Devi's Corner - Temples in Tamilnadu - Tirupati Venkateswara Temple
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Tirupati Venkateswara Temple

     Tirupati Venkateswara Temple also known as Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a famous Hindu Temple of Lord Venkateswara located in the hill town Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. The temple is located on the Venkatachalam hill that forms part of the seven hills of Tirumala, and hence the temple is also known as the Temple of Seven Hills. The temple is the richest and the most visited place of worship in the world. The temple is visited by about 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily, while on special occasions and festivals, like the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims shoots up to 500,000.

     The Tirumala hills comprising of the seven hills of Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri are the abode of the Tirumala Venkateswara temple.[3] The hill town (Tirumala) and the temple (Venkateswara Temple) are located on the Seshadri or Seshachalam hill.

     The varied names ascribed to the main deity are Balaji, Srinivasa, Perumal, Venkateswara and Venkatachalapathy. Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Padmavathi reside on his either chests. The deity is considered the Kali yuga varada. The temple has a self-manifested idol murti of Lord Vishnu, with the Lord believed to have resided here for the entire Kali Yuga. In Sri Vaishnava tradition, the temple is considered one of the 108 Divya Desam sites.

     The exact beginnings of the temple are shrouded in antiquity, and its origins are a matter of debate. Thondaiman, ruler of the ancient Thondaimandalam (present day Kanchipuram) believed to have first built the temple after visualising Lord Vishnu in his dream. He built the Gopuram and the Prakhara, and arranged for regular prayers to be conducted in the temple. Later on the Chola dynasty vastly improved the temple and gave rich endowments. To date, you will find the various Tamil Grantha script within the Temple prakara walls. The Sangam literature of Tamil such as that of Silapadikaram and Satanar Manimekalai, dated between 500BC and 300AD, mentions Thiruvengadam (now named Tirupati) by the appellation "Nediyon Kunram" as the northernmost frontier of the Tamil kingdoms.

     Other Indian literature dating from the Mauryan and Guptan regimes mentions the temple as the "Aadhi Varaha Kshetra" (the ancient site of Varaha). The Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple temple and the Sri RanganathaSwamy temple at Srirangam was taken care and was under the great Madhva saint Sri Vyasatirtha for 12years who worshipped the Lord and took care of the temple administration and puje before he handed over the control to the kin of an Iyengar family, later then it was continued by the Iyengars. The site was an established center by the 5th century AD, and the Alvars (Vaishnava saints) belonging to the Bhakti movement in Tamil Nadu sung in praise of Lord Venkateswara.

     It was under the regime of the Vijayanagara emperors that the temple attained the majority of its current opulence. The coronation ceremonies of the emperors were also held at Tirupati. In 1517, Krishnadevaraya, on one of his many visits to the temple, donated gold and jewels enabling the Vimana (inner shrine) roofing to be gilded. The Maratha general Raghoji Bhonsle visited the temple and set up a permanent administration for the conduct of worship in the temple. Among the later rulers who endowed large benefactions were the rulers of Mysore and Gadwal. In 1843, with the coming of the East India Company, the administration of the Sri Venkateswara temple and a number of shrines was entrusted to Seva Dossji of the Hathiramji Mutt at Tirumala as Vicaranakarta for nearly a century until 1932, when Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) was established as a result of TTD Act, 1932.

     Laddu is the world famous prasadam given at Tirumala Temple.[13] Many other delicious prasadams are also available including curd rice, pulihora (tamarind rice), vada and sweet pongal.

     Many devotees also have their head tonsured as an offer. The daily amount of hair collected is over a ton.

     There are two kinds of Darshan (meaning "a glimpse of the Lord") at the temple. One is Dharma Darshanam - free, and usually taking 10 hours from the time you enter the Queue Complex - and the other is Sudarshanam - costing Rs. 50, and taking about 3-4 hours. There are also some more expensive options where the time taken is lower, such as the Nija Pada Darshanam costing Rs. 100.

     Individual devotees for Sudarshanam are required to register at any of the many queue offices situated near the main shrine, at the local rail and bus stations in Tirumala and Tirupati, or at TTD offices in other key cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai,Delhi,Bhubaneswar and many more. At registration, devotees can choose the expected date and time of entry into the Vaikuntam Queue Complex. At the time of registration, biometrics (finger printing and photo) are taken to eliminate the involvement of middlemen.


Daily Sevas
Sevas Performed for the Main Deity
Suprabhatam - (Children below 10 years are not allowed) - 02:30 hrs - Rs. 120.00 - One Person - 2 small laddus

Tomala Seva - 03:30 hrs - Rs. 220.00 - One Person - 2 small laddus Note: Tickets will not be available for Monday for the months of May, June and July. (max. no. of tickets issued=200)

Archana - 04:30 hrs - Rs. 220.00 - One Person - 2 small laddus Note: Tickets will not be available for Monday for the months of May, June and July. (max. no. of tickets issued=200)

Archananantara Darsanam - (except on Fridays) - 04:30 hrs - Rs. 200.00 - One Person - 1 small laddu

Ekanta Seva - 22:00 hrs onwards (after Sarvadarsanam) - Rs. 120.00 - One Persons - 2 small laddus

Sevas Performed for the Utsava Murthi
Kalyanotsavam - 10:00 hrs - Rs. 1,000.00 - Two Persons - Vastra Bahumanam (one silk dupatta and one cotton blouse piece) 1 big laddus,1 small laddus,5 vadas Arjitha Brahmotsavam - 12:30 hrs - Rs. 1000.00 - Five Persons - One uttariyam and blouse piece. 5 small laddus Dolotsavam (Unjal Seva) - 13:30 hrs - Rs. 1000.00 - Five Persons - One uttariyam and blouse piece. 5 small luddus

Vasanthotsavam - 13:30 hrs - 3000.00 - Ten Persons

Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva - 17:00 hrs - Rs. 1000.00 - Five Persons - One silk Uttariyam and blouse piece. 5 small laddus

Weekly Sevas
Monday - Vishesa Pooja - 0600 hrs - Rs. 3,000.00 - Five Persons - A silk duppata, a blouse piece, 5 big laddus and 5 vadas

Tuesday - Ashtadala Pada Padmaradhana - 0530 hrs -Rs. 2,500.00 - Two Persons - A vastram, a blouse piece, 5 big laddus and 5 vadas

Wednesday - Sahasra Kalasabhishekam - 0530 hrs - Rs. 5,000.00 - Six Persons - A silk duppata, a blouse piece, 7 big laddus, 7 vadas, 5 appams, 5 dosas, Pulihora, Chakkera Pongal and Payasam

Thursday - Tiruppavada Seva - 0530 hrs - Rs. 5,000.00 - Six Persons - A silk duppata, a blouse piece,7 big laddus, 7 vadas, 5 jilebis, appam, dosa,Tene-tola, Pulihora

Friday - Abhishekam - 0330 hrs - Rs. 750.00 - One Person - 2 vadas and 2 small laddus

Friday - Civet Vessel - 0330 hrs - Rs. 300.00 - One Person - 1 vada and 1 small laddu

Friday - Musk Vessel - 0330 hrs - Rs. 150.00 - One Person - 1 vada and 1 small laddu.

Friday - Nijapada Darsanam - 0530 hrs - Rs. 200.00 - One Person - 1 small laddu

Friday - Vastralankara Seva - 0330 hrs - Rs. 12,250.00 - Two Person (the couple will be allowed for Abhisekam) - A duppata, a blouse piece. 2 big laddus and 2 vadas

Periodical Sevas
Teppotsavam (Annual) - 17:00 hrs/Five days a year - Rs. 2,500.00 per day - Five Person - A silk duppata, a blouse piece, a big laddu, a vada

Vasanthotsavam (Annual) - 13:30 hrs/March or April - Rs. 3,000.00 - Ten Persons - A silk duppata, a blouse piece,20 dosas, 6 vadas and other annaprasadams

Padmavathi Parinayam (Annual) - 16:00 hrs/May - Rs. 5000.00 - Five Persons - A silk duppata, a blouse piece, 5 big laddus and 5 vadas

Abhideyaka Abhishekam (Annual) - 07:00 hrs/June - Rs. 2000.00 - Five Persons - Upper Cloth , a blouse piece One laddu and one vada

Pushpa Pallaki - 18:00 hrs/July - Rs. 1000.00 - Five Persons - 1 laddu and 1 vada and vasthrams

Pushpa Yagam - (Annual) - 08:00 hrs November - Rs. 3,500.00 - Five Persons - A silk duppata, a blouse piece, a big laddu, a vada

Koil Alwar Thirumanjanam - (4 times in a year) 08:00 hrs/Four times a year (on Tuesdays before Ugadi, Anivara Asthanam, Srivari Brahmotsavam and Vaikunta Ekadasi) - Rs. 3,000.00 - Ten Persons - A silk duppata, a blouse piece,15 laddus, 15 vadas, 10 appams, 10 dosas, Pulihora, Chakkera Pongal and Pongal


Pavithrotsavam (Annual) - 08:00 hrs/August - Rs. 5,000.00 - Two Persons -2nd day: 10 dosas and Pongal - 3rd day: 10 dosas and Pongal, 6 vadas, Vastram and Pavitrams

     Payment for advance reservation for sevas can be made through DDs sent atleast three months in advance, in favour of Peishkar, Sri TT Tirumala. For all details regarding Arjita Sevas, please dial 2263589. Advance reservations are not allowed for Archanantara Darsanam and Ekanta Seva.

     To reserve seva tickets in advance, you can send a Demand Draft drawn on any nationalised bank, in favour of The Executive Officer, Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams, Tirupati, to the following address: The Peishkar, Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala - 517 504.

Festivals

     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.



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