Sri Kalahasteeswara Swami Temple – Kalahasthi

This temple is situated in Sri Kalahasthi in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India in the Chitoor district. It is around 40 kms from Tirupati.

Being one of the most famous Shiva temples in South India, the temples draws a lot of devotees from different parts of the country and the Lord is worshiped in the form of Vayu lingam at this shrine.

Temple complex (Courtesy – google image)

The temple is also famous for the performance of rahu kethu-sarpa dosha pujas flocked by devotees especially those who are required to keep these Gods in good terms as they attract attention from them owing to one’s faulty planetary position in the birth chart. Thus it becomes essential to turn their negative attention into a positive one by performing these important pujas which in turn help in eliminating the doshas-negative elements from our lives.

The day at the temple begins with firstly visiting the Ganesha deity named Pataala Ganapathi (within the temple complex) where a batch of 6-7 members are let to visit in batches as the idol is placed 10 feet down and one needs to kneel down on their knees to enter and further take steep steps to reach the deity, which overall takes some decent amount of time building up a long queue. We had to part with 40-50 minutes to finally reach our turn for the blessings of the Lord Ganesha. I also happen to come across an article which indicates that during the rainy season the deity is submerged in water being situated in low lying area, but the priests do still perform the puja to the Lord even in that state, as they believe that the Puja should continue to the Lord.

Idol submerged in water (Courtesy-Google image)

Post the visit to Ganapathi, the devotees can head to perform the rahu ketu puja. The ticket cost of the puja varies depending upon the place of puja performance ranging from 300-750-1200-2500-5000, covering each individual or a couple and has all the essential items required for the puja and thus no need to purchase any items from outside hawkers. We opted for the 750 ticket option for a comparatively faster and smaller line than the Rs 300 one. The whole puja process takes around 45-60 minutes in total with the experienced temple priests guiding through a batch of 60-70 devotees in each round, mainly chanting mantras for two metallic silver snake strips representing Rahu and Ketu each and these are worshipped by the offering of flowers and sprinkling vermilion. These pujas start right from 6 am and goes upto 5 pm, but it is best advised to get the puja done in the rahu kalam timezone for best results and thus it makes sense to get into the queue well before two hours of the specific time. The priests requests for offerings in the end (left to the devotees desire) as you walk out finishing the puja so ensure to keep a change of 30, 50, 100 Rs as your heart wishes.

Celebrity Sridevi performing the Rahu Ketu Puja (Courtesy – google image)
South actors Siddharth & Samantha performing the Rahu Ketu Puja (Courtesy – google image)

The devotees are then required to place themselves in the queue of the main temple to get ready to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. Depending upon the crowd involved, it would take an approximate 40-60 minutes to reach the main temple shrine. It is important to note that the rahu and ketu silver metal carvings that were worshiped through the rahu ketu puja are to be deposited in the hundi (just placed in the main temple area) after the worship of the main Shiva deity. I found some of them depositing in some other hundis but the priests had specifically made a mention of the deposit in the main hundi.

We peacefully finished the darshan of the Lord Shiva. The shrine is very peaceful and it placed us in a spiritual atmosphere putting the mind in a state of happiness and harmony.


Hotel MGM Grand (

There are many choices available for accommodation, however we found this to be the better among the available choices in the town which looked decent and worthy when compared to others and thus we booked this hotel as part of our visit to the holy shrine Sri Kalahasthi temple. The hotel calls it to be 3 star standard and having this booked from makemytrip app we got to enjoy a discount.

The room is decently spacious and clean with one small screen television affixed. They provide one complimentary water bottle (1 litre) in the room. The AC works well and keeps the temperature pleasant. The WiFi is the worst and it did not reach the mobile even once and is pathetic.

Given to the facilities and amenities at offer, the price paid does appear on the higher side and it doesn’t appear to display 3 star standards. It does offer ample convenient parking space.

The best part is, it is just a stone throw away distance from the main temple and you can just walk by around 100 meters to reach the temple entrance. Ensure to keep your mobiles back in your room so that you can enjoy the title of 10 rs per mobile which otherwise is required to be deposited as mobiles are not allowed in the temple premises.

The hotel has a restaurant in the basement and does not encourage room service. The price on restaurant’s menu does appear on the higher side but it does offer varieties as one may find limited options to dine outside the premises of the hotel and moreover the hotels outside are sub standard.

One point to note on check in/out timings – We did an early check at the hotel but didn’t realize that it counted on 24 hours basis from that point and were notified the other day that check out was due and we had to reschedule our plans to avoid considering it an additional day stay for a mere 2 hours more.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice and informative write up, Ravi. Keep the writer’s pen busy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pleasant and enlightening review, Ravi. Keep the author’s pen occupied 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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