Ancient Routes to Srisailam
Located in a picturesque environment of Nallamalai Hills, ‘Srisailam’ the abode of Siva and Sakthi is on the right side of the river Krishna in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. It is at an altitude of 476 meters above the sea level, at Latitude of 16 12” North and Longitude of 78 5” East.
The Sikhreswaram route was used by the piligrims coming from costal Andhra. In this route they first visit the temple of Tripuranthakam which is the Eastern Gate way of Srisailam. At present Tripuranthakam is in Prakasam district and is of about 92 KM from Srisailam in Guntur – Srisailam road. After Tripuranthakam , they passes through Yerragondapalem, Venkatadripalem, Ganjivaripalli, Duddanala nagaru and Telagarayanicheruvu by bullock carts. From there they reach Chintala, a small tribal village on foot and then to sikhareswaram and reach to Srisailam through a path way covered with slabs.
The Sikhareswaram is the highest range of Srisailam Hills and of about 898 meters. ( 2830 ft.) above the mean sea level. The peak of Sikhareswaram is the view point of Srisailam, from where the pleasant seen gives temple of Srisailam on one side and the river Krishna on other side.
In another way the piligrim first reach Markapuram and from where they passes through Tokapalli and reach Dornala, a small town at the foot of the Srisailam Hills. From the Dornala they travel through Chinthala, Peddarutla, Chinnarutla the tribal habitations and reach Sikhareswaram and then to Srisilam. The present road from Guntur, Nandyal and Kurnool meet at Dornala and proceed up the hill of about the ghat road of 49 KM.
This route starts from two places of one is from Siddhavatam and other is from Alampuram and both are the Gate ways of Srisailam . Siddhavataam is the southern Gateway and is in present Kadapa District and Alampuram is the western Gate way and is now in Mahaboobnagar district. In this route Atmakur is the junction to which piligrim reach through Nandyal from siddhavatam and by crossing the river Tungabhadrs from alampur. They travel from Atmakur to small villages of Krishnapuram, Venkatapuram, Siddhpura, and to Nagalooty and up to this the journey is on plains. Nagalooty is place of temple complex datable to Vijayanagara period. The stepped way of this route begins from this place and these steps were constructed by the Reddy King Anavemareddy in between the period 1326 – 35 AD
The piligrim from Nagalooty passes through Peddacheruvu, a forest filled plateau and where the starts the ghat route climbing the hill and going down to Bheemuni kolanu, a deep valley. After passing through this valley the piligrim again climbs the hill and reach the Srisailam Gate way called as Kailasadwaram and from here to Srisailam dthrough Hatakeswaram, a place of traditional importance. The route from Kailasadwaram to Srisailam is easy to travel.
Neeliganga is a ferry point of the river Krishna at its left side and is nearer to Srisailam. This Neeliganga route is taken by the piligrim coming from the Tellangana region. It begins at Nagarkurnool and passes through Amrabad, Telakapalli and Umamaheswaram which is the northern Gateway of Srisailam and at present is in Mahaboobnagar District. From this Gateway temple the piligrims passes tribal habitations of Appapuram, Bhramaramba Cheruvu, Medimrakula, Sangadigundala and then cross the river Krishna at Neliganga revu on Aregas ( Big size baskets ). After crossing the river they climb up the hill Chukkalaparvatham and from there they walk of about 5 KM to reach Srisailam.
Jatara revu is also a ferry point of the Krishna river and this is the main route of this side. This route also diverges from Umamaheswaram, the northern gate way of Srisailam. After Umamaheswaram the hill route leads to Mannanuru on the plateau. There is a path from here to Jatararevu which passes through Appapuram, Bhramaramba Cheruvu, Meedimrakula and Akkagavi and after this the piligrim have to cross the Jatara revu climb the Chukkalaparvatham and reach Srisialm.
According to an inscription , the Velama King Madanayaka constructed a flight of steps along this route in 14th century AD. The present bus route passes through Mannanuru and after a ghat road journey of 60 KM. it crosses the river Krishna over bridge at Srisailam Dam and reach Srisailam.