Tirupati Other Important Places
BEDI ANJANEYASWAMI TEMPLE
He is enshrined at the beginning of the Sannadhi Street facing the Mahadwaram. Legend has it that once when Anjaneya tried to run away from the hill, His mother Anjanadevi handcuffed (bedi) Him and convinced Him that He should stay on the hill forever facing the Lord. There is another small Maruti shrine opposite the Varahaswami temple near the Swami Pushkarini.
SRI VARI PAADAM
The Sacred Feet of the Lord are worshipped at the summit of the Tirurmala Hill. It is believed that the Lord first descended at this point, passed through a natural arch, known as Silathoranam, and reached the region where the hallowed shrine now stands.
This rare natural geological arch was
discovered while exploring a geological fault on Tirumala Hills. This
is said to be about 2,500 million years old and is technically known as
Eparchaean Unconformity, located about one km to the north of the temple.
There have been varied opinions about this arch. Some believe that it might have been sculpted out of quartzite (a metamorphic rock consisting mainly of quartz. Quartz is a mineral form of silica that crystallizes as hexagonal prisms). Some others are of the opinion that the arch might have been the result of a wave action from marine transgression or intensified weathering conditions and erosion.
This geological arch is said to be only one of its kind in the entire landmass of Europe and Asia. In the whole world, it is one of only three such natural wonders. The other two are the Rainbow Arch Bridge of Utah in the USA and the one that cuts through the headland of the Dalradian Quartzite in the UK.
The Silathoranam arch has now been declared a national monument, maintained by the TTD. The natural wonder attracts a steady stream of pilgrims visiting Tirumala-Tirupati.
TIRUCHANUR (ALAMELU MANGAPURAM)
Goddess Padmavathi in all Her bridal
glory is enshrined at Tiruchanur, about 5 km from Tirupati. It is customary
to worship the Goddess here after darshan of Lord Venkateswara. Once upon
a time, Tiruchanur was part of the kingdom of Narayanavanam ruled by Aakaasharaja,
father of Padmavathi.
Padmapuranam glorifies this pilgrim centre as Sukhapuri, Sukhanur and Tirusukhanur. Sukha Maharishi is believed to have lived in this place. Padma Sarovar, the sacred tank in front of the Devi shrine, is hailed as the holy spot where Goddess Padmavathi manifested on a golden lotus in the month of Karthik on Shukla Paksha Panchami day.
Brahnzorsavani is celebrated in Tiruchanur in a grand manner in commemoration
of the advent of the Goddess in this lotus tank. On Panchami day (the
ninth day of Brahmotsavam), sacred bath is offered amid Vedic chants to
the Goddess and Sri Sudarshana Chakram in the exquisitely decorated Panchami
Theertha Mandapam on the banks of Padma Sarovar. On this occasion, turmeric,
tulsi, silk sari and other sacred gifts and sweets are brought from the
Tirumala temple in a colorful procession and offered to the Goddess.
In the Tiruchanur temple, there are several sub-shrines. They are dedi cated to Tiruvenkataswami, Krishna, Balarama, Garudalwar, Chakratalwar, Ramanujacharya and Nammalwar. Shrines dedicated to Surya narayanaswami and Venkateswara to the east of Padma Sarovar are noteworthy.
Puja rituals are performed in this temple according to Pancharatra Agama.
This Vishnu shrine is situated at the
base of the Saptagiri Hills. The Lord is seen in His Ananthasayanam (reclining)
posture with Sridevi and Bhoodevi seated beside His feet. Brahma is seen
on a lotus stemming from His navel. Kubera, the celestial cashier, is
enshrined here. Devotees believe that Kubera with a brass measure is still
collecting the interest on the huge funds he had given to Srinivasa for
His wedding with Padmavathi. The devotees in lakhs continue to contribute
to this by Hundi offerings, which form an important part of the pilgrimage.
Hence, in the Telugu state of Andhra Pradesh, the Lord is popularly known
as Vaddi Kaasulaswami - the Lord paying interest. There are separate shrines
for all the 12 Alwars.
The festivals here, including the Brahmotsavam, attract multitudes of pilgrims.
SRI KALAHASTI TEMPLE
This ancient Saivite pilgrim centre (35 km from Tirupati) on the banks of the Swarnamukhi River is dedicated to Sri Kalahasteeswara. His consort is Gnana Prasannambika. According to Puranas, a spider (Sri), a snake (Kala) and an elephant (Hasti) worshipped the Lord here and attained mukti (salvation). Hence the Lingam is known as Sri-Kala-Hasti Eswara.
The place is revered as one of the Pancha Bhutha Sthalas, dedicated to
Vayu, the Wind God. There are five oil lamps in the sanctum representing
the Pancha Bhuthas (Five Elements), but the flame of one lamp keeps flickering
even though there is no movement of air. This explains the significance
of this Vayu Sthala. Pancha Bhutha Sthalas are shrines where the Lingams
are dedicated to the five elements - Earth, Fire, Water, Wind and Ether
or Akash. The other four such holy places are Kanchipuram (Prithvi Lingam
- Earth); Tiruvannamalai (Jyothir Lingam - Fire); Tiruvanaikkaval (Appu
Lingain Water); and Chidambaram (Akash Lingam - Ether).
Sri Kalahasti is also considered a Navagraha Sthala, dedicated to Rahu and Kethu. Navagraha Sthalas are those places where the nine planets are said to have worshipped Lord Shiva. They are revered as Parihara Sthalas (places where the devout get themselves redeemed of papas or sins commuted). Devotees perform Sarpadosha Nivarana puja in this temple. There are two hills on either side of the temple, known as Dakshina Kailasam or Kannappamalai and Durgagiri. There are shrines dedicated to Lord Kannappeswara and Devi Durgamba.
Other shrines around: Chennakeshava Swami temple, Tallapaka; Kanipakkam Swayambu Ganesha temple; Kariyamanikka Swami, Nagiri; Annapoorna-Kashi Visveswara Swami temple, Bugga Agraharam.