|Srisailam is also
famous for its wonderful bas-reliefs depicted on the outer sides of the courtyard wall.
The most 'interesting are situated on the southern and eastern walls. The scenes, figures
and portraits are numerous and varied, and a detailed account of them would fill a large
volume by itself. The Srisailam bas-reliefs are a valuable museum and library rolled into
one. All the popular forms of Lord Siva are represented here and the legend connected with
them are illustrated in detail, and at considerable length. A few of them only are
In one of the upper panels, the
story of Lord Siva as 'Bhikshatana' is represented. The puranic legend runs as follows.
When Lord Siva cut off one of the heads of God Brahma, he committed the sin of
Brahmahatya, and hence. The skull of Brahma stuck to his hand and would not be removed. In
order to get rid of the sin, and the skull, it was ordained that Lord Siva should wander
on earth as a naked wanderer, called 'Bhikshatana', till he reached the sacred spot on the
Himalayas known as 'Brahmakapalam,' where he would be released simultaneously from the sin
and the skull.