What is the story behind Kalasam Temple


Hindu temple in Andhra Pradesh, India

Venkateswara Temple is a Hindu temple in the mountain town of Tirumala in Tirupati in the Indian district of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Venkateswara, a form of Vishnu believed to have appeared here to save humanity from trials and problems Kali Yuga. Hence the name of the place Kaliyuga Vaikuntha and the Lord is referred to here as Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daivam. The temple is also known by other names such as Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Temple, Tirupati Balaji Temple. Venkateswara is known by many other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa.[3] The temple is operated by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which is under the direct control of the government of Andhra Pradesh. The head of the TTD is appointed by the government of Andhra Pradesh. The proceeds from this shrine will be used by the government of Andhra Pradesh.[4]

Tirumala Hills are part of the Seshachalam Hills Range. The hills are 853 meters above sea level. The hills consist of seven peaks that represent the seven heads of Adisesha. The temple is on the seventh peak - Venkatadri, on the south bank of Sri Swami Pushkarini, a holy water tank. Hence the temple is also known as the "Temple of the Seven Hills". The city of Tirumala extends for 26.75 km2) in the area.

The temple was built in Dravidian architecture and is said to have been built over a period from 300 AD. The Garbagruha (Sanctum Sanctorum) is called AnandaNilayam. The presiding deity, Venkateswara, is in a standing position and faces east in Garbha gruha. The temple follows the tradition of worship in Vaikhanasa Agama. The temple is one of the eight Vishnu Swayambhu Kshetras and is listed as the 106th and last earthly Divya Desam. On the site of the temple were two modern buildings of the queuing complex to organize the pilgrimage, the Tarigonda Vengamamba Annaprasadam complex for free meals for pilgrims, hair tonsure buildings and a number of pilgrim accommodations.

It is the richest temple in the world in terms of donations and wealth.[5][6][7] The temple is visited by around 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily (an average of 30 to 40 million people per year), while on special occasions and festivals such as the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims rises to 500,000, making it the most visited saint in the world .[8] In 2016, it was reported that 27.3 million pilgrims visited the temple.[9]

It is approximately 435 km from Vijayawada, 571.9 km from Hyderabad, 138 km from Chennai, 291 km from Bangalore and 781.2 km from Visakhapatnam.

There are several legends associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. Legend has it that the temple has a murti (deity) of Venkateswara who is believed to remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga.

Temple legend [edit]

While Dvapara YugaAdisesha lived on Earth as Seshachalam Hills after losing a competition with Vayu. According to Puranas, Tirumala is considered Adivaraha Kshetra. After Adivaraha killed Hiranyaksha, he resided on this hill. Sri Venkatachala Mahatyam is the widely accepted legend about the Tirumala Temple.[10]

While Kali YugaNarada advised rishis who performed yajna to decide who, under Trimurtis, could receive the fruits of yagna. Bhrigu was sent to test Trimurtis. The sage who had an extra eye in the sole of the foot visited Brahma and Shiva and went unnoticed in both places. Finally he visited Vishnu and the lord pretended not to have noticed Bhrigu. Wise Bhrigu was annoyed by this act and kicked Vishnu in the chest, to which Vishnu did not react. Instead, he apologized to the sage by massaging his feet. During this act, he squeezed the extra eye that was present in the sole of Bhrigu's foot. However, Lakshmi finds it an insult and had left Vaikuntam on earth to Kolhapur and started meditating.[10]

Vishnu was in human form when Srinivasa left Vaikuntam in search of Lakshmi, reached the Tirumala Hills and began to meditate. Lakshmi learned of the state of Srinivasa and prayed to Shiva and Brahma. Shiva and Brahma then turned into cow and calf and goddess Lakshmi had given the cow and calf to the Chola king, who ruled the Tirumala Hills at that time. The cow provided Srinivasa with milk daily while she was being taken to graze. One day Cowherd saw this and tried to hit the cow with a stick, but Srinivasa had sustained the injury. Being angry with this Srinivasa had cursed the Chola King to become a demon as Dharma says that the sin of the servants should be borne by the kings. The king prayed for mercy, whereupon Srinivasa told him that the king should accept the next birth as Akasaraja and that his daughter Padmavati should be married to Srinivasa.[10]

Srinivasa went to his mother, Vakula Devi, on the hills of Tirumala and stayed there for a while. After the curse, Chola King was reborn as Akasaraja and he had a daughter named Padmavati, who was born in Padmapushkarini, which is now in Tiruchanur, Andhra Pradesh. Srinivasa married Padmavati in what is now Narayanavanam in Andhra Pradesh and will return to Tirumala Hills. After a few months, Goddess Lakshmi found out about Srinivasa's marriage to Padamavati and went to the hills of Tirumala to consult Srinivasa. It is said that the Srinivasa turned to stone when struck by Lakshmi and Padmavathi. Brahma and Shiva appear before the confused queens and explain the main purpose behind it all - the desire of the Lord to be on the 7 hills to free humanity from eternal problems Kali Yuga. The goddesses Lakshmi and Padmavathi also transform into stone deities expressing their desire to always be with them. Lakshmi rests on his chest on his left side with him, while Padmavathi rests on the right side of his chest.[10]

History of the temple

Medieval history

The first proven foundation was made by the Pallava queen Samavai in 966 AD. She donated many jewels and two parcels of land (one 10 acres and another 13 acres) and ordered that the proceeds from that land be used for the celebration of the great feasts in the temple.[11] The Pallava dynasty (9th century), the Chola dynasty (10th century), and Vijayanagara Pradhans (14th and 15th centuries) were dedicated supporters of Venkateswara. The temple gained most of its current wealth and size under the Vijayanagara Empire through the donation of diamonds and gold.[12] In 1517, during one of his numerous temple visits, the Vijayanagara Emperor Krishnadevaraya donated gold and jewels so that the roof of the Ananda Nilayam (inner shrine) could be gilded. On January 2, 1517, Krishnadevaraya installed his own statue in the temple and he has made several donations to the temple.[13] After the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire, leaders from states such as the Kingdom of Mysore and Gadwal Samsthanam worshiped as pilgrims and gave ornaments and valuables to the temple. Maratha General Raghoji I Bhonsle (died 1755) visited the temple and set up a permanent administration to conduct church services in the temple.[citation needed][14] Between 1320 and 1369, idols from the Ranganatha Temple of Srirangapatnam were kept for safe keeping in this temple.[13]

The modern story [edit]

Swami Pushkarni from Tirumala

After the dawn of the Vijayanagara Empire, the temple passed into the hands of Golconda in July 1656 and then was briefly under the French and until 1801 under the Nawab of Carnatic. With the advent of the British in the early 19th century, the administration of the temple passed into the hands of the East India Company, which granted the temple a special status and avoided interference with temple activities.[15] The government of Madras passed Ordinance 7 of 1817 which gave the temple to the tax authority through the North Arcot District collector.[15] In 1821 Bruce of England had drawn up rules for the administration of the temple, referred to as Bruce’s code.[15]

The 7th Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, donated £ 8,000 to the temple.[16]

In 1843 the East India Company transferred the management of the temple along with other temples in Tirupati to Mahants of Hathiramji Muth, who acted as vicaranakartas. It was under the rule of Mahants for six generations until Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams was established in 1933 as a result of the TTD Act of 1933.[17] The 1933 Act was superseded by the Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act of 1951.[18] In 1966, the temple was again placed under the direct control of the Andhra Pradesh State Foundation Department, with the Andhra Pradesh Nonprofit and Hindu Religious Institutions and Foundations Act enacted.[18] In 1979, the 1966 law was repealed with the new Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Act, which transferred temple administration to a committee composed of an officer, a chairman, and two other members appointed by the Andhra Pradesh government.[18]

The temple bears up to 640 inscriptions in the languages ​​Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu.[19] There is a unique collection of around 3000 copper plates on which the Telugu Sankirtanas of Tallapaka Annamacharya and his descendants are inscribed.[20][21] This collection, in addition to its importance to musicologists, is a valuable source of material for a historical linguist in Telugu.[21]

In 2006, the Andhra Pradesh government decided to build a church on the sacred hills of Tirumala, stating that only two of the seven hills of Tirumala are Hindu worshiped and the rest by the state for its use under the rule of YS Rajasekhara Reddy was a Christian. This led to violent protests across Andhra Pradesh. Finally, the court declared that the entire area of ​​7 sacred hills of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams should be administered.[22]

Temple administration [edit]

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is the trust board that oversees and administers the operation of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. It is run by a board of trustees whose size has increased from five (1951) to eighteen (2015).[23] by adopting laws. The day-to-day operation and management of TTD is the responsibility of a senior executive appointed by the Andhra Pradesh government.

The temple attracts approximately 75,000 pilgrims daily.[24] The annual budget, estimated at INR 2530.10 crores for fiscal year 2015-16,[25] runs non-profit trusts whose funds come from the budget and donations of the devotees.[26] Annual income in 2008 is estimated at INR 10 billion. Most of the income comes from the donations in SriVari Hundi. Followers donate to the TTD, which costs millions of rupees. TTD, the organization that cares for the well-being of the temple, runs various charitable foundations whose funds come from the budget and donations of the devotees.[27]

The architecture [edit]

View of the facade of the temple
Tirumala Temple and Vaikuntam Queue Complex (semicircular building in the foreground) as seen from Srivari Padalu on Narayanagiri Hill
Dwarams and Prakarams

There are three dwarfs (entrances) that lead to this Garbhagriha from the outside. Mahadwaram also known as Padikavali is the first input provided by Mahaprakaram (outer composite wall). A five-story gopuram (temple tower) with seven kalasams at its top is built over this mahadwaram. Vendivakili (Silver Entrance) also known as Nadimipadikavali is the second input and is provided by SampangiPrakaram (Inner composite wall). A three-story gopuram with seven kalasams on top is being built above Vendivakili. Bangaruvakili (Golden Entrance) is the third entrance that one will lead into Garbhagriha. On both sides of this door there are two large copper pictures of the Dvarapalaka Jaya-Vijaya. The thick wooden door is covered with gold-gilt plates depicting the Dasavathaaram of Vishnu.


The circumambulation around Sanctum sanctorum in the temple or with deities is called Pradakshinam. There are two paths of circulation in the temple. The first is area between Mahaprakaram and Sampangiprakaram. This trail is known as Sampangipradakshinam has many mandapas, Dwajasthambam, Balipeetam, Kshetrapalika Sila, Prasadam circulation area etc. The Vimanapradakhinam is the second Pradakshinamthat circulates Ananda Nilayam Vimanam. This path has sub-shrines dedicated to Varadaraja and Yoga Narasimha, Potu (main kitchen), Bangaru Bavi (golden fountain), Ankurarpana Mandapam, Yagasala, Nanala (coins and notla (paper notes), Parkamani, Almyrah of sandalwood paste (Chandanapu ara), cell of the Records, Sannidhi Bhashyakarulu, Lords' Hundi and the Seat of Vishvaksena.

Anandanilayam vimanam and Garbhagriha

Garbhagriha is the Sanctum sanctorum, in which the presiding deity Venkateswara resides together with other minor deities. Golden entrance leads to Garbhagriha. In between there are two more doors Bangaruvakili and Garbhagriha. The deity will be in a standing position with four hands Varada Posture, one placed over the thigh and the other two held Shanka and Sudarshana Chakra. The deity is adorned with precious ornaments. The deity wears the goddess Lakshmi on the right breast and the goddess Padmavathi on the left. Pilgrims are not allowed to enter Garbhagriha (Furthermore Kulasekharapadi (Path)).

Ananda Nilayam Vimanam is the main gopuram that was built over ‘.Garbhagriha. This is a three-tiered gopuram with a single kalasam on top. It was covered with gilded copper plates and covered with a gold vase. There are many deities of gods carved over this gopuram. On this gopuram there is a deity from Venkateswara known as "Vimana Venkateswara" It is believed that this is an exact replica of the deity inside Garbhagriha.
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Deities in the temple

Venkateswara, an avatar of Vishnu, is the presiding deity of the temple. The Moolavirat is believed to be Swayambhu (self-manifested).[28]

A replica of Garbhagriha from the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple Left-Sridevi-Bhudevi, Sametha Malayappa Swamy, center-Lord Venkateswara main deity (Dhruva beram),Middle bottom-Bhoga Srinivasa, Law- Ugra Srinivasa, Sita Lakshmana Sametha Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Rukhmini.

Pancha Berams [edit]

According to the Vaikanasa agamas, Venkateswara is represented by five deities (Berams), including the Moolavirat, collectively referred to as Pancha Beramulu (Pancha means five; Beram means deity).[29] The five deities are Dhruva Beram (Moolavar), Kautuka Beram, Snapana Beram, Utsava Beram, and Bali Beram. All Pancha Berams are placed in the Garbha Griha under Ananda Nilayam Vimanam.[29]

  1. Moolavirat or Dhruva Beram- In the center of Garbha Griha, under the Ananda Nilayam Vimana, the Moolavirate of Venkateswara can be seen in a standing lotus-based posture, with four arms, two with Shanka and Chakra and one in Varada and one in Kati. This deity is considered the main source of energy for the temple and adorns himself with namam and jewels such as Vajra Kiritam (diamond crown), Makarakundalams, Nagabharanam, Makara Kanti, Saligrama Haram, Lakshmi Haram.[29] Vaksateswara's wife, Lakshmi, will remain on the Moolavirate's chest as Vyuha Lakshmi.
  2. Bhoga Srinivasa or Kautuka Beram - This is a small 0.3 m long silver deity that was given to the temple in 614 AD by Pallava Queen Samavai to hold festivals. Bhoga Srinivasa is always near the left foot of Moolavirat and is always connected to the main deity through a sacred one Sambandha Kroocha. This deity will receive many daily sevas (pleasures) in the name of Moolavar and therefore be known as Bhoga Srinivasa (In Telugu, Bhoga means pleasure). This deity receives Ekanthaseva daily[30] and SahasraKalasabhisheka on Wednesday.
  3. Ugra Srinivasa or Snapana Beram - This deity represents the terrifying (Telugu: Ugra means angry) aspect of Venkateswara.[31][32] This deity was the main processional deity until 1330 AD when it was replaced by the Swami deity Malayappa.[29] Ugra Srinivasa stays in the Sanctum Sanctorum and comes out in procession only one day a year: on Kaishika Dwadasi, before sunrise.[32][31] This deity receives daily Abhishekam in the name of Moolavirat the name Snapana Beram (Sanskrit: Snapana means purification).
  4. Malayappa spongy or Utsava Beram - Malayappa is the processional deity (Utsava beram) of the temple and is always flanked by the deities of his wives Sridevi and Bhudevi. This deity receives all festivals like Brahmotsavams, Kalyanotsavam, Dolotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva, Padmavati Parinyotsavams, Pushpapallaki, Anivara Asthanam, Ugadi Asthanam etc.
  5. Koluvu Srinivasa or Bali Beram- Koluvu Srinivasa represents Bali Beram. Koluvu Srinivasa is considered the temple's patron deity who rules its financial and economic affairs. The daily Koluvu Seva (Telugu: Koluvu means busy) takes place in the morning. During this time, the deity is informed of the previous day's offers, income and expenses with a representation of the accounts. Panchanga Sravanam is also held at the same time during which on these specific days of Tithi, sunrise and sunset, Nakshatra is communicated to Venkateswara.

Other Murtis [edit]

In addition to Pancha Berams, Garbha Griha also houses Panchaloha deities of Sita, Rama, Lakshmana, Rukmini, Sri Krishna Swamy,[30]Chakratalwar. The temple houses the deities Garuda, Yoga Narasimha, Varadaraja, Kubera and Bedi Anjaneya in their respective sub-sanctuaries. The temple also houses the deities Anantha, Garuda, Viswaksena, Sugriva, Ramanuja. Vimana Venkateswara is the exact replica of Venkateswara engraved on the northwest corner of the second tier of Ananda Nilayam Viamana.[29]


Puja [edit]

The temple follows “Vaikhanasa Agama” Tradition of worship,[33] what is to be revealed by Sage Vikhanasa[34][35] and is propagated by his students Atri, Bhrigu, Marichi, Kasyapa.[34][36] Vaikhanasa is one of the main traditions of Hinduism and primarily worships Vishnu (and his associated avatars) as the Supreme God. This ancient text recommends puja (worship) for Vishnu six times a day, of which at least one puja is compulsory.[37] Rituals are classified as daily, weekly, and periodic. The daily sevas in the temple (in order of their occurrence) include Suprabhata Seva, Thomala Seva, Archana, Kalyanotsavam, Dolotsavam (Unjal Seva), Arjita Brahmotsavam, Arjita Vasantotsavam, Sahasra Dipalankarana Seva, and Ekanta Seva. The temple's weekly sevas include Vishesha Pooja on Monday, Ashtadala Pada Padmaradhana on Tuesday, Sahasra Kalasabhishekam on Wednesday, Tiruppavada Seva on Thursday, Abhishekam and Nijapada Darshanam on Friday. There are no weekly sevas on Saturday and Sunday. Regular rituals include Jyesthabhishekam, Aaniwara Asthanam, Pavithrotsavam, and Koil Alwar Tirumanjanam.

Naivedhyam [edit]

Laddu offered Venkateswara in the Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala

The world famous "Tirupati Laddu“Is given as Prasadam in the Tirumala Temple.[38] Tirupati Laddu had a geographical indication label that only authorized Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to make or sell it.[39][40] Many other prasadams are also offered to Venkateswara and they are classified as Anna prasadams and panyarams.[41] Annaprasadams include Chakerapongal (sweet), Pulihora (tamarind rice), Miryala Pongal, Kadambham, Daddojanam (curd circle).[42] Panyarams include Laddu, Vada, Dosa, Appam, Jilebi, Muruku, Poli, Payasam.[42] Pilgrims receive free meals every day. On Thursdays the Tiruppavada Seva is performed in which Venkateswara is offered a large amount of Pulihora by piling them up in a pyramid shape in Tirummani Mandapam (Ghanta Mandapam).[42]

Darshan [edit]

More than 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims have darshan as the presiding deity, Venkateswara, while on special occasions and festivals such as the annual Brahmotsavams, the number of pilgrims visiting the temple rises to 500,000, making it the most visited sacred place in the world.[8] In order to cope with the large number of devotees visiting the temple, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam established two Vaikuntam queuing complexes: one in 1983 and one in 2000. Vaikuntam queuing complexes have rooms where devotees can sit and wait until they arrive are in turn to achieve darshan. According to tradition, it is important for a devotee that the darshan of the Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple is on the north bank of the Swami Pushkarini before the darshan of Venkateswara is in the main temple.[43]

The administration recently introduced a separate queue for pedestrian pilgrims. A free but limited number of biometric tokens will be issued for pilgrims to access this special queue. Tokens are issued based on availability. The pilgrims can worship Venkateswara at the time slots indicated in the token. There are two entry points for the footpath pilgrims: Alipiri Mettu and Srivari Mettu. Alipiri Mettu is open 24/7, while Srivari Mettu is open from 6am to 6pm.[44]

Hair tonsure

Many devotees have their heads toned as “mokku”, a sacrifice to God. The amount of hair collected daily is over a ton.[45]According to legend, a small part of his scalp went bald when Venkateswara was hit on the head by a shepherd. This was noticed by Neela Devi, a Gandharva princess. She said that “there should be no fault with such an attractive face”. She immediately cut part of her hair and implanted it on his scalp with her magical power. Venkateswara noticed her victim. Since hair is a beautiful addition to the female form, he promised her that all his followers who come to his accommodation would offer him their hair and that she would be the recipient of all hair received. Hence, it is believed that the hair offered by the devotees will be accepted by Neela Devi. The hill Neeladri, one of the seven hills, is named after her.[citation needed]

Hundi (donation pot) [edit]

According to legend, Srinivasa had to make arrangements for his wedding. Kubera credited Venkateswara (a form of the god Vishnu) with money for his marriage to Padmavathi. Srinivasa applied to Kubera for a credit of one crore and 11.4 million (11,400,000) gold coins and had Viswakarma, the divine architect, create a heavenly environment in the Seshadri hills. Srinivasa and Padmavathi lived together for all eternity while Goddess Lakshmi, understanding Vishnu's obligations, chose to live forever in his heart.[citation needed] In remembrance of this, followers go to Tirupati to donate money to Venkateswaras Hundi (donation pot) so that he can pay it back to Kubera. The hundreds of collections reach up to INR 22.5 million per day.[5][46]

Thulabaram [edit]

In the Thulabaram ritual, a devotee sits on one pan of a scale and the other pan is filled with materials greater than the weight of the devotee. Devotees usually offer sugar, jaggery, tulsi leaves, banana, gold, and coins. This is mostly done on newborn babies or children.[47]

Festivals [edit]

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Elephants march during a festival in Tirumala

The Tirumala Sri Venkateswara Temple is a paradise of festivals, where over 433 festivals entitled “Nitya Kalyanam Paccha Toranam” are celebrated 365 days a year, with each day being a festival.[48]

Sri Venkateswara Brahmotsavams, a nine-day event celebrated every October, is the main event at the Sri Venkateswara Temple. During the Brahmotsavams, the processional deity Malayappa is recorded together with his companions SriDevi and BhuDevi in ​​a procession in four Mada streets around the temple on different Vahanams. The Vahanams include Dwajarohanam, Pedda Sesha Vahanam, Chinna Sesha Vahanam, Hamsa Vahanam, Simha Vahanam, Muthaypu Pandiri Vahanam, Kalpavriksha Vahanam, Sarva Bhoopala Vahanam, Mohini Avataram, (Garuda Vahanam) Vahanam, Mohini Avataram, Garuda Vahanam, (Vahanam) (Mohini Vahanam, Garuda Vahanam, (Mohini) Vahanam, Garuda Vahanam, and Snamahanum. During the Brahmotsavams, the temple will witness lakhs of devotees, particularly on Garuda Vahanam. Vaikunta Ekadasi, the day Vaikunta Dwarams is believed to open and the main Vasihnavite festival, is celebrated with grandeur in Tirumala. The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is flooded with devotees of up to 150,000 people in a single day to receive a darshan from Venkateswara through a special entrance surrounding the inner sanctuary called “Vaikunta Dwaram”.[49][50]Rathasapthami is another festival celebrated in February when Venkateswara's processional deity (Malayappa) is led in procession around the temple on seven different vahanams from early morning until late at night.[51] The other annual festivals, which include Rama Navami, Janmashtami, Ugadi, Teppotsavam (Float Festival), Sri Padmavati Parinayotsavams, Pushpa Yagam, Pushpa Pallaki, and Vasanthotsavam (Spring Festival), held from March to April, were celebrated with great splendor.

Songs and hymns

Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam is the first pre-dawn seva performed by Venkateswara in Sayana Mandapam in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Tirumala Temple. “Suprabhatam” is a Sanskrit term that literally means “good morning” and is intended to wake the Lord out of his heavenly sleep.[52][53] Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam hymns were composed in the 13th century by Prathivadhi Bhayankaram Annangaracharya and consist of 70 slokas in four parts, including Suprabhatam (29), Stotram (11), Prapatti (14) and Mangalasasanam (16).[53][52] The thirteenth sloka of Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam is as follows:[52]


श्रीवेङ्कटाचलपते तव सुप्रभातम्॥

śrīveṅkaṭācalapate tava suprabhātam॥

One with Lakshmi! One who grants boons! Friend of all worlds! Residence of Sri Lakshmi! The incomparable ocean of compassion! One with an adorable shape because of the chest that is Sri Lakshmi's residence! Lord of Venkatachala! May it be an auspicious dawn for you. ॥ 13॥

Tallapaka Annamacharya (Annamayya), the poet's saint[54] By the 14th century, one of Telugu's greatest poets and a great fan of Venkateswara had sung 32,000 songs in praise of Venkateswara.[55][54] All of his songs, which are in Telugu and Sanskrit, are called Sankirtanas and are classified as Sringara Sankirtanalu and Adhyatma Sankirtanalu.[54]

The seven hills

The temple is on seven hills.[56] The presiding deity is also known as Sapthagirisha[56] or Lord of the Seven Hills.[57] It is believed that seven hills, also called saptagiri, represent the seven domes of Adisesha. The seven hills are as follows:[56]

Lord Anjaneya's magnificent statue in Tirumala
  • Vrushabhadri - Hill of Nandi, the Vahana of Shiva and the incarnation of Vishnu
  • Anjanadri - Hill of Hanuman.
  • Neeladri - Hill of Neela Devi
  • Garudadri or Garudachalam - hill of Garuda, the Vahana of Vishnu
  • Seshadri or Seshachalam - hill of Sesha, the Dasa of Vishnu
  • Narayanadri - Narayana Hill. Srivari Padalu at this location
  • Venkatadri - Venkateswara Hill

Undercreams [edit]

Varadaraja temple

In Vimana-pradakshinam, to the left of Vendivakili (silver entrance), there is a small shrine dedicated to Varadaraja as you enter the temple.[58] It is not known when this deity was installed. The stone deity[58] sits to the west.

Yoga Narasimha Temple

A shrine is dedicated to Narasimha in the northeast corner of Vimana Pradakshina.[59]The shrine is said to have been built between 1330 and 1360[citation needed] The Yoga Narasimha sits cross-legged, tied to Yoga Patta, and holds Shankha and Chakra in the two upper hands and two lower hands in Yoga Mudra.[59]

Garuthmantha Temple

A small shrine dedicated to Garuda, the vehicle of Venkateswara, is just opposite the Bangaruvakili (Golden Entrance) of Jaya-Vijaya. This sub-shrine is part of Garudamandapam. The Garuthmantha deity is six feet tall and faces west towards Venkateswara in Garbhagriha.

Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple

The Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple is the temple dedicated to Varaha, an incarnation of Vishnu. It is believed that this temple is older than the Sri Venkateswara Temple. The temple is located on the north bank of Swami Pushkarini. According to tradition, Naivedyam is first offered to Bhuvaraha Swamy before it is offered to Venkateswara in the main temple. And also according to tradition, devotees should float the darshan of Bhuvaraha in front of Venkateswara.

Bedi Anjaneya Temple

The Bedi Anjaneya Temple is the sub-shrine dedicated to Hanuman. The temple is just opposite the Mahadwaram near Akhilandam (place where coconuts are offered). The deity in this temple has both hands handcuffed (Telugu language: Bedilu).

Vakulamatha Sannidhi

Vakulamatha is the mother of Venkateswara. There is a statue dedicated to her in the main temple in front of the Varadaraja Shrine. The deity is seated. According to legend, she oversees the preparation of dishes to be offered to her son. For this reason a hole is made in the wall separating Vakulamatha sannidhi and Srivari potu (kitchen).

Kubera Sannidi

In Vimanapradakshina there is a sub-shrine dedicated to Kubera. The deity lies on the right side of Garbhagriha and faces south towards the presiding deity.

Ramanuja Shrine

The sanctuary of Sri Ramanuja is located next to the northern corridor of Vimana Pradakshinam. It is also known as Bhashyakara Sannidhi. The shrine was built in the 13th century AD

Notable followers

Ramanuja (1017–1137)[60] the most important Acharya of Sri Vaishnavism.[60] was responsible for administering the worship procedures and other affairs of the Sri Venkateswara Temple. He is credited with giving the sacred shell and the discus, the weapons of Vishnu, during his visit. So he is seen as an ‘Acharya’ (guru or teacher) for himself.[61][62] He founded the Pedda Jeeyar Matam. He has a sannidhi (shrine) in the temple.

Statue of Pada-kavita Pitaamaha, Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya (or Annamayya) - official songmaster of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple

Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya (or Annamayya) (May 22, 1408 - April 4, 1503) was the official songmaster of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple and a Telugu composer who composed around 36,000 keertanas.[63] Many of them praised Venkateswara, the presiding deity of the temple.

Hathiram Bhavaji was an Ayodhya saint who visited Tirumala around AD 1500[64] on a pilgrimage and became a follower of Venkateswara.[65][66]

Religious meaning [edit]

The temple is considered one of the eight Swayambhu Kshetras from Vishnu, where the presiding deity is believed to have self-manifested. Seven other temples in the row are the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple, the Bhu Varaha Swamy Temple and the Vanamamalai Perumal Temple in South India as well as the Saligrama Temple in Nepal, the Naimisaranya Temple, the Pushkar Temple and the Badrinath Temple in North India.[67]

The temple is venerated by Alvars in Divya Prabandham. The temple is classified as Divyadesam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples mentioned in these books. The benefits of a pilgrimage to Venkatachala are mentioned in the Puranas Rig Veda and Asthadasa. In these epics Sri Venkateswara is described as the great blessing giver. There are several legends associated with the manifestation of the in Tirumala.

Temple nearby

There are many ancient temples near Tirumala. Sri Padamavathi Temple is a temple dedicated to Padmavathi, the wife of Venkateswara. It is located in Tiruchanur, 5 km from Tirupati. The Srikalahasteeswara Temple is the temple dedicated to Shiva that "Vayu“(Air) form of elements of nature is located in Srikalahasti, 38 km from Tirupati. Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple in Kanipakam City is a 10th century temple dedicated to Vinayaka, 75 km from Tirupati. Temples such as Govindaraja Temple, Kalyana Venkateswara Temple (Srinivasa Mangapuram), Kodandarama Temple, and Kapila Theertham are located in the city of Tirupati.

See also [edit]

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