Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in the hill town Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India.. Tirumala is a Firstmost divine piligrim center of Hindu/Vedha Religion, popularly known as Sri Venkateswara Temple - which is dedicated for the Supreme God Shri mann Narayana/Maha Vishnu. It is located 580 kilometres (360 mi) south of state capital, Hyderabad , about 200 kilometers from Bangalore, about 120 kilometers from Vellore, Tamilnadu, and 157 kilometres (98 mi) north west of Chennai. The temple is situated on Venkatadri(also known as Venkatachala or Venkata Hill) the seventh peak in the seven hills of Tirumala, and hence is also known as the Temple of Seven Hills .The presiding deity of the temple, Lord Venkateswara, is also known by other names - Balaji, Vishnu, Govinda and Srinivasa. According to legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, believed to have resided there for the entire Kali Yuga. In Sri Vaishnava tradition, the temple is considered one of the 108 Divya Desams.Importance in Mythology
The venkatam hill is believed to be a part of the celestial mount meru brought to the earth from vaikuntam by garuda (Lord's vehicle), say the puranas.The Hills are said to be a manifestation of Adi Sesha (the cosmic serpent). The Seven hills of the Tirumala are the said to represent the Seven hoods of Adi Sesha. According to the Puranas, Lord Vishnu stayed on the earth for some time in the Avatar of Swetha Varaham and rose out of pushkarini as Swayambhuva. His spouse Lakshmi Devi appeared in Thirucharnur. This Swetha Varaha Avatharam was installed in the temple situated to the west of Swamy Pushkarni. Inside the Temple The Garbha Griha The Garbha Griha or sanctum is where the main deity of Lord Sri Venkateswara resides. The deity stands majestically in the Garbha Griha, directly beneath a gilt dome called the Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana.This exquisitely wrought deity called the Mulaberam, is believed to be self-manifested. Ordinarily, the Lord wears a gold kiritam (crown) which has a large emerald embedded in front. On special occasions, he is adorned with a diamond kiritam.On his forehead, the Lord has a thick double patch of tilak drawn with refined camphor, which screens his eyes. In between the two white patches is a kasturitilakam.His ears are bedecked with shining golden makara kundalas. The fist of His raised right hind hand is implanted with a gem-set chakra, and the corresponding left fist with the sankha. The slightly outstretched front right hand, has its fingers pointing to His lotus feet, as the only recourse to His devotees to attain oneness with Him and enjoy eternal bliss. His front left hand is akimbo to assure His devotees of protection, and to show that the samsara sagara is only hip-deep if they seek His refuge.His body is clothed with a pitambaram tied with gold string, and a gold belt to which are attached tiny, jingling gold bells. He is adorned with precious ornaments. He has a yajnopavita flowing down cross-wise from His left shoulder. He bears Sri Lakshmi Devi on His right chest and Sri Padmavathi Devi on His left chest. He bears Nagabharanam ornaments on both shoulders.His lotus feet are covered with gold frames and decked with clinging gold anklets. A strong curved belt of gold encompasses his legs.The Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana was covered with gilt copper plates and surmounted with a golden vase.
The roof with shining golden exterior of the inner temple that houses the presiding deity is named "Vimanam" in a Hindu temple. In the Tirumala temple, it holds a very special place as the Ananda Nilayam (meaning Abode of Happiness or Bliss literally) with its imposing view, magnificence, and readily recognizable identity to any devotee familiar with the temple and its fame. Bangaru Vakili From the Tirumamani Mandapam, one can enter the Bangaru Vakili to reach the inner sanctum sanctorum. There are two tall copper images of the dwarapalakas Jaya and Vijaya on either side of the door. The thick wooden door is covered with gilt plates depicting the Dashavataram of Lord Vishnu. The doorway is directly in line with the Padi Kavali and the Vendi Vakili. It admits pilgrims to the Snapana Mandapam. Suprabhatam is sung in front of this door.
Idols in temple
As per the Agama followed their, there are 5 idols of Lord inside the Sanctum Sanatorium. Moolavirat or Dhruva Beram - The main stone idol of Lord Venkateshwara which is Self Manifested is Called as Dhruva Beram (Beram means idol). This Moolavirat or Moolavar or Dhruva beram is about 8 ft from toe to crown top and the main source of energy for the Temple. Kautuka Beram or Bhoga Srinivasa - This is a tiny one foot silver idol. This idol is always placed near the left foot of Moolavar and is always connected to the main idol by a holy joint Sambandha Kroocha. This idol is always faced to 45 degrees to the devotees who come to see the Lord. This is because this tiny idol holds a Prayoga Chakra (Ready to strike), so its kept at an angle.
Utsava Beram - This is the form of Lord which comes out of the temple to see his devotees. This idol is called as Malayappa and consorts are Sridevi and Bhudevi.
Snapana Beram or Ugra Srinivasa - This idol of lord represents the Anger part of Lord Venkateshwara. He remains inside the Garbhagruha (Sanctum Sanctorum)and comes out only one day in a year that is before the sunrise on Kaishika Dwadasi. Snapana means Abhishekam or cleansing the idol with holy waters and milk,curds,ghee,Sandle wood paste,turmaric and so on. Daily this idol receives all this Upacharam or services.
Bali Beram or Koluvu Srinivasa - Bali means the food offering to all the deities who guard and maintain the directions. Worship of Lord The goddess Sri or Lakshmi (Vishnu's consort) resides on the chest of Venkateswara, and thus he is also known by the epithet Srinivasa (the one in whom Sri resides).
Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Padmavathi reside on his either chests. The deity is considered the Kali yuga varada, that is 'the boon-granting Lord
Laddu is the world famous prasadam given at Tirumala Temple. recently the Trust has taken copy right of Laddu prasaddam, hence, no one can prepare the same Laddu. Many other delicious prasadams are also available including daddojanam (curd rice), pulihora(tamarind rice), vada and chakkera-pongali (sweet pongal). Free meals are given daily to the pilgrims, and on Thursdays, the Tirupavadai seva occurs, where food items are kept for naivedyam to Lord Srinivasa.
One of the most important offering in this temple, is the ‘thulabharam.’ In the Thulabaram ritual, a devotee sits on a pan of the weighing balance and the other pan is filled with materials greater than the weight of the devotee. Devotees usually offer sugar, jaggery, tulsi leaves,banana,gold,coins.This is mostly performed with new born
The town celebrates most Vaishnava festivals including Vaikunta Ekadasi, Rama Navami and Janmashtami with great splendor, while the Brahmotsavam celebrated every year during September is the most important festivals in Tirumala, when it receives millions of devotees over a short span of a week. Other major festivals include Vasanthotsavam (spring festival) conducted during March–April and Rathasapthami (Magha Shuddha Saptami) is another festival, celebrated during February, when Lord Venkateswara's deity is taken on procession around the temple chariots.