Deep inside the Nallamala forests, Saileshwaram mesmerises devotees

The jatara, at a primitive religious site inside the Nallamala forests, is open for devotees till April 20

By Author  |  Published: 19th Apr 2019  12:48 am
Devotees taking dip at Shankhu Teertha during the Sarveshwaram Lingamaiah jatara inside Amrabad Tiger Reserve, Nallamala forests.

Nagarkurnool: Nature’s wonder which has been kept intact for thousands of years has once again started mesmerizing the devotees of Lord Shiva, who is devotedly called ‘Lingamaiah’ in this part of the world. The purest form of the nature located away from the mainstream society’s sight has opened its arms welcoming the devotees.

‘Sarveshwaram teertha kshetra,’ which later came to be known as ‘Saileshwaram’ and ‘Saleshwaram locally,’ which is a primitive religious site, located 30-40 kilo metre deep inside the Nallamala forests inside Amrabad Tiger Reserve where the rare Chenchu Adivasis have been living and serving Lord Shiva for ages.

As per local Chenchu mythology, ages ago, a Chenchu named Ravagadu had gone for hunting along with his wild dogs on the New Year’s Eve. When he couldn’t find water to drink anywhere, his dogs led him to a water body located near a cave, where water drops which looked like pearls were falling through the layers of rock formation. There, Bhole Baba had revealed himself to the Chenchu in bright gold and then vanished. That night, Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and asked him to erect a Shiva Linga and serve him.

The water which flows through layers of rock formed some thousands if not millions of years ago, carries with it all the medicinal values through the roots of nature, making it the purest form of water which has the ability to cure any disease. People have been visiting this nature’s wonder for ages and people believe that their sins can be washed-away here.

According to ‘Parvatha Purana,’ if a sinner enters this water body which is called ‘Shankhu Teertha,’ the water here becomes dirty but when a pure human enters, remains crystal clear. No wonder, while the water which comes from the top is crystal clear, once it touches the ground where devotees take bath, it changes colour due to plastic left over by pilgrims.
According to historic evidence, the Shiva Ling at Sarveshwaram had already become famous by 5th or 6th century. The layered rock formation in front of the sanctum sanctorum itself looks like a mammoth cave.

Breath-taking views of the layered rock formations, deep valleys with spectacular views only found in the most exotic locations of the world; lead Bholenath’s dear devotees in search of ‘Lingamaiah,’ whom they either promise to visit again, or promise not to visit again. Most of the latter ones break their promise.

The Saleshwaram jatara is open for devotees from around the world till April 20. For ages, Chenchus have been celebrating this Pournami, the day when Lord Shiva and Gangamma Bouramma incident happened, every year since time immemorial. Chenchus in this divine land have been called ‘Deva Chenchus’ because of their immense devotion for Lord Shiva and due to their pure nature.

Devotees can enter the forest through Farhabad Forest Department’s check-post located on the right hand side, exactly 60 km away from Srisailam, if the traveller is going from Hyderabad to Srisailam.

 

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