Tirupati Temple

About The Temple

Introduction of Tirupati Temple

The Vashnavite Temple of Tirupati is situated in the hilly town of Tirumala at Tirupati that is in the Chittoor district of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. It is located on the peak of the Venkatadri. The exact beginning of the Temple remains unknown. The Temple built in Dravidian architecture is said to have begun in 300 A.D. and continued over the ages. The first silver image was consecrated in the early 7th century by the Pallava dynasty queen Samavai. By the 12th century it was already built as recorded by saint Ramanuja.

The self-manifest salvific presence

The Tirupathi temple AP is dedicated to Sri Venkateswara, a form of Lord Vishnu who is the preserver in the Hindu Trimutri. The lord is said to have turned himself into stone on the seventh hill of the Tirumal range so as to emancipate humankind from the perpetual troubles of Kali Yuga. The Incarnation of Lord Vishnu is accompanied by his wives Lakshmi and Padmavathi who too are said to have turned into stone so as to be with the Lord are said to fulfill the wishes of all who visit them. It is said that if you donate ten rupees at the temple, you will get back manifold as the Divine blessing.

The presiding deity

The presiding deity of the Temple is Lord Sri Venkateswara, the Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver of the Universe. The main deity of Sri Venkatachalapati is called the Dhruva Beram. Dhruva means the pole star or that which is fixed and Beram means deity. This is to imply that the deity that was affixed here by the Lord turning into stone at his manifest wish. Sri Venkatachalapati at Tirupati is said to be the only Moolavar in the sanctum sanctorum. It is also said that this deity is the only Eka Murthy or the single idol Temple that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in India.

Details of the deity

The deity of Lord Venkateswara is made out of stone that is about eight feet or about two and a half meters from it’s toe to the top of it’s crown. The Sthanaka or the standing figure of the Lord stands on a lotus pedestal. The image is ornamented with several precious gems and jewels and is perpetually kept decorated with flowers. Among the decoration is a Lakshmi garland that is a necklace that has one hundred and eight images of Lakshmi.

The Salagrama garland that adorns the Lord is made of salagrams encased in pure gold and a Dasavatara belt that is exquisitely carved hangs around His waist. While the Suryakatari or the golden sword hangs from his belt, the two gold sculpted plagues of Lakshmi and Padmavathi adorn His chest.

Surrounding shrines in the complex

There are several sub-shrines present within the complex the principal being the Varadaraja Temple dedicated to another incarnation of Vishnu located to the left of the main entrance of the complex. The Yoga Narashima Temple dedicated to the lion-headed Incarnation of Lord Vishnu is located at the right of the main complex entrance. The small shrine of Garuda, the vehicle of the Lord is situated opposite to the Golden entrance looking inside the Garbhagriha. The Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple dedicated to the Varaha incarnation of Vishnu on the Northern banks of Swami Pushlarinin is supposed to be visited before the main Tirupathi temple darshan of Lord Venkateswara.

The Bedi-Anjaneya Temple dedicated to Lored Hanumana has the deity handcuffed. The statue of Vakalamatha who is the mother of Lord Venkateswara is situated such that she supervises the preparation of the food for her son through the hole in the kitchen before her. The sub-shrine dedicated to Lord Kuber lies on the right side of the sanctum sanctorum. There is also a shrine built to Srin Pamanuja in the 13th century in the northern corridor.

Puja ritual and tradition folowed

The Tirupathi temple puja is done according to the Vaikhanasa Agama worship tradition as was revealed by the sage Vikhanasa. This tradition is one of the principal Hindu worship traditions according to which Lord Vishnu is worshiped. The ancient text of Vaikhanasa recommends that the Lord be offered puja for six times in a day. Of them one puja at least is mandatory. Presently three of the six pujas are performed at the Tirupati Temple and they are the Usha Kala Puja that is done during the period of sunrise, the Madhyahna Puja that is begun before noon at completed at noon and the Nishi Puja that is offered after the horizon is totally dark.

Special celebrations at Tirupati

The Brahmotsavam that is said to be first celebrated by Lord Brahma in honor of Lord Venkateswara is a nine day event celebrated during the Sharad Navaratri that is in the month of September – October. During this special festival the processional deity of Lord Malayappa and his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi are taken out on the four streets around the Temple on different vahanas or vehicles. The Vaikunta Ekadashi that is the main Vaishnavitie festival is celebrated with much grandeur at Tirupati where the devotees have a darshan of the Lord through the special entrance that encircles the sanctum sanctorum called the Vaikunta Dwaram.

During the Vasanthotsavam or the festival of colors is celebrated for three days in April – May where the Lord and His consorts play with colors and the devotees too spray the colors on them. Other important celebrations are the Teppotsavam or the boat festival in July – August, the Pavitrotsavam in November – December, the Rathasapthami in February when the lord is taken out on seven vahanas around the Temple. Janmasthami, Ugadi, Teppotsavam are among the other major celebrations. There are variable Tirupathi temple timing for the regular as well as he special occasions that you can check from the online official site.

On a holy pilgrimage

A pilgrimage to the Tirupati is a desire by almost all Hindu devotes. As the Incarnation is present on the hill top at the manifest desire of the Universal preserver Himself, most pilgrimage to Tirupati is made for the fulfillment of material desires here in this Kali Yuga. Pilgrims also tonsure their heads and offer it to the Lord as a part of their devotion apart from the enormous amount of wealth. Pilgrims procure the Tirupathi temple Prasad given free at the temple or buy them too.

How To Reach

Tirupati is well accessible place as it is one of the most visited Temples in India. Almost every mode of transport connects the place from nodal points.

  • The Tirupati Airport is only 14 km from the town center with regular flights that connect it to Delhi and Hyderabad.
  • The nearest international airport is the Chennai International Airport that is about 200 km away from Tirupati. This is the best option for those of you who wish to go on a pilgrimage to Tirupati from outside India.
  • There are also buses and taxis services from Chennai that will take you to Tirupati directly.
  • Tirupati is well accessible by rail routes and it has a railway station that is located within the town. Major points like Kanyakumari, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai are all connected to Tirupati by trains.
  • There is a network of buses that connect Tirupati within the state of Andhra Pradesh as well as outside the state. If you wish to drive down from Chennai, you will be covering the approximate distance of 137 km in about 3 hours.
  • Within the city of Tirupati, autos and taxis are the common mode of transport. You can also explore the small city by foot.

 

Nearby Attractions

Apart from the Tirupathi temple images Tirumala is a holy city and has some other destinations for the devout Hindu who is here on a pilgrimage to wash away the sins and receive graces from the Divinity.

  • Govindarajaswami Temple is an important shrine that is dedicated to Lord Parthasarathy and Lord Goovindaraja who is Lord Balaji’s elder brother. The puja and the festival celebrations here are therefore similar to those at the main Tirupati shrine. There are also other shirnes within this temple premises that was built in the 12th century by saint Ramanujacharya.
  • Srikalahasti is one of the most sought after shrines by the pilgrims coming to visit Tirumal. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Shiv Linga here is worshiped as the Vayu Linga that is symbolic of one of the elements of the universe. While one oil lamp perpetually flickers here, the others remain motionless.
  • Kanipakam is a shrine that is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is believed that the idol grows in size. It is an ancient temple built in the 11th century.
  • Kapileswaraswami Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated at the base of the Tirumala hills has exquisite architectural beauty. Pilgrims also make it a point to visit the natural waterfall next to it known as the Kapila Teertam for a holy spray.
  • Tiruchanur temple located 5 km away from the main city is home to Padmavathi Devo or Godess Lakshmi and the pilgrimage to Tirupati is incomplete without a visit here.
  • Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple that is located about 12 km from Tirupati is said to have been the place where Lord Venkataswara resided for six months on the banks of the River Kalyani before his journey to Tirupati.

History Of Temple

The legend and the history

The deity of the Temple had a legendary beginning of which the Venkatachala Mahatyam is the most widely accepted. At the onset of the Kali Yuga the sages were performing the yajna when Bhrigu on the advice of Narad set out to find who of the Trimurti could receive the fruits of the Yagna. Shiva and Brahma did not notice the third eye on the foot but Vishnu saw it all and pretended to ignore the sage that infuriated him and he kicked Vishnu on the chest. The Lord on the pretext of massaging his foot crushed the third eye.

This infuriated Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu who began to meditate on earth. Vishu followed her and too began to meditate. Lakshmi coming to know of it prayed so that Siva and Brahma so supply Vishnu with milk. Consequently the King of the place bore a curse from Vishnu due to beating the cow and to relieve him from the curse he had to take birth again to whose daughter Vishnu would be married. When it was accomplished, Lakshmi came to confront Vishnu who turned into the stone image at the Temple to salvage His devotee with His perpetual presence. Lakshmi and Padmavathi too turned to stone to remain with their Husband the Lord.

The Tirupathi temple history though has unknown origins but is in attestation since the early centuries. Constructed according to the Dravidian architecture the Temple is mentioned as the hundred and sixth and also the last of the earthly Divya Desam. The Temple flourished under the different ruling dynasties from the 6th century onwards who were devotees of the Lord. The Vijayanagara Empire rulers are largely responsible for the present wealthy status of the Temple. There are several inscriptions on the walls of the temple that authenticate the continuous relationship of the rulers with the temple for over eight centuries.