Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
Overview
 
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple (Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

: తిరుమల వెంకటేశ్వర దేవాలయము)), is a Hindu temple
Hindu temple
A Mandir, Devalayam, Devasthanam, or a Hindu temple is a place of worship for followers of Hinduism...

 in the hill town of Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district
Chittoor district
Chittoor District , also known as Chittur, is a district of India's Andhra Pradesh state. The district headquarters is Chittoor City. The district has a population of 4,170,468 according to 2011 census of India. Chittoor district is famous for the Tirupati, Kanipakam and Sri Kalahasti temples...

 of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

, South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

. It is around 150 km (93.2 mi) from Chennai
Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

, 500 km (310.7 mi) from Hyderabad, and 250 km (155.3 mi) from Bangalore
Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

.

The Tirumala Hill is 853m above sea level and is about 10.33 square miles (27 km²) in area.
Encyclopedia
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple (Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

: తిరుమల వెంకటేశ్వర దేవాలయము)), is a Hindu temple
Hindu temple
A Mandir, Devalayam, Devasthanam, or a Hindu temple is a place of worship for followers of Hinduism...

 in the hill town of Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district
Chittoor district
Chittoor District , also known as Chittur, is a district of India's Andhra Pradesh state. The district headquarters is Chittoor City. The district has a population of 4,170,468 according to 2011 census of India. Chittoor district is famous for the Tirupati, Kanipakam and Sri Kalahasti temples...

 of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

, South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

. It is around 150 km (93.2 mi) from Chennai
Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

, 500 km (310.7 mi) from Hyderabad, and 250 km (155.3 mi) from Bangalore
Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

.

The Tirumala Hill is 853m above sea level and is about 10.33 square miles (27 km²) in area. It comprises seven peaks, representing the seven heads of Adisesha, thus earning the name Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri, and Venkatadri. The temple is on Venkatadri (also known as Venkatachala or Venkata Hill), the seventh peak, and is also known as the "Temple of Seven Hills" (Saptagiri सप्तगिरी in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

). The presiding deity
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

 of the temple is Lord Venkateswara, a form of the Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 god Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

. Venkateswara is known by other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa. The temple lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini, a holy water tank. The temple complex comprises a traditional temple building, with a number of modern queue and pilgrim lodging sites.

The temple is the richest pilgrimage center, after the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram , formerly known as Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala and the headquarters of the Thiruvananthapuram District. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland...

, Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, of any faith (at more than 50,000 crore
Crore
A crore is a unit in the Indian number system equal to ten million , or 100 lakhs. It is widely used in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan....

) and the most-visited place of worship in the world. The temple is visited by about 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily (30 to 40 million people annually on average), while on special occasions and festivals, like the annual Brahmotsavam
Brahmotsavam
Tirumala Brahmotsavam is an annual festival at Tirumala Lord Venkateswara Temple celebrated for nine days in the months of September and October. The celebration attracts pilgrims and tourists from all partsof the nation and across the world.- Brahmotsavam :...

, the number of pilgrims shoots up to 500,000, making it the most-visited holy place in the world.

There are several legends
Legend of Tirumala
Sri Venkatachala Mahatyam is the most accepted legend with respect to Tirumala, which provides the history of the temple across the various yugas.-Varaha Kshetra:...

 associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. According to one legend, the temple has a murti
Murti
In Hinduism, a murti , or murthi, or vigraha or pratima typically refers to an image which expresses a Divine Spirit . Meaning literally "embodiment", a murti is a representation of a divinity, made usually of stone, wood, or metal, which serves as a means through which a divinity may be worshiped...

 (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which it is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga...

. Tirumala has remained a highly frequented pilgrimage site in Tamilakam
Tamilakam
' refers to the classical era territory of old South Indian royalties covering modern Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Tamil Eelam and southern parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka.; In an academic context, Tamilakam is used to refer to these territories as a single cultural area, where Tamil was the natural...

 throughout most of its history and was a principle temple in the country of Tondai Nadu
Tondai Nadu
Tondai Nadu is a historical region located in the northernmost part of Tamil Nadu. The region comprises the districts which formed a part of the traditional Pallava kingdom...

 before the territory was transferred to Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

 in the 20th century CE. Almost all the epigraphs of the temple are in Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 and interspersed with Grantha characters.

Ancient history

In the Dvapara Yuga
Dvapara Yuga
Dvapara Yuga or Dwapara Yuga is the third out of four yugas, or ages, described in the scriptures of Hinduism. This yuga comes after Treta Yuga and is followed by Kali Yuga...

, the hill was known by the name of Sheshachala or Sheshadri. The place was known as Venkatachala for centuries; it is believed that this name was given by Lord Brahma. Ancient literature works Silappatikaram and Manimekalai
Manimekalai
Manimekalai or Maṇimekalai , written by the Tamil Buddhist poet Seethalai Saathanar is one of the masterpieces of Tamil literature. It is considered to be one of the five great epics of Tamil literature. Manimekalai is a poem in 30 cantos...

 refer to this place as Thiruvengadam. "Ven" means "sin" and "Kata" means "destroyed or burnt". Therefore the name means that a person who worships there will get cleansed of all sins.

A Thondaiman
Thondaiman
The Thodaimans were Tamil rulers of ancient Tondai Nadu division of Tamilakkam. They ruled with Pallava dynasty, which controlled Northern Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, with their capital at Kanchipuram...

 ruler of ancient Tondai Nadu
Tondai Nadu
Tondai Nadu is a historical region located in the northernmost part of Tamil Nadu. The region comprises the districts which formed a part of the traditional Pallava kingdom...

 is believed to have first built the temple after visualizing Lord Vishnu in a dream. He built the Gopuram
Gopuram
A Gopuram or Gopura, is a monumental tower, usually ornate, at the entrance of any temple, especially in Southern India. This forms a prominent feature of Koils, Hindu temples of the Dravidian style. They are topped by the kalasam, a bulbous stone finial...

 and the Prakhara, and arranged for regular prayers to be conducted in the temple. Later on, the Chola Dynasty
Chola Dynasty
The Chola dynasty was a Tamil dynasty which was one of the longest-ruling in some parts of southern India. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BC left by Asoka, of Maurya Empire; the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until...

 (300 BC–1279) vastly improved the temple and gave rich endowments.

Medieval history

The Pallavas of Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram
Kanchipuram, or Kanchi, is a temple city and a municipality in Kanchipuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a temple town and the headquarters of Kanchipuram district...

 (9th century AD), the Cholas of Tanjore (10th century), and Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara is in Bellary District, northern Karnataka. It is the name of the now-ruined capital city "which was regarded as the second Rome" that surrounds modern-day Hampi, of the historic Vijayanagara empire which extended over the southern part of India....

 pradhan
Pradhan
Pradhan is a high, generally ministerial, title of Sanskrit origin in cultures of Hindu tradition, mainly in and around the Indian subcontinent. Pradhan literally means "Prime"...

s (14th and 15th centuries) were committed devotees of Lord Venkateswara. During the invasion of Srirangam
Srirangam
Srirangam , Old name is Vellithirumutha gramam and Tamil name is Thiruvarangam , is an island and a part of the city of Tiruchirapalli , in South India....

 by Malik Kafur
Malik Kafur
Malik Kafur, General , or Chand Ram as his name was originally, was a slave who became a head general in the army of Alauddin Khilji, ruler of the Delhi sultanate from 1296 to 1316 AD. He was originally seized by Alauddin's army after the army conquered the city of Khambhat...

 in 1310-11 AD, the Ranga Mandapam of the temple served as the shelter for the presiding deity of Srirangam
Srirangam
Srirangam , Old name is Vellithirumutha gramam and Tamil name is Thiruvarangam , is an island and a part of the city of Tiruchirapalli , in South India....

, Ranganatha Swamy. Later, under the rule of the Vijayanagara emperors, was when the temple gained most of its current wealth and size, with the donation of diamonds and gold. In 1517 Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishna Deva Raya
Krishnadevaraya
Śrī Kriṣhṇa Devarāya , , , and also known as Krishna Devarayulu in some inscriptions was the famed Emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire who reigned from 1509–1529 CE.He is the third ruler of the Tuluva Dynasty. Presiding over the empire at its zenith, he is regarded as an icon by many Indians...

, on one of his many visits to the temple, donated gold and jewels, enabling the Vimana
Vimana
Vimāna is a word with several meanings ranging from temple or palace to mythological flying machines described in Sanskrit epics.-Etymology and usage:Sanskrit vi-māna literally means "measuring out, traversing" or "having been measured out"...

 (inner shrine) roofing to be gilded. Statues of Sri Krishna Deva Raya and his spouse stand in the premises of the temple. After the decline of Vijayanagara Empire, kings from states such as Mysore and Gadwal
Gadwal
Gadwal is a town, Mandal and a municipality in Mahbubnagar district in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located 188 km from Hyderabad, the state's capital.- Geography :Gadwal is located at...

 worshiped as pilgrims and gave ornaments and valuables to the temple. Maratha
Maratha
The Maratha are an Indian caste, predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has three related usages: within the Marathi speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; outside Maharashtra it can refer to the entire regional population of Marathi-speaking people;...

 general Raghoji I Bhonsle
Raghoji I Bhonsle
Raghoji I Bhonsle was a Maratha general who took control of the Nagpur Kingdom in east-central Indiaduring the reign of Shahu. His successors ruled the kingdom until 1853....

 (died 1755) visited the temple and set up a permanent administration for the conduct of worship in the temple. There is an idol of Raja Todar Mal who was the revenue minister of Akbar, greeting pilgrims in the premises of the temple.

Modern history

In 1843, with the coming of the East India Company
East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

, the administration of the Sri Venkateswara Temple and a number of shrines was entrusted to Seva Dossji of the Hathiramji Mutt at Tirumala as Vicaranakarta for nearly a century until the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams also referred as TTD is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh...

 (TTD) was established as a result of the TTD Act in 1932.

TTD is operated by a Board of Trustees that has increased in size from five (1951) to fifteen (1987) through the adoption of Acts. The daily operation and management of TTD is the responsibility of an executive officer who is appointed by the government of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

.

The temple attracts approximately 75,000 pilgrims every day. The annual budget, estimated at Rs 10 billion in 2008, is funded mostly by donations. TTD runs charitable trusts whose funds are derived from the budget and donations from the devotees.

Vimanam

The vimanam is a monumental tower with a golden roof. Its inner temple or vimanam
Vimana (shrine)
‎Vimana is a term for the tower above the Garbhagriha or Sanctum sanctorum in a Hindu temple.-Architecture:A typical Hindu temple in Dravidian style may have multiple gopurams, typically constructed into multiple walls in tiers around the main shrine...

houses the main deity, Lord Sri Venkateswara. The deity stands directly beneath a gilt dome called the Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana. This exquisitely wrought deity, called the Mulaberam, is believed to be self-manifested, and no human being is known to have installed it in the shrine. The Lord wears a gold crown with a large emerald embedded in the front. On special occasions, he is adorned with a diamond crown. The Lord has a thick double tilaka
Tilaka
200px|thumb|right|Indian woman with tilaka and [[Bindi |bindi]]In Hinduism, the tilaka or tika or tilak is a mark worn on the forehead and other parts of the body...

 drawn on his forehead, which screens his eyes. His ears are decorated with golden earrings. His right hand is raised in a fist, which is decorated with a gem-set chakra
Chakra
Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning" .Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices...

; the left fist contains a Shankha
Shankha
Shankha bhasam , also spelled and pronounced as Shankh and Sankha, is a conch shell of ritual and religious importance in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is the shell of a large predatory sea snail,Turbinella pyrum found in the Indian Ocean....

 (conch shell). The front right hand has its fingers pointing to his feet. His front left hand is akimbo. His body is dressed with yellow clothing tied with gold string and a gold belt with gold bells. He has a yajnopavita (sacred thread) flowing down crosswise from his left shoulder. He bears Sri Lakshmi Devi on his right chest and Sri Padmavathi Devi
Alamelu
Alamelu also known as Alamelmanga and Padmavati , is a Hindu devi. Believed to be a form of Lakshmi, the Hindu devi of wealth and good fortune, Alamelu is the consort of Sri Venkateshwara...

 on his left chest. His feet are covered with gold frames and decked with gold anklets. A curved gold belt encompasses his legs. The Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana was covered with gilt copper plates and surmounted with a golden vase in the 13th century, during the reign of the Vijayanagara king Yadava Raya.

Ramanuja

Ramanuja was the architect of Tirupati and the father of the Sri Vaishnava community there. He designed the flower gardens of the temple. He was responsible for managing the worship procedures and other affairs of the Sri Venkateswara temple. His shrine was built around the 13th century. It overlooks the western end of the Tirumamani Mandapam. There are two tall copper images of the Dvarapala
Dvarapala
Dvarapala is a door or gate guardian often portrayed as warrior or fearsome asura giant, usually armed with a weapon, the most common is gadha mace...

s (door guardians) Jaya and Vijaya
Jaya-Vijaya
Jaya and Vijaya are the two demigod gatekeepers of the abode of Vishnu, known as Vaikuntha .-Curse of the four Kumaras:...

 on either side of the door. The door is covered with gilt plates depicting the Dashavatara of Sri Maha Vishnu. The doorway is directly in line with the Padi Kavali and the Vendi Vakili. It admits pilgrims to the Snapana Mandapam. Suprabhatam is sung in front of this door. The Pandyan emblem of two fish and a hook is carved on the wall next to the entrance. The right hand of the stone image of Ramanuja is held in the gesture of exposition (vyakhyana mudra
Mudra
A mudrā is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. While some mudrās involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers...

), and the left hand in the form of boon bestowal (varada hasta) or of holding a book (pustaka hasta). The shrine figures prominently during the festival of Adhyayanotsavam, which is a typical Pancharatra observance. Special worship is conducted in this shrine during Gandhapodi Utsavam and Bhashyakara Utsavam. The presiding deity of Ramanuja is taken in a grand procession to meet Malayappa near the Padi Kavali.

Deities in the temple

  1. Moolavirat or Dhruva Beram
    Tirumala Dhruva Bera
    Tirumala Dhruva Bera is the name given to the idol of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh. Dhruva Bera is the official terminology used for the main deity of a temple with the exact translation being The Immobile image and as the name suggests, the idol is stationary...

    — The main stone deity of Lord Venkateshwara is called Dhruva Beram (beram means "deity", and dhruva means "pole star" or "fixed"). The deity is about 8 feet (2.4 m) from the toes to the top of the crown and is considered the main source of energy for the temple.
  2. Kautuka Beram or Bhoga Srinivasa
    Bhoga Srinivasa
    Bhoga Srinivasa is a silver deity that is a near replica of the main deity of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. The lord is also known as Manavalapperumal or Kautuka Bera. The deity is utilized for performing daily Abhishekam ceremony and daily Ekanta Seva...

    — This is a tiny one-foot (0.3 m) silver deity, which was given to the temple in 614 AD by Pallava Queen Samavai Perindevi, and has never been removed from the temple from the day it was installed. This deity is popularly known as Bhoga Srinivasa, because it enjoys all the Bhoga (worldly pleasures) which the Moolavirat has. This deity sleeps in a golden cot every night and receives Sahasra Kalashabishekam every Wednesday. This deity is always placed near the left foot of Moolavirat and is always connected to the main deity by a holy Sambandha Kroocha. The deity is always faced at an angle of 45 degrees towards the devotees, because it holds a Prayoga ("ready to strike") Chakra
    Chakra
    Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning" .Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices...

    .
  3. Snapana Beram or Ugra Srinivasa
    Ugra Srinivasa
    Ugra Srinivasa is one of the idols in the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. Ugra means anger and the idol which was originally called Venkatatturaivar is supposed to represent the anger aspect of Lord Venkateswara...

    — This idol of the Lord represents the anger part of Lord Venkateshwara. He remains inside the sanctum sanctorum, and comes out on only one day each year: on Kaishika Dwadasi, before the sunrise. Snapana means "cleansing". The idol is cleansed daily with holy waters, milk, curds, ghee, sandalwood paste, turmeric, and so on.
  4. Utsava Beram — This is the form of the Lord which comes out of the temple to see the devotees. This deity is also called Malayappa
    Malayappa swami
    Malayappa swami is the current utsava murti in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala. Malayappa swami is worshipped during religious ceremonies and processions wherein it would be innapropriate to use the main deity...

    , and its consorts are Sridevi
    Lakshmi
    Lakshmi or Lakumi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity , light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments...

     and Bhudevi
    Bhumi
    Bhumi can mean:* Bhūmi, Hindu goddess of the earth**also, earth as a classical element in Hindu tradition* Bhumi , the ten stages a Bodhisattva advances through in the path to become a Buddha...

    . These three deities were found in a cave called Malayappan Konai in the holy Tirumala Hills. Originally Ugra Srinivasa was the Utsava Beram (the procession deity), and frequently disastrous fires were happening whenever the deity was taken out for processions. People prayed to the Lord for a solution. The Lord appeared in dreams, and ordered the people to find a suitable set of idols hidden in the Holy Tirumala hills for the Utsavar (procession). The hunt began, and the villagers called the idol they found Malayappa, which means "king of the hills". After these idols were brought to the temple, the number of programmes increased to include Nitya Kalyanaotsavam, Sahasra Deepalankara Seva
    Seva in Tirumala
    Arjitha Seva means performing seva to the Lord on payment of a fee to the temple. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams oversee the worship of the Lord and his finances. There are three kinds of Sevas: Daily Seva, Weekly Seva and Annual Seva....

    , Arjita Brahmotsavam, Nityaotsvam, Dolotsavam, and others. Jewels worth millions of rupees have been donated as offerings to these idols.
  5. Bali Beram or Koluvu Srinivasa
    Koluvu Srinivasa
    Koluvu Srinivasa is an idol of Lord Venkateswara in the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh. This silver idol that resembles the main deity represents the presiding officer for all activities and rituals in the temple. Koluvu Srinivasa is regarded as the guardian deity of the temple and...

    — This silver idol resembles the main deity, and represents the presiding officer for all activities and rituals in the temple. The idol is also called Bali Beram. Koluvu Srinivasa is regarded as the guardian deity of the temple that presides over its financial and economic affairs. Daily offerings are made to the deity, with a presentation of accounts. There are also rituals performed in July each year, at the end of the fiscal year.

Worship

The names ascribed to the main deity are Balaji, Srinivasa, Venkateswara, and Venkatachalapathy. The goddess Sri or Lakshmi
Lakshmi
Lakshmi or Lakumi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity , light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments...

 (Vishnu's consort) resides on the chest of Venkateswara; thus, he is also known by the epithet "Srinivasa" (the one in whom Sri resides). The goddesses Lakshmi and Padmavathi reside on either side of his chest. The deity is considered the Kali yuga
Kali Yuga
Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga...

 varada, that is, 'the boon-granting Lord of Kali yuga'. (Kali yuga is the fourth and final age of the Hindu cycle of ages
Wheel of time
The Wheel of time or wheel of history is a concept found in several religious traditions and philosophies, notably religions of Indian origin such as Hinduism and Buddhism, which regard time as cyclical and consisting of repeating ages...

). The temple is held in particular reverence by the Vaishnava sect of southern India, known as the Sri Vaishnava.

For worshippers, the deity Venkateswara symbolises goodness
Sattva
In Hindu philosophy, sattva is the most rarefied of the three gunas in Samkhya, sāttvika "pure", rājasika "dim", and tāmasika "dark". Importantly, no value judgement is entailed as all guna are indivisible and mutually qualifying...

. When people travel to Tirupati, they chant the mantra
Mantra
A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation"...

 Yedu Kondala Vada Venkataramana Govinda
Govinda
' and ' are names of Krishna, referring to his youthful occupation as a cowherd. He is regarded as the Supreme Godhead in the Vaishnava tradition and also by much of the pan-Hindu tradition...

 Govinda
(in Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

) or Om namo narayanaaya or Om Sri Venkatesaya Namah (in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

). Lord Venkateswara is believed by followers to be a very merciful form of Vishnu, being the fulfiller of every wish made to him by the devotees.

The Venkateswara Suprabhatam, the morning recital of prayers and songs of awakening, was written by Prathivadhi Bhayankaram Annangaracharya of Kanchipuram and sung by M. S. Subbulakshmi. Several composers composed beautiful kirtanas about Lord Venkateswara, the most notable amongst them being Tyagaraja
Tyagaraja
Kakarla Tyagabrahmam , colloquially known as Tyāgarājar and Tyagayya was one of the greatest composers of Carnatic music or classical South Indian music. He, along with his contemporaries Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastry, forms the Trinity of Carnatic music...

 and Annamacharya
Annamacharya
Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya was the official songmaster of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, and a Telugu composer who composed around 36000 keertana songs, many of which were in praise of Venkateswara, the presiding deity of the temple...

, who composed mostly in Telugu. Annamacharya
Annamacharya
Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya was the official songmaster of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, and a Telugu composer who composed around 36000 keertana songs, many of which were in praise of Venkateswara, the presiding deity of the temple...

 (1408–1503) was a legendary devotee of Lord Venkateswara and composed songs almost exclusively about the deity.

Lord Vishnu is worshiped in the Temple as per Vaikhanasa traditions. The ancient texts of the sage Marichi
Marichi
Rishi Marichi or Mareechi or Marishi is the son of Brahma, the cosmic creator, and also one of the Saptarshi , in the First Manvantara, with others being Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, and Vashishtha .Before the creation started, Lord Brahma needed a few people who can be held responsible...

 (the Bhagvad Shastram and Vimanarchana Kalpam) state that Lord Vishnu here should be worshipped six times a day.
  1. UshaKala Aradhana — worship (or Aradhana) should start and finish before sunrise
  2. Prathakala Aradhana — worship should start after sunrise and finish before noon
  3. Madhyanika Aradhana — worship should start and finish at noon
  4. Aparahana Aradhana — worship should start when the sun starts to descend
  5. SandhyaKala Aradhana — worship should start and finish around the sunset
  6. Ardharatri Aradhana — worship should start after the horizon is completely dark


All the Aradhana is done by hereditary Vaikhanasa priests, who have performed the services for generations. Only these priests have the right to touch and offer services to the Lord. These set of Archakas
Pujari
Pujari means one who does the Puja of the idol of God physically in Hindu temples as a priest. Pujaris are also called archaka. Pujaris learn and chant hymns dedicated to God, generally in Sanskrit. Pujaris are mainly drawn from the Hindu Brahmin caste.-Pujaris as counselors:Throughout India,...

 are called Mirasidars (owners and shareholders of the temple). The four families of the Tirumala Temple which are in this Mirasi are the Gollapalli, Peddintti, Paidipalli, and Tirupathammagari family.

To assist the Archakas in temple work and rituals, Ramanuja established a Jeeyar Mattam, wherein this Mattam would take care of the temple work.

Prasadam

Laddu is the world famous prasadam given at Tirumala Temple. Recently the Trust has taken copy right of Laddu prasaddam, hence, no one can prepare the same Laddu. Many other prasadams are also available including daddojanam (curd rice), pulihora (tamarind rice), vada and chakkera-pongali (sweet pongal), miryala-pongali, Appam, Paayasam, Jilebi, Muruku, Dosa, seera (kesari). Free meals are given daily to the pilgrims. On Thursdays, the Tirupavadai seva occurs, where food items are kept for naivedyam to Lord Srinivasa.

Tirupati Laddu Prasadam and GI controversy

The grant of Geographical Indication
Geographical indication
A geographical indication is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin...

 tag to Tirupati laddu by Indian Patent Office
Indian Patent Office
The Indian Patent Office is administered by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks . This is a subordinate office of the Indian government and administers the Indian law of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks....

 in 2009 raised many eyebrows, as it paves the way for enhanced commercialization of faith. The patent grant became a controversy soon. R.S. Praveen Raj
R S Praveen Raj
R S Praveen Raj is an Indian social activist and intellectual property rights expert. Born on 31 March 1979, he started his career as an electrical and electronics engineer...

, a scientist and IPR expert from Kerala filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of GI tag to Tirupati laddu but withdrew the same as a similar public interest petition was filed before the Madras High Court
Madras High Court
The Madras High Court is a senior court located at Chennai , in India. The court buildings, which are believed to be the second largest judicial complex in the world, are located near the beach, in one of the city's major business districts....

 by another. Later, Madras High Court dismissed the petition on the ground that there already existed an alternate and efficacious remedy, in the form of rectification plea before the Registrar of GIs or the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). The scientist, who had earlier filed the PIL in Supreme Court, then petitioned IPAB requesting it to initiate an action on its own will (suo motu) for the cancellation of GI status to the Tiruppathi laddu. But IPAB wrote back to him stating that it had no such power to act on its own volition. The scientist was not in a mood to give it up. Of late, he has registered an application with the GI Registry seeking removal of the entry pertaining to ‘Tirupati Laddu' from the GI Register.

Hair tonsuring

Many devotees have their head tonsured as an offer. The daily amount of hair collected is over a ton. The hair thus gathered is sold by the temple organization
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams also referred as TTD is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh...

 a few times a year by public auction to international buyers for use as hair extensions and in cosmetics
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

, bringing over $6 million to the temple's treasury.

When Lord Balaji was hit on his head by a shepherd, a small portion of his scalp became bald. This is noticed by Neela Devi, a Gandharva
Gandharva
Gandharva is a name used for distinct mythological beings in Hinduism and Buddhism; it is also a term for skilled singers in Indian classical music.-In Hinduism:...

 princess. She feels "such an attractive face should not have a flaw". Immediately she cuts a portion of her hair and with her magical power she implants it on his scalp. Lord Balaji notices her sacrifice. As hair is a beautiful aspect of the female, he promises her that all his devotees who come to his abode should render their hair to him, and she would be the recipient of all the hair received. Hence it is believed that hair offered by the devotees is accepted by Neela Devi. The hill Neeladri, one among seven hills is named after her.

Hundi (donation pot)

It is believed that Srinivasa had to make arrangements for his wedding. Lord Kubera credited money to the god Venkateshwara (a form of the god Vishnu) for his marriage with Padmavati. Srinivasa sought a loan of one crore and 14 lakh (11,400,000) coins of gold from Kubera and had Viswakarma, the divine architect, create heavenly surroundings in the Seshadri hills. Together, Srinivasa and Padmavathy lived for all eternity while Goddess Lakshmi, understanding the commitments of Lord Vishnu, chose to live in his heart forever. In remembrance of this, devotees go to Tirupati to donate money in Venkateshwara's hundi (donation pot) so that he can pay it back to Kubera. The hundi collections go as high as 22.5 million INR a day. Devotees offer gold as a token of their love for God. The annual gold offering goes as high as 3000 kg.

Thulabaram

One of the most important offering in this temple, is the ‘thulabharam.’ In the Thulabaram ritual, a devotee sits on a pan of a weighing balance and the other pan is filled with materials greater than the weight of the devotee. Devotees usually offer sugar, jaggery, tulsi leaves, banana, gold, coins. This is mostly performed with newborn babies or children.

Arjitha seva (paid services)

Pilgrims can view and participate (in a limited fashion) in the various sevas performed to Dhruva bera
Tirumala Dhruva Bera
Tirumala Dhruva Bera is the name given to the idol of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh. Dhruva Bera is the official terminology used for the main deity of a temple with the exact translation being The Immobile image and as the name suggests, the idol is stationary...

 (main idol), Bhoga Srinivasa
Bhoga Srinivasa
Bhoga Srinivasa is a silver deity that is a near replica of the main deity of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. The lord is also known as Manavalapperumal or Kautuka Bera. The deity is utilized for performing daily Abhishekam ceremony and daily Ekanta Seva...

, Sri Malayappa swami
Malayappa swami
Malayappa swami is the current utsava murti in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala. Malayappa swami is worshipped during religious ceremonies and processions wherein it would be innapropriate to use the main deity...

 and other idols in the temple.

When pilgrims purchase arjitha seva tickets, they get the opportunity to see a seva performed to the Lord, obtain prasadam in the form of vastram (clothes), akshantalu (sacred and blessed rice) and food articles (laddus, vadas, dosas, pongal, rice items) and a darshan of the utsava murti.

The Seven Hills

The seven hills, also called Saptagiri (Telugu: సప్తగిరి), represent the Saptarishi (seven sages). They sometimes called the Sapathagiri. Hence the Lord is named Saptagirinivasa. The following are the seven hills:
  • Vrushabadri (Telugu: వ్రుశాబాద్రి) — Hill of Nandi, the vahana
    Vahana
    Vāhana denotes the being, typically an animal or mythical entity, a particular deva is said to use as a vehicle. In this capacity, the vāhana is often called the deity's mount. Upon the partnership between the deva and his vāhana is woven much iconography and mythology...

     of Lord Shiva)
  • Anjanadri (Telugu: అంజనాద్రి) — Hill of Lord Hanuman
    Hanuman
    Hanuman , is a Hindu deity, who is an ardent devotee of Rama, a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana and one of the dearest devotees of lord Rama. A general among the vanaras, an ape-like race of forest-dwellers, Hanuman is an incarnation of the divine and a disciple of Lord Rama in the...

  • Neeladri (Telugu: నీలాద్రి) — Hill of Neela Devi — It is believed that hair offered by the devotees is accepted by Neela Devi. It is because of boon granted by Lord Venkateswara to Neela Devi.
  • Garudadri (Telugu: గరుడాద్రి) or Garudachalam — Hill of Garuda
    Garuda
    The Garuda is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.From an Indian perspective, Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila and...

    , the vahana of Lord Vishnu
  • Seshadri (Telugu: శేషాద్రి) or Seshachalam — Hill of Sesha, the dasa
    Dasa
    Dasa is a term used with the primary meaning 'enemy', especially relating to tribes identified as the enemies of the Indo-Aryan tribes in the Rigveda....

     of Lord Vishnu
  • Naraynadri (Telugu: నారాయణాద్రి) — Hill of Narada
    Narada
    Narada or Narada Muni is a divine sage from the Vaisnava tradition, who plays a prominent role in a number of the Puranic texts, especially in the Bhagavata Purana, and in the Ramayana...

     Muni
  • Venkatadri (Telugu: వేంకటాద్రి) — Hill of Lord Venkateswara

Festivals

The town celebrates most Vaishnava festivals, including Vaikunta Ekadasi, Rama Navami
Rama Navami
Ram Navami also known as Sri Ram Navami is a Hindu festival, celebrating the birth of Lord Rama to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya of Ayodhya. Ram is the 7th incarnation of the Dashavatara of Vishnu. Years later Lord Rama was married to Sita on the...

, and Janmashtami with great splendor, while the Brahmotsavam
Brahmotsavam
Tirumala Brahmotsavam is an annual festival at Tirumala Lord Venkateswara Temple celebrated for nine days in the months of September and October. The celebration attracts pilgrims and tourists from all partsof the nation and across the world.- Brahmotsavam :...

  celebrated every year during September is the most important festival in Tirumala. The temple receives millions of devotees over the short span of a week. Other major festivals include Vasanthotsavam
Vasanthotsavam
Vasanthotsavam is an annual Seva celebrated in Tirumala to celebrate the arrival of spring season.Vasantotsavam is the combination of 2 words - "Vasantha" and "Utsavam"...

 (spring festival), conducted in March–April, and Rathasapthami (Magha Shuddha Saptami), celebrated in February, when Lord Venkateswara's deity is taken on procession around the temple chariots.

Related Temples

Tirupati is one of the Divya Desams
Divya Desams
Divya Desams refer to 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the works of the Tamil Azhvars . 105 of these are located in India, 1 in Nepal, while 2 are located outside of the Earthly realms. 'Divya' in Tamil language indicates premium and 'Desam' indicates place or temple.The two major deities...

 a group of 108 holy temples in the Vaishnavite system. Ancient Hindu kings were extremely devout and patronised the arts. The ancient Vaishnavaites did not want their religion to fade out with time, so the temple at Thirupathi was part of a plan: they built many temples across South India. These temples collectively became known as the Divya Desams. These temples are acclaimed for their historical and architectural significance. Encouraged by the Vaishnavaite saints and scholars, ancient kings built, maintained, and donated large sums of money for the upkeep of these temples. Uppiliappan temple
Uppiliappan temple
The Uppiliappan Temple, also known as Thiruvinnagar, Oppliyappan Temple, Oppiliappan Kovil and Oppiliappan Sannidhi is a Vishnu temple located near the village of Thirunageswaram in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, India. The presiding deity in this temple is Lord Uppiliappan Perumal with his...

, Thiruvanthipuram temple Vaishanva Hindu Temple in Cuddalore, and Varagur temple, near Kumbakonam
Kumbakonam
Kumbakonam , also spelt as Coombaconum in the records of British India , is a town and a special grade municipality in the Thanjavur district in the southeast Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located 40 kilometres from Thanjavur and 272 kilometres from Chennai, it is the headquarters of the Kumbakonam...

 are considered to be the "divine brothers" of Lord Venkateswara.

Traditionally Kurubas build temples on top of the mountains and worshiped the Almighty. Lord Venkateswara has a strong following from the Backward Castes, who are traditionally Shiva worshipers in south India. Lord Venkateswara also has a significant Dalit
Dalit
Dalit is a designation for a group of people traditionally regarded as Untouchable. Dalits are a mixed population, consisting of numerous castes from all over South Asia; they speak a variety of languages and practice a multitude of religions...

 following.

The Ancient temples in the near vicinity of Tirupati
Tirupati
Tirupati may refer to:* Tirupati Temple - Temple of Lord Venkateshwara* Tirupati - a pilgrimage city located in the vicinity of the Tirupati Temple* Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams - Trust of Tirupati Temple* Thirupathi - a 2006 Tamil film...

 which were built around the same period as the Sri Venkateswara Temple (Tirumala) are listed below. All these temples are built in the same style, the Dravidian
Dravidian
-Language and culture:*Dravidian languages, a family of languages spoken mainly in South India and North-Eastern Sri Lanka*Proto-Dravidian, a model of the common ancestor of the above languages*Elamo-Dravidian languages, a proposed language family...

 Koil
Koil
Koil or Kovil "King's House" is the Tamil term for a distinct style of Hindu temple with Dravidian architecture.The koil in Tamil Nadu and kovil of Ceylon has a long history and has always been associated with the ruler of the time. Most kings patronised temple building in their kingdom, and...

 architecture of the Cholas, with inscriptions on the temple walls in Old Tamil with its distinctly two-tense style of past and non-past, with differentiation between present-tense and future-tense left to the reader's intuition based on the context of a sentence. All these ancient temples listed below, and many others, along with the Tirumala temple, form the Divyadesam group of temples as envisaged by the Sri Vaishnava saints who patronized them.
  1. Thiruevvul
    Thiruevvul
    Thiruevvul, also called Thiruvallur is a temple near Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu. The Moolavar here is Lord Veeraraghava Perumal with his Thayaar Kanakavalli . It is one of the 108 Divya desam. The Lord here is in reclining posture on Sesha facing east and his right hand blessing the devotee...

     (Veera Raghava Swamy Temple
    Thiruevvul
    Thiruevvul, also called Thiruvallur is a temple near Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu. The Moolavar here is Lord Veeraraghava Perumal with his Thayaar Kanakavalli . It is one of the 108 Divya desam. The Lord here is in reclining posture on Sesha facing east and his right hand blessing the devotee...

    ), Thiruvallur.
  2. Ramapuram
    Ramapuram
    Ramapuram is a suburb of Chennai, India. It is situated on the Mount-Poonamallee Road at a distance of 3 kilometres from Guindy. Ramapuram forms a part of Kanchipuram district....

     (Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple), Chennai
    Chennai
    Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

    .
  3. Thiruninravur
    Thiruninravur
    Thirunindravur is a Town Panchayat in Thiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated at around 32KM from Chennai. Thirunindravur comes under Chennai Metropolitan Area.-History:...

     (Bakthavatsala Perumal Temple
    Bakthavatsala Perumal Temple
    Sri Bakthavatsala Perumal temple is a Hindu temple, located at Thirunindravur near Chennai, India. It is one of the 108 Srivaishnavite divyadesams.-The Temple:...

    ), Chennai
    Chennai
    Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

    .
  4. Thiruputkuzhi
    Thiruputkuzhi
    Thiruputkuzhi is a small temple town in Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated about 7 miles west of Kanchipuram and half a kilometre from Baluchetti Chattiram which lies on the Chennai - Vellore highway.- Temple :...

     This temple can be seen by the side of the highway midway between Chennai
    Chennai
    Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

     and Vellore
    Vellore
    Vellore It is considered one of the oldest cities in South India and lies on the banks of the Palar river on the site of Vellore Fort. The city lies between Chennai and Bangalore and the Temple towns of Thiruvannamalai and Tirupati...

    . It is claimed that this is the site where Lord Rama found the dying Jatayu
    Jatayu (Ramayana)
    In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Jatayu is the son of Aruṇa and nephew of Garuda. A demi-god who has the form of a vulture, he was an old friend of Dasharatha . He tries to rescue Sita from Ravana when Ravana is on his way to Lanka after kidnapping Sita...

    , after its battle with Ravana
    Ravana
    ' is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the great king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister...

     to rescue Sita
    SITA
    SITA is a multinational information technology company specialising in providing IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry...

    .
  5. Thiruneermalai
    Thiruneermalai
    Thiruneermalai is a panchayat town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It has a hill, and a temple on that hill.It is situated outside the Indian city of Chennai. It is chiefly known for its extensive use in filming....

     (Neervanna Perumal Temple), Thiruneermalai
    Thiruneermalai
    Thiruneermalai is a panchayat town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It has a hill, and a temple on that hill.It is situated outside the Indian city of Chennai. It is chiefly known for its extensive use in filming....

     village, Pallavaram
    Pallavaram
    Pallavapuram Municipality was constituted as a III Grade Municipality on 17.01.1970 vide G.o.No. 55 R.D. & L.A. Department dated 12.01.1970, by Combining the following Town Panchayats and Panchayats.* Zamin Pallavaram Town Panchayat* Issa Pallavaram Town Panchayat...

    , Chennai
    Chennai
    Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

    .
  6. Thiruvidandai
    Thiruvidandai
    "Thiruvidandai" is one of 108 Divya desam. It is near Chennai around 40 km. It is Varaha Kshetram. It is famous for marriages.- The temple :...

     (Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple), Kovalam
    Kovalam
    Kovalam is a beach town on the Arabian Sea in Thiruvananthapuram city, Kerala, India. It is located around 13 km from the down town of Trivandrum.-Etymology:...

    , Chennai
    Chennai
    Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

    .
  7. Thiruvallikeni
    Triplicane
    Triplicane also has the famous powerful Ellamman temple in SMV Koil street. A beautiful Sundaramurthy Vinayagar temple is right opposite to the Ellamman Temple....

     (Parthasarathy Temple), Mylapore
    Mylapore
    Mylapore is a cultural hub and neighborhood in the southern part of the city of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, India. Earlier, Mylapore used to be called Vedapuri....

     (now within the city of Chennai
    Chennai
    Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

    ).
  8. Thirukadalmallai
    Thirukadalmallai
    The Sthalasayana Perumal Temple is at Mahabalipuram. The Temple resides as the first and foremost of Mahabalipuram sculptures. It is one of the 108 Divya desam.-The temple:...

     (Sthalasayana Perumal Temple), Mahabalipuram.
  9. Thirukkadigai
    Thirukkadigai
    Thirukkadigai or Sholingapuram is a Hindu place of pilgrimage in Sholinghur in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. As one of the 108 Divya Desams, places of worship sung about by the early-medieval Alvars in their "Mangalasasanam" , it is a holy site of particular importance to Vaishnavism.There...

    /Sholingur, near Arakkonam
    Arakkonam
    Arakkonam is a mid-sized City in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, with a population of about 101,626 as per the census 2011...

    .

Nearby temples

Srikalahasti Temple is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva situated on the banks of the River Swarnamukhi
Swarnamukhi
The Swarnamukhi is a river of southern India. It was mentioned as Mogaleru in the works of Dhurjati.The river flows near famous piligrimage Srikalahasti in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh state, India.The Swarnamukhi river has five major Saivite shrines along its course in the district...

.The renowned devotee of Lord Shiva, Kannappa, attained salvation here. This temple is 38 kilometres (23.6 mi) away from Tirupati, and is connected by frequent buses.

Srinivasa Mangapuram is situated 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Tirupati.This temple houses Lord Venkateswara, also known as Prasanna Venkateswara or Kalyana Venkateswara. Bus connections are available from Tirupati.

Sri Pamdmavati Devi Alayam (Alamelu
Alamelu
Alamelu also known as Alamelmanga and Padmavati , is a Hindu devi. Believed to be a form of Lakshmi, the Hindu devi of wealth and good fortune, Alamelu is the consort of Sri Venkateshwara...

 Mangapuram)
, located 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of Tirupati, is an important temple which is visited by every pilgrim who visits Tirupati. It is this temple that houses the spouses of the Lord, Sri Padmavathi Devi (Alamelu Mangamma) and Thayaru. According to the legends, the goddess Padmavathi was born in a tank called Pushakarini at this place. The temples of Sri Krishna Swamy and Sri Sundara Raja Swamy are also inside the complex.

Sri Govinda Raja Swami Temple is located in Tirupati near the railway station. The highlight of the temple is its outer pinnacle (Gaali Gopuram), which is visible from a distance. In addition to a shrine to Sri Govinda Raja Swami, the temple complex also houses the shrines of Andal
Andal
Andal is the the only female Alvar of the 12 Alvar saints of South India, who are known for their affiliation to Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism. She is credited with the great Tamil works of Thirupavai and Nachiar Tirumozhi that are still recited by devotees during the Winter festival season of...

 Ammavaru, Sri Krishna, Sri Ramanuja Thirumangai Alwar, Sri Vedanta Desika, Sri Lakshmi, and Sri Manevala Mahamunlu. The Bramhotsavam of Govinda Raja Swami during the month of Vaisakha
Vaisakha
Vaishakha or Baisakha is a month of the Hindu calendar. It is the first month of the Nepalese calendar and the Bengali calendar . In the Indian national calendar Vaisakha is the second month of the year, beginning on April 21 and ending on May 20.In the Hindu solar calendar, Vaisakha begins in...

 (May–June) attracts a large number of devotees every year.

Sri Kodanda Rama Swami Temple is also situated in Tirupati. This temple houses the shrines of Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana. The beautiful idols of this temple are famous. Bramhotsavam in this temple takes place in the month of Falgun
Falgun
Falgun is the eleventh month in the नेपाली Nepali calendar বঙ্গাব্দ Bangla Calendar and the Bikram Sambat. This also marks the arrival of spring,the sixth and final season in Nepal and Bangladesh...

 (March–April).

Sri Kapileswara Swami Temple is the only temple of Lord Shiva in Tirupati. Pilgrims normally proceed to Tirumala for Darshan
Darshan
or Darshan is a Sanskrit term meaning "sight" , vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for "visions of the divine" in Hindu worship, e.g. of a deity , or a very holy person or artifact...

 after taking a customary dip in the temple tank. Located amidst foothills of Tirumala, the place is also known for its waterfalls.

Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swami Temple is located at Narayanavanam
Narayanavanam
Narayanavanam is a census town and mandal headquarters in Chittoor district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.-Geography:Narayanavanam is located at . It has an average elevation of 122 metres ....

, according to legends. Lord Venkateswara courted and married goddess Padmavathi Devi here.

Temples that are related to Tirupathi are found in and around the post-independence state of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

 (and a few in Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, Karanataka, North India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

, and Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 as well). Several temples located near Chennai
Chennai
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

are related to Tirupati:
  1. Soumyanatha Swami Temple, Soumyanatha Swami is another name and form of Lord Venkateshwara in Nandalur Kadapa District

External links

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