Tirupati Tirumala Balaji
The sacred town of Tirupati-Tirumala-Balaji is one of the most sanctified places in India. The divine temple is popular for Lord Venkateshwara deity. The name Tirupati Balaji means “Lord of Lakshmi”. The well-known shrine is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara who is also named as Venkatramana. Most of our earliest texts declare that one can achieve emancipation in Kalyug only by worshipping Lord Sri Venkateshwara.
Tirupati Tirumala Balaji is popular as the richest temple in world and it is also said that the number of devotees who visit the shrine is higher as compared to Mecca and Rome.
Tirupati Tirumala Balaji- A Brief Introduction
Location : The hallowed shrine Tirupati is 67 kilometres away from Chittor, Andhra Pradesh. It is stelled on a hill at Tirumala, a group of seven hills that are known as Venkatachalam or Sheshachalam with an elevation of 853 metre and 2,800 feet above sea level.
LegendAccording to mythology, Saint Ramanuja born in 11th century and climbed the seven hills of Tirupati, Lord Venkateshwara appeared in front of him and blessed him with good luck. These seven hills are also named as ‘Sapthgiri’. These seven peaks are- Venkatadri, Seshadri, Narayanadri, Neeladri, Vrishabhadri, Anjanadri and Garudadri.
Architecture And Framework
The stunning South Indian temple is a brilliant example of Dravidian style of architecture. The grand tower or ‘Gopuram’ portrays the best feature of Dravidian architecture. The place of worship with Cupola or ‘Vimana’ over the sanctum is casted with gold plate that is named as “The Ananda Nilayam”. The temple comprises of three enclosures or “Prakarams’. The outmost enclosure includes the ‘Dhvajasthambha’ or the banner post. In addition to this, the idols of Vijaynagar ruler Krishnadevaraya and his consort, statue of Todarmal, the minister of Akbar and a full figure sculpture of Lord Venkateshwara has preserved inside the shrine.
The main area also consists of various mandapams, Ranga Mandapam that is constructed according to Vijayanagara style of architecture is the most stunning one. On the other side, Tirumala Raya Mandapam has a convoluted pillars set. The central pillar of the temple is enveloped by small pillars.
Daily Routines At Temple
A day in the sanctified temple starts at 3:00 am with “Suprabhatam” (awakening of God) and ends at 1:00 pm in night with “Ekanta Seva” ( putting Lord to sleep).
Prayers are proffered regularly in the form of Utsavamas’ and ‘Sevas’. Devotees who wish to pay reverence Lord can do it by offering a small amount of in return of the Utsavamas or Sevas done on their name. The donations and gifts given to deity known as ‘Hundi’. These offerings are the major source of
Padi Kavalki Maha Dwara : The outer gopuram of the temple is known as Padi Kavali Maha Dwara that stands on a quadrangular base. The magnificent gopuram was constructed according to Chola period. The inscriptions carved on gopuram are of 13th century. The Gopuram also has numerous stucco figures of Vaishnava Gods like Lakshmi Narsimha, Kevale Narasimha and Hanuman on the gopuram.
Ranga Mandapam : Ranga Mandapam, which is also tagged as Ranganayakula Mandapam, is situated in south-eastern end of Sampangi Pradakshinam. The temple inside it is considere to be the spot where Utsava Murti of Lord Ranganadha of Srirangam was kept by muslim invaders in 14th century. It was built by Sri Ranganandha Yadava Raya between 1320 and 1360 AD.
Sampangi Pradakshinam : The path for moving around the shrine is known as Pradakshinam. The main temple is divided into three Prakarams. Between the middle and outer Prakarams is the second path for rotation known as Sampangi Pradakshinam. Currently this path is closed for devotes. The Sampangi Pradakshinam is full of numerous mandapams like Aina Mahal, Nrasimha Mandapam, Ranga Mandapam, Tirumala Raya Mandapam etc.Tirumala Raya Mandapam : The Tirumala Raya Mandapam has a classic set of pillars that are shaped in Vijayanagar style of architecture. It has an attractive central pillar that is bordered by small size pillars and when hit with a stone, some of them emit musical notes. The main pillars have the images of horses with soldiers mounted on them.
The Aina Mahal : The Aina Mahal is another worth seeing feature of the impressive temple. It is divided in two parts- an open Mandapam in the frontage including six rows with six pillars in each row, and a temple behind it composed of a ‘Gabrhagriha’ and ‘Antarala’. It has big mirrors that reflect pictures of deity in an unending series. Inside the Aina Mahal, there is an Unjal in the center of room in which one can see idol of Lord in a sitting position.
Tirupati Festivals And Events
Tirupati is famous for many vibrant festivals like Vasanthotsavam, Dolotsavam, Arjita Brahmotsavam and Kalyanotsavam. All these fairs and festivals attract devotes from every part of India and world as well.
Brahmotsavam is a magnificent gala time for devotes and pilgrims, who come to see the processions and celebrations of the grand carnival. The carnival was organized as a thanks giving ritual to Lord. The festival is celebrated for nine days and everyday brings a new excitement for people. The heavenly procession of Lord Venkateshwara moves around the shrine for more than two hours. The nine days festival offers exceptional enjoyment and delight for devotees and pilgrims.
A Glance Over Some Major Facts
- State- Andhra Pradesh
- District- Chittor
- Famous for/as- Pilgrim
- Best Season- September to March
- Significance- World’s richest temple
- Weather- Summer 23 °C to 43°C, winter 15°C to 35°C
How To Reach Tirupati ?
By Air : Tirupati Airport is situated 14 kms from the city and has daily flights from Delhi and Hyderabad. If a person is coming from other country, then the best alternative is to lad at Chennai International Airport that approximately 200 km away from the town.
By Rail : Tirupati has well-equipped railway station which is situated in the town itself and one can take trains to reach several prominent cities in India.
By Road : The city has an extensive road network that connects it from Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and other parts of the state.