This Srikalahasti town is named after Sri(spider) Kala(Snake) Hasti(Elephant) that once worshiped Shiva Lingam here and attained Moksham . The Srikalahasti temple was originally built during Pallava period and current structures are built by Chola king Kulothunga Cholan I, II and III during the 11th century. A huge hundred pillared mantapam was built by Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara dynasty during the 16th century, an important feature of this shrine.
The historical reference to this temple occur in the works of Nakkeerar, a Tamil poet during the Tamil Sangam Dynasty. He called it as Southern Kailash. Nakkeera composed hundreds of Tamil stanzas to praise Srikalahasteeswara. Dhoorjati a Telugu poet native of this place and one among the ashtadiggajas of Sri Krishnadevaraya’s court composed hundred stanzas on Sri Kalahasteeswara.
Srikalahasti is located at 13°45′N 79°42′E on the bank of river Swarnamukhi. It is located 38 km north of Tirupati central.
As of 2011 Census of India, the town had a population of 80,056. The total population constitute, 38,995 males and 41,061 females—a sex ratio of 1053 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. 8,224 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 4,227 are boys and 3,997 are girls—a ratio of 946 per 1000. The average literacy rate stands at 78.66% (male 85.15%; female 72.57%) with 56,501 literates, significantly higher than the national average of 73.00%.
The primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided and private schools, under the School Education Department of the state. The medium of instruction followed by different schools are English, Telugu.
Srikalahasthi has educational institutions ranging from Elementary schools to Engineering & Degree Colleges. Srikalahasteeswara Institute of Technology is an engineeried by Srikalahasteeswara Trust board. It is affiliated to J.N.T.U, Anantapur.
The town depends mainly on agriculture and tourism. The main crops are paddy, sugar cane and ground nuts. Hundreds of Kalamkari artists also bring some revenue. Pilgrims visiting the Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala also visit the Srikalahasti temple.
Srikalahasti is famous for Kalamkari textile.
Srikalahasti railway station is located on Gudur-Katpadi Branch line section of Guntakal (GTL) Division of the South Central Railway (SCR). Andhra Pradesh State owned Bus services APSRTC operates buses from Tirupati, Chittoor and Nellore.