Srinivasa Venkateshwara Swamy is the God of Kaliyug. During Dwapara Yug, Bhagwan Vishnu promised his devotees that he would take the form of Sri Venkateshwara in Kaliyug. Sri Hari also promised that his Avatar, Sri Venkateshwara Swamy, would protect his devotees from the ill impacts of Kaliyug. So, keeping his word, God took the form of Tirupathi Balaji.
Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple is located at Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh. The temple is one of the wealthiest temples in India. The Hundi collections per day are in crores of rupees. More than a million devotees visit Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple every day.
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Venkateswara Swamy Temple History
Sri Venkateswara Temple was built by Tamil King Thondaimaan. The origin of the temple starts with Saint Brihu. The Rishi was an ardent devotee of God Vishnu. Brihu visited Vaikund every day to do his pranam to Shri Vishnu.
One day, Vishnu fell into deep meditation and did not respond to the Rishi. Angered by God’s action, Brihu kicked him in his chest. The activities of the Rishi deeply hurt Goddess Mahalakshmi residing in the heart of Bhagwan Venkateshwara Swamy.
Above all, when God did not react to the actions of the Rishi, the goddess was shattered. So she left Shri Vishnu and came to Boolok (the Earth).
After Mahalakshmi’s departure, God lost all his wealth and peace. So he started roaming around in search of his beloved Devi. During his wandering, he stopped at Tirupathi. Shri Varahaswamy (another incarnation of Vishnu) was then the controller and protector of the Tirupathi hills. Upon Swamy’s request, God Varaha allowed Sri Hari to settle in Tirupathi hills as Sri Venkateshwara.
Venkateshwara Swamy’s Marriage
After taking permission from Bhagwan Varaha, Sri Hari settled in Tirupathi. While roaming in the forest one day, he heard a Krishna Bhajan. Vakula Devi prayed to Sri Krishna in a small Ashram in the forest.
He visited her. Vakula adopted Shri Vishnu as her son. She named him Venkateshwara Srinivasan. The God then married Sri Devi and Boo Devi, the daughters of the ruler of Tirupathi hills.
Why is Venkateshwara Swamy so rich?
Shri Venkateshwara was poor as Goddess Mahalakshmi had left him. He had nothing to offer to the brides and perform his marriage rituals. God Kuber couldn’t stand Srinivasa’s misery. So the God of wealth, Sri Kuber, offered a loan for God to conduct his wedding.
Goddess Mahalakshmi was heartbroken with the Shri Vishnu taking the loan. So she appeared before him and promised to stay with him till he returned the borrowed money to Kuber. To date, God hasn’t repaid his debt.
Devotees believe that by offering money in the Hundi, they help God in his debt redemption. And the Karuna Moorthy, Sri Venkateswara Swamy, protects such devotees by assisting them and blessing them with prosperity.
What is Sri Venkateshwara Temple famous for?
Hindus believe that the Kaliyug God removes all kinds of poverty. He blesses all his devotees with a meaningful, wealthy, and peaceful life.
During his wedding, Goddess Lakshmi promised Sri Venkateshwara Swamy that she would stay with him forever as Goddess Padmavathi. Alamel Mangamma temple (located in Tiruchanoor) in the foothills of Tirupathi is the temple of the goddess Padmavathi. Devotees visit the temple before climbing the hills to have God’s darshan.
The temple is also famous for a peculiar form of sweet offered as Prashad. Sweet is a type of Laddu made of Gram flour and lots and lots of Ghee. The Tirupathi Tirumala Devasthanam (TTD) preparing the Laddu has got patent rights over the recipe. Also, TTD (temple management) received a GI tag for the Laddu in 2009.
Why was Tirupati temple closed for 12 years?
There is a story that the temple was closed for 12 years, but some historians don’t believe in this story.
The temple was closed for twelve years at the beginning of the 19th century. Then, in the 1800s, there lived a psychic king. He killed 12 men and hung them at the gates of the Sri Venkateswara Temple. Since then, the temple has been closed for 12 years.
Why are Swami Venkateshwara’s eyes closed?
The main idol of God in Sri Venkateshwara Swamy Vaari Temple is a Swayambhu. Humans did not create it. The od manifested as the idol himself.
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The Moorthy, or the idol, is taller than an average human. The idol’s height was the height of humans during Dwapara Yug, the period when Shri Krishna lived. And devotees call Venkateshwara “GOVINDA.”
Swayambhu idols are mighty. They are self-radiating. Such Vigraha (idols) emit an extreme amount of cosmic energy. The eyes of this particular Swayambhu of Bhagwan Venkateshwara are very powerful. And so, they are covered in a white holy paste called “Kasturi Tilak.” Normal humans cannot stand the power of the energy emitted from the eyes of God.
Netra Darshan of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy
On Thursdays, the size of the Kasturi Thilak is reduced. And the eyes of God are evident. Devotees call this the Netra Darshan and are very powerful. Netra means eyes. During Netra Darshan, the full power of the idol emanates upon the devotee.
Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple Timings
The temple opens at 2:30 AM with Suprabhatam (song praising Bhagwan Srinivas). After Suprabhatam, a holy bath is offered to Bhoga Srinivasa Murthy (a small brass statue of Bhagwan Srinivasa Moorthy). Only people with Suprabhata Seva tickets shall perform this Seva. The main idol of God Srinivasa Moorthy is given a holy bath only on Fridays.
Sri Venkateshwara Swamy Temple is open for Darshan at 5:30 AM. After that, the temple is closed by 1:00 or 1:30 AM, depending on the crowd. If there are more devotees, the temple stays open throughout the day!
If you plan to visit the temple, take a Rs 300 Special Darshan ticket. Bookings open every fourth Friday. Free Darshan takes 24 hours to 48 hours, even on regular days!
Why is Bhagwan Venkateshwara called Balaji?
Once there lived an ardent devotee of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy. His name was Ram. He was from the northern parts of India. Bhagwan Venkateshwara used to play Ludo with Ram every day. And during the game, God placed his jewels as bets.
One day, God lost all his jewels to Ram. So the next day when the priests opened the temple for Pooja, they were shocked to see the idol without any ornaments. And all the jewels were in Ram’s Ashram.
When enquired, Ram narrated all that happened. None believed him. The king ordered to imprison of Ram. Also, he said that he would believe Ram if he ate up one whole pile of Sugarcane in a single night.
Ram called Venkateshwara for help. Pleased with prayers, God appeared as an elephant, entered the locked-up prison, and ate all the Sugarcane. Since then, Ram has been called “Hathi Ram.”
Hathiram called Venkateshwara Swamy “BALA Ji.”
Sevas and Utsavs in Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple
The Tirupathi Balaji temple is known for its grand Utsavs (festivals) and Sevas. The Kalyanotsavam, Sahasra Deepalankaram, and Unjal Seva are held daily. It was Hathi Ram who started these rituals.
To perform these sevas, you need to book tickets prior hand. Then, the tickets are issued online. And the booking begins three months before the seva date. Apart from Sevas, there are plenty of Utsavs during Ekadashi and Poornima.
How to reach Tirupathi?
The temple town is well connected with all the metropolitan cities through rail, road, and air. In addition, there are direct trains and flights to the temple. The trains and buses connecting Renigunta with other cities of India are more than those connecting Tirupathi. Renigunta town is 10 km from Tirupathi.
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