Of the many temples that were sung of in the narratives of Andhra, one of the most beautiful and breath-taking temple that stands mighty on the bank of river Penner is the temple of Pushpagiri. Because of the hill of Pusphagiri, the same name given to the temple, the village is called Pushpagiri as well. The Vaishnavities call it Tirumala Madhya Ahobilam because it is right in between Ahobilam in Kurnool and Tirumala in Tirupati. The Saivites call it Madhya Kailasam because it is situated between Varanasi and Chidambaram, which is Uttara Kailash and Dakshina Kailash respectively. Two lesser-known stories are accounted for the name Pushpagiri or the translation, the valley of flowers.
Long long time ago lived a Brahman whose father had just passed away. The Brahman wished to pour the ashes and bones of his father in the river Ganges to he began his journey. On the way, he happened to reach river Penner. He decided to take a bath in the river and he kept the kalasam of his father’s remains on the bank of the river. When he came back after taking a bath, he saw that the father’s bones had turned into Jasmine flowers. He was very elated with this miracle and thinking it to be a divine intervention he was sure that his father’s soul had gone to heaven. He decided not to go to Ganges and merged the flowers in the river. The very spot that saw the turning of bones into flowers slowly took the form of the hill and thus came the word Pushpagiri.
This is one beautiful story. Another one and a more widely picked one is that once there was an old man belonging to Kapu caste. He had sons who were a nuisance and would not maintain his estate. They will pass their time in small quarrels. Seeing this the old man who was very disheartened decided to plough the field all by himself will a pair of old bulls. When he realized that it was long time in the field and the bulls were tired, he took them to a pool so that they could have some water. Once the bulls were done having water a sudden miracle happened. The old and weak bulls were at once transformed into young and strong animals. The old man felt that he must enter the pool and see what it does to him. Therefore, the old man entered the pool and he came out as a young boy of sixteen.
Meanwhile the wife of the old man was scolding her sons to send their old father to work in the fields. She took some food in the basket and went to the field in search for her husband. Tired of not having found him she asked the young man who had come out of the pool about her husband’s whereabouts. The young man revealed his identity to the old woman and said that he was her husband. She could not believe until he pulled her in the pool and she too was reformed into a lovely young maiden. They ate the food she had and went back home to their sons; who again could not recognize them either. So they were told to bath in the pool and so they did. Eventually the glory of the pool spread and people came, took bath, and renewed their youth.
The news of this reached Narada who in turn told Brahma about the pool. Brahma was surprised at this and was worried that because of this pool no destiny would ever play part in the world. He asked Narada about how the pool was making people immortal to which Narada replied that it was while Garuda was taking the nectar to heal his mother, was attacked by Indra on the way and a drop of that nectar fell from the sky and was mixed into this pool. Worried Brahma approaches Vishnu and Lord Vishnu instructs Anjaneya swami to drop a hill on the pool and cover it. The hill that was dropped on the pool floated on it instead of sinking. All gods unanimously pressed the hill down and lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra clamped it firmly by imprint of their feet at each end. These two imprints are represented by two temples, which are now moved together instead of being on the either side of the hill. Since the hill initially floated like flower on water, hence it was called Pushpagiri!
On your next visit, make sure you keep this fantastic story in mind.
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