Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is located on flat top of Nallamalai Hills of Srisalim which situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh and about 245 kilo meters from the state capital, Hyderabad. There are twelve Jyotirlingas situated all over in India and Sree Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is one of them. Jyotirlinga is the divine partless reality from which Lord Shiva appears. This Mallikarjuna Swamy temple is also popular as Kailash of South India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the biggest Shaivaite shrines of India. The deities of this famous temple are Mallikarjuna i.e. Lord Shiva along with His consort named Goddess Bhramaramba. One of the most important and unique features of Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is that all the visitors and devotees visiting the temple irrespective of caste are allowed to touch the feet of the idol which is not allowed in any other Jyotirlinga.
According to the famous Shiva Purana, Lord Ganesh got married before his elder brother Lord Kartikeya and so Lord Kartikeya got angry and so Kartikeya went away to the mountain of Kraunch in the name of Kumarabrahmachari despite being consoled and stopped by Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Even other gods also tried to make Kartikeya understand but all their efforts went in vain. At this incident, both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were very sad and they too decided to go to the Kraunch Mountain. When Lord Kartikeya came to know about this, He went away from the mountain. Then Lord Shiva assumed the divine form of Jyotirlinga and started residing on Kraunch Mountain in the name of Mallikarjuna. The word Mallika means Goddess Parvati and Arjuna is the other name of Lord Shiva. There is a strong belief according to Hindu mythology is that by having a sight of the mountain tip, one emancipates from all committed sins and worries and regains joy and happiness in life. The person gets himself free from vicious life and death cycle.
The Mallikarjuna Swamy temple is very ancient temple and was constructed in 1150 AD by the king Harihara Raya of Vijayanagar. In this Mallikarjuna Swamy temple, the Sri Chakram was installed by Adi Sankaracharya. During the Treta Yuga, the great saga name Kashyap and pleaded Lord Mallikarjuna to stay at this place. Thus, this place is also known as Yagnavatika Jonnawada. This Mallikarjuna Swamy temple also has a Kachapa Tirtham where their devotees and visitors take holy dip prior to entering the sanctum sanctorum.
The architecture of this Mallikarjuna Swamy temple is very intricate and beautiful. It has towers, fort like walls and sculptural works. The sculpture of this Mallikarjuna Swamy temple narrated in stones depicts the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. The Mallikarjuna Swamy temple was built in Dravidian style with courtyards and lofty towers. This kind of architecture is considered as the finest specimen of Vijayanagar architecture. There is a Gitamandir where the Holy messages of Bhagavat Gita is curved and sculptured on the eighteen pillars made out of marble stone. Also there is the famous Parshuram Tapobhumi where Parshuram carried out the penance and got revealed from the sins committed by killing Kshartriyas. It is also believed that the Pandavas visited this Mallikarjuna Swamy temple and took the holy bath and built of total of five temples of Lord Shiva. The Mallikarjuna Swamy temple has many small temples inside the premises dedicated to various Gods which include Nataraja, Nandi and Sahasralinga. A small structure of Nandi bull is constructed on the top of the hill facing the temple and Srisalim. The sacred bull of Lord Shiva, Vrishabha performed penance in this place and during that time Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati appeared in front of Vrishabha in the form of Mallikarjuna. Shivaji built the North Gopuram of the Mallikarjuna Swamy temple.
The Mallikarjuna Swamy temple has a shell like appearance and makes a exquisite place for sightseeing place of this region. Innumerable number of visitors and devotees visit this sacred temple everyday to offer prayer to the deity. Many famous saints and poets have also visited the temple. Other than regular Pujas, Maha Shivaratri is observed and lakhs of visitors and devotees visit the temple on this auspicious day. The Mallikarjuna Swamy temple is open for visitors throughout the year. The gate of the main temple opens at 04:30 am and closes at 03:30 pm and again reopens at 06:00 pm and remains open till 09:00 pm.