple of Kalahasti is located in the Chitoor district of Andhra Pradesh about 35 to 40 kilometers from Tirupati. The presiding deity is Lord Shiva worshipped as Kalahasteeswara. Goddess Parvati is addressed as Gnanaprasunambika. The temple is surrounded by two sacred hills, the Durgamba temple is found on the Northern hill, while the southern hill adorns the temple of Kannappa Nayanar. It is found on the banks of the river Swarna Mukhi.

The temple initially was constructed by the Pallavas. Later the Cholas, Vijayanagara kings and the Nattukotta Chettiyar of Devakotta have also contributed to the temple in a big way.

The Linga here is Swayambu or self manifested untouched even by the priests. A lamp flickers in the sanctum indicating the presence of air, reconfirming it as the 'Vaayu Sthalam'.

The foot of the Linga in the sanctum presents the spider, the middle part the tusks of an elephant and the top has a five headed cobra, thereby immortalizing the devotion of the three.

The temple is well known for the pooja of Rahu and Ketu among the nine planets as per Astrology to be redeemed from the clutches of Sarpa Dosham.


Ashtadasabhuja Durga Darshana - 02. Sree Gnanaprasunambika Temple, Kalahasti
The popular legend has its say that a spider (Sri), a snake (Kala) and Hasti (an elephant) worshipped Lord Shiva here and attained Mukti. The spider wove a web around the Linga for its protection, the elephant cleaned the Linga with the water carried in its trunk and the snake placed a gem on the crest of the Lord to adorn Him.

The elephant unaware of the devotion of the others washed away the cobweb that was built around by the spider with the water and in the course knocked of the gem that adorned the Lord. The three entered into a mortal combat where all the three of them die, with the Lord emerging out of the Linga to bestow upon them the greatest boon of liberation. He then proclaimed that the Linga would henceforth be addressed as Kalahasteeswara conjoining the devotion of all the three.

Ashtadasabhuja Durga Darshana - 02. Sree Gnanaprasunambika Temple, Kalahasti
The most important legend that goes along with the fame of the temple is that of Kannappa Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars. Thinnan or Kannappa's worship though seemingly crude, was fragrant with devotion. A story that honours the right attitude on the pedestal than mere observance of rituals.

Thinnan washed the Linga with water carried in his mouth, adorned the Lord with the flowers held in his locks while his hands endeavored to carry freshly cooked meat to be offered to the Lord. One day to his astonishment, he found the Lord's eye bleeding. He tried by all means to treat the eye of his beloved Lord but of no avail. The panic stricken heart pushed him to pluck his own eye to treat the Lord. No sooner did he do this, the other eye of the Lord started bleeding. The grief stricken, one eyed Kannappa then placed his leg on the bleeding eye to mark the spot while he attempted with all eagerness to remove the second eye. Lo and behold !, Lord Shiva, on account of his selfless devotion appeared to liberate him totally of the darkness of world as well as life. Thinnan henceforth came to be known as Kannappan.

Kannapan is believed to be the reincarnation of Arjuna, the Pandava.

Goddess Parvati who was once cursed by the Lord to assume a human body, engaged herself in a long penance here which pleased the Lord. He presented her with a body that was incomparable to the older form and initiated her with various mantras including the Panchakshari which ultimately bestowed Her with Shiva Jnanam or the knowledge of the absolute truth. She was henceforth then worshipped as Gnanaprasunambika here.

Other legends that go with this temple are the restoration of the original form from that of a ghost to Ghanakala who worshipped the Lord with the Bhairava mantra, the redemption of Chandra, Mayura and Devendra from their curses and Lord Shiva's proclamation of the importance of a 'Guru' or the spiritual master to Markandeya, deeming the Guru to be Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Darshan Timings:

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 am to 9 pm and on other days fom 6 am to 9.30pm.

Postal Address & Temple Information:

Sri Kalahastiswaraswamy vari Devastanam
Chittoor District. Andhra Pradhesh
PIN: 517644

Telephone: 08578-221655, 222787

Executive Officer
Sri Kalahastheeswaraswamy Devasthanam,
Sri Kalahasthi
Phone: (8578)221140, 221185, 221336, 222430, 222510,


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