The world famous Tirumala Tirupathi Venkateswara Temple is situated in the hill town ‘Tirumala’ near Tirupathi city in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. This temple is also named as ‘Thiruvengadam’ temple. Tirumala Tirupathi Venkateswara temple is revered as one of the ‘108 Divya Desam temples’ dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is located at a height of 3200 feet above the sea level in Tirumala. Tirumala hills is said to be the second oldest rock mountains in the world.
Tirumala Tirupathi Venkateswara temple is called as the “Temple of Seven Hills”, also known as ‘Saptagiri’, which represents ‘Saptarishis’ (Seven Saints). The Seven peaks of Tirumala are:
- Vrushabhadri – signifies the Vahan of Lord Shiva (Lord Nandheeswarar)
- Anjanadri – signifies Lord Hanuman
- Neeladri – signifies Goddess Neela Devi
- Garudadri or Garudachalam – signifies Lord Garuda (the Vahan of Lord Vishnu)
- Seshadri or Seshachalam – signifies Lord Adi Sesha (the thousand-headed serpent of Lord Vishnu)
- Naraynadri – signifies Lord Narayana (Lord Vishnu)
- Venkatadri – Hill of Lord Venkateswara (Lord Vishnu)
It is said that the seven peaks of Tirumala represents the seven heads of Adisesha, the lord of Serpents and is called as Seshachalam. The pricipal deity of this temple is ‘Lord Venkateswara’ (Lord Vishnu), is believed to be worshipped as per the Vaishnava Traditions. The original temple was believed to be built by the King Raja Karunakara Thondaiman, the pallavas king of Thondaimandalam. The major development of this temple took place in the 15th century, where King Krishnadevaraya, the emperor of the Vijayanagar was the ruler and he contributed ornaments made of gold and diamonds.
The Mandapas (Halls) in Tirumala Tirupathi Venkateswara temple is carved wonderfully in the temple premises. This golden adobe of Lord Venkateswara is known as ‘Ananda Nilaya’ and the golden gopuram of this temple is known as ‘Ananda Nilaya Vimana’, which is mostly called as Bangaru Gopura Vimanam.
The primary deity of Tirumala Tirupathi Venkateswara temple is ‘Lord Venkateswara’, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who symbolizes Goodness. Lord Venkateswara is found along with Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Sri Padmavathi Devi. The holy idol of Lord Venkateswara has four hands in different postures. In the right upper hand there is ‘Sudarsana Chakra’ (disc) and in the left upper hand there is a ‘Conch’. The lower right hand is known as ‘Varada Hastha’ and the lower left hand is known as ‘Kati Hastham’.
The posture of the Lord is very unique. The Lord bears His consort Goddess Mahalakshmi seated on his chest. Lord Venkateswara is contemplated as ‘Kali Yuga (the final age of the Hindu cycle of ages) Varada’. Lord Venkateswara is also known as ‘Srinivasa’, ‘Balaji’, ‘Venkata’ and ‘Venkatachalapathi’, ‘Edukondalavada’ (Lord of seven hills), ‘Aapadhamrokkuluvaadu’ (Savior of devotees during calamities), ‘Malayappa’ (Father of hill), and ‘Elumalaiyaan’ (Lord of seven hills).
The several other main idols of Lord Venkateswara in this temple are:
- Lord Bhoga Srinivasa (who enjoys worldly pleasures)
- Lord Ugra Srinivasa (represents the anger part of Lord Venkateswara)
- Lord Malayappa (the procession deity) and His consorts Goddess Sridevi and Goddess Bhudevi
- Lord Koluvu Srinivasa (guardian deity)
- Dhruva Beram (the major source of energy of the temple)
This temple is revered as one of the ‘Eight Swayambhu (self-formed) Kshetras’ of Lord Vishnu. The eight Swayambhu Kshetras of Lord Vishnu are:
- Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
- Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple
- Bhu Varaha Swamy Temple
- Vanamamalai Perumal Temple
- Saligram Temple
- Naimisaranya Temple
- Pushkar Temple
- Badrinath Temple
Tirumala Tirupathi Venkateswara temple is respected in ‘Nalayira Divya Prabandham’, a Tamil canon, and the ‘Twelve Azhwars’ have sung different types of songs praising Lord Venkateswara. Tirumala Tirupathi Venkateswara temple is very famous for its ‘Laddu Prasadam’ (religious offering). And free meals are provided to the pilgrims every day. The other main offering to Lord Venkateswara by His devotees is ‘Hair tonsuring’. People tonsure their hair as a special offering, which touches over a ton of hair collection every day.
And this offering priors in the second, which gains the highest income to the temple when it is sold. The first prior huge income to Tirumala Tirupathi Venkateswara temple is gained by Hundi (the donation pot). And one more special offering of this temple is ‘Thulabharam’, in which the devotees are weighed against plantains, sugar, fruits, and other things and the offerings equals to their weight are gifted to the temple. ‘Srivari Brahmotsavam Festival’ which is held in the month of September to October is the very famous and the mostly celebrated festival of Tirumala Tirupathi Venkateswara temple, which will be celebrated in a great grand manner for about nine days every year.
Brahmotsavam Festival schedule conducted every year as below:
- 1st Day – Morning – Dwajarohanam , Evening – Pedda Sesha Vahanam
- 2nd Day – Morning – Chinna Sesha Vahanam , Evening – Hamsa Vahanam
- 3rd Day – Morning – Simha Vahanam , Evening – Mutyapu Pandiri Vahanam
- 4th Day – Morning – Kalpavriksha Vahanam , Evening – Sarvabhoopala Vahanam
- 5th Day – Morning – Mohini Avatharam , Evening – Garuda Vahanam
- 6th Day – Morning – Hanumantha Vahanam , Evening – Swarnarathotsavam & Gajavahanam
- 7th Day – Morning – Suryaprabha Vahanam , Evening – Chandraprabha Vahanam
- 8th Day – Morning – Rathotsavam , Evening – Ashwa Vahanam
- 9th Day – Morning – Chakra Snanam & Pallaki Utsavam , Evening – Golden Tiruchi Utsavam & Dwajavarohanam
Dwajarohanam – It is a flag hoisting ceremony which will be conducted in the morning session. The flag will be adorned with the emblem of Garuda, the mount of Lord Vishnu.
Pedda Sesha Vahanam – In the evening the beautiful procession of Lord Venkateshwara is brought around the temple. The name of the Vahanam (vehicle) on which the Lord is carried is known as Pedda Sesha Vahanam, which will be in the shape of Adisesha.
Chinna Sesha Vahanam – The procession of Lord Venkateshwara is brought around the temple in Chinna Sesha Vahanam (Small vehicle) in the shape of Adisesha, which can be observed in the morning.
Hamsa Vahanam – The second night will be sparkle with Unjal Seva (Swinging ceremony) which take place at Uyala mandapam of Venkateshwara temple. After the Unjal Seva, a remarkable procession will take place, where Lord Venkateshwara will be housed on Hamsa Vahanam (a swan shaped vehicle).
Simha Vahanam – The procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Simha Vahanam, a lion shaped vehicle, will be carried around, which can be noticed in the morning. Simha Vahanam is used in this procession, as it represents authority.
Mutyapu Pandiri Vahanam – The procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Mutyapu Pandiri Vahanam, which is adorned with Pearls, can be observed in the evening.
Kalpavriksha Vahanam – The procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Kalpavriksha Vahanam, a wish-fulfilling divine tree, will be discerned in the morning.
Sarvabhoopala Vahanam – After the completion of Unjal Seva (swinging ceremony) in the evening, the procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Sarvabhoopala Vahanam takes place. The Sarvabhoopala Vahanam signifies all the Kings on the earth.
Mohini Avatharam – The fifth morning of the festival starts with the grand celebration of Lord Vishnu as Mohini, the only female avatar of Lord Vishnu. The procession of beautiful idol of Mohini is carried on a palanquin, accompanied by Lord Krishna.
Garuda Vahanam – Garuda Vahanam is considered to be the more sacred Vahanam among all other Vahanams. After the completion of Unjal Seva (swinging ceremony) in the evening, the procession of Lord Venkateshwara takes place in a grand manner where Lord is decorated with some sacred garlands with His main devotee and chief vehicle ‘Garuda’ the king of birds as his vehicle.It is believed by the devotees that this ‘Garuda Sevai’ is highly meritable to have darshan of the Lord seated on Garuda.
Hanumantha Vahanam – The procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Hanumantha Vahanam, the mount of Lord Vishnu,and also the chief Devotee Lord Hanuman, can be observed. Spring festival is also observed on the same day.
Swarnarathotsavam & Gajavahanam – The procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Swarnarathotsavam, the golden chariot is observed in the evening. And tonight, the procession of Lord on Gajavahanam, the elephant shaped vehicle, is also observed.
Suryaprabha Vahanam – The procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Suryaprabha Vahanam, the sun shaped vehicle, carried around the temple in the morning, can be perceived.
Chandraprabha Vahanam – After the completion of Unjal Seva (swinging ceremony) in the evening, the procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Chandraprabha Vahanam, the moon shaped Vahanam, is admired.
Rathotsavam – The procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Rathotsavam, a huge decorated chariot, is carried around the temple in the morning. The chariot can be carried even by the devotees who wish to carry the sacred Vahanam.
Ashwa Vahanam – After the completion of Unjal Seva (swinging ceremony) in the evening, the procession of Lord Venkateshwara on Ashwa Vahanam, the horse shaped Vahanam, can be observed.
Chakra Snanam & Pallaki Utsavam – on the final day, the Chakra Snanam & Pallaki Utsavam is held. In the temple tank, the Sudarshana chakra of Lord Venkateshwara is immersed by the temple priests and the devotees will take a holy dip in the temple tank and worship the Lord. This process is known as Chakra Snanam.
Golden Tiruchi Utsavam & Dwajavarohanam – The Brahmotsavam festival concludes with the event of Dwajavarohanam, the flag will be lowered. And mantras are chanted to pay obeisance to God. And the sandals and sacred Prasadam are distributed to the devotees.
- Suprabhatam (Shloka) – 6.30 am to 7.00 am
- Vishwarup Darshanam (Shloka) – 6.30 am to 7.00 am
- Abhishekam and Alankaram – 7:00 am to 7:30 am
- Thiruaradhanam (Shloka) – 7.30 am to 7.45 am
- Bhog – 8:00 am, 11.00 am & 7.30 pm
- Archana – 8.00 am to 1:00 pm
- Temple closes – 1.00 p.m.
- Temple reopens for public darshan – 3:30 pm
- Aarti – 6.00 pm
- Shayana Aarti – Ekantaseva (Temple closed) – 8:00 pm
Lord Venkateswara here is worshipped six times a day. They are as follows:
- UshaKala Aradhana worship
- Prathakala Aradhana worship
- Madhyanika Aradhana worship
- Aparahana Aradhana worship
- SandhyaKala Aradhana worship
- Ardharatri Aradhana worship
- Brahmotsavam – September to October
- Adhyayanotsavam – December to January
- Pavitrotsavam – June and July
- English New Year Day – January 1st
- Makara Sankranti – In Mid-January
- Rathasapthami – February
- Vasantotsavam (Spring Festival) – March to April
- Padmavathi Parinayam – May
- Krishna Janmashtami – August to September
National Highway NH 205 passes through Renigunta and hence is accessible from Chennai (4-6hrs), Bangalore (6½+ hours), and Hyderabad (10-12 hours) and other nearby cities.
Tirupathi is a major junction in South Central Railways. Indian Railways  operates direct trains from nearby metro cities – Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and other major Railway stations to Tirupathi. Trains can be boarded at nearby cities – Renigunta
Hyderabad Airport is the nearest airport. There are daily flight services operated from the major cities of India to Hyderabad.
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