Weekend drive to Srikalahasti.



Looks like this is a season of weekend drives for me! Some pre-planned, some unexpected…

On 8th & 9th Aug 09, we did a weekend trip to Srikalahasti near Tirupati. My in-laws had a pooja vow to complete there and had planned to go by train. But tickets were on the 3 digit WL even till end of the day on Friday and I offered to drive them to Srikalahasti over the weekend.

My original plan was a one day trip, leave early morning – reach by around lunch time – complete the pooja – drive back to Bangalore, preferably before midnight. However my in-laws were feeling quite tired by evening, so we halted for the night in Chittoor and reached Bangalore post lunch time the next day.

Some details about Srikalahasti…

Srikalahasti is a small town near Tirupati. It is located on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi, a tributary of the river Pennar. It is also informally referred to as Kalahasti.

It is one of the important ancient Shiva Kshetras of South India. The temple occupies the area between the river bank and the foot of the hills and is popularly known as Dakshina Kailasam.
The three lofty Gopurams of the temple are remarkable for their architecture. This temple was built during the period of King Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar. A huge hundred pillared mantapam is another important feature of this shrine.

The name of the place comes from three animals, Sri (spider), Kala (snake) and Hasti (elephant) who worshipped Shiva and gained salvation here. A statue that shows all three animals is situated in the main shrine.

Source: Srikalahasti – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaTotal distance covered : 626kms.

Route was via Old-Madras road.


Map Courtesy: MapmyIndia.com

First stop. Breakfast at Woody’s @ Kolar.

With 4 laning underway in this stretch, the roads till after Mulbagal are quite messy…

The Bangalore – Tirupati route via the OMR has always been one of the nastiest stretches of road I have seen. You’ll invariably encounter all sorts of morons; such as buses, cabs and private vehicles trying to overtake in blind curves or uphill sections of the road where oncoming traffic is hidden. Or a truck going at 10.50kmph overtaking another truck going at 10.49kmph…

Sitaphal…

Pottery and terra cotta for sale by the roadside…

Looks like the Nutrine-Nagar township never actually took off. It is still a stretch of vacant plots and overgrown mud roads. The Nutrine group was taken over by Godrej in 2005-06.

Though most Reliance bunks are now defunct, a few, like this one which stocks auto-gas, are still open and offer a clean loo when you have ladies or elderly folks in your group…

Some Lassi @ the Heritage Milk Products factory near Pakala…

Lunch stop was at the APTDC restaurant close to Srikalahasti…

Reached Srikalahasti, bought the pooja tickets and we had a 45 minutes wait ahead of us. I went around to get a quick look at the place and take a few pics. This one is from midway on the hillock next to the temple..

This hillock has a shrine called the Shri Kannappa Temple, after the devotee who offered his eyes to Shiva…

Since I had walked up the hill from the rear gate of the temple, I was still barefoot; which was ok while climbing the steps. But when I wanted to go towards the edge of the hillock to take pics of the temple below, I found that there were quite a few thorny shrubs along the hillside. I was wondering if I should go down and return later with my footwear when I spotted this boy sitting under a tree practicing the Nadaswaram. I borrowed his slippers, went around, took some pics and returned the slippers to him. He was from another town nearby and was in Srikalahasti to get trained in playing the Nadaswaram…

There were quite a few people selling Butter-milk alongside the steps on the way up…

I was very close to the top when Sangeetha called and asked me to rush down since the Pooja was about to start. I hurried back down into the temple…

The ‘Rahu-Ketu’ pooja was a 30 minute ritual, with instructions in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi & English!

Contd…




One comment to...
“Weekend drive to Srikalahasti.”
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subbareddy

nice pictures. thanks for posting




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