Archive for the ‘SRI VENKATESWARA SWAMY REAL PHOTO’ Tag

Test of the Three Divinities   Leave a comment

Test of the Three Divinities
At the commencement of the Kali Yuga, Vishnu left Venkatadri for Vaikuntam. Brahma was very unhappy with his departure and asked Narada to persuade Vishnu to return to Venkatadri. Narada then went to the banks of the River Ganga, where several rishis were performing a sacrifice. The rishis could not decide as to whom they intended to dedicate the fruit of their sacrifice. Bhrigu, one of the rishis undertook to solve the problem by examining the three chief divinities. Bhrigu at SatyalokamHe first went to Satyalokam, the abode of the three-headed Brahma (who is also attributed to have four heads) and found him busily chanting the Vedas with one face, uttering the name of Narayana with another and looking at Goddess Saraswati with the third. He took no notice of Bhrigu. Bhrigu resented the want of courtesy on the part of Brahma.
Bhrigu at KailasamBhrigu then went to Siva’s abode (Kailasam). Here too, he found Siva absorbed in sporting with his consort. Siva even became indignant at Bhrigu’s intrusion.

Bhrigu at VishnulokamFinally, Bhrigu went to Vaikuntam, the abode of Vishnu and found Vishnu and Sri Maha Lakshmi reclining on Adisesha. Disgusted, Bhrigu kicked Vishnu on the chest, where Sri Maha Lakshmi was reclining. Vishnu immediately got up, massaged the rishi‘s foot and enquired if he had been injured. Pleased with Vishnu’s attention, Bhrigu returned to the rishis and advised them to dedicate the fruit of their sacrifice to Vishnu.

Sri Maha Lakshmi was angry with Bhrigu because he had kicked the spot which was her favourite resort on the bosom of the Lord. She left Vishnu and went to stay at Karavirapura (now Kolhapur in the state of Maharashtra). Unable to bear the solitude, Vishnu left Vaikuntam in search of Sri Maha Lakshmi.

This was how he made his way to Venkatadri, and entered the ant-hill under the tamarind tree on the southern bank of Swami Pushkarini on the Tirupati hill.

Temple History   Leave a comment

There is ample literary and epigraphic testimony to the antiquity of the temple of Lord Sri Venkateswara.

Sri KrishnadevarayaAll the great dynasties of rulers of the southern peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later), the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar (14th – 15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord and they competed with one another in endowing the temple with rich offerings and contributions.

It was during the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty that the contributions to the temple increased. Sri Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the temple, and these statues can be seen to this day. There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple.

After the decline of the Vijayanagar dynasty, nobles and chieftains from all parts of the country continued to pay their homage and offer gifts to the temple. The Maratha general, Raghoji Bhonsle, visited the temple and set up a permanent endowment for the conduct of worship in the temple. He also presented valuable jewels to the Lord, including a large emerald which is still preserved in a box named after the General. Among the later rulers who have endowed large amounts are the rulers of Mysore and Gadwal.

After the fall of the Hindu kingdoms, the Muslim rulers of Karnataka and then the Britishers took over, and many of the temples came under their supervisory and protective control.

In 1843 AD, the East India Company divested itself of the direct management of non-Christian places of worship and native religious institutions. The administration of the shrine of Sri Venkateswara and a number of estates were then entrusted to Sri Seva Dossji of the Hatiramji Mutt at Tirumala, and the temple remained under the administration of the Mahants for nearly a century, till 1933 AD.

In 1933, the Madras Legislature passed a special act, which empowered the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD) Committee to control and administer a fixed group of temples in the Tirumala-Tirupati area, through a Commissioner appointed by the Government of Madras.

In 1951, the Act of 1933 was replaced by an enactment whereby the administration of TTD was entrusted to a Board of Trustees, and an Executive Officer was appointed by the Government .

The provisions of the Act of 1951 were retained by Charitable and Religious Endowments Act, 1966.

Contest between Adisesha and Vayudeva   Leave a comment

Contest between Adisesha and Vayudeva
During the Dwaparayuga, Vayudeva (the Wind God) went to Vaikuntam to pay his obeisance to Lord Sri Vishnu. The Lord was reclining in the company of Sri Lakshmi. The doorway was guarded by Adisesha. Vayudeva was incensed when Adisesha prevented him from entering Sri Vishnu’s mansion. Adisesha and Vayudeva began to fight with each other.When Lord Vishnu intervened, each was boasting of his superior valour and supreme might. To test who was stronger, the Lord suggested that Adisesha encircle the Ananda hill, an off-shoot of the Meru mountain on its northern side, and that Vayudeva blow hard to try and dislodge the Ananda hill from Adisesha’s hold. The contest waxed furiously, and as the World trembled, Brahma, Indra and the other Divine Beings requested Adisesha to yield victory to Vayudeva for the welfare of the world.

Obliging them, Adisesha released his hold on the hill. As a result, Adisesha and the Ananda hill were blown away to the banks of the river Swarnamukhi. Adisesha was dejected by his defeat. Lord Brahma and the others appealed to him by saying that he would be merged with the hill Venkatadri and Vishnu would reside on him. Adisesha then metamorphosed into the vast Seshadri, with his hood manifesting itself as Venkatadri sustaining Sri Venkateswara, his middle as Ahobila supporting Lord Narasimha, and his tail as Srisailam bearing Lord Mallikarjuna (Lord Siva).

Restoration of the Earth by Adi Varaha   Leave a comment

Restoration of the Earth by Adi Varaha
During the eight thousand yugas (the equivalent of a day and night for Brahma, the Creator), there was a raging fire, and everything on Earth was reduced to ashes. Man had to forsake the Earth and seek refuge in Janaloka.At the approach of night (of Brahma), Vayu, the Wind God, blew furiously. Huge clouds were formed, there was torrential rain, and it resulted in Pralaya Kalpa (the Great Deluge). The Earth sank into the Patala loka, and remained in that state for a thousand years (during a part of that night of Brahma).Sri Adi Varaha bringing up the Earth on His tusks

Sri Maha Vishnu, wanted to rescue the Earth. He assumed the form of Adi Varaha and proceeded to Pataloka. He fought a fierce duel with Hiranyaksa and killed him. He then slashed the water and brought up the Earth on his tusks.

Brahma, the Devas and the sages extolled Adi Varaha’s virtues, by chanting the Vedic mantras. They prayed to Him to re-establish the Earth as before. Adi Varaha obliged them, and called upon Brahma to recreate the world. He expressed his desire to reside on the Earth to protect its people. He commanded his vehicle, Garuda to fetch Kridachala (a massive natural hill with lofty peaks, embedded with gold and precious stones, and which resembled Adisesha in shape) from Vaikuntam.

Garuda brought Kridachala and deposited it on a sacred spot (to the East of Swami Pushkarini) chosen by Adi Varaha. Adi Varaha stood within the divine vimana of Kridachala, which shone with many gem-studded gopuras.

Brahma and the other holy personages requested the fearsome-looking Adi Varaha to assume a tranquil and composed look, and rest on the hill to protect men and grant boons to people unable to reach God through Dhyana Yoga (meditation) and Karma Yoga (doing one’s own duty).

Adi Varaha appeared with four arms and a white face. He was adorned with jewels and accompanied by Bhu Devi. He resolved to stay at Venkatadri, under a divya vimana, to grant the prayers of men.

Temple Legends   Leave a comment

Sri Venkatachala Mahatmya is referred to in several Puranas, of which the most important are the Varaha Purana and the Bhavishyottara Purana.

The printed work contains extracts from the Varaha Purana, Padma Purana, Garuda Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Markandeya Purana, Harivamsa, Vamana Purana, Brahma Purana, Brahmottara Purana, Aditya Purana, Skanda Purana and Bhavishyottara Purana. Most of these extracts describe the sanctity and antiquity of the hills around Tirumala and the numerous teerthams situated on them.

The legends taken from the Venkatachala Mahatmya and the Varaha Purana, pertaining to the manifestation of the Lord at Tirumala, are of particular interest.

According to the Varaha Purana, Adi Varaha manifested Himself on the western bank of the Swami Pushkarini, while Vishnu in the form of Venkateswara came to reside on the southern bank of the Swami Pushkarini.

One day, Rangadasa, a staunch devotee of Vishnu, in the course of his pilgrimage, joined Vaikhanasa Gopinatha, who was going up the Tirumala Hill for the daily worship of Lord Venkateswara. After bathing in the Swami Pushkarini, he beheld the lotus-eyed and blue-bodied Vishnu beneath a tamarind tree. Vishnu was exposed to the sun, wind and rain and was only protected by the extended wings of Garuda.

Rangadasa was astounded by the wonderful sight. He raised a rough wall of stones around the deity, and started supplying flowers faithfully to Gopinatha everyday for Vishnu’s worship.

One day, Rangadasa was distracted by a Gandharva king and his ladies. Consequently, he forgot to supply flowers to Gopinatha for Vishnu’s worship. The Lord then revealed Himself and told Rangadasa that He had been testing the latter’s continence, but Rangadasa had not been steadfast and had succumbed to temptation.

However, the Lord accepted and appreciated Rangadasa’s devoted service to Him till then, and blessed Rangadasa that he would be reborn as an affluent ruler of a province and would enjoy the earthly pleasures. He would continue to serve the Lord, construct a beautiful temple with a vimana and high surrounding walls, and thereby earn eternal glory.

Rangadasa was reborn as Tondaman, the son of the royal couple, Suvira and Nandini. Tondaman enjoyed a pleasurable life as a young man. One day, he set out on a hunting expedition on the Tirumala Hill, and with the help of a forester, saw Vishnu under the tamarind tree. Tondaman returned home, deeply affected by the vision of Vishnu.

Tondaman later inherited his father’s kingdom, Tondamandalam. In accordance with the directions given by Adi Varaha to a forester, Tondaman constructed a prakaram and dvara gopura, and arranged for regular worship of the Lord (according to Vaikhanasa Agama).

In the Kali Yuga, Akasaraja came to rule over Tondamandalam. His daughter Padmavathi was married to Venkateswara. The marriage, officiated by Brahma, was celebrated with great pomp and splendour.

About Sri Venkateswara Temple   Leave a comment

The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati Hill, and lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini.

It is by the Lord’s presidency over Venkatachala, that He has received the appellation, Venkateswara (Lord of the Venkata Hill). He is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills.

The temple of Sri Venkateswara has acquired unique sanctity in Indian religious lore. The Sastras, Puranas, Sthala Mahatyams and Alwar hymns unequivocally declare that, in the Kali Yuga, one can attain mukti, only by worshipping Venkata Nayaka or Sri Venkateswara.

The benefits acquired by a piligrimage to Venkatachala are mentioned in the Rig Veda and Asthadasa Puranas. In these epics, Sri Venkateswara is described as the great bestower of boons. There are several legendsassociated with the manifestation of the Lord at Tirumala.

The temple has its origins in Vaishnavism, an ancient sect which advocates the principles of equality and love, and prohibits animal sacrifice.

The sanctum sanctorum which houses the awe-inspiring idol of the Lord of the Seven Hills is situated in the main temple complex of Tirumala.

TIRUMALA VISITING PLACES   Leave a comment

The Tirumala Hills is 3,200 feet above sea level, and is about 10.33 sq miles in area. It comprises seven peaks, representing the seven hoods of Adisesha, thus earning the name, Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Five persons are allowed for Shrivari Darshan. Laddus will be given after darshan. Laddu Padi tickets are sold at Vijaya Bank. Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrishabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.

These seven hills are:

  • Seshadri
  • Neeladri
  • Garudadri
  • Anjanadri
  • Vrishabhadri
  • Narayanadri
  • Venkatadri
Climb or drive high up to Tirumala, nestling among the seven hills in the Eastern Ghats, Catch the exquisitely carved gold gopuram of the Lord Venkateshwara Temple, glinting in the sun. The Tirumala shrine is a masterpiece of Dravidian architecture. This ancient temple has also found a mention in various Sastras and Puranas. That’s not all. There are other famous shrines in Tirupati town – Govindarajaswamy. Kodanda ramaswamy, Tiruchanur (Goddess Padmavathi), Kapila Theertham (Lord Shiva) and Srinivasa Mangapuram (Sri Venkateshwara).

Tirumala Map

Venkatadri The sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatdri. Temple of Lord Venkateshwara, popularly known as Balaji, at Tirumala, is regarded as the world’s richest temple. Pilgrims have both the options of going by foot as well as by road from Tirupati to Tirumala. Administration has provided various facilities like free transportation of luggage, supply of portable water, lavatories, small shops for refreshment and snacks, etc.

For those who wants to travel by road to Tirumala, there are two well-laid roads, one for onward journey while the other is for downward journey. The government runs a regular bus service between Tirupati and Tirumala from the four bus stations: Sri Venkateswara Bus Station, Balaji Link Bus Station, Sapthagiri Link Bus Station, and Sri Padmavathi Bus Station.

Some must-see places at Tirumala:

  • Pushkarini
  • Varahaswamy Temple
  • Sri Hathiramjee Mutt
  • Bedi Anjaneya Temple
  • Srivari Sikhara Darshanam
  • Sila Thoranam
  • Dharmagiri
  • Narayangiri
  • Papavinasanam Trip
  • Papavinasanam
  • Akasaganga
  • Temple Museum

Landmarks on Tirumala & Tirupathi:

  • Gogarbham Gardens
  • To See around Tirupati
  • Kapila Teertham
  • Chandragiri
  • Sri Govindarajaswamy Temple
  • Sri Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple
  • Regional Science Centre
  • Municipal Park
  • Tirupati Sightseeing
  • Sri Padmavathi Temple at Tiruchanoor
  • Sri Kalashasti

Temples in and around Tirumala:

  • Sri Venkateswara Temple
  • Sri Varahaswami Temple
  • Sri Bedi Anjaneyaswami Temple
  • Sri Anjaneyaswami Temple
  • Teerthams

Other Places:

  • Places in and around Tirupati Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple,Tiruchanoor
  • Sri Govindarajaswami Temple, Tirupati
  • Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple, Tirupati
  • Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple, Tirupati
  • Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple, Srinivasa Mangapuram
  • Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple, Naryanavanam
  • Sri Vedanarayanaswami Temple, Nagalapuram
  • Sri Venugopalaswami Temple, Karvetinagaram
  • Sri Prasanna Venkateswaraswami Temple, Appalayanagunta
  • Sri Chennakesavaswami Temple, Tallapaka
  • Sri Kariyamanikyaswami Temple, Nagiri
  • Sri Annapurna Sameta Kasi Visweswaraswami Temple, Bugga Agraharam
  • Other Temples Sri Venkateswara Temple, Rishikesh
  • Sri Chandramouleswaraswami Temple, Rishikesh
  • Sri Pattabhiramaswami Temple, Vayalpad
  • Sri Venkateswara Temple
  • Sri Varahaswami Temple
  • Sri Bedi Anjaneyaswami Temple
  • Sri Anjaneyaswami Temple
  • Swami Pushkarini

Holy water sites:

  • Akasaganga Teertham
  • Papavinasanam Teertham
  • Pandava Teertham
  • Kumaradhara Teertham
  • Tumbhuru Teertham
  • Ramakrishna Teertham
  • Chakra Teertham
  • Vaikuntha Teertham
  • Sesha Teertham
  • Sitamma Teertham
  • Pasupu Teertham
  • Japali Teertham
  • Sanaka Sanandana Teertham

Tourist attractions:

  • Silathoranam
  • TTD Gardens
  • Asthana Mandapam
  • Sri Venkateswara Dhyana Vignan Mandiram
  • Deer Park
  • Sri Vari Museum

Brahmotsavam   Leave a comment

Brahmotsavam of Lord Venkateswara is the most glittering festival in the temple of Lord Venkateswara, the Lord of seven hills. The epithet Brahma itself signifies its grandeur and, rightly so, it draws multitudes of pilgrims from all over the country, transforming in the process the picturesque hill into a Kaliyuga Vaikuntha – A heaven on the earth.

According to legends, when Goddess Lakshmi left Srivaikuntham in a huff unable to bear the insult of sage bhrigu kicking Lord Vishnu, her spouse, on his chest, which she considered her abode. The Lord unable bear the solitude, began searching for her. He wandered across hills and woods until he came across the beautiful Seshachala hills, now called the Tirumala hills. Finding the place salubrious and serene, he settled down in an anthill and has been worshiped there, ever since as Lord Venkateswara

Lord Brahma , the supreme creator, commemorated the Lord Venkateswara’s manifestation on earth with a grand celebration lasting 9 days and hence the name BRAHMOTSAVAM. According to Varaha puranam ,the Brahmotsavam is performed in the month of Asweeja(Salivahana Calendar),when sun is in kanya rasi. It is September-October as per English calendar.

Preparatory to the festival, the interiors of the sanctum sanctorum and the small shrines around are cleaned and smeared with a rich paste made of sandalwood refined camphor, saffron and other spices. This ritual is known as Koil Alwar Thirumanjanam. It is followed by another ritual viz. Mritsangrahanam – the process of collecting earth- and this is done a day before the first day of the festival.The ritual signifies a prayer by the temple officials to the deities like Garuda, Sudarshana, Anantham and Vishavaksena to seek their help for the successful conduct of the Brahmotsavam. They also pray to the Bhooma Devi(mother earth) and collect a small quantity of the earth with which the Ankurarpanam ritual conducted by sowing nine kinds of cereals in it. Then Dhwajarohanam is performed signaling the start of the grand fete. The high priest of the temple hoists the flag carrying the picture of Garuda atop the Dhwajasthambham erected opposite the sanctum sanctorum.

Every day during the Festival both in the mornings and the evening the processional deity of Lord Venkateswara called Malayyapan Swamy, is taken in a colorful procession through the decorated four streets around the temple. The lords is flanked by his two consorts ,Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. Ugra Srinivasa and Koluvu Srinivasa (Durbar Srinivasa) are the two other images in the santum.All through the nine days the hill wears a colorful look with a sea of humanity thronging the place.

The hill especially looks colorful during the night when giant profiles of the lord, made out of tiny electric bulbs light up. The Lord is taken in a procession on various vahanas and each vahana has its own significance and conveys his message in its own way.

The garuda seva performed on the night of the 5th day is the most popular amongst his devotees for on that day the lord is adorned with his most choicest and precious of his ornaments .Another equally important festival during the 9-day celebration is the Theru when the deities would be seated in a exquisitely carved huge wooden chariot and pulled round the temple by ardent devotees. Snapnam tirumanajanm , the process of bathing thee Lord with herbal water after the procession ,is performed to relieve him of the strains suffered during the processions.

The penultimate festival is the Chakrasnanam, which is akin to the bathing ritual after the performance of a yagna. On that morning the lord and his consorts and Sri Sudarshana Chakram are given a holy bath in the temple tank after an hour long ritual on the banks of the Pushkarini, the Temple tank. Scores of pilgrims waiting on the banks of the tank would also take a dip simultaneously along with the deities, creating a huge splash. This holy dip is supposed to free a mortal from the cycle of rebirth.

On the 9th day of the Brahmotsavam,chooranabhishekamis performed giving the deities a holy bath after anointing them with sandalwood powder .The Lord is then taken around in a procession when the priests distribute the sandalwood powder used for the ritual to the devotees en route. On this last day of Brahmotsavam, Devatodwasanam, the ritual of giving a warm send off to all Gods and rishis on their way back to heaven, is performed. In this ritual Lord Brahma is propitiated for having come to earth all the way from Brahmaloka and having performed the Brahmotsavam.

The celestial celebration is one of the important festivals of the temple. Pilgrims from all over the world, throng the place during this to have a glimpse of the lord during the procession. The sight of the Lord himself coming out of the Temple to be amongst his devotees is awe-inspiring.

For more information about utsavams, contact:

Phone No. +91-0877-2264217 at TTD Public Relations Office, Tirupati
Phone No. +91-0877-2277777
Phone No. +91-0877-2233333

Day
Morning Seva
Evening Seva
1st Day
Dwajarohanam
Pedda Sesha Vahanam
2nd Day
Chinna Sesha Vahanam
Hamsa Vahanam
3rd Day
Simha Vahanam
Mutyapu Pandiri Vahanam
4th Day
Kalpavriksha Vahanam
Sarva Bhoopala Vahanam
5th Day
Mohini Avataram
Garuda Seva
6th Day
Hanumantha Vahanam
Swarna Ratham, Gajavahanam
7th Day
Suryaprabha Vahanam
Chandraprabha Vahanam
8th Day
Rathotsavam
Aswa Vahanam
9th Day
Pallaki Utsavam, Chakrasnanam
Golden Tiruchi Utsavam, Dwajavarohanam

Tirumala Darshan Timings   Leave a comment

SUDARSANAM, the newly introduced system in the famous Tirumala temple seeks to make the waiting time of pilgrims standing in queues as pleasant as possible. It is needless to mention that long winding queues and Tirumala are synonymous. It is to get out of this dubious distinction that the TTD management, after considerable deliberations with experts and time management consultants, has hammered out this unique scheme and put it on stream as it is aware that the problem has already assumed alarming dimensions putting in its wake a tremendous load on other TTD infrastructures.

Under the project “Sudarsanam”, the TTD has opened special counters on the hills at three different places viz.; the vaikuntam Q-complex, Rambagicha complex and the Amenities complex, where the staff would tie around the wrist of all pilgrims a computerized and “bar-coded” band.

The band would indicate the possible time when a pilgrim is likely to have ‘darshan’ of the lord and when he should report again at the queue- complex en route the main shrine. Once the pilgrim is banded, he or she is free to move anywhere in Tirumala and Tirupati instead of rotting inside the queue sheds for hours together as in the past. This is the very essence and the theme of the scheme being implemented by the TTD at an enormous expenditure of about Rs.75000/- per day.

The wrist-band being supplied to the TTD by a Bangalore based private company from time to time costs the TTD Rs.2/- a piece, besides the exigency of having to run three counters on the hill at Tirupati to operate between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. After the introduction of the scheme, pilgrims, unlike in the past, are not staying in queues but are taking off to other places of interest – sightseeing conducted tours to about half-a-dozen other temples scattered in and around Tirupati. This is not only going a long way in breaking the monotony and boredom of tedious waiting by pilgrims in queues but also providing them with a chance to visit the TTD Museum at Tirupati and Tirumala.

Some of them are even utilizing the time either to visit their friends and relatives or to go on a shopping spree sporting the wristband, “Sudarsanam”. Another objective behind the introduction of the scheme and opening of the counters at Tirupati down the hill is to control and regulate the inflow of pilgrims on to the hills. Prior to the launching of “Su-Darsanam”, the entire pilgrim rush used to throng the hills ignoring the fact that they have to wait for long at accommodation centers, tonsuring centers, bus stations and at Annadanam centers. This more often than not resulted in the pilgrims getting clogged-up in different queue lines and overloading the TTD infrastructure, particularly the accommodation and drinking water facilities. Now, with the opening of three counters at Tirupati itself (at the 1st and the 2nd choultry and also at the Transit Bus Station at the foot of the hill), most of the visiting pilgrims are checking into one of the counters, getting their wrists “banded” and are taking off to scores of places of visit around.

The possible time when a pilgrim can have ‘darshan’ of the main deity after he or she gets banded is decided by the staff manning the counters depending upon the number of pilgrims already banded and also on the surmise that about 3,000 pilgrims can have darshan of the Lord in an hour on an average after providing for the intermittent “breaks” for temple cleaning and for “VIP darshan”. It is here that the well meaning program needs some fine tuning to make it more realistic and down-to-earth. This programme, as any new scheme, has teething troubles which, if removed, would make it really a boon for pilgrims.

One general complaint often being made against this programme is that there is no relation between the time prescribed by the counter staff for a pilgrim’s darshan and the actual time which the pilgrim would take to have a darshan without the band. In other words, the pilgrims say that the counters putting on the wrist bands are not following any rational or scientific methodology while assessing the possible time as to when he or she could have his or her turn. This, they say, makes them find that either they are too early or too late when they report at the queue-complex again. Another practical problem being encountered by pilgrims is that it being so sophisticated involving a bar-coded-cum-computerised wrist band, the visiting pilgrims, bulk of whom are poor and illiterate, are not able to figure out what it is all about and are often found asking the passers-by as to what should they do with the band.

Though this is a temporary problem bound to exit till the scheme becomes popular, the TTD, in the meantime, could step up its publicity programme to vigorously enlighten pilgrims thronging the hill by opening more information centers, providing sign-boards, distributing hand-bills, making frequent announcements through PA system and so on. Sarvadarsanam may continue beyond 01: 00 AM subject to demand.

..:: M O N D A Y (Vishesha Puja: 7:30 – 9:00 AM) ::..
Seva Details
Timings
Suprabhatam
3:00 – 3:30 AM
Suddhi
3:30 – 3:45 AM
Tomala Seva
3:45 – 4:30 AM
Koluvu & Panchanga Sravanam
4:30 – 4:45 AM
First Archana Sahasranama Archana
4:45 – 5:30 AM
Archanantara Darsanam
5:30 – 6:30 AM
First Bell, Bali and Sattumura
6:30 – 7:00 AM
Suddhi, Second Archana (Ekantam), Second Bell, etc.
7:00 – 7:30 AM
…”Sarvadarsanam”…
7:30 AM – 19:00 PM
Kalyanotsavam, Brahmotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Unjal Seva
12:00 – 17:00 PM
Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva
17:30 – 18:30 PM
Suddhi, Night Kainkaryams (Ekantam) and Night Bell
19:00 – 20:00 PM
…”Sarvadarsanam”...
20:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Suddhi and preparations for Ekanta Seva
1:00 – 1:30 AM
Ekanta Seva
1:30 AM
..:: T U E S D A Y (Ashtadala Pada Padmaradhana 6:30 – 7:30 AM) ::..
Seva Details
Timings
Suprabhatam
3:00 – 3:30 AM
Suddhi
3:30 – 3:45 AM
Tomala Seva
3:45 – 4:30 AM
Koluvu & Panchanga Sravanam
4:30 – 4:45 AM
First Archana Sahasranama Archana
4:45 – 5:30 AM
Archanantara Darsanam
5:30 – 6:30 AM
First Bell, Bali and Sattumura
6:30 – 7:00 AM
Suddhi, Ashtadala Pada Padmaradhana, Second Bell
7:00 – 7:30 AM
…”Sarvadarsanam”…
7:30 AM – 19:00 PM
Kalyanotsavam, Brahmotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Unjal Seva
12:00 – 17:00 PM
Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva
17:30 – 18:30 PM
Suddhi, Night Kainkaryams (Ekantam) and Night Bell
19:00 – 20:00 PM
…”Sarvadarsanam”...
20:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Suddhi and preparations for Ekanta Seva
1:00 – 1:30 AM
Ekanta Seva
1:30 AM
..:: W E D N E S D A Y (Sahasrakalasa Abhishekam 6:30 – 8:30 AM) ::..
Seva Details
Timings
Suprabhatam
3:00 – 3:30 AM
Suddhi
3:30 – 3:45 AM
Tomala Seva
3:45 – 4:30 AM
Koluvu & Panchanga Sravanam inside Bangaru Vakili
4:30 – 4:45 AM
First Archana Sahasranama Archana
4:45 – 5:30 AM
Archanantara Darsanam
5:30 – 6:30 AM
First Bell, Bali, Sathumora and preparations for Sahasrakalasa Abhishekam
6:30 – 7:00 AM
Sahasrakalasa Abhishekam, Second Archana (Ekantam) and Bell
7:00 – 9:00 AM
…”Sarvadarsanam”…
9:00 AM – 19:00 PM
Kalyanotsavam, Brahmotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Unjal Seva
12:00 – 17:00 PM
Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva
17:30 – 18:30 PM
Suddhi, Night Kainkaryams (Ekantam) and Night Bell
19:00 – 20:00 PM
…”Sarvadarsanam”...
20:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Suddhi and preparations for Ekanta Seva
1:00 – 1:30 AM
Ekanta Seva
1:30 AM
..:: T H U R S D A Y (Tiruppavada – 6:30 – 8:00 AM and Poolangi Alankaram – 21:00 – 22:00 PM) ::..
Seva Details
Timings
Suprabhatam
3:00 – 3:30 AM
Suddhi
3:30 – 3:45 AM
Tomala Seva
3:45 – 4:30 AM
Koluvu & Panchanga Sravanam inside Bangaru Vakili
4:30 – 4:45 AM
First Archana Sahasranama Archana
4:45 – 5:30 AM
Archanantara Darsanam
5:30 – 6:30 AM
First Bell, Bali and Sattumura
6:30 – 7:00 AM
Sallimpu, Second Archana (Ekantam), Tiruppavada, Second Bell
7:00 – 8:00 AM
…”Sarvadarsanam”…
8:00 AM – 19:00 PM
Kalyanotsavam, Brahmotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Unjal Seva
12:00 – 17:00 PM
Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva
17:30 – 18:30 PM
Pedda Suddhi, Night Kainkaryams, Poolangi Alankaram and Night Bell
19:00 – 20:00 PM
…”Poolangi Alankaram and Sarvadarsanam”...
20:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Suddhi and preparations for Ekanta Seva
1:00 – 1:30 AM
Ekanta Seva
1:30 AM
..:: F R I D A Y (Abhishekam – 4:30 – 6:00 AM) ::..
Seva Details
Timings
Suprabhatam
3:00 – 3:30 AM
Sallimpu, Suddhi, Nityakatla Kainkaryams, Morning I Bell and preparation for Abhishekam
3:30 – 4:30 AM
Abhishekam and Nijapada Seva
4:30 – 6:00 AM
Samarpana
6:00 – 7:00 AM
Archanantara Darsanam
5:30 – 6:30 AM
Thomala Seva and Archana
7:00 – 8:00 AM
Second Bell, Bali, Sattumura, etc
8:00 – 9:00 AM
…”Sarvadarsanam”…
9:00 AM – 20:00 PM
Kalyanotsavam, Brahmotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Unjal Seva
12:00 – 17:00 PM
Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva at Kolimi Mandapam and Procession along the Mada streets
18:00 – 20:00 PM
Suddhi, Night Kainkaryams (Ekantam) and Night Bell
20:00 – 21:00 PM
…”Sarvadarsanam”...
21:00 – 22:00 PM
Suddhi and preparations for Ekanta Seva
22:00 – 22:30 PM
Ekanta Seva
22:30 PM
..:: S A T U R D A Y ::..
Seva Details
Timings
Suprabhatam
3:00 – 3:30 AM
Suddhi
3:30 – 3:45 AM
Tomala Seva
3:45 – 4:30 AM
Koluvu & Panchanga Sravanam
4:30 – 4:45 AM
First Archana Sahasranama Archana
4:45 – 5:30 AM
Archanantara Darsanam
5:30 – 6:30 AM
First Bell, Bali and Sattumura
6:30 – 7:00 AM
Suddhi, Second Archana (Ekantam), Second Bell, etc.
7:00 – 7:30 AM
…”Sarvadarsanam”…
7:30 AM – 19:00 PM
Kalyanotsavam, Brahmotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Unjal Seva
12:00 – 17:00 PM
Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva
17:30 – 18:30 PM
Suddhi, Night Kainkaryams (Ekantam) and Night Bell
19:00 – 20:00 PM
…”Sarvadarsanam”...
20:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Suddhi and preparations for Ekanta Seva
1:00 – 1:30 AM
Ekanta Seva
1:30 AM
..:: S U N D A Y ::..
Seva Details
Timings
Suprabhatam
3:00 – 3:30 AM
Suddhi
3:30 – 3:45 AM
Tomala Seva
3:45 – 4:30 AM
Koluvu & Panchanga Sravanam
4:30 – 4:45 AM
First Archana Sahasranama Archana
4:45 – 5:30 AM
Archanantara Darsanam
5:30 – 6:30 AM
First Bell, Bali and Sattumura
6:30 – 7:00 AM
Suddhi, Second Archana (Ekantam), Second Bell, etc.
7:00 – 7:30 AM
…”Sarvadarsanam”…
7:30 AM – 19:00 PM
Kalyanotsavam, Brahmotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Unjal Seva
12:00 – 17:00 PM
Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva
17:30 – 18:30 PM
Suddhi, Night Kainkaryams (Ekantam) and Night Bell
19:00 – 20:00 PM
…”Sarvadarsanam”...
20:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Suddhi and preparations for Ekanta Seva
1:00 – 1:30 AM
Ekanta Seva
1:30 AM

Arjitha Sevas   Leave a comment

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.

The Temple addresses the main person performing the seva as Grihasta. All people performing sevas are advised to report to the Vaikuntam Queue Complex at least 45 minutes to 1 hour before the start of the seva. Usually the time of reporting to the Queue complex is provided on the purchased ticket. Most of the Sevas require the pilgrims to adhere to traditional dressing norms: dhoti around the waist and uttariya (upper cloth) on the shoulder for men and saree for women. The only exception to the rule is Archananantara Darsanam

There are three methods of purchasing tickets:

  1. Send a Demand Draft drawn on any nationalized bank in favour of The Executive Officer, Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams, Tirupati. The Demand draft should be sent at least three months in advance to the following address: The Peishkar, Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala – 517 504.
  2. Booking for a few Sevas can be done online by clicking here: At present the following Sevas can be booked at least 3 days in advance and at maximum 6 months in advance. Reservations for Daily Sevas available online include Suprabhatam, Thomala Seva, Archana, Archanananthara Darshanam and Kalyanotsavam. Weekly Sevas available for online reservations include Nijapada Darshanam, Astadala Pada Padmaradhanamu, Visesha Pooja, Tiruppavadai and Sahasra Kalasabhishekam. No Annual Seva can be reserved online.
  3. Seva tickets are available one day in advance at Vijaya Bank Counter opposite Vaikuntam Queue complex. The counter opens at 8 a.m. and is open till 12 Noon. Please note that tickets unsold from the above 2 methods is only made available.
In view of security situation and to avoid misuse by brokers, most of the seva requires at least the person purchasing the ticket to provide his fingerprints. For online purchases and tickets purchased through DD method, the prime ticket holder or all members appearing for the seva would be required to report by 12 p.m. to the Padmavati Guest House Reception one day in advance. The details are made available in the ticket during purchase.
Daily Sevas :

Suprabhatam Seva: Suprabhatam is the ritual performed at Sayana Mandapam to wake up the main deity and his consorts from His celestial sleep by chanting of the sacred Suprabhatam hymns consisting of :

  • Suprabhatam (Waking the Lord): 29 slokas
  • Strotram (Hymns to the Lord): 11 slokas
  • Prapatti (Surrender to the Lord): 16 slokas
  • Mangalasanam (Prayer to Lord’s Glory): 14 slokas

The Suprabhatam is the first seva performed to the deity every day and starts with the opening of the main entrance by golla – cowherds. The cowherds or shepherds were given this honor to recognize their services of providing millk when Lord Srinivasa was in Penance. Descendants of Annamacharya recite Annamayya’s kirtan. In Dhanurmasa, Tiruppavai is recited instead of Suprabhatam. The archakas (priests) offer a mixture of cow’s milk, butter and sugar as Naivadyam (offerings) to the Lord. On completion of the Seva, the mixture is provided to the devotees as prasadam.

The seva lasts around 30 mins and starts at 3:00 a.m. The piligrims are then allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum giving them the best view of the “LORD”. Each seva ticket provides entry for one person. 2 small laddus are provided to the pilgrim as prasadam. The seva does not allow children below 10 years though parents are allowed to carry children less than 1 year.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Suprabhatam
Rs.120.00
per head
2 Small Laddus
2:30 AM

Thomala Seva: Sometimes also written as “Tomala Seva”, this form of Worship is the most sought after “Seva (service to The Lord) at the Holy temple of Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, India. The Indian Basil (Tulasi leaf) is considered the most sacred of leaves for a worship, especially considered very dear to Lord Vishnu.

Hence the word “Tho” for Thulasi leaves, and “Mala” for garland. The whole worship during this Seva is done by offering Thulasi leaves to Lord Venkateswara, and then garlanding Him with a specially prepared Tulasi garland. Historically, the 30 stanzas of Sri Aandaal’s Tiruppavai (Tamil hymns scripted by a female devotee of The Lord Sri Ranganatha of Srirangam in the 7th century) have been recited during this worship.

This Seva is not performed during the months of May through July and again in the month of “Margazhi” (Margasira in Telugu) which roughly falls anytime between the English months of mid December through mid January. Devotees are allowed to sit all along the corridor leading to the Sanctum sanctorum at Tirumala, from the second doorstep, extending into the foyer area where the imposing idol of Sri Garudalwar (Lord Vishnu’s steed) kneels in obeisance to His Lord.

The Enchanting Tiruppavai is sung and the chief deity is worshipped with the Sacred Tulasi leaves for about 45 minutes, giving the devotees to feast their eyes on the Lord that is otherwise not possible in the temple where the authorities only allow about 4-5 minutes because of the unending stream of devotees.sri devi boomi devi.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Tomala Seva
Rs.220.00
per head
2 Small Laddus
3:30 AM

Archana: On completion of Thomala Seva, Archana or Sahasranamarchana (1000 Name Recital) is performed to the main deity Lord Venkateswara amidst chanting of his one thousand names. After the recital, blessings is obtained from the Lord by stating the name and gotram of the ticket holders. The entire ritual lasts for 30 minutes.

Unlike other Vaishnava temples, the sahasranamarchana invoked is not the well known Vishnu Sahasranama but Sri Venkateswara sahasaranama which is unique and recited to the Lord only in Tirumala. While the origin date of the seva is not known, an inscription from 1518 A.D. is the earliest recorded instance where sahasranamarchana is mentioned.

Lord Venkateswara receives the second and third archanas in ekantam later in the day. Archana is an arjita seva on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and is performed in ekantam on other days. Each ticket allows one person and 2 small Laddus are offered as prasadam for this arjita seva.

In tirumala it is very difficult to state the name and gothram of every sevakartha, as there would be some 1000 people who participate, so the gotram is not read. Instead the Lord’s blessings is sought for the welfare of the whole world..

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Archana
Rs.220.00
per head
2 Small Laddus
4:30 AM

Archananantara Darsanam: At the completion of Archana, pilgrims are allowed to have a darshan of the Lord. This darshan is called Archananantara Darsanam (“Darshan after Archana”). Usually, pilgrims are allowed to enter through the last prakara for this darsanam. But the piligrim rush each day doesn’t allow to beyond the first prakaram. Each ticket allows one person and two small laddu are offered as prasadam to pilgrims.

Initially, Till year 2000 All pilgrims are allowed to enter till the last prakaram.because there is no much crowd and TTD also maintains a limited tickets. But now the quota for this AAD is increased by TTD to accommodate more crowd.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Archananantara Darsanam
Rs.200.00
per head
1 Small Laddus
4:30 AM

Kalyanotsavam: Srivari Kalyanotsavam is performed to the utsava murti – Lord Sri Malayappa swami (instead of the main deity) and his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. A purohit conducts the marriage and an archaka is consecrated to perform other rituals on behalf of the bridegroom. The wedding ceremony is held according to Vaikhanasa Agama rituals and starts with the Panchamurthi Puja. This is followed by recitation of Vedic mantras and pronouncing the family pedigree of the brides and bridegroom.

The idols of the Lord and his brides face each other with a thera (screen) in between them. After the priests perform appropriate homas, the bridegroom and the brides are allowed to see each other at the appropriate auspicious moment as the screen is removed. This is followed by Mangala sutra dharana, Thalambralu and then Lord and his consorts are garlanded.

This seva is not performed on important festivals like Srivari Brahmotsavam. Pavitrotsavam, Pushpayagam etc. and on the days of solar and lunar eclipses. The duration of the seva is about one hour. Each ticket entitles 2 people to attend this arjita seva and they are awarded one big laddu, five small laddus, one vastra bahumanam (Cloth Gift consisting of one silk Uttariyam for gents and one cotton blouse for ladies), one vada along with Lord’s akshantalu (‘sacred rice’ used for blessing). At the conclusion of the seva, the ticket holders are also sent for the darshan of the main deity in the sanctum sanctorum. The practice of Kalyana utsavam started in 1536 AD when Tallapakam Tirumala Ayyangar conceived the idea of celebrating the marriage festival of Lord Malayappa swami and the ceremony was conducted over five days in the Tirumamani mandapam
Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Kalyanotsavam
Rs.1,000.00
per couple
Vastra Bahumanam (one silk dupatta and one cotton blouse piece) 1 big laddus, 1 small laddus, 5 vadas
10:00 AM

Arjitha Brahmotsavam: Arjita Brahmotsavam is performed daily and is the abridged version of the Brahmotsavam event. The seva is done in the vaibhavotsava Mantapam where the vahanams are kept throughout the year. In the seva, Sri Malayappaswami is seated on Peddasesha Vahanam, Garuda Vahanam and Hamumantha Vahanam in that order and offered worship. This seva is conducted after the Kalyanotsavam is completed.

Each ticket allows 5 people to participate in the seva. The ticket holders are given vastra bahumanam and 5 small laddus for this seva. At the conclusion of the seva, the ticket holders are also sent for the darshan of the main deity in the sanctum sanctorum.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Arjitha Brahmotsavam
Rs.1000.00
5 persons
One uttariyam and blouse piece. 5 small laddus
12:30 PM

Dolotsavam (Unjal Seva): Dolotsavam follows Arjitha Brahmotsavam and is performed in the adhala meda (Mirror Hall) as it is popularly known. The hall is in Aina Mahal (Addala Mantapam) opposite Ranganayaka mantapam where Arjita Brahmotsavam is performed. The Aina Mahal consists of mirrors on four walls and a central stage with a provision for unjal (Swing). Sri Malayappaswami, Sridevi and Bhudevi are seated in the unjal (Swing) and the deities are swung to the accompaniment of Veda parayanam and mangalavadyam.

The ticket holders are given vastra bahumanam and 5 small laddus for this seva. At the conclusion of the seva, the ticket holders are also sent for the darshan of the main deity in the sanctum sanctorum.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Dolotsavam (Unjal Seva)
Rs.1000.00
5 persons
One uttariyam and blouse piece. 5 small laddus
13:30 PM

Arjitha Vasanthotsavam: Arjitha Vasanthotsavam is conducted daily as an abridged version of the Vasanthotsavam. The seva is conducted in the Vaibhavotsava Mantapam . The seva is offered to Sri Malayappa swami and His consorts – Sridevi and Bhudevi. The seva begins with perfumeries and scents applied to the deities. The veda pandits chants Purusha sukta and Sri suktam. Abhishekam is done to the Lord and His consorts with sacred water, milk, curd, honey and turmeric. Finally, sandal paste is applied to Sri Malayappa Swami and consorts.

The ticket holder are given vastra bahumanam, 5 big laddus, 5 small laddus and 5 vadas as prasadam for this arjita seva. The duration of the seva is about one hour. At the conclusion of the seva, the ticket holders are also sent for the darshan of the main deity in the sanctum sanctorum.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Arjitha Vasanthotsavam
Rs.3000.00
10 persons
- Info. NA –
13:30 PM

Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva: Sahasra Deepalankara (1000 Candle decoration) seva is the only daily seva that is performed outside the temple. The seva is performed in the Unjal mantapam located on the south eastern corner of the Srivari Temple at 1730 hrs every day evening. Sri Malayappa swami along with Sridevi and Bhudevi are taken out in procession where one thousand wick lamps are lit.

The lord is seated in an unjal in the midst of the lamps and Annamaya Sankirtanas and vedic hymns are sung to the newly wed God and Goddesses. On occasions, group dance (typically from Karnataka, though not restricted) is also held. As a recent practice, after the Sahasra Deepalankarana seva, the Lord and his consorts are taken on a procession on the 4 streets surrounding the temple, before he is taken inside the temple complex.

The ticket holders are given vastra bahumanam and 5 small laddus for this seva. At the conclusion of the seva, the ticket holders are also sent for the darshan of the main deity in the sanctum sanctorum. The duration of the seva is 30 minutes.
Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva
Rs.1000.00
5 persons
One uttariyam and blouse piece. 5 small laddus
17:00 PM

Ekanta Seva: Ekanta Seva is the last seva performed to Lord Venkateswara before closing the temple for that particular day. Bhoga Srinivasa idol is laid on a gold Vuyyala (Swing) in the mukhamantapam using silver chains. Milk, fruits, almonds are offered to the Lord and performed chandanam is placed at the feet of the main deity after removing the kavacham covering the feet.

Chandanam is also placed on the chest of Bhoga Srinivasa, Alamelumangai (on the chest of main deity). Since it is believed that Lord Brahma comes to perform prayers to the Lord after the temple doors are closed every night, chandanam, water and puja material is left for his usage. Water filled in silver cups are also kept for being consecrated by Lord Brahma and the same is distributed as ‘thirtha’ (holy/sacred water) to all pilgrims on the next day.

Tarikonda Venkamamba’s harati in a plate inlaid with one of the dasavatarams (10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu) along with pearls bought by Venkamamba’s descendent is waved to the Lord. During the entire ceremony, descendants of Tallapaka poets sing Tallapaka sankirtanam. In the Dhanurmasa (Marga masa), the idol of Lord Krishna is put to sleep in the vuyyala instead of Bhoga Srinivasa. This exercise is done everyday, either as an arjita seva (paid service with public allowed to view) or in ekanta (without any public presence) based on the pilgrim rush on that day. Each ticket allows entry for one person and 2 small laddus are awarded as prasadam along with the mixture of milk, almonds from the seva. The duration of the seva is 30 mins. The exact date of start of the seva is unknown while records exists of Krishnadeva Raya’s wives – Chinnaji Devi and Tirumala Devi presenting golden cups to offer milk to Lord in 1513 A.D.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Ekanta Seva (after Sarvadarsanam)
* Ekanta Seva will be performed as a private seva, if there is a heavy rush of pilgrims
Rs.120.00
per head
2 small laddus
22:00 PM
Weekly Sevas :

(MONDAY) Vishesa Pooja: This pooja will conduct on every Monday.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Vishesa Pooja
Rs.3000.00
5 persons
A silk duppata, a blouse piece, 5 big laddus and 5 vadas
6:00 AM

(TUESDAY) Ashtadala Pada Padmaradhana: This pooja will conduct on every Tuesday. In this seva the god is worshiped with 1008 Golden lotus flowers while performing a special archana. Admission for this seva through “vaikundam complex” and conditions for attending this seva is the participant should attend this seva along with his wife as “thambathi sameedha”.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Ashtadala Pada Padmaradhana
Rs.2500.00
per couple
A vastram, a blouse piece, 5 big laddus and 5 vadas
5:30 AM

(WEDNESDAY) Sahasra Kalasabhishekam: This is another unique and exquisite Seva offered to The Lord Venkateswara. It is performed every Wednesday Morning starting 7AM. Amidst the chanting of mantras, the seva involves Yagna along with abhishekham of THE LORD (Utsava Murthy) using one thousand (sahasra) kalasas (Vessels) filled with Pure Water. During the seva abhishekam is also done using Milk, Yogurt and Ghee.

The ritual approximately lasts an hour. One ticket for the Sahasrakalasabishekam allows 6 people to participate with one couple allowed for Sankalpam. “Prasadam” – 7 Big Laddus, 1/4Kilo each of Sweet Pongal, Pulihora and 7 dosas and 7 vadas.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Sahasra Kalasabhishekam
Rs.5000.00
6 persons
A silk duppata, a blouse piece, 7 big laddus, 7 vadas, 5 appams, 5 dosas, Pulihora, Chakkera Pongal and Payasam
5:30 AM

(THURSDAY) Tiruppavada Seva: This is a unique and exquisite Seva among all the methods of worship offered to The Lord Venkateswara. It is performed every Thursday Morning starting 7AM. Here is the background. Starting every Friday thru the early morning of the following Thursday, The standard famous Huge, Wide “Naamam” (a decoration with perfumed camphor paste across the forehead for all forms of Vishnu, The Vaishnavait Hindu God) adorns Sri Venkateswara’s forehead covering all but part of His Eyes.

Removing this Naamam and bathing The Lord (Abhishekam) and again adorning Him with a New wide Naamam on the same day (Friday) was considered too time consuming, given the rush of pilgrims and the time constraint for a Seva..

Therefore, The TTD introduced a New Seva every Thursday Morning by the Name of “Tiruppavada” (translated, means a divine skirt, or loosely, a veil). A Huge mound of cooked Tamarind spiced rice (Pulihora) is poured on a gold plated tray (Size about 6ft X 4ft) and placed directly in front of The Lord such that it is about a couple of feet in front of His steed, Sri Garudalwar, in the foyer area of The Temple’s Sanctum Sanctorum. Amid Chanting of Mantras, The previous wide Naamam is peeled off and a thin Naamam is adorned on His forehead just to cover the space between His eyebrows. When this happens, it is believed that The Lord’s first gaze after “opening” His Eyes (because they were covered by The Naamam) should NOT fall on mortals, because it has so much power. Instead, it is made to fall on the mound of “Pulihora” directly in front of Him, thereby sanctifying it and reducing the intensity of His Gaze. The “Pulihora” therefore acts like a Veil (“Paavada” in Telugu/Tamil) protecting devotees from His Powerful Gaze. This new Thin Naamam then stays for the entire Thursday, and finally peeled off completely in the early hours of the next morning (Friday) during Abhishekam. One ticket for the Tiruppavada Seva allows 6 people to participate including one couple for Sankalpam and begets a full basket of Sacred food cooked inside The Temple – “Prasadam” – 7 Big Laddus, 1/4Kilo of Pulihora, 5 humongous Jilebis (only cooked for this Seva), 5 dosas, and 5 big Vadas and 5 Jilebi Vadas.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Tiruppavada Seva
Rs.5000.00
6 persons
A silk duppata, a blouse piece,7 big laddus, 7 vadas, 5 jilebis, appam, dosa,Tene-tola, Pulihora
5:30 AM

(FRIDAY) Abhishekam: Abhishekam is a Sanskrit word for the sacred bath that is performed to the idol of the main presiding deity in any Hindu temple. Based on ancient Hindu spiritual customs, this is performed once a week, typically on Fridays. As a Hindu custom, this Seva is for wedded couples (a male husband and a female wife) Only. As a “don’t-disturb” rule, children under 12 years of age are not admitted – No exceptions.

In Tirumala, it assumes a most ethereal, rare significance in that it is the most sought after “seva” (form of worship for the Lord by a devotee). Devotees virtually make a beeline for this Seva because watching the priests bathe the idol is the most emancipating of experiences, given that the belief of the devout that the idol is actually a manifestation of the Supreme Divine being Himself and not just a manually carved idol.

Types of Abhishekam Seva: This Seva is of 4 kinds – Only 3 of them are advertised, the 4th being the most expensive of all Sevas in Tirumala, and naturally, the least advertised.

  1. Abhishekam
  2. Musk Vessel
  3. Civet Vessel

There is really no difference in the current manner of treatment of devotees who paid for either of these Sevas. It used to be different in old times when the number of devotees availing this seva used to be smaller.

Each of these cost INR 750. Each of the couples are given a small silver vessel (that can hold about 0.5 gallons of water) that the priests help fill with water brought from the Sacred Hill stream of “Akasa Ganga” (The Heavenly Ganges). The couples carry the water round the Temple once and are then led into the Sanctum Sanctorum where it is taken from them and poured on The Lord during the Sacred Bath. The 4th Seva is called “Mel Saatthu Vastram” (In Tamil, this literally means “The cloth that adorns the body exterior”).

This costs INR 12,250 and has a waiting list of 7 years. Only 8 tickets (for 8 couples) are reserved every Friday for this and the TTD gets request list of at least 100 every time. The lucky couples get the extreme bliss of carrying the heavy silk Holy Sari that will adorn the Lord subsequently in a heavy silver plate, carrying the silver plate on their head around the temple before being let into the Sanctum Sanctorum.

The husband carries the sari while the wife carries the silver vessel and partakes in a small worship before the Abhishekam and hands over the sari from the priests to her husband. For that Friday, the sari that was carried by the first of the 8 couples adorns the deity but the other sarees are catalogued and dates are assigned when they would adorn the deity.

The Seva Detail: It takes about 3 hours from around 2.30 a.m. through 6.30 a.m. for the entire Seva to complete and to come out of the temple. A team of 4-5 priests perform the Abhishekam based on a previous roster. 2 priests carry the water from outside in huge vessels into the Sanctum Sanctorum. A 3rd priest holds a perforated circular silver disc of about 3 ft in diameter over the deity’s head. As for the deity, all bedecked gold and diamond ornaments, clothing, and finery is taken before this bath.

The Lord only wears a white loin, and a heavy gold necklace bearing a pendant with Sri Mahalakshmi’s seated pose. 4th priest pours the water from those huge vessels into a small silver special nosed vessel and keeps on handing it over to the chief priest who stands atop a wooden stool to give him that height to reach over The Lord’s head, and pours the water slowly to the marvellously melodious vedic chanting of the Pancha Suktam – Purusha Suktam, Sri Suktam, Bhoo Suktam, Nila Suktam, and Santhi Vachanam.

The Pancha Suktam is recited by 4 other priests whose only duty that morning will be the chanting of the Suktams. The water that the chief priest pours over The Lord’s head trickles onto His Body through the several perforations in the silver plate that the 3rd priest holds. The sight simply enthralls the devotess into ecstacy and can only be beheld visually. Just before the chanting of the Sri Suktam, one of the priests brings a heavy silver cup full of semi-fluid, sandal powder that is viscous yet fluid enough to flow like syrup.

As the Sri Suktam is recited, the chief priest pours this sandal paste solution over the heavy golden necklace of Sri Mahalakshmi that hangs over Lord Venkateswara’s left side chest. The Abhishekam concludes with the Santhi Mantram and curtains are drawn to dress up The Lord – the devotees await their visual delight – Lord Venkatewara with a freshly prepared Namam, dress, and some of the ornaments.

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Abhishekam
Rs.750.00
per head
2 vadas and 2 small laddus
3:30 AM

(FRIDAY) Nijapada Darsanam : The main annual festival of the Tirumala temple is the Brahmotsavam festival coinciding with the Dussara festival though Brahmotsavam function is carried out twice in the temple (the lesser known of the Brahmotsavam occurs earlier in August-September. Apart from Brahmotsavam, the following functions are conducted every year:

Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Nijapada Darsanam
Rs.200.00
per head
1 small laddu
5:30 AM
Other Seva Details
Ticket/Token in Approx.
Prasadam
Timings
Civet Vessel
Rs.300.00
per head
1 vada and 1 small laddu
3:30 AM
Musk Vessel
Rs.150.00
per head
1 vada and 1 small laddu
3:30 AM
Vastralankara Seva
* (the couple will be allowed for Abhisekam)
Rs.12250.00
per couple
A duppata, a blouse piece. 2 big laddus and 2 vadas
3:30 AM

HISTORY OF TIRUMALA   Leave a comment

Vishnu in the form of Lord Venkateshwara at Tirumala Venkateshwara (Sanskrit & Telugu), also known as Venkatachalapathy or Srinivasa or Balaji, is the supreme God believed to be a form of the Hindu Deity Lord Vishnu. He appeared in this Yuga Kali Yuga for saving the people who have fallen deeply and are deluded in three modes of material nature.

Lord Venkateshwara means supreme God who destroys the sins of the people in this material world ‘ven+kata+eshwara=sins+destroyer+supremegod’). He is Vishnu, who is transcendental to the material energy, Vishnu does not have direct contact with material people, and therefore yogis carry out severe penances to have a vision of Vishnu’s lotus feet. How ever, in the kali yuga people have fallen to the point that they have even lost themselves due to ignorance in bodily consciousness. Lord Vishnu out of love towards his devotees therefore incarnated as Venkateshwara.

The exact period in which the temple was founded is not known, and tradition has it that the temple is Swayambhustala, meaning that it came into existence on its own without anyone constructing it. According to folk legends, there was a huge anthill at Tirupati. A farmer heard a voice from the heavens asking him to feed the ants. By chance the local king heard the voice and began supplying milk for the ants himself. His compassion resulted in the liquid uncovering a magnificent idol of Lord Venkateshwara hidden beneath the anthill.

According to some evidence the history of the temple dates back almost 2,000 years. In ancient times, a queen called Samavai, belonging to the Pallava dynasty (614 AD), is said to have consecrated the first silver image here. The temple is also mentioned in Sangam poetry (500 BC – 2000 AD).

Numerous temple inscriptions from the 9th century record details of the temple and contributions made by both Pallavas and Chola Kings. It is believed that originally there was only one shrine at Tirumala. When the Vaishnavite saint, Ramanuja, visited Andhra in the 12th century, the temple at Tirupathi was built. The Chola period saw the temple complex prosper and expand further. In 1517, Krishnadevaraya, on one of his many visits to the temple, donated gold and jewels enabling the Vimana (inner shrine) roofing to be gilded.

The Maratha general Raghoji Bhonsle visited the temple and set up a permanent administration for the conduct of worship in the temple. Among the later rulers who endowed large benefactions were the rulers of Mysore and Gadwal. In 1843, with the coming of the East India Company, the administration of the Shri Venkateshwara temple and a number of shrines was entrusted to Seva Dossji of the Hathiramji Mutt at Tirumala as Vicaranakarta for nearly a century until 1933, when the temple was under the administrative charge of the mahants. The Madras legislature passed a special act in 1933 whereby the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) committee was invested with powers of administration and control through a commissioner appointed by the Government of Madras. A Ryot Advisory Council was formed for the management of the estates of the TTD, and was assisted by a Religious Advisory Council with regard to religious matters.

Adi Sankaracharya came to Tirumala and placed Sri Chakra at the lotus feet of Lord Venkateshwara and sung the famous song “Bhaja Govindam”. According to various verses from the Puranas and other text; Lord Venkateshwara is the supreme God or Vishnu, Narayana or Brahman of this Kali Yuga. Lord Venkateshwara has His holy abode in the Venkatam hills (the hills are more often referred to as ThiruVenkatam) near Tirupathi. Thus, the main temple of Lord Venkateshwara is the Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple. The Tirumala temple, where He is the presiding deity, is believed to be the richest of all the temples in the world. The temple is in southern India Andhra Pradesh in Chittoor district. The presence of seven hills influenced alternate names for the deity: Edukondalavadu in Telugu and as Ezhumalaiyan in Tamil both of which mean “Lord of the Seven Hills”.

He is also known as Maal, ThiruMaal, Manivannan, Balaji (though this is a more recent name), Srinivasa, Venkatesha, Venkatanatha, Thiruvengadam Udaiyaan, Tiruvengadattaan and by many other names. He is also worshiped with the name Tirupati Thimmappa all over Karnataka by traditionally Shiva-worshipping communities. In Hinduism, Venkateshwara (also spelled as Venkateshwer or Venkatachalapathi) is a much-worshipped form of Vishnu. He is also known as Balaji or Lord Venkateshwara. He is also worshiped with the name Tirupati Thimmappa all over Karnataka by traditionally Shiva worshipping communities.

Vishnu, in the form of Venkateshwara, is much worshipped at Tirupati temple. Venkateshwara is the presiding deity at the Tirumala temple complex, believed to be the richest of all the Hindu shrines in the world. The temple is situated in southern Andhra Pradesh in Chittoor district. It is around 120 km away from Chennai. The presence of seven hills influenced alternate names for the deity: Edukondalavadu in Telugu and as Ezhumalaiyan in Tamil both of which mean Lord of the Seven Hills. In iconographic depictions, Lord Venkateswara’s eys are covered, because it is said, that his gaze is so intense, it would scorch the universe

Legend of Tirumala: Sri Maha Vishnu rescued Earth which was taken over by Hiranyaksha to Patala Loka (underworld) in the form of Adi Varaha – a white boar with tusks. He fought a fierce duel with Hiranyaksa and killed him. He then slashed the water and brought up the Earth on his tusks. Brahma, the Devas and the sages extolled Adi Varaha’s virtues, by chanting the Vedic mantras. They prayed to Him to re-establish the Earth as before. Adi Varaha obliged them, and called upon Brahma to recreate the world. He expressed his desire to reside on the Earth to protect its people. He commanded his vehicle, Garuda to fetch Kridachala (an extensive natural hill with lofty peaks, embedded with gold and precious stones, and which resembled Adisesha in shape) from Vaikuntam.

Garuda brought Kridachala and deposited it on a sacred spot (to the East of Swami Pushkarini) chosen by Adi Varaha. Brahma and the other holy personages requested the fearsome-looking Adi Varaha to assume a tranquil and composed look, and rest on the hill to protect men and grant boons to people unable to reach God through Dhyana Yoga (meditation) and Karma Yoga (doing one’s own duty). Adi Varaha appeared with four arms and a white face. He was adorned with jewels and accompanied by Bhu Devi. He resolved to stay at Venkatadri, under a divya vimana, to grant the prayers of men.

Legend of Seshachalam Hill :
The origins of the Tirumala Hills lies in a contest between vayu (wind god) and Adisesha (first serpant). During Dvapara Yuga, Vayu was barred from entering Vaikuntam as Lord Vishnu was in the company of his consort, Lakshmi. An incesed Vayu challenged adisesha for a fight to decide the stronger between them, Vayu was tasked with trying to blow off adisesha from the holy Meru mountain while adisesha was asked to protect the peak with his hood. After a long time, vayu gave way and adisesha lifted his hoods assuming that he won the contest when vayu blew off one of the peaks. The peak landed near swarnamukhi river and is currently known as seshachalam hill. A variant to the legend is that the contest created pandemonium on earth and Brahma, Indra and other gods pleaded with adisesha to relent. When adisesha oblidged, the peak (Ananda hill) and adisesha were blown off Meru and landed near the banks of river Swarnamukhi. When Adisesha was dejected with his defeat, the Gods converted adisesha into the seven hills with the hood named as Seshadri hill or Seshachalam hill or Venkatadri hill. Another variant to the story is that sesha was fatigued by the contest and was instructed by Lord Venkateswara to rest on Earth in a place that he chose for his stay in Kali Yuga

Vishnu removes Bhrigu’s 3rd eye :
In the Kali Yuga, rishis performing yagna sought the advise of celestial sage Narada on which of the Trimurti should be selected for offering the fruits of the yagna. Narada suggested that the wise sage Bhrugu should be allowed to decide after he met the Trimurtis. The sage who had an extra eye in the sole of his foot visited Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva and went un-noticed in both these locations. He cursed Brahma that no temple sans one will worship Brahma and cursed Shiva that temples on Earth will worship him as Lingam. When Bhrigu visited Lord Vishnu who was in a private meeting with his consort Goddess Lakshmi and failed to immediately receive and honour the sage, the sage felt humiliated and angry by this act. Sage Bhrigu kicked Lord Vishnu in the chest, to which Vishnu did not react and instead apologized to the Sage by massaging his feet. During this act, he squashed the extra eye that was present in the sole of Bhrugu’s foot. The extra eye is believed to represent the sage’s false egotism. The sage then realised his grave mistake and begged forgiveness from Lord Vishnu.

Vishnu’s chest is significant as the abode of Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess felt highly insulted at the sage’s misdemeanour and Vishnu’s silence at the act and left Vishnu heavenly abode (Vaikunta).

Curse of chola king :
Goddess Lakshmi on leaving the Vaikuntham comes to Varaha Shetra and does intense penance for 12 years. The Gods terrified with her intensity mollified her into returning to Vaikuntam with the site of her penance bearing Goddess Padmavathi (Alamelu mangai thaiyar) as a reincarnation of Goddess Lakshmi during the rule of Akasa Raja.
Brahma and Shiva become Cow and Calf to serve Venkateswara :
After the departure of Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu left Vaikuntham and took his abode in an ant-hill on the Venkata Hill under a tamarind tree beside a Pushkarini. Lord Brahma and Shiva, taking pity on the condition of Vishnu, made up their mind to assume the forms of a cow and calf to serve him. Surya – Sun God informed Lakshmi of this and requested her to sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country assuming the form of a cowherdess. The Chola king sent the cow and its calf to graze on the Venkata Hill along with his herd of cattle. Discovering Lord Vishnu in the ant-hill, the cow everyday emptied her under over the ant-hill and thus fed the Lord. Over a period ot time, the queen noticed that the cow did not yield any milk and chastised the cowherd severely. The cowherd investigating the cause, followed the cow and discovered the cow emptying her udder over the ant-hill. In his anger, the cowherd aimed a blow with his axe on the head of the cow but struck God who rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow. On seeing Lord Vishnu bleeding, the cowherd fell down and died. On the death of the cowherd, the cow returned to the king with blood stains on her body, bellowing in the presence of the Chola King. An anxious king followed the cow to the scene of the incident. Near an ant-hill, the King found the cowherd lying dead on the ground.

While the King stood wondering how it had happened, the Lord rose from the ant-hill and cursed the king to become an Asura (Demon) for the fault of his servant. Entreated by the king who pleaded innocence, the Lord blessed him by saying that His curse would end when He was adorned with the Kireetam presented by Akasa Raja at the time of His marriage with Sri Padmavati. To atone the sins of raising the axe against the Lord, the cowherd’s atma (spirit) received the boon that he and his descendants would have the pleasure of opening the door in the Lord’s temple in due time.

Goddess Padmavati :
In due time, the Chola king was re-born as Akasa Raja and though he ruled well, he had no children born to him. When he conducted yagna and was tilling the ground, he found a baby in a lotus flower and named her Alamelu mangai (Lady born in Lotus petals) and adopted her as his daughter. Lord Vishnu reincarnated as Srinivasa (or presented himself after penance in the ant-hill) as the son of elderly woman-saint Vakula. Vakula was Yasodha in her previous birth, Lord Krishna’s stepmother and was unhappy in that life for not seeing his marriage. As per the boon received from Krishna, she was re-born as Vakula. In course of time Princess Padmavati grew up into a beautiful maiden and was visited by Saint Narada. On reading her palm, he foretold that she was destined to be the spouse of Lord Vishnu himself. In due time, Lord Srinivasa on a hunting trip was chasing a wild elephant in the forest. The elephant led him into a garden where Princess Padmavati and her maids were present .The sight of the elephant frightened them and their Princess. When Lord Srinivasa appeared in front of the Elephant, it immediately turned round, saluted the Lord and disappeared into the forest. Lord Srinivasa noticed princess Padmavathi and enquired about her from her maids. Enthralled by her, Lord Srinivasa lost interest in other activities and confided in Vakula on his love for Padmavathi. He also revealed his identity as Lord Vishnu as well as told her about her past life as his stepmother Yasodha.

Marriage of Srinivasa & Padmavathi :
Vakula devi leaves her hermitage to approach Akasa Raja with her proposal of marriage between Lord Srinivasa and Padmavathi. In the mean time, the restless Lord came to the city in the disguise of a fortune-teller. Princess Padmavathi also fell in love with Lord Srinivasa and fell ill after returning to the Palace. Unable to diagonize her ill-health, the maids invited the fortune-teller into the palace to foretell the future of the princess. When the fortune-teller revealed that Padmavathi was born to marry Lord Vishnu in his current avatar as Lord Srinivasa, she recovered. As the king heard of this news, Vakula announced herself to the King and asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage to her son, Lord Srinivasa. The overjoyed king agreed and his advisor Bhrispati wrote the invitation for the wedding between the two avatars. Lord Srinivasa called for a conference of the Gods to win their consent for His marriage with Princess Padmavati. The Lord also obtained a heavy loan from Kubera, god of wealth in Hindu Mythology towards expenses for the wedding as well as provide proof of his wealth.

Lord Srinivasa turns into Lord Venkateswara :
In about 6 months after this celestial marriage, MahaLakshmi comes to know that her husband married again and comes to see him in disbelief. It is said that the Lord turns into Stone right when he is encountered by Mahalakshmi and Padmavathi. Lord Brahma and Shiva appear before the confused queens and explain the main purpose behind all this – The Lord’s desire to be on the 7 hills for the emancipation of mankind from the perpetual troubles of Kali Yuga. Goddesses Lakshmi and Padmavathi also turn into stone idols expressing their wish to be with their Lord always. Lakshmi stays with Him on His Chest on the left side while Padmavathi rests on His Chest’s right side.
Construction of Tirumala temple :
Rangadasa Rangadasa: was a staunch devotee of Vishnu and in the course of his pilgrimage, joined Sage Vaikhanasa Gopinatha, who was going up the Tirumala Hill for the worship of the Lord. This was after the Lord had settled the Adivaraha region. After bathing in the Swami Pushkarini, Rangadasa viewed Lord Vishnu beneath a tamarind tree. However Lord Vishnu was exposed to the sun, wind and rain and was only protected by the extended wings of Garuda. Rangadasa raised a rough wall of stones around the deity, and started supplying flowers to Gopinatha everyday for Vishnu’s worship. One day, Rangadasa was distracted by a Gandharva king and his ladies and forgot to supply flowers to Gopinatha for Vishnu’s worship. The Lord then revealed Himself and told Rangadasa that he had not been steadfast and had succumbed to temptation. However in acceptance of Rangadasa’s devoted service to Him till then, and blessed Rangadasa that he would be reborn as an affluent ruler of a province and would enjoy the earthly pleasures. He would continue to serve the Lord, construct a beautiful temple with a vimana and high surrounding walls, and thereby earn eternal glory. Soon the site was forgotten and an ant-hill formed over the temple. This is reputed to be the same ant-hill in which Lord Srinivasa resided later after descending from Vaikuntam.

Thondaman: Rangadasa was reborn as Tondaman, the son of the royal couple, Suvira and Nandini. Tondaman enjoyed a pleasurable life as a young man. One day, he set out on a hunting expedition on the Tirumala Hill, and with the help of a cow-herd, saw Vishnu under the tamarind tree. Tondaman returned home, deeply affected by the vision of Vishnu. Tondaman later inherited his father’s kingdom, Tondamandalam.

In accordance with the directions given by Adi Varaha to a forester, Tondaman constructed a prakaram and dvara gopura, and arranged for regular worship of the Lord (according to Vaikhanasa Agama). Lord Srinivasa appears in the dream of Thondaman and asks him to build a temple for Him where He turned into stone. So comes into being the temple for Srinivasa on the seventh hill, named Venkatadri (Venkata Hill).

The Tirumala temples nestles amidst the peaks of the seven hills of Tirumala. The temple can be approached from Tirupati by a 20 km road. It is a pleasant drive for people who admire the tropical greenery on these hills. Many pilgrims even today take a path by foot making an 11 km trek to the temple. For the devotees, the deity Venkateshwara symbolizes goodness; with his conch he creates the cosmic sound that destroys ignorance and with his disc he destroys evil. Venkateshwara is considered to be the most powerful Hindu deity, he is believed to be the fulfiller of every wish made to him by the devotees. There are never fewer then 50,000 pilgrims here at any time in a single day.

The total number of pilgrims even goes up to 700,000 in a day. The temple staff alone amounts to a number of 18,000. The popularity of the temple can be judged by the annual income which is around six billion rupees. Tirumala temple is the richest temple in the world after Vatican City.

Sthala Purana (literal meaning: the legend of the place) recounts the particular legend associated with ancient Hindu temples. Accordingly, the legend of Venkateshwara’s Avatara (incarnation) is believed to be as follows: Sage Bhrugu, who according to Vedas is believed to have an extra eye in the sole of his foot, once visited Vishnu. At that time, Vishnu was in a private meeting with his consort, goddess Lakshmi, and failed to immediately receive and honour the sage. The sage felt humiliated and angry, and kicked Lord Vishnu in the chest. Vishnu did not react and remained silent.

Lord Vishnu’s chest is believed to be the abode of Goddess Lakshmi. The Goddess felt highly insulted at the sage’s misdemeanour and Lord Vishnu’s silence at the act. She left Vaikunta, the heavenly abode of Vishnu and Lakshmi. Lord Vishnu, in an attempt to pacify the sage, got hold of legs of the sage and started to press them gently in a way that was comforting to the sage. During this act, he squished the extra eye that was present in the sole of Bhrugu’s foot. The extra eye is believed to represent the sage’s egotism. The sage then realised his grave mistake and apologized to Lord Vishnu.

Lord Vishnu had then incarnated Himself as Venkateshwara and came to earth in search of Lakshmi, who had taken birth as Princess Alamelu (Padmavati) in the household of Akasa Rajan. The princess’s father agreed to give his daughter’s hand in marriage to Venkateshwara if he provided proof of his wealth. Towards this end, Venkateshwara obtained a heavy loan from Kubera, a god (yaksha) who is considered, accordingly to Hindu mythology, as the treasurer of the virtuous wealth in the Universe. Princess Padmavati and Lord Venkateshwara were then wed. Lord Vishnu, in the form of Venkateshwara, and his consort are believed to have enshrined themselves at Tirumala Tirupati for the benefit of mankind. This phenomenon is called swayambhu loosely translated to mean “self-existent and established on earth of one’s own accord, without any external cause”.

Lord Venkateshwara’s temple is at the top of the seven hills in the place called Tirumala. The temple of the Lakshmi, in the form of Princess Padmavati, is located at the foot of the seven hills at Tirupati, in a town called Tiruchanur. Another legend that goes by is that of a boy called Bala. This boy was a helper boy, who was one day wrongly accused as a thief. He ran for his life when he was chased by people. He was hit on the head by the mob and his head was bleeding profusely. He ran to the Tirupathi temple of Lord Vishnu and ran to the main door where GOD is placed. When the people entered the temple they couldn’t find the boy but saw the head of God’s idol bleeding.It was considered that the boy was sheltered and protected by God himself and the priests put cloth on the idol’s head to stop the bleeding. So we see white covering on the God’s idol and the presiding God is called BALAJI.

Tirupathi is one of the most famous temple towns in India. It is the abode of Lord Venkateshwara, (one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu), located atop Tirumala hills. It is well connected with Chennai and Bangalore via road and rail. The temple town of Tirupathi is located to the extreme south of Andhra Pradesh in Chittoor district, 740 km from Hyderabad. It is renowned for one of the most venerated shrines in India that of the ancient temple of Lord Venkateswara on the Tirumala Hills. Tirumala has seven hills, representing the seven heads of a huge serpent, called Sesha Saye, on which Lord Vishnu resides. The black idol of Balaji is covered in gold, jewellery and precious ornaments and is 2 metres high. Tirupathi is believed to be the richest temple in the country, with picturesque surroundings.

Some people also believe that the financial offerings and collections at this temple are second only to those of the Vatican City Church on a worldwide basis. The temple is also a fine example of Dravidian art and style. It is also a famous center for wood carving.

The Brahmotsavam festival is celebrated here in September and October. Sacred texts are recited each day. Every morning and evening images of the deities are taken in a colourful procession around the temple.

The chariot of Lord Brahma, believed to be the initiator of the festival, leads the procession in the name of Adika-masam which comes in every third year. A second Brahmotsava is held, which is known as Navratri Brahmotsavam. These festivals attract thousands of pilgrims from various parts of the country.

Over millennia, many saints had visited the shrine and offered worship to Lord Venkateswara. Notable among them is Sri Ramanujacharya, who is believed to have installed chakra and conch on the deity after a dispute. The Venkateswara Suprabhatam, being the morning recital of prayers and songs of awakening, is believed to have been written and sung by one of Ramanuja’s disciples who visited the temple with his Guru. Sri Vadiraja Thirtha, most prominent among the Madhva saints is believed to have climbed the tirumala hill on his knees and is said to have given a garland of shalagram (saligram) to the Lord.

Traditionally Kurubas build temples on top of the mountains and worshiped the Almighty. This famous temple must have lot of history. This worshiping Venkateswara as Vishnu may be most recent, as Vaishnava priests control the temple. There is Govindaraya Vishnu temple in the Tirupati town down below the hills with Vishnu in Yoga Nidra with Sridevi and Bhoodevi next to him.

Several composers composed beautiful keertanas about Lord Venkateshwara, most notable amongst them being Tyagaraja and Annamacharya. Annamacharya is a legendary devotee of Lord Venkateswara and composed songs almost exclusively about the deity.

TTD Logo: Motto says Srinivasa Vijayethe (Victory to Lord Srinivasa) Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams also referred as TTD is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. The trust not only oversees the operations and finances of the richest and the most visited religious center in the world, it is also involved in various social, religious, literary and educational activities within Andhra Pradesh and India. TTD employs about 14,000+ people to maintain the 12 temples and sub-shrines under its control along with the execution of its social activities.

TTD Facilities: TTD provides various services for pilgrims to Tirumala and Tirupati. It has arranged for buses between Tirumala and Tirupati with a frequency of every 2 minutes. Also, it has package tours to holy temples and religious sites from Tirumala and Tirupati to nearby places. TTD has free and paid accommodation in Tirumala and Tirupati. It provides free meals, although donors can make a contribution. The canteen has a capacity to feed 20,000+ pilgrims a day. It has built the Vaikuntam Queue Complex and recently rolled out the queue management system to ensure smooth movement of pilgrims. It maintains the walkway between Tirupati and Tirumala (Alipiri route) and Kalyana Katta where pilgrims fulfill their vow of tonsure.

TTD ensures that the practices of Angapradakshinam, Tulabharam (offering of one’s weight in coins or food item) and Niluvudopidi (offering ornaments to Lord) is carried in the temple. It sells prasadams outside the temple on the north west corner. Laddu (small and big), Vada, rice varieties and dosa are sold. Also, Seva and darshan prasadam are distributed here. It runs Information centers in the major towns and cities of Andhra Pradeshi and in major Indian cities including New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata. It has constructed 125 Kalyana mandapams (marriage halls) in major towns and cities of Andhra Pradesh. These are rented to people for Marriage or other major functions.

BRAHMOTSAVAM   Leave a comment

BRAHMOTSAVAM

Om Namo NARAYANAAYA

Brahmotsavam of Lord Venkateswara is the most glittering festival in the temple of Lord Venkateswara, the Lord of seven hills. The epithet Brahma itself signifies its grandeur and, rightly so, it draws multitudes of pilgrims from all over the country, transforming in the process the picturesque hill into a Kaliyuga Vaikuntha -a heaven on the earth.

 

According to legends, when Goddess Lakshmi left Srivaikuntham in a huff unable to bear the insult of sage bhrigu kicking Lord Vishnu, her spouse, on his chest, which she considered her abode. The Lord unable bear the solitude, began searching for her. He wandered across hills and woods until he came across the beautiful Seshachala hills, now called the Tirumala hills. Finding the place salubrious and serene, he settled down in an anthill and has been worshiped there, ever since as Lord Venkateswara.

Lord Brahma , the supreme creator, commemorated the Lord Venkateswara’s manifestation on earth with a grand celebration lasting 9 days  and hence the name BRAHMOTSAVAM.

According to Varaha puranam ,the Brahmotsavam is performed in the month of Asweeja(Salivahana Calendar),when sun is in kanya rasi. It is September-October as per English calendar.

Preparatory to the festival, the interiors of  the sanctum sanctorum and the small shrines around are cleaned and smeared with a rich paste made of sandalwood refined camphor, saffron and other spices. This ritual is known as Koil Alwar Thirumanjanam. It is followed by another ritual viz. Mritsangrahanam – the process of collecting earth- and this is done a day before the first day of the festival.The ritual signifies a prayer by the temple officials to the deities like Garuda, Sudarshana, Anantham and Vishavaksena to seek their help for the successful conduct of the Brahmotsavam. They also pray to the Bhooma Devi(mother earth) and collect a small quantity of the  earth with which the Ankurarpanam ritual conducted by sowing nine kinds of cereals  in it. Then  Dhwajarohanam is performed signaling the start of  the grand fete. The high priest of the temple hoists the flag carrying the picture of Garuda atop the Dhwajasthambham  erected opposite the sanctum sanctorum.

Every day during the Festival both in the mornings and the evening the processional deity of Lord Venkateswara called Malayyapan Swamy, is taken in a colorful procession through the decorated four streets around the temple. The lords is flanked by his two consorts ,Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. Ugra Srinivasa and Koluvu Srinivasa (Durbar Srinivasa) are the two other images in the santum.All through the nine days the hill wears a colorful look with  a sea of humanity thronging the place. The hill especially looks colorful during the night when giant profiles of the lord, made out of tiny electric bulbs light up. The Lord is taken in a procession on various vahanas and each vahana has its own significance and conveys his message in its own way.

The garuda seva performed on the night of the 5th day is the most popular amongst his devotees for on that day the lord is adorned with his most choicest and precious of his ornaments .Another equally important festival during the 9-day celebration is the Theru when the deities would be seated in a exquisitely carved huge wooden chariot and pulled round the temple by ardent devotees. Snapnam tirumanajanm , the process of bathing thee Lord with herbal water after the procession ,is performed to relieve him of the strains suffered during the processions .

The penultimate festival is the Chakrasnanam, which is akin to the bathing ritual after the performance of a yagna. On that morning the lord and his consorts and Sri Sudarshana Chakram are given a holy bath in the temple tank after an hour long  ritual on the banks of the Pushkarini, the Temple tank. Scores of pilgrims waiting on the banks of the tank would also take a dip simultaneously along with the deities, creating a huge splash. This holy dip is supposed to free a mortal from the cycle of rebirth.

On the 9th day of the Brahmotsavam,chooranabhishekamis performed giving the deities a holy bath after anointing them with sandalwood powder .The Lord is then taken around in a procession when the priests distribute the sandalwood powder used for the ritual to the devotees en route. On this last day of Brahmotsavam, Devatodwasanam, the ritual of giving a warm send off to all Gods and rishis on their way back to heaven, is performed. In this ritual Lord Brahma is propitiated for having come to earth all the way from Brahmaloka and having performed the Brahmotsavam.

The celestial celebration is one of the important festivals of the temple. Pilgrims from all over the world, throng the place during this to have a glimpse of the lord during the procession. The sight of the Lord himself coming out of the Temple to be amongst his devotees is awe-inspiring.

The Seven Sacred Hills   Leave a comment

The Seven Sacred Hills

A majestic picture of the golden Vimanam of Tirupati.Click for a bigger image.

The picturesque Tirumala hills is situated 2820 ft above MSL and is about 100sq.m in area . It comprises seven peaks ,representing the seven hoods of Audisesha , thus earning the name Seshachalam.

The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Vedadri, Garudadri, Anjandri, Vrishabhadri, Narayandri and Venkatadri (Adri in sanskrit means Hill).The Venkatam hill is believed to be a part of the celestial mount meru, brought to the earth from Vaikuntam by Garuda.The sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak,Venkatdri and there are several legends associated with the manifestation of the lord in Tirumala. The shrine of the lord is very ancient and there are ample references to it in the early inscriptions belonging to the Chola and Pallava periods as well in the Sangam literature.

The abode of the lord is about 10 Km north-west of Tirupati and there are footsteps leading to the hill as well as two separate serpentine roads to reach the shrine. According to legend ,God Vishnu revealed himself earlier in the previous incarnations as Varahaswamy on the banks of the present temple tank..This manifestation of the white boar (Sveta Varaham) is enshrined in the Adi Varahaswany temple situated on the northeastern banks of the tank.

The Sanctum sanctorum called the Garbha Griha is where the main idol of lord Venkateswara resides. The idol stands majestically to a height of eight feet, in the centre of the sanctum directly beneath a gold guilded dome called the Ananda Nilaya Divay Vimana.The exquisitely wrought idol called the Mulabera is believed to be Svayambhu(self manifested) ,according to the legends. Further ,no human being is known to have either sculpted or installed the idol in the shrine.

On normal days the imposing idol is adorned with a golden Kiritam which has a large emerald embedded on its front. On special occasions like the Brahmothsavam, he is adorned with his precious diamond crown worth Rs 30 Crores. On his forehead ,the lord has a thick double patch of upright Namam drawn with refined camphor which screens his eyes. In between the two white patches is the Kasturi tilakam .His ear’s are bedecked with shinning golden Makara Kundalas. The fist of his right raised hand is implanted with a gem-set chakra and the correponding left fist is with the Sankha. The slightly outstretched right hand has its finger pointing to his lotus feet, as the only recourse to his devotees to attain oneness with him and enjoy eternal bliss. . His right hand is akimbo to assure his devotees of protection and to show the proverbial SamsaraSagara, the ocean of mundane life ,is only hip deep if they seek refuge in him.

He has on the right side of his chest a clear impression of Goddess Lakshmi’s, his consort. The deity has a unique magnetism, many devotees who go through the fleeting Sarvadarsanam have unusual psychic experience. They leave with a sense of spiritual satisfaction, coupled with a religious hunger to stand in front of Lord Venkateswara and experience the bliss again and again.

H I S T O R Y   Leave a comment

H I S T O R Y

This is a classic image of Lord Balaji with his consorts against the backdrop of scenic Tirumala.Click for a Larger version of this image.

EPIC IMPORTANCE

The venkatam hill is believed to be a part of the celestial mount meru brought to the earth from vaikuntam by garuda (Lord’s vehicle),say the puranas.The Hills are said to be a manifestation of Adi Sesha (the cosmic serpent).The Seven hills of the Tirumala are the said to represent the Seven hoods of Adi Sesha.

Many Alvars , Vaishnavacharyas and Saints have praised the Tirumala Hill with great devotion. Tirumala Mambi, a descendent of the great ascetic Narada, spent his whole life in serving the Lord.

References to the tirumala also found in several of Puranas. Tirumala is one of the 108 sacred shrines of the Sri Vaishanava tradition.According to the Puranas, Lord Vishnu stayed on the earth for some time in the Avatar of Swetha Varaham and rose out of pushkarini as Swayambhuva. His spouse Lakshmi Devi appeared in Thirucharnur. This Swwtha Varaha Avatharam was installed in the temple situated to the west of Swamy Pushkarni. The great religious leader Ramanujacharya visited this shrine on a pilgrimage and systematised the process of worship in accordance with the SriVaishnava that continues to date.

HISTORY

The Pallavas of Kanchipuram (9th century AD) ,Cholas of Tanjore (10 century) , Pandyas of mathura and Vijayanagara pradhans (14th & 15th centuries) were committed devotees of Lord Venkateswara. The statues of Sri Krishna Devaraya and his spouse stand in the premises of the temple. After the decline of Vijayanagara Empire, kings from various states like the king of Mysore and Gadwal, worshiped the lord as pilgrims and gifted various ornaments and valuables to the temple. Raghoji Bhonsle, the Maharastrian commander visited the temple and made a permanent arrangement regarding the regular pujas to be done to the Lord.

In 1843 the temple gave up administrative authority of Venkateswara Temple along with the temples in the village to the head of Hatthimji monastery in Tirumala. Till 1933 the administration of the temple had been wielded by the head of that monastery, Hathiram Mahantha.

In 1933 the Madras government appointed a Commission to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam through a special statutory authority to run the administration of the temple. In 1951 another Hindu Religious and endowment Act was made which felicitated the appointment of an executive officer and Board of trustees and they run the administration. The executive officers of this institution in the South have been maintaining administration.

FOOT WAY TO TIRUMALA   Leave a comment

FOOT WAY TO TIRUMALA

Many pilgrims prefer to go on foot from the Tirupati to Tirumala to have the Darshan of the Lord. It is also part of Sankalpam(Commitment). T.T.D has provided many facilities for the benefit of such pilgrims.

  • Free transport of the Pilgrims luggage from the bottom of the hill to the Top.
  • Well cemented steps with hand rails for support.
  • Supply of potable water along the way.
  • Toilets for both ladies and Gents.
  • Well lit path way and security guards to ensure safety of the pilgrims.
  • Small restaurants along the way for refreshments and snacks.

The pilgrims have to get to Alipiri toll gate ,where the steps to the Tirumala begins.This is 4 K.Ms away from the railway station.They can then deposit their luggage at the T.T.D transport office and obtain a receipt.On reaching the top, they can redeem their luggage after producing this receipt. The foot way is 11 Kilometers in distance.It takes roughly between 3 to 4 hours to reach Tirumala by this way.
The natural beauty along the way is breath taking.Though the steps at the start are a bit steep, the rest of the way is quite even and one wouldn’t need to strain much.All along the way one can see pilgrims of every age climbing the steps with equal gusto. There are small mandapams along the way where pilgrims can take rest.Though the journey is physically tiring, it is a spiritually satifying one.

SUDARSANAM   Leave a comment

SU-DARSANAM

SUDARSANAM, the newly introduced system in the famous Tirumala temple seeks to make the waiting time of pilgrims standing in queues as pleasant as possible. It is needless to mention that long winding queues and Tirumala are synonymous.

It is to get out of this dubious distinction that the TTD  management, after considerable deliberations with experts and time management consultants, has hammered out this unique scheme and put it on stream as it is aware that the problem has already assumed alarming dimensions putting in its wake a tremendous load on other TTD infrastructures.

Under the project “Sudarsanam”, the TTD has opened special counters on the hills at three different places viz.; the vaikuntam Q-complex, Rambagicha complex and the Amenities complex, where the staff would tie around the wrist of all pilgrims a computerized and “bar-coded” band. The band would indicate the possible time when a pilgrim is likely to have ‘darshan’ of the lord and when he should report again at the queue- complex en route the main shrine. Once the pilgrim is banded, he or she is free to move anywhere in Tirumala and Tirupati instead of rotting inside the queue sheds for hours together as in the past.

This is the very essence and the theme of the scheme being implemented by the TTD at an enormous expenditure of about Rs.75000 – per day. The wrist-band being supplied to the TTD by a Bangalore based private company from time to time costs the TTD Rs.2 – a piece, besides the exigency of having to run three counters on the hill at Tirupati to operate between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.

After the introduction of the scheme, pilgrims, unlike in the past, are not staying in queues but are taking off to other places of interest – sightseeing conducted tours to about half-a-dozen other temples scattered in and around Tirupati.

This is not only going a long way in breaking the monotony and boredom of tedious waiting by pilgrims in queues but also providing them with a chance to visit the TTD Museum at Tirupati and Tirumala.

Some of them are even utilizing the time either to visit their friends and relatives or to go on a shopping spree sporting the wristband, “Sudarsanam”.

Another objective behind the introduction of  the scheme and opening of the counters at Tirupati down the hill is to control and regulate the inflow of pilgrims on to the hills. Prior to the launching of “Su-Darsanam”, the entire pilgrim rush used to throng the hills ignoring the fact that they have to wait for long at accommodation centers, tonsuring centers, bus stations and at Annadanam centers.

This more often than not resulted in the pilgrims getting clogged-up in different queue lines and overloading the TTD infrastructure, particularly the accommodation and drinking water facilities.

Now, with the opening of three counters at Tirupati itself (at the 1st and the 2nd choultry and also at the Transit Bus Station at the foot of the hill), most of the visiting pilgrims are checking into one of the counters, getting their wrists “banded” and are taking off to scores of places of visit around.

The possible time when a pilgrim can have ‘darshan’ of the main deity after he or she gets banded is decided by the staff manning the counters depending upon the number of pilgrims already banded and also on the surmise that about 3,000 pilgrims can have darshan of the Lord in an hour on an average after providing for the intermittent “breaks” for temple cleaning and for “VIP darshan”.

It is here that the well meaning program needs some fine tuning to make it more realistic and down-to-earth. This programme, as any new scheme, has teething troubles which, if removed, would make it really a boon for pilgrims.

One general complaint often being made against this programme is that there is no relation between the time prescribed by the counter staff for a pilgrim’s darshan and the actual time which the pilgrim would take to have a darshan without the band.

In other words, the pilgrims say that the counters putting on the wrist bands are not following any rational or scientific methodology while assessing the possible time as to when he or she could have his or her turn. This, they say, makes them find that either they are too early or too late when they report at the queue-complex again.

Another practical problem being encountered by pilgrims is that it being so sophisticated involving a bar-coded-cum-computerised wrist band, the visiting pilgrims, bulk of whom are poor and illiterate, are not able to figure out what it is all about and are often found asking the passers-by as to what should they do with the band.

Though this is a temporary problem bound to exit till the scheme becomes popular, the TTD, in the meantime, could step up its publicity programme to vigorously enlighten pilgrims thronging the hill by opening more information centers, providing sign-boards, distributing hand-bills, making frequent announcements through PA system and so on.

AMENITIES COMPLEX
Another new facility introduced at Tirumala by the TTD management is the opening of what is called an ‘amenities complex’ close by the shrine. The huge complex, built at a cost of Rs.2 crores, has four spacious halls which in all could accommodate 5,000 pilgrims at a time. The complex also has built-in common bathrooms, toilets, cloakroom, locker facility and on the top of it all make-shift tonsuring centers.

An ordinary pilgrim could get his Sudarsanam band tied, and quietly walk into the complex and get all his routine chores, including tonsuring, completed under one roof. Once through with this, one can go on sightseeing around or shopping or rest in the complex itself before going to the queue complex at the appointed time. This obviates the need to take separate cottages and, thus, reduces to that extent the load on the scarce accommodation system.

PRECAUTIONS

  • Check whether the date and time printed on your wrist band is correct.
  • Don’t take off the wrist band until you have finished the darshans.
  • Though the band is water proof, protect it from moisture or excessive heat
  • The bar code on the band is time sensitive.Be at the gate at least one hour before the printed time.
  • The bar code gets validated by a laser scanner,so expired bar code holders are turned away from the gate

SRIVARI SEVA   Leave a comment

SRIVARI SEVA

Tirumala,the abode of lord Venkateswara, is visited by millions of ardent devotees every year.With a view to render better service to these pilgrims who come from far-flung parts of the country,TTD has launched “Srivari Seva”.

The seva provides a unique opportunity to the devotees to serve fellow pilgrims and participate in devout service aimed at inculcating a sense of camaraderie and a spirit of service.Manava Seva Madhava Seva, So said the scriptures,Divine grace can be attained not only by worshipping the lord in the sactum sanctorum but also by serving his devotees.Thus Srivari Seva ensures the added benefit of serving the lord Srinivasa through selfless service to his devotees.

Under this scheme , the devotees can offer their voluntary services at

    1)Annadanam
    2)Queue lines
    3)Kalyana Katta
    4)Service to pilgrims -pedestrians
    5)Cloak rooms
    6)Parking
    7)Free luggage centre
    8)Papavinasanam
    9)Pushkarini

The volunteers may make spot registration at the cell at Annadanam complex.In case the volunteers form a group of atleast 10 persons ready to serve for atleast a week, TTD will provide free food and accomodation at Tirumala, provided they initmate ahead.Bhajan troupes can also take part in the service , which will be inspiring to the pilgrims.

Srivari seva will form an integral part of worship at Tirumala.It enlivens our spiritual life and prepares our body and soul to act to the will of the supreme lord.Through Srivari seva TTD endeavours to perpetuate a noble tradition devpotedly followed by our illustrious acharyas like Ramanujacharya,Tirumala Nambi and Ananthalawar.

Devotees desirous of participating Srivari Seva may please enroll themselves at
Srivari Seva Cell
Annadanam Complex
Tirumala,Ph no.08574-79693

Accommodation at Tirumala   Leave a comment

Accommodation at Tirumala

The process of allotment of cottages to pilgrims at Tirumala has been computerised and is carried out from the Central Reception Office, Tirumala.


Advance Reservation

Some information with respect to advance reservations made by pilgrims for accommodation and sevas:

  • An advance reservation daily chart is being displayed on the Notice Board outside ARP Counter in Central Reception Office, Tirumala. The chart contains the names of pilgrims who have been allotted accommodation.
  • If the devotees have not received acknowledgement or confirmation letters from the AEO (RO-I) TTD, Tirumala, they may dial 0877-2277777, 2233333 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. except on holidays or 0877 – 2277777, 2233333 at any time and get information by giving DD/MO particulars.
  • Separate DDs should be sent for accommodation and seva tickets. DDs should be sent atleast one month in advance for sevas and accommodation in favour of the Executive Officer ,TTD payable at Tirupati and the DDs should be sent to the AEO(Arjitham Computers), TTD, Tirumala for seva Tickets and to the AEO(R-I), TTD, Tirumala for accommodaton. For all details regarding Arjita Sevas, and accommodaton please dial 0877-2233333, 2277777.
  • An exclusive monitor is kept in Advance Reservation Allotment counter and main computer cell at Central Reception Office, TTD, Tirumala to provide information on advance reservation round the clock.

On Payment

Pilgrims can reserve paid accommodation (only for the Rs. 100/- & Rs.50/- per day category) in Tirumala 30 days in advance of their visit, by writing to the Assistant Executive Officer (Reception-I) TTD, Tirumala – 517504. The letter will have to be accompanied by a demand draft favouring the Executive Officer, TTD, payable at Tirupati, and drawn on any nationalised bank.

Paid accommodation can also be reserved 30 days in advance at the e-Darshan counters all over India., by paying the requisite amount.

Accommodation in other cost categories can be reserved, subject to availability, only at the Central Reception Office, Tirumala.

Categories

Special Type Cottage

Note

  1. A ‘day’ is used to mean 24 hours from the time of allotment.
  2. Alternative accommodation will be provided if the required accommodation is not available. In such cases, the excess service charges paid, if any, will be refunded.
  3. Accommodation can be reserved for one day only. If the persons do not check in on that particular day, the reservation will be cancelled and the reservation charges paid will not be refunded or adjusted for any subsequent period.

Free

There are several large choultries with free rooms for families to stay in reasonable comfort. Electricity and water are provided free of charge. For free accommodation, pilgrims may contact the Central Reception Office, near the bus stand in Tirumala. Pilgrims can also rest in and Dormitory Halls provided by TTD.For further details on free and paid accommodation, do call us at these numbers: ++91-0877-2263626 Free choultry at Tirumala

Accommodation at Tirupati   Leave a comment

Accommodation at Tirupati
Accommodation is available in these categories:

Sri Padmavathi Guest House, Tirupati

On Payment

Name Contact Rates
Sreenivasam Complex (Opposite to R.T.C bus Stand In Tirupati) The SuperintendentPhone:0877-2264537 Single : Rs.200.00
A/C Single: Rs.400.00
A/C Suit : Rs.600.00
Sri Venkateswara Dharmasala
(opposite the Tirupati Railway Station)
The Superintendent
Phone: 0877-2225144
Single : Rs.50.00
Double : Rs.100.00
Four Bed : Rs.100.00
Sri Venkateswara Guest House
(to the north of the Tirupati Railway Station) (Non-AC)
Deputy Executive Officer (Reception)
Phone : 0877-2264507
51 rooms @ Rs.150.00
Sri Padmavathi Guest House (AC)
Chittoor Road
Deputy Executive Officer (Reception)
Phone : 0877-2264510; 2264511
  • 4 Suites @ Rs.500.00
  • 3 Suites @ Rs.300.00
  • 2 Suites @ Rs.200.00
  • 1 Suite @ Rs. 400.00
  • 9 Suites @ Rs.250.00
  • Meeting Hall @ Rs.1400 (Including Telephone)
TTD Alipiri Guest House (at the foot of the seven hills)
(Non A.C.)
Phone : 0877-2264502 32 rooms @ Rs.100.00
Sri Kodandarama Dharmasala (to the south of the Tirupati Railway Station) The Superintendent, Central Reception Office, Tirupati. 74 double rooms @ Rs.30 each.

Notes

  1. Rates are per room/suite/cottage.
  2. A ‘day’ is used to mean 24 hours from the time of allotment.
  3. Allotment is subject to availability.
  4. No advance reservation is available at Tirupati

Free

Name

No. of Rooms

Contact
Sri Govindaraja DharmasalaSri Kodanda Rama Dharmasala
(both situated on the southern side of the Tirupati East Railway Station)

233

127

The Superintendent
Central Reception Office
(at the respective Dharmasala)
Tirupati
Sri Venkateswara Dharmasala (First New Choultry)
(opposite the Tirupathi Railway Station)

94

The Superintendent

 

TIRUMALA HISTORY   Leave a comment

History

tirupati-tirumla-lord-balaji tirupati-tirumla-lord-balaji
Introduction to Tirupati Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala:
          The Tirupati Venkateswara Temple is one of the most important pilgrim sites for Hindus. It is visited by a large number of devotees every year. Located on the seventh peak of the Tirupati Hill, this ancient temple is a must see for all tourists. It is emblematic of wonderful architecture. One can also get an idea of the tremendous faith that people have in this deity when they visit the temple. Individuals willingly stand in long queues just to get a glimpse of the lord housed in the richest temple. A visit to the temple is like a spiritual sojourn that simply overwhelms the senses.
History of Tirupati Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala:
          The glorious history of this temple spans for several centuries. There is literary evidence as well as a lot of engraved inscriptions that point out to the antiquity of this temple.          Kings belonging to the Chola, the Pandya and the Pallava dynasty have been regular visitors to this temple. Sri Krishnadevaraya was an important contributor and endowed the temple with rich offerings.

          A permanent endowment fund was set up by the Maratha general Rajhoji Bhonsle so that regular worship in the temple could be carried out without any hindrance.

          With the coming of the Muslim rulers, the temple came under their supervision and at a further later period, the British were transferred the power. Eventually the East India Company decided that they would no longer take the responsibility of administering native religious institution.

          The Sri Seva Dossji of the Hatiramji Mutt at Tirumala was entrusted with the responsibility. They continued to hold power for over a century till 1933. Then in 1933 the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Committee took over. Finally in the year 1951, a Board of Trustees took over the administration of this grand temple.

Description of Tirupati Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala:
          The outer Gopuram of the temple is inscribed with figures of Vaishnava gods. You will surely be impressed by the architectural brilliance of these craftsmen.          There are several Mandapams in the temple. The Ranga Mandapam reflects the Vijaynagara style of architecture and was constructed between 1320 and 1360 A.D. It is believed that when Srirangam was occupied by the Muslim rulers, the idol of Lord Ranganadha was kept here. The Tiruamla Raya Mandapam is a spacious complex of pavilions. The Dhvajasthamba Mandapam is a complex with a large number of pillars. You will simply be fascinated to see the remarkable sculptures that are there in this Mandapam. The central pillar of this Mandapam is surrounded by several small pillars. Strike one of these pillars with a small stone and you will surely be amazed to find that they emit musicalsounds. Bronze statues also adorn this Mandapam. The Aina Mahal is rightly named because there are a large number of ainas or mirrors which reflects images on its walls. It consists of two parts. There is an open Mandapam with a total of 36 pillars and a shrine consisting an Antarala and Garbagriha.

          The portals of the temples are adorned with statues of Krishnadevaraya and his consorts which were installed by Krishnadevaraya himself. The Maratha general Rajhoji Bhonsle gifted valuable jewels and that included emeralds which have been retained to this day.

Vyuha Lakshmi on Lord’s Vakshasthalam   Leave a comment

Vyuha Lakshmi on Lord’s Vakshasthalam Email
Lord Venkateswara’s idol is having a Srivatsam mark on his right chest, which is a permanent part of the Idol. It can be seen embossed, but only on Thursdays, when the jewels are removed completely, leaving the Melchat Vastram, and on Fridays, during Abhishekam and Nijapada Darsanam. The darsan of Vakshathala Lakshmi can be seen if we come very near to Kulasekhara Padi and even from there also, we can only assume the shape of the Lakshmi. Only Archakas can see the Lakshmi on the Chest. This Lakshmi is called Dvi-bhuja-Vyuha-Lakshmi in Vaikhanasa Samhithas.

The presence of Lakshmi on the body of the Hill god is responsible for the name Sri-nivasa  (the abode of Lakshmi) for Him. This image of Lakshmi is in the Agamas prescribed to be two-armed and seated in the lotus posture, this form is called Vyuha-Lakshmi.

dvibhujA vyuhalakshmi: syAt baddapadmAsanapriyA|

srInivAsanga madyasthaa sutaram kEshavapriyA||

And the consecration and worship of Vyuha-Lakshmi are meant to secure unbounded and eternal prosperity (niravadika-samrddhi-siddhaye). In the daily worship of the Hill-god, after the Venkatesa Sahasranama Archana in the morning, this Vyuha-Lakshmi on the God’s chest is also worshipped reciting 16 names of Lakshmi (shodasa-nama) with the offering of tulasi-leaves after each name and also Goddess Padmavathi on the left chest is worshipped at the same time (while the 16 names are being chanted). This image is specially worshipped during the main deity’s ceremonial bath on Friday’s, as also during Makara-sankaranthi (kAkApudi), when this Lakshmi on right chest of the Hill God receives bath with perfumed water.

Ramanuja is said to have prompted one of the yadava-raya kings to offer for the hill-god a golden necklace in which the golden image of Lakshmi (sculpted in relief and encrusted with precious stones) was hung as a pendant (Bangaru Lakshmi). This necklace with the pendant (tiny idol of lakshmi), is seen round the neck of the Hill God all week days and is also permanent adornment on the idol, except during the friday’s abhishekam. This tiny idol of gold lakshmi was offered, according to a traditional account, on a friday in the ‘ratna-malika-yoga’ (conjunction of constellation uttara phalguni on the twelfth day of bright fortnight). Every Friday, since that time, a special worship is accorded to this image. After the customary ceremonial bath (tirumanjana) for the God, and after adorning the Lord with all the jewels (just before second thomala seva (or mAdhyAhnika ArAdhanam), this pendant image is seperately given a sacred bath with water, perfumes and turmeric amidst chanting of srI-sUktha by Archakas. This abhishekam is perfomed in ekantham and only Archakas, Jeeyars, Ekangis, Adhyapakas, Vedaparayanadars and the temple higher staff are present at that time to view this tirumanjanam of bangaru-lakshmi. So there is Vyuha Lakshmi on the idol’s right chest which is embossed, which can be seen only when all the jewels are removed with the chest of the idol is fully visible and then there’s an gold lakshmi (bangaru-lakshmi) on the right chest which can be seen on all the time when jewels adornment is done except on friday’s abhishekam this bangaru lakshmi is not seen instead the vyuha-lakshmi can be seen.

As this bangaru lakshmi is given a seperate bath before mAdhyAhnika ArAdhanam. On the left chest there’s a gold chain with a big pendant of Goddess Padmavathi and this Padmavathi Idol is always present and is a permanent part of the idol. Though this is a seperate chain with a tiny idol, it is always present with the Lord’s Idol even during the Abhishekam. It is never removed for any Abhishekams and all. That means at all the times God is SrI-bhUmi sahitham.

Legend behind the Nagabharanas   Leave a comment

Legend behind the Nagabharanas Email
Lord Venkateswara’s Mulavirat is adorned with a set of Nagabharanas, on both the arms.

Once a Gajapathi King by name Veera Narashima Deva was on a piligrimage to Rameshwaram.  On the route he stopped to have Darshana of Lord and was so happy that the King decided to do some service to Lord.  The King then requested the Vaikhanasa Archakas about what he can offer.  Archakas suggested to build a Mahadwara Rajagopuram to the temple.  King agreed and immediately arranged funds and labor to begin the work, & laid the Foundation stone for that work and resumed his Yatra to Rameshwaram.  The King again while returning from the yatra decided to check the progress of the work and to self supervise the ongoing Mahadwara Rajagopuram work.

The King was very happy with the progress and felt himself very lucky to have done some service to Lord.  With this unbound happiness slept for the day.  In the middle of his deep sleep, Adishesha, The five hooded cosmic serpant appeared in his dreams & said : ‘Oh King, you are doing a great Service to Lord, by building this Mahadwara Rajagopuram. Rajagopuram is very big and causing me more pain and weight to bear on my head.  The pain can only be released by the Lord of Sheshadri himself ’. By saying so, Adishesha went and tied himself to the left arm of Lord inside Garbhagruha.

The king woke up from his dreams & felt he has done some Apacharam (knowingly done bad on someone) to Adishesha.  King was a bit restless the entire night.  Morning the King went to the temple and still felt Adishesha tied around the Lord’s left Arm.  Without second thought, the King immediately got done a Golden Adishesha which can be tied to Lords Arm.  The King then stopped the construction of the Mahadwara Rajagopuram work as it is and went back to his kingdom.

With this new jewel of Adishesha, Lord of the Seven hills was also known as ‘Pannaga Bhushana’.  Later when Bhagvad Ramanujacharya visited the Temple, prompted by the Archakas, Acharya got do done the second exact replica for Lord’s Right Arm.

Now till some 20 years back, this old Legendary Nagabharana’s were still adorned to Lord.  Then is Old set is now kept in TTD Treasury safely.  A new firm Golden Nagabharanas were made by the Temple funds which is adorned to Lord’s Moola Vigraham as a part of Nityakatla Samarpana.

In recent times, a Diamond studded Set of Nagabharana’s of the same size and shape.  This is also been done by the temple funds which is used as a part of Vishesha Samarpana.

The Legend of Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy   Leave a comment

The Legend of Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy Email

After having the divine darshan of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy, devotees go around the Vimana Prakaram and have the darshanam of Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy, who is on the North-eastern corner on the middle tier of the 3 tiered Vimana gopuram.  There is a board pointing towards  this and also there is a Silver Prabhavali or Silver Makarathorana around the Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy on the Vimanam.

Almost all the devotees feel that without having the darshanam of Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy, the fruits of visiting the holy temple will ward off. Some sources say, that, Lord Srinivasa is not in Garbhagruha but only in the Vimanam.  But as per shilpashastram of the Vishnu temple, the presiding deity’s actual position must be present in the north-eastern corner of the Garbhagruha gopuram.  Lets keep this aside and go to the legend behind as to why Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy is considered so important.

In the time of Sri Krishnadevaraya, Vyasateertha was in his court.  Vyasateertha was an accomplished and acclaimed spiritual leader and scholar of a very high calibre.  Everyone including the king would not disobey his words.  Once it so happened. Vyasa Teertha fore saw that a bad omen is going to befall on on the person sitting on the Throne of the Vijayanagara empire.  So, Vyasateertha immediately requested the King Sri Krishnadevaraya to step down from the throne, and Vyasateertha himself sat on the Throne and bear the effects of the bad time.  Since he was a saint, the  effects of the bad time didn’t affect him.  As soon as the bad omen time passed, Vyasateertha stepped down.  But, for a brief moment, Vyasateertha was the King of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire.  All had praised him as Vyasarayulu.  Rayulu in Telugu means King. So this name as Vyasaraya or Vyasarayulu has been permanently attached to the his name.

One night, Vyasaraya had a dream in which Lord Venkateshwara Swamy appeared and asked him to come to Tirumala and worship Him on the Vimanam.  Vyasaraya next morning immediately left for Tirumala and reached there only to find the Temple authorities waiting for him to handover the Locked Garbhagruha keys.  This was a strange thing for which Vyasaraya was totally unprepared for.  It so happened that due to a calamity all the Vaikhanasa Archakas and their families were wiped out except one Archaka’s wife who was pregnant ,  had gone to her native place for child birth.  Since Vaikhanasa Archakas alone can touch and offer worship to Lord in Tirumala and no one else has the right to do this .  Lord had instructed to lock the temple and hand over the key to Vyasaraya.

Vyasaraya started to worship the Lord on Vimanam sitting on the Northern bank of the Swamiy Pushkarni in front of Sri Varahaswami temple & facing south.  He was performing the worship thru Manasika Aradhanam.  This is only possible for the people who are accomplished spiritually and master of veda and yoga sashtrams.  This continued for many years.

 In the mean time, the only surviving Archaka’s pregnant wife gave birth to a healthy male child.  He grew up and at the age of 7 years, Upanayanam was performed to him as per Vaikhanasa Sashtrams.  Later he studied Vedams and Vaikhanasa Agama Shatram thru learned scholars.  For  12 years, Vyasaraya performed Manasika Aradhanam to Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy and the Grabha Gruham was locked during this  period of 12 long years. When the boy turned 12 yrs old,  Lord appeared in the dreams of Vyasaraya and asked him to handover the keys of the temple to the Vaikhanasa boy, who was ready to take incharge of the temple worship.  Vyasaraya did as Lord ordered him.

And for the first time in 12 years, the locks on Garbhagruha were opened, and the boy entered  the Garbha Gruham and started the worship of Lord again.  It is hard to believe that no worship took place for Lord for 12 years but this is the legend behind Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy and His importance.

Now the place from where Vyasaraya sat and performed the Manasika Aradhana for 12 years when the Garbha Gruham was locked, is called as Vyasaraya Hanika Mantapam.

The Garland of Historical Tales of the Hill of Venkata (Tirupati) – First Chapter   Leave a comment

The Garland of Historical Tales of the Hill of Venkata (Tirupati) – First Chapter Email

Our Lord God residing in immeasurable happiness in Vaikuntham, the Lord of the Goddess Sri and surrounded by those who had obtained eternal release, in his infinite mercy decided to come down upon earth in order to save those struggling in the sea of life without knowing how to get out of it. He regarded it as his mission to come on to the earth in a visible form to provide the means of saving themselves for those struggling in great suffering in worldly life. He therefore assumed the form of an image at Tirupati, and placed himself there as the saviour of mankind. His right hand is hold in a position inviting all beings to come to him as the highest protector, and the left placed on the corresponding thigh in such a position as if to indicate that, to those devoted to him, the sea of life (samsara) is only knee deep. This gives indication to the people that to those who devote themselves to the worship of God manifesting Himself in Tirupati, worldly life need have none of the fears generally associated with it. That he came to the earth on this merciful mission is a fact known to all.

In the second section of the current Brahmakalpa (the age of Brahma), in the second section in the ruling period of the 7th Manu and at the cormurr) cement of the age of the 8th Mahakali, there was a large assemblage of Rishis and others in a great sacrifice that was celebrated in the forest of Naimisa. In that assembly the great Suta well versed in all the Puranas arxd the Itihasas related the holy history of the hill Vengadam and all that was likely to happen after that time.

Among these future occurrences is the story of a Tonclaman Chakravarti who was going to be “born after the commencement of the era of Vikrama, and before the commencement of the current Salivahana era. He was, among those devoted to the God at Vengadam, the most prominent. In order that the devotee of Venkatesvara might become victorious over his enemies, the God gave him his own conch and the discus. From that time onwards the God at Tirupati remained without these two characteristic weapons, as if to exhibit his great generosity to this devotee of His.

During this period the world was suffering from the evils of the Kali age, and people went about without any regard to the regulations of Varndsrama (the differences of groups and the progressive order of life constituting the essential feature of the Hindu Dharma or rule of life) . The ruling princes adopted other religious persuasions. Temples were neglected and even destroyed, and there was loss of Dharma the world over. Large numbers of people became Pdshandis (ascetics of the heretical sects).

Having seen these, God in his infinite mercy ordered Ananta Alvan (the great serpant Sesha who forms his bed generally) , to go into the world and re-establish the orthodox Hindu order by destroying heretics.

Ananta in due submission to the order thus delivered, came down on earth and was born in Bhutapuri (Sri Perum Pudur) near Madras in the Tondamandalam division of the Tamil country as the son of a Kesava Somayaji of the Harita Gdtra in the year of Kali 4118, Salivahana Saka 938 past, the year Pingala, month Chaitra and the nakshatra Ardra.

This was Ramanuja. He acquired expert acknowledge in all the Sastras in course of time and mastered the Veda of Sanskrit and Tamil completely, and, having defeated all the teachers of the heretical sects, he re-established the orthodox teaching of Vaishnavism and had settled down in the holiest of the holy Vaishnava temples, Srlrangam.

In this state of -affairs it happened that in Vengadam the Vaikhanasas (followers of the Vaikhanasa agama) who were entrusted with the conduct of the worship in the temple there, failed in their duty, and, having been punished by the local ruler, Yadavaraja of Narayanavaram, quitted the place and emigrated elsewhere.

While in this manner the more elderly Vaikhanasa Vaishnavas had left the place, and as there were not, among those that stayed behind, people sufficiently learned in the Vaikhanasa way of life (Dharma), some of the Saivas near about took the opportunity to prejudice the Yadava Raja , against the Vaikhanasa Vaishitavas gradually.

Therefore they urged that in this temple everything would have to be conducted according to the prescription for worship laid down in the Saiva Agamas.

Having heard this, the Yadavaraja began to ponder seriously over the matter, and, having known that for some considerable period of time the place was regarded as a Vaishnava holy place and that worship was being conducted by the Vaishnavas according to the Vaikhdnasa Agama, he thought he should not commit himself to any course of action without proper investigation, notwithstanding what the Saivas urged.

The Vaishnavas that were left in Tirupati feeling themselves not competent to discuss with the Saivas on equal terms gave a detailed report of what took place to Rarnanuja then in residence in Srirangam.

On receipt of this information Ramanuja set forward immediately from Srirangam. Having reached Tirupati, he intimated the Yadavaraja of his arrival and offered to explain satisfactorily all the objections that the Saivas put forward against Tirupati being regarded a Vaishnava shrine, and prove to the satisf action, of the Yadavaraja, on the authority of the Sastras, that Venkatachala was the hill of Vishnu and remove his doubt in regard to the matter. He informed the Raja he undertook the journey from Srirangam specially with a view to this.

Having been thus assured, the Yadavaraja brought together a great assembly of learned men both from among the Saivas and from the Vaishnavas, and having brought them together proposed the subject for their discussion in the proper form.

The Saivas stated that Kumarasvami obtained his father’s (Siva’s permission and arrived at Venkatagiri (Tirupati) and set up to perform his penance on the bank of a holy tank, according to Vamana Parana. There standing, with his feet touching the ground, on the south bank of the Svami Pushkarinj wearing a coiffure of matted Igcks and keeping aside the warlike weapons as unsuitable to an ascetic, Skanda shows himself in the form of an image to enable people to offer him worship and thus fulfil their cherished

Note: This has been taken and reproduced as it is from the book ” Sri Venkatachala Itihasamala ” for informational and educational purpose only. The website has in no way modified and has not included its views in this article.

(Courtesy: Sri Venkatachala Itihasamala, Tirumalai Tirupati Devastanam Series (1937); Edited by: Rajasevasakta Bahadur Dr. S Krishnaswami Aiyangar)

Legend of Tirumala   Leave a comment

Legend of Tirumala Email

Long long ago their was a quarrel between Adisesha (Cosmic 7 hooded serpent on which Lord Vishnu reclines) & Vayu (Air god).  The argument was, who was more powerful among the two. So they finally decided to test it physically.  Adisesha would encircle and hold Mount Meru (Sacred mountain) & Vayu would use his air power to shake it.  If the mountain shakes, then Adisesha would loose the fight, else Adisesha wins.  The fight began & Vayu used all his power and blew the air on the mountains.  Adisesha opened his wide 7 hooded head and blocked the air effortlessly.  This continued for very long time.  Vayu then drew all the air from earth to push, and thus creating a breathless situation on earth.  So Narada went near Adisesha and said, All know who is strong, now if You don’t let Vayu shake the mountain, all the living beings on earth will die.  Adisesha then realized and felt that his Lord Narayana will not be pleased by his act and then slightly loosened the grip.  Seizing the opportunity, Vayu blew the mountain which uprooted and made it fly over millions of miles.
While that mountain was been air lifted, some rock fell on the particular place on earth.  That rocks are said to be as sacred as the Lord’s idol itself.  Since Mount Meru is very sacred.  That stones fell on the place which we now know as Tirumala.  This laid the foundation for the most sacred place on earth.  Miracles of that holy place, & sacredness of that place is mentioned in many puranas.  Even King Dasharatha is said to have done tapasya on this hills to get a son on the suggestions of sage Vasista.  The hills appeared as a Big jewel in the area, bright shining like a Trillion diamond studded hills.

Even the descending of Lord Vishnu on earth too has a vast background.  Lord Vishnu took birth as a human being in Trethayuga as the son of King Dasharatha.  We all know what happened & why Lord Rama was sent to Vanavasam.  During their stay in Panchavati, Ravana wanted to kidnap Sita and planned a trick.  When Mareechi took a form of a golden deer, Lord Rama went to bring it back.  After a long time, painful voice of Lord Rama was heard from deep inside the forest.  Sita Devi insisted Lakshmana to go and assist his elder brother.  Lakshmana drew a line on the sand around the hermit chanting Agni Mantra.  This line is what we know as Lakshmana Rekha.  Unwanted devil or bad persons or animals that enters the line will burn to ashes.  When Lakshmana left, Ravana appeared as sage and begged for food.  Sita came near and to pour the fruits in his hand bag, but Ravana snatched Sita devi.  A brilliant light and fire came in between, since Ravana was a great demon he could withstand the glaze.  Ravana then kidnapped Sita Devi and took to his palace in SriLanka.  But something quick happened in-between the brilliant glaze of fire.  Agni- the fire god exchanged Vedavathi in place of Sita & took the real Sita to his home.  Sita devi then stayed in Agni’s home like a Daughter in her native.  Vedavathi who was look alike Sita was in Lanka bearing all the pain.

Lord Rama won the battle against Ravana & Vibhishana was made the King of Lanka.  Vibhishana gave his first order as a king to Release mother Sita with full respect.  For a shocker of life, Lord Rama said to arrange the Agni Pareeksha for Sita to prove her chaste.  But infact Lord Rama knew about Sita staying in Agni’s home.  But to show it to the World, Lord ordered the Fire test.  When Sita (Vedavathi) jumped in a big fire, God Agni appeared with two Sita’s.  All except Lord Rama were stunned.  Agni said what happened to all, & requested Lord Rama to accept Vedavathi too as his Wife.  Even Sita devi too agreed for this proposal of Agni.  Lord Rama said, in his Life he will marry only once & promised Vedavathi that he will wed her in Kaliyuga.

This promise had to be kept & Lord descended on earth to Marry Padmavathi (Vedavathi), who was found born on a thousand petal lotus to King Akasharaja.

Bringing Lord on earth was not so easy.  When the Dark age known as Kaliyuga began, people started to tell lies, steal money and used to indulge in more and more unfaithful and harmful ways of life.  Lord Brahma knew only if Lord Vishnu makes a permanent adobe on Earth, nothing can help mankind from total distruction.  So Brahma called upon his son Narada and said to make arrangement so that Lord Vishnu will stay on Earth till the end of Kaliyuga.  Narada a unmarried sage who is known for his brilliant tricky talks and his unmatched devotion on Lord Vishnu, thought with Lord Vishnu’s Blessings he can accomplish this task.  He first decided to go the best possible holy men residing place known as Naimisharanyam.

Here at a place few holy sages had gathered to perform a Sacrifice or Yagna to please the Gods & bless all the creatures on earth.  The yagna was going on smoothly until Sage Narada appeared.  Narada was welcomed and was made to sit on a higher platform than all the sages since he is a divine person.  Narada with a pleasing smile said, “I am very happy to see such holy sages performing a great Sacrifice.  I am really blessed to be here.  But I am very curious to know to which god you are offering your sacrifice”.  This stunned all the sages present and all were dumbstruck.  Narada again broke the silence and said, I am sure you holy men know to which god to offer the fruits of yagna.  But all decide and offer to only one god who can fulfill all your needs.  Now you tell among the Trimurthis (Brahma, Vishnu & Maheshwara) to whom are you offering such great yagna phalam.  If you all don’t have a common answer, then their is no point of continuing the yagna. Better to stop it here.

Some sages started to discuss among the seated near to them in low voice.  Apparently some were getting angry on Narada for causing confusion in the middle.  Some Sages made firm voice and said that Lord Brahma who created the entire universe should be the sole recipient of the Yagna Phalam.  Some sages said, Its Lord Vishnu, because he is the one who sustains life, and sustaining life is more important than creating Life.  Some sages pointed out, Lord Shiva is the best option since he removes the life from the ageing body, and without him the entire planet would be full of people.  Rest of the sages were so confused that they didn’t speak at all.  Narada who was listening to all said, why don’t you holy men find out who is the best among the Trimurthis to receive your offerings.  For this you have to test the Gods. All the sages fell on Narada’s feet and begged not to push them in the fire.  Testing Gods is not a simple task.  All requested Narada to say a plan to find out who is the best among the Trimurthis.

Narada as usual smiling said, Holy men, don’t be disturbed by my Suggestion.  You all have to test the Trimurthis.  Infact you are doing such great sacrifice, you have all rights to test them.  Now all go and request Brighu Maharishi to test the Gods.  He is the only person on the Planet now who has the power to test them.  Brighu was a very great personality.  He was having a invisible Gyananetra ( Knowledge eyes) in his right feet.  Brighu was also known for his high bad temper.  Brighu was so powerful with his meditation or tapasya he could create a separate universe by himself.  He was a normal sage but would get very angry for the slightest mistake.  All the sages knew this and approached very cautiously.   Brighu was briefed about the situation and suggestion of Narada.

Brighu was shocked and said, I respect your wish and honor the words of Narada.  I know what I am going to be if I make a mistake.  I am ready to sacrifice my life for you all.  But know one thing, Testing Gods is like holding a live coal in hand to know how hot it is.  I leave now towards the heavens and get you the answer.

Brighu left the earth and was thinking all his way, how can I test the Gods, or whom to approach first.  Brighu felt to test Brahma who was the creator of the Universe.  Sure he would be the best.  Without the permission of Brahma no one could enter his adobe.  Brighu came to the doors of BrahmaLoka and called upon Lord Brahma with folded hands and requested for the entry.  Brahma who was having 4 heads was Meditating upon Lord Vishnu on one head, Listening to his consort Saraswathi Devi playing a musical instrument (Veena), on the third head was talking to all the Devathas present their and was ordering them certain works. And with his fourth head was indulged in writing fate of the humans.  Infact he was totally occupied.  But Brahma pretended that he didn’t hear Brighu calling.  Brighu was standing and calling for days & months.

When 3 months was over, the temper inside Brighu sparked and Brighu shouted, Oh Lord Brahma You want to show your Kingly status to me.  Your mind is full of Rajoguna.  You don’t have the courtesy to atleast let me inside Brahma Loka.  You should be punished for your act.  Soon Brighu took some water from his Kamandala (small water container) and cursed Brahma that, on Earth you will not be seen or worshiped.  Soon Brighu left the Brahma Loka & went to Kailasa which is the dwelling place of Lord Shiva.

Kailasa parvath or Mountains is said to be a icy hills which housed millions of shivagana which include, demigods, demons & humans (Sages).  When Brighu went their, it was pin drop silence.  No one was in the mountains except Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvathi.  Lord Shiva and Parvathi were indulged in enjoying their senses.  Brighu waited for about 6 months.  Still Lord Shiva didn’t see Brighu.  Brighu entered the place and Shiva was so angry & shouted, you are a great sage, and you don’t have common sense not to enter the place where Husband and wife are alone.   Brighu’s anger again reached its peak and Brighu shouted and cursed, you both being Father & Mother to me, and Children can come and go any time.  But still you are keen on enjoying your senses rather than addressing the son standing and waiting for you.  You are full of Thamoguna (being proud of what he is).  Let only your genitals be worshipped hereafter.

Brighu left kailasam and went towards Vaikuntam.  Brighu just controlled his anger and started to think.  Out of 3 two are disqualified.  So now its decided that its Lord Vishnu who is fit to receive the fruits of the Yagna.  Brighu again thought to give the harsh test to Vishnu and make him get angry.  But nothing of that kind of plan flashed in Brighu’s mind.  He decided to go and check the situation in Vaikuntam and plan.

On arriving at the doors of Vaikuntam, Brighu didn’t ask permission, and entered.  Brighu saw Lord Vishnu casually reclining and Goddess Lakshmi gently pressing Lord’s feet.  Brighu without evening calling Lord just went and kicked hard on Lord Vishnu’s chest with his right leg.  The Lords Chest which is known as the dwelling place of Goddess Lakshmi.  And Lakshmi Devi is Lords very favorite.  Lord woke up without angry on his face but just a usual mild smile.

Lord Vishnu said: Oh great sage, My body has become pure from the dust of your holy feet.  Kindly forgive me for not noticing your arrival.  You have given me the right punishment for not noticing.  My hard body would have caused pain in your legs.  Please command me what can I do as a apology to my mistake.

Brighu who in heart felt sorry for what he has done, still pretended to be angry and said in hard voice: Press my feet to relax the pain.

Lord who knew all these pressed the Right foot gently.  When Brighu relaxed Lord Vishnu pressed and removed the Gyananetra from his right leg which was a blockage in Sages path from achieving much great position.  After the pain of squeezing eyes was relaxed, Brighu fell on Lord’s feet and begged for his forgiveness.   Brighu said he has done the greatest sin a living being can do.  Lord Vishnu said: You have done nothing wrong.  All the act you have done is for LokaKalyanam (Wellbeing of all).  I have forgiven all your mistakes.  Now go to Naimisharanyam where all are waiting for your arrival.

Brighu was very happy with the test results and went back to earth.  Here in Vaikuntam it was a totally opposite scene.  Lakshmi devi felt very embarrassed by the act of her husband who instead of cursing and burning that sage in to ashes, pressed his legs and blessed him.  Lakshmi devi felt she must not stay in the place where she is not given respect.  When Lord Vishnu asked why she was so upset, Lakshmi poured her anger on Lord.  Lord with smile said: Dear, Brighu is our son, he didn’t mean to hurt or insult you.  He came here on a mission he had accepted.  All this is for LokaKalyanam.  You being the mother of all creation must not feel bad for what the child does.  Brighu kicked me like a baby kicks his father while playing.

Lakshmi devi didn’t listen to anything and said, I am leaving Vaikuntam and will not return.  I cant stay where I was insulted.  You and your son stay here.  Immediately Lakshmi devi left Vaikuntam.  She settled in a place called a Khollapuram ( Kollapur in Maharastra ).  As soon as she left Vaikuntam, the entire charm and glitter of Vaikuntam faded.  It looked like a barren place.  Lord Vishnu couldn’t bear the separation from Lakshmi.  He felt very dishearten and dull.  Lord said, Where there is no Lakshmi in Vaikuntam, I too will not stay in Vaikuntam.  I will go to earth and bring her back.  With bare hands without any weapons and comfort clothing Lord descended on earth.

This is the moment when Lord Vishnu left Vaikuntam and descended on earth which Lord Brahma had suggested.  All by the plans of great sage Narada.  Legend says Lord Vishnu placed his first foot on earth on the hills of Narayanagiri in Tirumala.  For the arrival of Lord the Nature had carved a Shila Thoranam or natural Stone arc which is about 2500 million years old as per the ASI dept.  Nature has carved Shanka, Chakra, Garuda, Tirunamam & many similar images.  The entire image is a masterpiece of natural architecture.  We find many stone arch around the world. But nothing is much older or atleast to the age of these stones.

When Brighu arrived at Naimisharanyam and said what had happened in all the Three places, the present sages were overwhelmed with joy.  They decided to offer all the future yagna phalam to Lord Vishnu only.  So we even today after every Havana say “……Karomi yagnath sakalam purasmai Sriman Narayanayethi samarpayami”.

Lord when came on earth lost all his glamour and looked like a normal human being.  Lord started experiencing thirst, pain, hunger & sleep.  Lord roamed on the Tirumala hills for a long time and decided to take shelter under a anthill.  Goddess Lakshmi who left Vaikuntam sat under a huge tree in Khollapuram and started to meditate.  Seeing the condition of Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva decided to at least provide some food to the Lord.  Both went to Lakshmi Devi and said the situation and explained their plan.  Lord Shiva would become the Cow & Brahma would become the calf.  Goddess Lakshmi would become a Cowherd women and sell them to the King of that area.

The divine cowherd women with the divine cow and calf came near the Queen to sell them.  Lakshmi Devi advertized the good quality of the cow breed & said its milk is very tasty.  Both will be like a moon among the stars in their cow shed.  Queen was very attracted by their physic and appearance.  Queen decided to buy but Lakshmi devi just said to give 2 pieces of raw turmeric sticks as the price.  So the deal was done.  Queen ordered the royal cowherd to take special care of the cow and calf and keep them in good condition and send the milk separately to her.

The royal cowherd was very happy with the divine cow’s inclusion.  Everyday he used to take them to Venkatachala hills (Tirumala hills) for grazing.  The divine cow would separate itself from the rest of the herd & sneak the way thru the thick forest and used to pour its entire milk on the opening in the anthill.  Lord Vishnu would drink it to quench his thirst and hunger.  This happened for many days.  Queen who was expecting the milk from the divine cow didn’t receive any till date.  She called the royal cowherd and said, he was drinking the divine cow’s milk by himself & cheating the Queen.   Queen said, if tomorrow he fails, his head would be removed.  The frightened cowherd decided to keep a tight vigil and watch its every movement the next day.

The divine cow as usual separated itself and went into the forest.  Even the cowherd also went behind it.  He was surprised to notice the miracle.  He immediately went to the royal court and said.  King & he both came to the place.  Both were surprised to see the cow pouring the entire breastful of milk into the tiny opening of the anthill.  King ordered to break the anthill, & the cowherd who had axe with him came forward to hit.  The divine cow obstructed, the king said to kill the cow first for blocking the way.  When the cowherd raised his axe to hit, just in nick of time, it disappeared & the falling axe broke the anthill & hit the Lord on his forehead.  Immediately the King & the cowherd became ghosts.  King for ordering to kill the cow & the cowherd for hitting Lord.  Both begged for forgiveness.  The ever pleasing Lord said, Once he gets married both will be released from the curse and go to heavens.

Bleeding Lord with huge pain went in search of some water and medication.  A distance from their was a tiny temple of AdiVaraha Swami.  Their was a holy old lady named Vakulamalika (Vakuladevi).  Lord came near the Temple & Vrahaswami knew who was coming.  So Vrahaswami instructed Vakula to take care of the person who is bleeding & treat him as her son.  She took the Lord to her hut and medicated him for the wound and gave him fruits to eat.  She also named Lord seeing the big mole on his right chest as Srinivasa.

Vakulamalika was Yashodha in her previous birth in Dwaparayuga.  She was the care taking Mother of Lord Krishna.  Yashodha was very fond of Krishna & in that period Lord Krishna married eight times.  None of the Marriages were performed in front of her or she didn’t see any of Lord Krishna’s Marriage.  During the Last moments of her life, Lord asked what is she wants, She didn’t see any of his marriage and that was the saddest part of her life.  Lord promised that in next Yuga (Kaliyuga) she will be the sole in charge of his marriage & entire marriage arrangements would be made by her.  To keep up that promise and to see the marriage of Lord Krishna in Kaliyuga Vakulamalika took birth.

Both mother and son, Vakula & Srinivasa were very happy with the wonderful surroundings & tasty food prepared by Vakula.  Lord everyday would roam casually around the forest and come back before dark.  One day Lord decided to go for hunting.  Vakula at once refused but on insisting she agreed half heartedly.  She decorated Srinivasa like a hunter man and sent him and said to watch around carefully for wild animals.  Srinivasa while roaming reached near the Palace of King Akasharaja.  Their he saw beautiful princess playing with her friends.  Their immediately from nowhere a wild big tusker appeared and started to chase the playing princess.  Princess was chased by the elephant and she screamed for help.  Soon Lord came to her rescue & held the elephant by its talk and stopped it.

The elephant with pain bowed and went back running into the deep forest.  Both Lord and Princess saw each other for the first time.  Both fell in deep love on one another.  Soon the playmates of Princess came to the scene.  They noticed a dark tall hunter man looking at their friend princess without blinking the eyes.  Even Princess too was in the same stage.  One of the playmates shouted, who are you, why did you come here? Don’t you know this is a Royal area and you would be punished for coming here?  Nothing went into Srinivasa’s ears.  He was totally out of his mind seeing the Princess.  Srinivasa with a soft tone asked, what is your name? to the Princess.  With a cute smile Princess said, She is Padmavathi, the daughter of King Akasharaja.

The playmates said to leave the place at once to Srinivasa.  Suddenly Lord Proposed Padmavathi for Marriage.  All the playmates started to tease Srinivasa saying, You need a princess for marriage.  You are just a hunter.  But again Lord expressed his desire.  Padmavathi was happy in her heart and mind but couldn’t express her feelings.  The playmates then decided to chase the man out of the area and started throwing stones on him.  The stones hurt Lord all around the body.  This stone pelting on Lord was because, Lord in Dwaparayuga as Krishna had threw stones on Gopikas.  They too were hurt.  So in this life they took back the revenge.  And the Princess Padmavathi is none other than Vedavathi in Trethayuga.

Lord Srinivasa returned to the hut, & Vakula was shocked to see the wounds on his body.  Vakula asked did any animal trouble you, did you fall, please tell me what happened?  Lord then said all the things which happened and said, without marrying Padmavathi he cannot be alrite.  Vakula then promised that she would go to the palace with his marriage proposal very soon.  Day by day the Srinivasa was restless and was not even eating or sleeping properly.  Vakula thought in one or two days he will forget.  But it started to deepen more and more.  Even the scene in Akasharaja’s palace was similar.  Here Padmavathi was too behaving the same.  Both always were thinking of each other.

Finally Vakula decided to take the proposal of marriage to king.  Lord knew it was not a easy task.  So before Vakula reached the palace, Lord transformed himself as a sooth saying women & went near the Palace.  She was immediately invited into the palace by the Queen to ask for the remedy for the sadness of the Princess.  The soothsayer said, she is in love with a handsome tall dark young guy in the forest & she wish to marry him.  His mother might anytime bring the proposal to the marriage.  Queen said to stop the rubbish saying and ordered to leave the palace at once.

Even King Akasharaja too heard the soothsayer’s words.  Akasharaja remembered: The just born baby was laying on the 1000 petal Lotus in Padma Sarovara.  He had bought that child and adopted it.  Narada had come to see the baby and made some predictions.  Narada said to Akasharaja that, The child was very fortunate & the Lines in her hand look similar to the lines on the hands of Goddess Lakshmi in Vaikuntam.  The padma Rekha was very strong and to name the child as Padmavathi.  Narada also said that, She will marry Lord Vishnu.  Narada also said to keep this information for himself.

King was pleased to feel that the divine moment of handing over the daughter’s hand in marriage to Lord Vishnu is approaching.  He was knew who will become his Son in Law.  As said by Narada he couldn’t say that to anyone else.  Vakula reached the Palace gate and sent her message to meet the King.  Vakula was thinking that she will be dishonored and sent back.  But King sent command to bring her with full respect and honor.  She was offered a seat and the King requested her purpose of visit.  Vakula said: My adopted Son Srinivasa had seen your daughter in the royal gardens.  From then he is willing to marry her.
King said: It’s a very nice proposal, but first my daughter has to agree.  Only then the marriage is possible.  Queen was shocked to see the act of the King.  She immediately requested the King to come aside in the neighboring chamber and asked why he was giving the hands of the royal princess daughter to a hunter man.  But King said, he knows what he is doing and said she will come to know what is the fact very soon.

Padmavathi was called on & she came in front of Vakula.  King asked weather she had seen that hunter man & what about marrying him.  Padmavathi with smile walked fast into her royal chamber.  This was understood she is willing to be wedded with the Hunter man Srinivasa.  The King was very happy and sent Vakula with Royal chariot to her hut.  Lord who knew what all happened, pretended that he was eagerly waiting.  He asked, Mother pleas tell me what happened? Did you see Padmavathi? Did the King agree for Marriage?

Vakula said what all happened and both were very happy.  Vakula in few days received a formal marriage proposal from the bride side.  The proposal also contained, Loads of jewels, cows, assistants, chariots, and much more.  Vakula said to Lord, Dear son, we too should send something after accepting the proposal.  We must not send back bear handed.   Do some arrangements for money needed for marriage.  Lord then decided to take loan from the King of riches called Kubera.

The agreement is written very nicely in Venkatachala Mahatyam.

RnagrAhi Srinivasa DhanadayE DhaneshwaraHa
AtmakAryam Nimithuntu kaLyAnArtha
KalauyugE VaisakhE shukLa
sapThamyAm VilanbE CaivavatsarE

Means: Lord Srinivasa is the Borrower

Kubera is the money lender

Borrowing for the Personal reasons of marriage in kaliyuga

on the seventh day of the bright fortnight of the month of Vaisakha, in the Vilambi nama Samvatsara.

NishkANAm RAmamudrANAm LakshAnica Caturdasa 
Dravyam Datham DhanEsEna VriDhigrahaNakAraNAt
Samvridhi Diditsata Moolam SvEkrtam ChakrapANinA

Means:  Lord of Riches Kubera gives 14 Lakh Niskas (Gold coins) minted with Ramamudra. Loan given by Kubera for earning interest & Lord Chakrapani having agreed to pay the Moolam (principal) & interest.

VivAhavarsha MAracya sahasrAntE Dhanam punaha
Datavyam YaksharajAya SrinivasEna sAngiNa

Means: After Marriage year & end of thousand years after marriage, Lord Srinivasa shall repay the loan amount to yaksharaja Kubera

Ekaha sAkshE caturvaktrO Dviteeyastu TrilOcanaha
triteeyO Saktyarajastu Vethi Sarvamidam Drudam
IdyEtaRnapatram tu SrinivasO Likhatsvayam

Means: First witness for the Loan is 4 faced Brahma, Second is 3 eyed Shiva & the third witness is King of Trees Ashwatha.  The entire agreement was written by Lord himself under the Ashwatha tree near Swami Pushkarni.

……………… will add more

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