About Sri Tirupati Balaji Temple
The Sri Venkateswara Swami Vaari Temple, also known as Tirupati Balaji Temple, is situated in the Indian town of Tirumala in the Andra Pradesh district. The temple houses the idol of Lord Venkateswara, or the Lord of the Seven hills. Venkateswara is a manifestation of Vishnu, who, according to ancient texts, came down to earth to deliver humanity from the trials and tribulations of the Kali Yuga. It resulted in the area known as Kaliyuga Vaikuntha, with the local deity being the Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daivam.
(Image Credit: TTD)
Architecture of the Temple
The temple follows the Dravidian architectural style. Three entrances to the temple lead to the main shrine (Ananda Nilayam). The main entrance to the sanctum is the brass-doored Mahadwara Gopuram. There are two ways to circumambulate the temple. The second path has several sub-shrines, the central kitchen, the main hundi, and other significant structures. In contrast, the first path contains many pillared halls, flagstaffs, and a designated place to disperse the offertories.
Ananda Nilayam is a gold-plated tower present inside the main shrine. The principal deity is inside the inner temple of “Ananda Nilayam,” which dates to the 12th century A.D. Swami Pushkarni, a revered water body, is located north of the temple. Pushkarni, which spans a vast area of 1.5 acres, is one of the temple’s most significant. An account claims that Garuda carried the pond from Lord Vishnu’s home in Vaikuntham to the hills. The Saluva King Narasimha Raya constructed a hall with pillars in the center of the pond in 1468.
Deities Present in the Temple
There are shrines to numerous deities present in the temple. You can find shrines dedicated to Lord Ram, Sita, Lakshman, and Hanuman. Apart from these shrines, you can also find shrines for Lord Krishna, his consort Rukmini, Sugriva, Vishvaksena, and Angad.
There are five other significant deities besides these, and they are:
#1 Dhruva Bera
It is this temple’s primary deity and is a source of energy. The widespread belief is that Lord Venkateswara’s fixed idol is a Swayambhu (self-manifested image). According to popular ideas, Lord Vishnu was reborn on earth as Srinivasa (human form) and married princess Padmavati while on earth. Goddess Lakshmi went in quest of her husband as soon as she learned about his second marriage. Lord Vishnu, who had taken the guise of Srinivasa, turns into rock when faced by both Mahalakshmi and Padmavati.
#2 Ugra Srinivasa
The idol of Ugra Srinivasa is inside the sanctum sanctorum. The temple cleanses it daily using holy water, milk, ghee, and curd. Initially utilized, the idol in the processions, but Utsava Beram eventually took its place. It is that fire mishaps were a given whenever they used the idol of Ugra Srinivasa in the procession. As a result, this idol is Lord Venkateswara in his fiercest form.
#3 Utsava Beram
As the Ugra Srinivasa idol often caused fire mishaps when used for processions, they could no longer use it for processions. The devotees prayed to the Lord, asking him to give them a replacement or an alternative. The Lord then appeared in a dream of one of his followers and informed him about a different idol they could use in processions. The worshippers then discovered the Utsava Beram idol in the Seshachalam hills. Since its discovery, processions have employed the same idol to this date.
#4 Bhoga Srinivasa
Bhoga Srinivasa is a miniature silver idol of the Lord that is always next to the primary deity’s left foot. In 614 AD, Queen Samavai of the Pallava dynasty gave this idol to the temple. The idol usually sleeps on a golden bed while rocked in a silver cradle. The idol gets its name ‘Bhoga Srinivasa’ because it enjoys all material pleasures.
#5 Koluvu Srinivasa
Koluvu Srinivasa is the name of the guardian god who controls all operations of the temple, including the handling of finances of the temple. The idol is of five different metals. The statue, also known as Bali Beram, has a striking resemblance to Dhruva Bera.
From a religious perspective, the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala is critical to the Hindus. The temple draws visitors and worshippers from all over the world each year. Devotees frequently feel blissful after visiting the temple since, according to ancient texts, Lord Vishnu transformed himself into stone to aid humanity in the Dark Ages. The temple is essential to the Andhra Pradesh government and the local community’s economy. Being the wealthiest temple in the world, it generates employment possibilities for thousands and serves as the sole source of income for many.
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