This ancient Temple of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy – around 5000 years old, is located in a cave on the scenic and serene Ananthagiri hills, 85 Kms. from our house in Secunderabad. It is a very popular place of pilgrimage. All tourists visiting the beautiful Ananthagiri Hills and others passing by this route make it a point to visit the Temple and the ancient Pushkarini there. The rulers and Nawabs of Hyderabad were also great patrons of the Temple and have contributed to its development even 400 years ago. It is a lovely place with a great Temple which anyone from Hyderabad can very easily reach and enjoy nature and receive divine blessings.
The Sthala Puranam (History of the Temple / place) is as follows: Thousands of years ago, Saint Markandeya prayed and meditated for the darshan of Lord Shiva and after Lord Shiva’s darshan and blessings; he took the advice of Lord Bramha and came to Ananthagiri Hills for further worship and deep meditation for darshan of Lord Maha Vishnu. Pleased with his worship (tapasya), at the beginning of Kaliyuga Lord Maha Vishnu appeared before Saint Markandeya and blessed him and established himself here in this cave as a Swayambhu Idol in the form of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy (Everywhere else Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy deities are found in reclining position but not so here, the deity is in standing position). And since that time regular daily worship is continuing here with large scale celebrations on auspicious days and festivals. Amidst all these photographs of us around the Temple you will also see some photographs of very old shelters, caves and Markandeya Tapovanam.
This place has another divine connection, much older, an occurrence in Dwapara Yugam. King Muchukunda, son of King Mandhata of the great Ikshavaku dynasty was approached by Indra, the leader of Devas and Lord of Swargalokam to protect them from the onslaught of demons. King Muchukunda fought them for years with absolutely no sleep and contact with his family and his subjects, and finally got rid of the demons. King Muchukunda lost his army to a very large extent and was a tired man as the battle ended. He asked Lord Indra to bless him with Moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth). Though Lord Indra felt very indebted and was very pleased and grateful to him, he said that it was not possible for him to bless him with Moksha and asked him to seek any other boon. As he was very tired, he sought to go into undisturbed deep sleep for a very long time and should anyone disturb or wake him he should be burnt to ashes. After receiving this boon, King Muchukunda proceeded to the serene Ananthagiri Hills, entered a cave and slept there. In Dwapara Yugam, a cruel and merciless warrior king called Kalayavan, conquered few kingdoms and waged war against Mathura the kingdom of Lord Krishna and caused heavy losses. To trick him to his death and end the war quickly Lord Krishna and Balram ran away from the battlefield and lead him to the cave on Ananthagiri hills where Muchukunda was sleeping. On entering the cave Lord Krishna covered Muchukunda with his upper garment and mistaking Muchukunda as Lord Krishna the evil king Kalayavan disturbed the sleeping Muchukunda and as Muchukunda opened his eyes Kalayavan instantly got burnt and was reduced to ashes. Then Lord Krishna appeared before Muchukunda. Muchukunda was happy to see Lord Krishna and worshipped him by cleaning his feet with water. That water is said to have turned into River Muchukunda which over a period of a time got to be called as River Musi which at one time used to flow fiercely through Hyderabad and join River Krishna. All that I have written here is as per the Sthala Puranam displayed in Telugu at this ancient Temple. You may see this Telugu poster here: