People come to India from all over the world not just for sightseeing but also for spiritual enlightenment. Most of the pilgrimage sites in India is situated in places where there is unparallel natural beauty. We are going to discuss many pilgrimage sites in India through different blog posts.

In this blog all important information about Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala is popularly known as Thirupathi Balaji Temple.

Sri Venkateswara who is the main deity in this temple is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. And therefore, this temple is a landmark Vaishnavite temple.

Location of Thirupathi Balaji Temple

The temple is situated in a hill town of Thirumala at Thirupathi in Andra Pradesh state in India. The Thirumala Hills comprises seven peaks representing the seven heads of Adisesha. The seventh peak is the Venkadadri and the temple is situated at this peak. Since it comprises seven hills, the temple is also called as ‘Temple of seven hills’. The temple complex is in 16.2 acres of land.

Interesting Facts about Thirupathi Temple

  • It is the richest and one of the most revered shrines in India.
  • There is a secret of an unknown village from where the flowers, clarified butter, milk, butter-milk, holy leaves, etc. are sourced for the temple uses. The village’s name is undisclosed to the visitors or pilgrims and so no one can visit that little village.
  • Hair tonsuring is a custom that is performed in the Temple. There is an interesting story behind this ritual. Lord Venkateswara was hit on his head by a shepherd, a small portion of his scalp became bald. A Gandharva Princess named Neela Devi quickly took note of this incident and cut a portion of her glorious mane. She offered her chopped locks humbly to the deity and requested him to plant them on his head. The god accepted the kind offering and he promised her that all his devotees who come to his abode would offer their hair to him, and she would be the recipient of all the hair received. It is believed that the hair offered is accepted by Neela Devi. One among the seven hills where the temple is located is also named after her – Neeladri Hills.
  • There are shrines of many deities within the complex of the temple. The shrines are dedicated to Lord Ram, Sita, Lakshmana, and Hanuman, Lord Krishna, along with his consort Rukmini, Vishvaksena, Sugriva and Angad. In addition to these, there are 5 principal deities.
Tirumala Dhruva Bera Dhruva Bera is the main deity and is considered a source of energy. The idol of Lord Venkateswara is fixed and is believed to be a Swayambhu (self-manifested image). It is said that Lord Vishnu reincarnated on earth and assumed the form of Srinivasa (human form). During his stay on earth, he married princess Padmavati. When Goddess Lakshmi got to know about her husband’s second marriage, she went in search of him. When confronted by both Mahalakshmi and Padmavati, Lord Vishnu, who had assumed the form of Srinivasa, turns into stone.
Bhoga Srinivasa This is a small silver idol of the Lord which is always placed near the left foot of the main deity. This idol was donated to the temple by Queen Samavai of the Pallava dynasty in 614 A.D. The idol is usually swayed in a silver cradle and is made to sleep in a golden cot. Since the idol experiences all the worldly pleasures, it is called as Bhoga Srinivasa.
Ugra Srinivasa The idol of Ugra Srinivasa is kept inside the sanctum sanctorum and is cleansed every day with holy water, milk, ghee, curd, etc. Originally, the idol was used in the processions but was later replaced by Utsava Beram. It is said that whenever the idol of Ugra Srinivasa was taken out for processions, fire accidents would take place inevitably. Hence, this idol was considered as the fierce form of Lord Venkateswara.
Utsava Bheram When the devotees could no longer use the idol of Ugra Srinivasa for processions, they offered their prayers to the Lord, requesting Him to suggest them an alternative. The Lord then appeared in one of His devotees’ dream and told him about another idol that can be used for processions. The devotees then found the idol of Utsava Beram in the hills of Seshachalam. The same idol is being used for processions to date.
Koluvu Srinivasa Made from a combination of five metals, Koluvu Srinivasa is considered as the guardian deity who supervises all the activities, including the finances of the temple. The idol closely resembles Dhruva Bera and is also called Bali Beram.

 

  • The world-famous “Tirupati Laddu” is given at Tirumala Temple as prasadam. Many other prasadams which are classified under Anna-prasadams and Panyarams are there. Free meals are given daily to the pilgrims.

Sri Venkateswara Brahmotasavam

t is a nine-day event, which is celebrated every year during month of October, is the major event of Sri Venkateswara Temple. During the festival, the Utsava-murti (processional deity) of the presiding deity Lord Venkateswara, along with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi, will be taken on a procession on different Vahanams on the stree surrounding the temple. It is a holy cleansing ceremony honoring Lord Brahma – The creator.

More than 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims have Darshan of the presiding deity, Lord Venkateswara, while on special occasions and festivals, like the annual Brahmotsavams, the number of pilgrims visiting the temple shoots up to 500,000, making it the most-visited holy place in the world.

References

  1. Cultural India (Temples in India – Thirupathi Temple)
  2. org/Temple Legend