Tirupati Information - Explore Tirupathi
Tirupati, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, is one of the eight most sacred places of Mahavishnu, hailed as Swayamvvakta Kshetras (self-manifested). The hill shrine is also acclaimed as the holiest of the celebrated 108 Tirupatis or Vaishnava Divya Desams. According to legends, it was originally an Adi Varaha Kshetra and Lord Venkateswara came to settle down here in Kali Yuga with permission from Sri Varahaswami.
The shrine is situated on top of the Venkatam Hill or Venkatadri, the tallest of the seven holy hills (3,200 feet above mean sea level) of the Nallamalai range with Nature in all its glory, splendor and charm. Together revered as Saptagiri, an aerial view of these seven hills would give one the impression of Adisesha, the mythological serpent, lying majestically with its seven hoods. Vaishnavite saint Ramanujacharya is said to have reached the Venkatam Hill on his knees. The Acharya considered the hills so sacred that he felt it was sacrilegious to tread the hills.
Venkatachala Mahatmyam speaks volumes about the sanctity and glory of the holy hills and Lord Venkateswara. Detailed references are found in Varaha Puranam, Bhavishyottara Puranam, Padma Puranam, Garuda Puranam, Brahmanda Puranam, Markandeya Puranam, Harivamsa Puranam, Vamana Puranam, Brahma Puranam, Brahmottara Puranam, Aditya Puranam and Skanda Puranam.
The hallowed hills are known by the names Seshadri, Venkatadri, Garudadri, Narayanadri, Vrishabhadri, Anjanadri and Neeladri. And each of the seven hills is associated with an interesting legend.
A Sacred Monument of Tirumala
Considered as the most sacred and the richest temple in the world, Tirupati temple is situated in the town of Tirupati. It is located 67-km away from Chittoor in Chittoor district of southern Andhra Pradesh. Also known as Tirupathi Balaji Temple, it is a major pilgrimage center of south India. Besides, Tirupathi also focus on other attraction of this place, the ancient and famous shrine of Sri Venkateswara, the Lord of Seven Hills is worth a visit.
The temple is located on a hill at Tirumala. It is a conglomeration of seven hills known as Seshachalam or Venkatechalam having a height of 853m (2,800ft.) above the sea level. The temple boasts of a vibrant and colorful culture also speaking volumes about its grand past. It is an important pilgrimage center, where devotees stand for long hours waiting to get a glance of the presiding deity.
Highlight of the Tirupati Temple
The temple is the most popular and most visited temples in India. Being situated on a hill of Tirumala, it is climbed up pilgrims, which is not an easy task.
Sri Venkataswara temple or the Tirupati temple is the richest temple in India. It is said that people drop bags of diamonds at the feet of Sri Venkateswara. Devotees flock this temple in huge numbers. In fact there are two lines to enter the temple, one is a free line, where you don’t pay anything to get a view of the deity. But, for the second line, which takes less time to get glance of the deity, you have to pay a minimum amount.
Tirupathi Temple Architecture
The ancient Tirupathi temple follows the Dravidian style of architecture. The gopuram of this temple is its highlight. The ‘Vimana’ or Cupola, named the “the Aanada Nilayam” is placed over the sanctum sanctorum. It completely veiled with gold plate. There are three ‘Prakarams’ or enclosures in the temple, among them the outermost enclosure boasts of the ‘Dhvajastambha’ or the banner post. Apart from these, other highlights of the temple are the statues of Vijayanagara king, Krishnadevaraya and his spouse. There is also an idol of Todarmal, the minister of Akbar. The image of the temple deity represents both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu is considered as the preserver whereas the Lord Shiva is considered as the preserver whereas the Lord Shiva is considered as the destroyer in Hindu religion.
A Day at Tirupathi Tirumala
A day at Tirupati Tirumala temple begins with ‘Suprabhatam’ (awakening the Lord) as early as three in the morning. The day ends with the ‘Ekanta Seva’ (putting the Lord to sleep) at around 10’clock in the night. Prayers are offered daily, weekly and periodically in the form of ‘Sevas’ and ‘Utsavams’ to the Lord. Devotees who want to pay homage to the Lord can do it by giving a small amount in return of the Sevas or Utsavams done on their name. The gifts and donations offered to the deity, is known as the ‘Hindi’. It is the main source of income of the Temple.
This Vaishanavite shrine is agog with excitement and activity during festivals such as Vaikunta Ekadasi, Rama Navami and Brahmotsavam festival. The Brahmotsavam festival is said to be indicated Brahma’s ceremonial function to honor Lord Venkateswara. The idol is taken out on processions on different vehicles on different days. The black idol of Lord Balaji is adorned with gold ornaments and precious stones.
Suprabhatam is the early morning hymn to awaken lord Balaji. Devotees throng at daybreak to witness this ceremony. Kalyanotsavam or marriage of the Gods is conducted in a manner similar to Hindu marriages.