Srikalahasti, popularly known as Kalahasti is an antique city resplendent with architectural marvels and monuments showcasing cultural heritage of the yore. Located in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, it is a religiously important town for Hindus. The city is one of the important old Shiva Kshetras of Southern India and is located on the banks of River Swarnamukhi. Presently, the area is considered in the TUDA (Tirupati Urban Development Authority) region.
Srikalahasti travel guide is incomplete without a mention of its rich cultural and spiritual legacy. Srikalahasti is regarded as one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams of Lord Shiva; the other four includes Tiruvannamalai, Thiruvanaikaval, Chidambaram and Kanchipuram. It is a hub of several temples which attract tourists a lot. Some of the prominent attractions are Gudimallam Temple, Srikalahasti Temple, Thondamanadu Sri Venkateshwara Swamy Temple, Bhakta Kannappa Temple, Sahasra Linga Temple, and Talakona Waterfall etc. The place has also been visited by numerous Tamil Shaivite saints in quest of the blessings of Lord Shiva.
The name of the city has been derived from three animals, Sri (meaning spider), Kala (means snake) and Hasti (means elephant) who are believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva and obtained salvation here. According to Skanda Purana (the largest Mahapurana), Arjuna (from Mahabharata) visited this place and worshipped Kalahastiswara (form of Lord Shiva).