Legend states that in the quest to find the most suitable bride for his sons, Kartikeya & Ganesha, and who's going to get wedded first, Lord Shiva asked them to race round the world. Ganesha used his intellect and circled around his parents seven times to win the contest as shastras states seven pradakshinam is equivalent to one bhupradakshinam. Furious by the result Kartikeya ran away from home and in the quest of cajoling Kartikeya, Lord Shiva & Lady Parvati went after him and is believed to have stayed in Srisailam. Thus is the mythological importance of the temple.
The temple was established during the reign of Satvahana Dynasty in around 200 AD and it is made architecturally sound and glorified with historical carvings and scriptures during the Vijaynagara Period under the King Harihara. The temple campus is encircled with many small temples with the centre being the sanctorum of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga; jasmine decorated Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. The temple is east facing with grand scripture stacked above one another. There are thousand lingas of the God and the first hall has the picture of the Nataraj.
The whole of Srisailam is decorated with most pomp and galore during the Mahasivratri and during the Navaratris. This 252 KM drive from Hyderabad through the picturesque Eastern Ghats to this one of a kind Saivate Pilgrimage destination is truly a divine journey for everyone.