(Last Updated on : 18/09/2010)
Srikakulam, formerly known as Chicacole, is the northern most district of Andhra Pradesh, created out of Vishakhapatnam district on August 15, 1950. It is interestingly called as poor mans Ooty. The district is not a very affluent one, the chief inhabitants being the tribals. However, Srikakulam is the land of temples. A number of temples in Srikakulam have made their presence felt whilst augmenting the feel of the place. The historic ones, worth mentionable are- the Arasavally Sun Temple, the Srikurman Vishnu Temple (famous for its architectural splendour), Srimukhalingam Temple (of Vajrahasta ruling period), the Shiva Temple of Ravivalasa (also called Endala Mallikarjuna Swamy temple), Neelamani Ammavaru at Pathapatnam, Kotadurga (Palakonda), Kotisvaraswami at Gudiveedhi, Santoshimathaa-Old Srikakulam, Venkateshwara Temple at Gujarathipeta, Mahenderagiri Temple and the Sangameshwara Temple. Some of the Buddhist shrines to count on are- Salihundam, Danthavarapukota and Jagatimetta. Srikakulam was under the rule of the illustrious Kalinga kingdom, augmenting the beauty of the temple masonry, most of them belonging to the 7th or 10th century, having associations with the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Some of the Buddhist religious constructions were built during 2nd century AD. Thus the different temples of Srikakulam reflect the pious ethnicity of the place.
Endala Mallikarjunaswamy Aalayam Temple
Deity: Lord Shiva
This temple has no top and no entrance and has a big linga with no doors at the garba griha. Lord Paramasiva is said to rush to the rescue of His devotees. The presiding deity - Mallikarjuna, is the local name of Lord Siva who is exposed to the sun always, hence the name of Endala Mallikarjuna Swamy. It is 15km off Tekkali of Srikakulam.
The temple was originally Saivite, but was changed to Vaishnavite by Sri Ramanujacharya. This is the only important temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the whole of India. There are several sacred shrines within the temple.
Surya Narayanswamy Temple
This temple is an ancient and powerful temple. The idol of the Lord is carved out of black granite and shows the Lord with two lotuses held in both hands. The God is represented as riding in a chariot drawn by seven horses and driven by Anoora. There is enough historical evidence to show that the temple has existed for a long time.
This is a group of three temples built by the Eastern Ganga kings in the 10th century. The deities here are Mukhalingeswara, Bhimeswara and Someswara. All these temples display the Orissa style of architecture.