It was bit time that I haven’t gone anywhere which is very unorthodox. There were many plans which were made but were dusted in the wind at the very last moment. Then, in some conversation in the office, we (Mahesh, Harsha and Me) decided to go to Srisailam for a 3-day trip. We planned the itinerary for the trip and then from few of our friends got to know about “Istakameshwari Temple”. I never heard of this temple before neither my parents who visited Srisailam many a times told me about it (I guess, they also didn’t knew about it). Friend’s who had heard about this place and who visited the place, told us not to miss this temple. It would be one a kind off road drive which everyone SHOULD experience in their life time. After searching more about it in google, go to know that the temple of Istakameswari is located in a dense and picturesque forest environment about 21 Kms to the east of Srisailam. I was looking forward to visit temple and had kept huge expectations on it.
We started our 3-day trip early in the morning around 4.30 AM on 25-Sept and headed towards Yaganti. We reached Yaganti around 12 in the afternoon and visited couple of other holy places. As the sun was setting down, we headed towards Nandiyal, where we had already booked a room. Day-2 started with visit to Mahanandi and from there, we started our journey towards Srisalam. We reached Srisailam around 4.00 PM in the evening. We had already made arrangements for the room in srisailam. We got fresh and first thing we inquired was about travel to Istakameshwari temple. To our disappointment, we got to know that last Jeep travel ends around 2:00 PM in the afternoon. After hearing this, we went to visit Patalaganga and return back to our room. We planned to go to temple early in the morning and catch the first Jeep which goes to Istakameshwari temple.
We got up around 3:00 AM in the morning and were standing in the line around 4.30 AM. But then we got to know that, the temple opens at 5 AM. As we were standing in the line, rain started to pour heavily. We moved slowly and finally completed our darshanam around 7:00 AM. We were happy that we made it in time but bit worried as the rain didn’t stop yet. We hurriedly come near Nandi Circle to enquire about the Jeep and they said, first Jeep starts at 8:30 AM. we had approx 1 hour, so we decided to have our breakfast and come back. After having breakfast, we came back and inquired and luckily the first Jeep was available to travel, we hopped in the back of the Jeep which was not good in condition.
At exact 8:30 AM, driver started the engine and we were on the way. As the Jeep was not in condition, we swapped it with better one and resumed our journey. The driver needs to sign and enter the vehicle number before entering into the forest area. We are so excited that, Me & Harsha were giving expressions to each other such as “Yes! Yes!”, “Yeah! Come on” etc. At first, the road bit bumpy but than came the surprise. We were continuously jumping in the Jeep. There were incidents where in the vehicle was stuck between stones and children in the jeep started sobbing. I still remember, Mahesh (Goudru) asking the driver “Shall I get down from the jeep?”. The road such a bliss and entertaining that it always kept on edge. After loads of jumping and moving, driver stopped the jeep and said us to walk for 10 minutes which will take us to the temple.
As we started walking, we saw Ganesh Idol against the rock, we took the blessings and moved forward. After walking for few more minutes, we saw the first glimpse of the temple. We took coconut and washed our legs to enter into the temple. The temple has small opening to enter inside it, one has to bend or crawl to go in it. We went inside and first saw the idol, I was mesmerized. The Goddess has a serene and beautiful smiling face which at once captures the attention of one and all. It is believed that by having the darshanam of Istakameswari Devi one can fulfil all the desires. This temple is an ancient structure datable to 8th – 9th centuries A.D. The sculpture of the deity is very unique and have no parallel any where in India. After performing Pooja, preist informed us to put vermilion on the head of the idol. When we applied the vermilion on the head, it felt like skin touch even though the idol was of stone. Couple of friends did tell me about this thing but I didn’t give much attention to those words then. We sat there for good 10-15 minutes and started our journey back.
|Location||Istakameshwari Temple, Srisailam|
|Distance from Srisailam||21 Kms (Approx)|
|Pickup Point||Nandi Circle|
|Drive time||1 Hours (one side)|
|Best time to drive||July – September (As the weather is cool and there is so much greenery in the forest)|
|Jeep charge||750 per person|
|Journey duration||3-4 Hours|
The trip was such a awesome fun with lots of memories and moments. The journey to Istakameshwari Temple was more than we expected and will be one of the best journey’s I have made so far. Looking forward to much more such journey’s ahead :).