Tirumala Temple Description - History of Tirumala Temple
The benefits acquired by a pilgrimage to Venkatachala is mentioned in Rig Veda and Asthadasa Puranas. In these epics , Lord Sri Venkateswara is described as the great bestower of Boons. Tirumala Temple is a Popular Hindu site.
Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam is referred in several puranas, of which the most important are the Varaha Purana and the Bhavishottara Purana. According to Varaha Purana, Adi Varaha manifested himself on the western bank of the Swamy Pushkarini, while God Vishnu in the form of Venkateswara came to reside on the souther bank of the Swamy Pushkarini.
Padi Kavali Maha Dwaram - Entrance of Tirumala Temple
The padi kavali Maha dwaram or Outer Gopuram stands on a quadrangular base, which is the entrance to Tirumala Temple. Its architecture is that of the later Chola Period. The inscriptions on the Gopuram belong to 13th Century. There are a number of stucco figure of gods like Hanuman, Kevale Narasimha and Lakshmi Narasimha on the Gopuram.
Sampangi Pradakshinam inside Tirumala Temple
The path of Circumnavigating the temple is called pradakshinam. The main Tirumala temple has three prakarams. Between the outermost and middle prakarams is the second pathway for circumambulation know as the Sampangi Pradakshinam. Currently, this pathway is close to pilgrims. The sampangi Pradakshinam contains several interesting mandapams like Pratima Mandapam , Ranga Mandapam ( Ranganayakula Mandapam) , Tirumala Raya Mandapam, Saluva Narasimha Mandapam, Aina Mahal and Dhwajasthambha Mandapam.
Ranga Mandapam or Ranganayakula Mandapam inside Tirumala Temple
Ranga Mandapam also called the Ranganayakula Mandapam, is located in the southeastern corner of the Sampangi Pradakshinam. The shrine within it is believed to be the place where the Utsava murthi, Idol of Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam was kept during the 14th Century, when Muslim rulers occupied Srirangam. It is said Yadava ruler Sri Ranganatha Yadava Raya constructed it between 1320 and 1360. It is constructed according to the 'Nagara' style of architecture.
Tirumala Raya Mandapam inside Tirumala Temple
Adjoining the Ranga Mandapam on the western side, and facing the Dhwajasthambha Mandapam is a spacious complex of pavilions known as the Tirumala Raya Mandapam or Ann Un-Jal Mandapam.
It consists of two different levels, the front at a lower level and the rear at a higher. Saluva Narasimha constructed the southern or inner portion of this Mandapam in 1473 A.D to celebrate a festival for Sri Venkateswara called Anna Unjal Tirunal (Anna Un-Jal Tirunal). Araviti Bukkaraya Ramaraja, Shriranga Raja and Tirumala Raja extended this structure to its present size.
It is in this Mandapam, that the Utsaava murthi Malayappa holds His annual darbar (court) or asthanam during the hoisting of the Garudadhwaja on Dhwajasthambham to mark the commencement of Brahmotsavam. Incidentally, the prasadam distributed on this occasion is still called Tirumalaraya Pongal.
The mandapam has a typical complex of pillar in the Vijayanagara style, with a central pillar surrounded by smaller pillars. Some of these pillars emit musical notes when struck with a stone. The main pillars have rearing horses with warriors mounted on them. Some of the best sculptures of the temple found in bold relief in the Mandapam. The bronze statue of Thodermallu, his mother Matha Mohana Devi and his wife Pitha Bibi, are kept in a corner of the Mandapam.
Aina Mahal inside Tirumala Temple
The Aina (Mirror) Mahal is on the northern side of the Tirumala Raya Mandapam. It consists of two parts - an open mandapam in the front consisting of six rows comprising six pillars each, and a shrine behind it consisting of an Antarala and Garbhagriha. It has large mirrors. These reflect images in an infinite series. There is a Un-jal (Unjal) or food and water in the middle of the room. In which, the Lord is seated and festivals conducted.
Dhwajasthambha Mandapam inside Tirumala Temple
Dhwajasthamba Mandapam inside Tirumala Temple
Pratima Mandapam inside Tirumala Temple
Statues of Sri Krishna Deva Raya and His consorts inside Pratima Mandapam
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