Sri Kalahasti is a small town in southern Andhra Pradesh near the famous Tirupati temple. This town is located on the river banks of river Swarnamukhi which flows away from the parent river Pennar. Sri Kalahasti is home to one of the famous Shiva Kshetras, which is a holy shrine of Lord Shiva. The beauty of this temple is that it is placed artistically along the river bank, with a backdrop of hill.
Sri Kalahasti is very easily accessible from all over India. The nearest metropolitan from Sri Kalahasti is Chennai to which it is connected by all modes of transport. Buses ply to and from Chennai everyday from Sri Kalahasti. Though buses are convenient you have lots of options in Trains and by Air too. If you prefer travel by train you will have to board a train to Tirupati and travel by bus from there. Nearest domestic airport s are at Tirupati Renigunta and Chennai.
Sri Kalahasti Temple
The famous Sri Kalahasti Temple which is the main temple, is the main tourist attraction here but for religious Pilgrims there are a number of other temples close by the main temple. Most of these temples are atop small hills and are in close range from each other and is best visited on tours from Hyderabad
. The Sri Durga mandir which is to the north of the main temple houses a beautiful idol of Durga maa, as she is popularly known across India. The Sri Subrahmanya temple is situated to the east of the main temple and the Sri Kannappa temple is situated to the south on top of a hill.
Sri Kalahasti is a temple town with mainly hill temples as tourist attractions. Sri Kalahasti is around 40 km from the famous Tirumala temple in Tirupati, touted to be one of the world’s wealthiest temples. The town is also famous for its distinguished style of textile art referred to as Kalamkari, which are paintings on cotton textiles with dyes made from vegetable extracts .A visit to Sri Kalahasti may be planned on your way to Tirupati. Visiting all major tourist spots will not take more than 8-10 hours
Planning Your Trip
You can plan your South India trip
in such a way that you reach Sri Kalahasti, early during sunrise. You can then attend the auspicious and special ‘Darshan’ during dawn when the deity is offered prayers. You may then want to walk around the temple, taking in its breath-taking architecture. Visiting the numerous temples around the main temple takes a lot of your energy but relaxes your soul. Good lunch is available all around town. You may try the traditional Andhra food which is famous for its spiciness. The evenings here are cool and pleasant quite opposite to the hot day when the sun blazes on your skin. You may utilise this pleasant change in climate to visit one of the many small scale Kalamkari industries. The different designs and the variety in these textures will make you want to own one of these Kalamkari designer saris and dhotis. These textiles are available all across town where you can buy it as a souvenir. You may want to stay overnight and continue on your tour, the next day for which there are numerous Lodgings and hotels all across town.
A trip to Kalahasti will cost around 1500 INR for a couple travelling from Chennai by train or bus. Hiring a cab will benefit you in the short but memorable pilgrimage.