river Suvarnamukhi is also a famous one in the Puranas. In the Puranas it is stated that
Agasthya Maharshi brought this sacred river. It is a perennial river. It is also called
Uttara Vahini, as it flows from south to north at this spot, which is a rare phenomenon.
It is stated that Lord Indra got rid of his curse from Maharshi Gautama after taking his
bath in this river. Nakkeerar, the great Tamil poet of the Sangam Age, is also said to
have rid himself of a fell disease after taking his bath in this river.
The main Lingam in the shrine is untouched till today even by the priest.
Abhisheka is being performed with Panchakarpura, or camphor mixed with water, milk and
Panchamruta. The Linga is said to be Swayambu or selfmanifest and hence has not been
touched by human hand up to now. Even this Panchakarpura Abhisheka to the main Linga is to
be performed only by the priests belonging to Bharadwaja Gotra of Apastambha Sutra and who
have undergone the prescribed Diksha initiation in the temple. Flowers, sandal paste and
the sacred thread are being offered only to the Utsava murthy but not to the main Linga.
The most important festival in this temple is that of
ahasivarathri which lasts for ten days in February and March. The fifth day of the
festival corresponds to Sivarathri proper, when the pilgrims bathe in the river and keep
vigil all throughout the night, fasting throughout day and Night. Another big festival is
on the third day in Sankranti "When the deity is taken in a procession round the
hills which is a circuit of nearly twenty miles. There are in all eighty-five festivals in
this temple in the year.
Kalahasti is thus an ancient place mentioned extensively in the
Puranas. Its historical background runs to ages and famous mystic poets have sung it. It
is only thirty miles by road from Tirupati and one can reach it easily by road from Gudur
on the Madras-Vijayawada line. The temple is a famous and sacred one and attracts pilgrims
and devotees by thousands even now.