Fort Ruins inside The Largest Tiger Reserve in India – Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve

Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve is The Largest Tiger Reserve in India spread across 5 districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telungana states. The last count in 1989, puts the number of Tigers inside the Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve as 94.

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam inside Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam inside Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve.

Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve is spread across 3,568 square kilometers in the following 5 districts; Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Kurnool, Prakasam and Guntur. National Tiger Conservation Authority has declared the Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve as a Project Tiger Reserve in 1983, a project to save Indian’s National animal, the Royal Bengal Tigers. The Tiger reserve was renamed as ‘Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary‘ in 1992.

Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve or Nagarjuna tiger reserve as it is called locally, has many historic places. Ruins of the ancient Nagarjuna Viswa Vidyalayam, started by the great Buddhist scholar, Nagarjunacharya of 2nd century, is found inside the Tiger reserve. Fort ruins of Ikshwaku Chandragupta, a third century ruler is also found inside the Tiger reserve. Fort ruins of king Pratap Rudra and other rulers are found on the banks of River Krishna, inside this tiger reserve. Ruins of the wall with a length of 169 kilometers, built during the Kakateeyas is seen here. There are many cave temples and rock shelters in the tiger reserve.

Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, one among the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, is situated at Srisailam, on the banks of the River Krishna. Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and Reservoir is situated inside the Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve, at a distance of 150 kilometers from Hyderabad in the border areas of Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh state and Nalgonda district of Telungana state. Nagarjuna Sagar Reservoir is the second biggest water reservoir in India.

How Do I Go To Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve?

Srisailam is at a distance of around 210 kilometers from Hyderabad, the capital of Telungana state. Srisailam is at a distance of around 180 kilometers from Kurnool Town in Andhra Pradesh state.

Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple

Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is situated at Srisailam, in Andhra Pradesh state, India.

Mallikarjuna Swamy TempleMallikarjuna Swamy Temple Tower.

When Lord Shiva and Parvati decided to find brides for their sons, their sons Ganesha and Kartikeya had an argument as to who is to get married first. Lord Shiva ordered that the one who goes round the world in Pradakshinam could get married first. It is Lord Ganesha who was successful in this test by going around his parents 7 times. (Going in pradakshinam round one’s parents is considered as going once round the world). Lord Karthikeya went around the world and it took longer time. Lord Kartikeya, on completion of his Pradakshinam was enraged and went away to stay alone on Mount Kravunja in the name of Kumarabrahmachari. On seeing his father Lord Shiva, coming over to pacify him, Kartikeya tried to move to another place; but Devas requested him to stay nearby. Shrishailam is the place where Lord Siva and Parvati stayed when they visited Kartikeya. It is believed that Lord Siva visits Lord Kartikeya on Amavasya day and Goddess Parvati visits her son Kartikeya on Poornima day.

“Mahashivratri” is the main festival of the Mallikarjuna Swamy temple, Srisailam. There is a huge idol of Nadikeshwara in the center of the Mandapam in this temple.

How Do I Go to Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple?

Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is at a distance of around 230 kilometers from Hyderabad city. Chennai and Bangalore alias Bangalooru are at a distance of 360 and 370 kilometers distance respectively from Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple at Srisailam.