Venkateswara Temple Tirumala
The Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala is a landmark among all the Vishnavite temples. It is situated at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is believed to have manifested here to eradicate the troubles of mankind in the Kali Yuga.
The temple is constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture and is one among the eight Swayambhu Kshetras of Lord Vishnu where the God has manifested himself. This temple is renowned as the richest temple in the world in terms of the revenue generated by the offerings of the devotees.The temple witnesses a minimum of 100,000 devotees on a daily basis making it the most-visited sacred place in the world.
Once when Sage Bhrigu visited the abode of Lord Vishnu, the Lord acted as if he did not notice the Sage. Angered by this insult the Sage kicked Him on his Chest to which the Lord reacted by apologizing and massaging the Sage’s foot.
Goddess Lakshmi angered by this behavior of her husband, left their heavenly abode. Lord Vishnu went in search of her in the human form of Srinivasa. During this time he came upon a beautiful girl named Padmavati who was the daughter of the king Akasaraja.
He was cursed in his previous life by Lord Vishnu to be born as a demon and when the king pleaded with the Lord to revert his curse the Lord said that the king should marry his daughter Padmavati in his net birth to Srinivasa after which the curse will be lifted. After the king was reborn and had a daughter named Padmavati, since she was born out of a lotus.
The king married her to Srinivasa when He came to ask for her hand in marriage. After hearing about the marriage Goddess Lakshmi came over to present day Tirumala to confront the Lord. On seeing his two queens, He turned into stone. After Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma explained to the queens about the reason of the Lord’s manifestation here, the two queens also turned into stone and to this day, the stone idols of the Gods are worshipped here.
The temple is open from 2.30 a.m to 11.00 p.m. on all days of the year.
No specific dress code is recommended for a visit to this temple. Still, costumes covering upper arms and legs are suggested as a mark of respect to the temple customs.
The most important festival at the temple is Brahmotsavam. The number of festivals is more than the number of days in a year.