Srikalahasti Municipality is 2nd largest ULB in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh s spread over an area 24.6 Sq Kms with a population of 80056 (2011 Census).
It is located _700_Kms from Capital city and 110 Kms from District Head quarters. It was established as 2nd Grade Municipality in the Year 1970.
There are 6 Zones / and 35 Election ward in the Municipality.
Climate and Rainfall
Srikalahasti Town, in general, has a tropical climate, winters last from November to February, while summers last from March to June. The Annual rainfall is 742 mm, most of its received during the months of September to December.
The Population of the Town which was 70854 in 2001 increased to 80056 in 2011 with an increase of 12.98% in the last decade. The sex ratio is 1046 female per 1000 males. The literacy rate is 78.66% 85.15% of the male population and 72.57% of the female population are literate.
The Economy of the region is mainly agrarian. ALarge part of the economy relies on agriculture and tourism. Since it is a popular piligrimage in the country, people from neighboring states and in fact all over the country visit the famous Srikalahasti Temple and Seek blessing Lord Siva in addition to that the city is also where the famous of form Kalamkari originated from,. There are thousands of Local Kalamkari artisians who bring in decent revenue to the region.
In the past decade, the region has seen tremendous development. There has been an industrial seem in the region which has also resulted in increase of real estate of infrastructure facilities. Some large scale plants and factories Lanco Industries, Vishnu Salvay Barrium (Chemical Plant, Thumsup Factory and Sponge Factory have started in and around the town in the past five years.
History & Culture
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.
Sri Adi Sankara visited this Kshetra and praised the bhakti of Kannappa in his Sivanandalahari.
The historical reference to this temple occur in the works of Nakkeerar, a Tamil poet in 3rd Century BC during the Tamil Sangam Dynasty. He called it as Southern Kailash. Nakkeera composed hundred stanzas to praise Srikalahasteeswara. Dhoorjati a Telugu poet native of this place and one among the ashtadiggajas of Sri Krishnadevaraya’s court composed hundred stanzas on Sri Kalahasteeswara.
It is one of the panchabhoota sthalam – representing five basic elements. This is the Vayu Sthalam among the Pancha Bootha Sthalams representing Air. The others are – Tiruvannamalai(Thejo sthalam – Fire) Kanchipuram (Prithvi sthalam – Earth) Tiruvanaikaval (Appu sthalam – Water) Chidambaram (Akasa sthalam – Space).
Legend has it that Lord Shiva disguised as Vayu (Air) observed that The Spider (SRI), Cobra (KALA) and Elephant (HASTI) worshipped Him very devotedly. So Lord Shiva made them to relieve from the curse and attain salvation, hence this place is called Srikalahasti.
Many more Tamil Saivite saints like Sambandar, Appar, Manikkavasagar, Sundaramurti, Pattinathar and Sri Ramalinga Swami of Vadalur have also visited this place.
The hill adjacent to temple has still carvings in Pallava style. The Cholas renovated the old Pallava temple in 11th century. Kulottunga Chola I constructed the Galigopuram, the main entrance facing south and Kulottunga Chola III constructed few other temples. In 12th Century A.D., King Veeranarasimha Yadavaraya built the present Prakaras, and the four Gopurams connecting the four entrances. According an inscription of Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara empire dating back to 1516 A.D., he constructed the Hundred Pillared Mantapam and the other tall Galigopuram that faces west to east. In 1529 A.D., King Achutaraya of the Vijayanagara empire got his coronation performed here, before he celebrated in his capital City. The Natukottai Chettiars of Devakottai gave the final shape to the temple in 1912 by donating then around nine lakhs of rupees.
On 26 May 2010, the 136-foot ‘Rajagopuram’ of the Srikalahasti temple, which has been in a precarious condition due to a deep fissure along its face, collapsed.
Immediately (27 May 2010), The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Konijeti Rosaiah promised to reconstruct this ancient gift with exactly the same brick to brick dimensions as the one constructed by Sri Krishna Deva Rayalu. However due to financial constraints the Government is looking for donors in order to proceed with rebuilding the collpased Gopuram On 16 April 2011, One of the oldest Rajagopuram at veyi lingal kona is collapsed. It is situated 8 k.m east of the main temple srikalahasti.