Srikalahasti which is situated on the banks of Swarnamukhi River and picturesque surrounding of hillocks is a famous Saivite Temple in South India. Thousands of pilgrims visits the temple to have darshan of the almighty Sri Kalahasteeswara and Sri Gnanaprasunambika Devi.
Sri Kalahasteeswara showers grace to wipe out the sins and obstacles of devotees. Seers and sages worshipped lord Srikalahasteeswara and praised with hymns.
At Sri Kalahasti, Lord Shiva tested the unshakable devotion of Thinna (Later became Bhaktha Kannappa) before the sages gathered at SriKalahasti. With his divine power, Lord Shiva created a tremor and the roof tops of the temple began to fall. All the sages ran away from the scene except Kannappa who covered the linga with his body to prevent it from any damage.
In another incident, Kannappa plucked out one of his eyes and placed in the eye of Linga which was oozing with blood and tears. When the tears and the blood were still trickling from another eye, Kannappa decided to remove his second eye and placed one of his feet on the spot of the right eye of the Shiva Linga. Before he could pull out his second eye with the arrow, Lord Shiva appeared and restored his eye while granting him a boon to occupy a place close to him.
According to Swami Sivananda’s book, Sixty-Three Nayanar Saints, pg. 44, some Saivite traditions believe that Kannappa was the reincarnation of Arjuna. Arjuna, worshipped Siva for seeking the Pasupatha Astra and failed to recognize Him in the form of a hunter. Thus, according to this tradition, Arjuna had to be born as a hunter and adore the Lord before attaining final liberation. This belief is not adopted by all Hindus.
The people predominantly speak Telugu and can understand English and Tamil. The residents wear both traditional like Dhoti,Lungi and Saree and as well as modern suits and dresses. The city is also famous for kalamkari art, painting on cotton or silk textiles with dyes made from vegetables.
The Rahu-ketu sarpa dosha puja is frequently performed activity. The Telugu poem collection ‘Sri Kalahasteeswara Satakam’ by Dhurjati explains the traditions associated with this temple during the times of Vijayanagara Empire. Muthuswamy Deekshitar, one of the foremost composers in the Karnatic Music Tradition has sung of this temple in his bhajans ‘Sree Kaalahasteesa’. Other works on this temple include the Sree-Kalattipuranam of the three brothers Karunapprakasar, Sivapprakasar and Velappa Deekshitar, Tirukkalattipuranam by Aanandakoottar of Veerainagar and Tirukkalatti Ula by Seraikkavirayar. While all Hindu festivals are observed, Sivaratri is major festival. The town also celebrates Gangammala Jatara in December every year. The movie threatres are popular enteratiainment.