Tirupati, a world-renowned holy site, is the landmark of the Balaji Temple. It is located in the Chitur district of Andhra Pradesh and is dedicated to the worship of Sri Venkateshwara swamy, the incarnation of Vishnu. Tirupati is also known as “Kaliyuga Vaikuntam” because it was the residence of Lord Vishnu who could liberate mankind from all the troubles of Kaliyugam. Tirumala is the actual location of the Tirupati temple and is part of the Seshashalam Hills. No one knows for sure when they saw the statue for the first time, but legend has it that the statue was found on a mountain by a shepherd and was covered in mud. Later, it was worshiped by many kings, especially under St. Krishnavaraya, the temple gained a lot of fame. The temple is now managed by Tirumala Tirupati Devasathanam. There are many other famous temples around Tirupati which we will now explore in this article.
Important temples in Tirupati:
1. Sri Venkateswaraswamy Temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh:
It is the richest temple in the world in terms of donations received, and the most visited temple. Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple is located in a hill town called Tirumala in Tirupati. It is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, the incarnation of Vishnu. Also known as the “Temple of the Seven Hills”, this temple was built in a Dravidian style of architecture. During the annual Brahmotsavam festival, 500,000 pilgrims visit the temple.
2. Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple:
Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple is dedicated to Goddess Padmavathi, consort of Sri Venkateswara swamy, so it is believed that Tirupati Darshan is still incomplete if one does not seek Goddess Padmavathi’s blessings by visiting this temple. The temple also houses the Temple of Love between Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Mahavishnu. The temple hosts festivals like Navaratri and Theppotsavam or Boat Festival.
3. Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy Temple:
Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy Temple is located in the western part of Tirupati and is considered to be the Lord-designated alternative to Tirumala Devastana. The temple is of great significance to newlyweds who are traditionally forbidden to visit the Tirupati temple located on the top of the mountain. The temple celebrates Kalyana Utsavam daily and Brahmotsavam in February and March.
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4. Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple:
Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple is an ancient temple in Tirupati that was built in 1130 AD by Sri Ramanu Jacharya of the famous Sri Vaishnavite. The temple is currently dedicated to Lord Sri Govindraja Swamy, but earlier the main deity of the temple was Sri Parthasarathi Swamy. The temple is similar to South Indian style architecture.
5. ISKCON Temple:
International Krishna Consciousness Society or ISKCON Temple is also located in Noida. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and has the beautiful God Radamadav. The temple conducts various ceremonies, prayers and kirtanas. On Sundays, the temple offers prasadam to all present. This temple is very popular during festivals such as Sri Krishna Jamashtami, Radha Ashtami, Gaur Purnima or Holi and Ekadashi.
6. Sri Varaha Swamy Temple:
Sri Varaha Swamy Temple is located on the banks of the Pushkarini River and is dedicated to Varaha, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to popular opinion, it is rumored that Lord Venkateshwara had to ask Sri Adiwara Haswami’s permission to stay in Tirupati. Therefore, devotees must visit this temple and offer “naivedyam” before visiting Venkateswaraswamy Temple.
7. Japari Tilsome:
Japali Teertham is located in the dense forest of Tirumala, and to reach the temple, one has to walk for one kilometer through a scenic road. The temple has a temple dedicated to Lord Hanumana and behind it, there is a holy well called Sita Mata Kund. Pilgrims looking for a peaceful atmosphere of tranquility and purity must visit this temple.
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8. Sri Prasanna Venkateswara Swami Temple:
Sri Prasanna Venkateswara Swamy Temple, located 14 kilometers from the main town, enshrines Venkateswara Swamy in the “Abhaya Hasta” pose, which is considered the ultimate blessing pose. Vayu Bhagavan also has an idol who is said to be a powerful source of liberation from the chronic diseases of kalyuga. The annual Brahmotsavam is widely celebrated here.
9. Sri Bedi Anjaneya Swamy Temple:
Sri Bedi Anjaneya Swamy Temple is located opposite Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple. All neivedyam offerings to Lord Sri Venkateswara and Sri Aadhi Varaha Swamy were brought to this temple. Pilgrims must visit this temple if they want to complete their Tirupati Yatra. Brahmotsavam is the main festival celebrated here.
10. Sri Kapileswara Swamy Temple:
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Sri Kapileswara Swamy Temple is another important temple near Tirupati. The temple is named after the great saint Kapila Maharshi. Impressed by his confession, Lord Shiva is said to have appeared in the form of Kapila Lingam to bless his devotees. The majestic waterfall forms the beautiful backdrop for the temple, known as Kapila Theertham.
11. Kodanda Rama Temple:
Kodanda Rama Temple is another of the most popular destinations in Tirupati, second only to Balaji Temple. This 10th century temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Ramachandra murthy, the incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu. The campus has two temples, one for Rama along with Lakshmana and Sita. Another small temple in Hanuman. It is said that Lord Rama stayed at this place when he returned from Lanka.
[Read: Famous Temples in Andhra Pradesh]
12. Sri Chennakesava Swami Temple:
The temple is located in the village of Tallapaka, the birthplace of singer Annamacharya. The temple is said to be over a thousand years old and was built by Matti Rajas. There are two other sub-temples on this campus – Sri Kamakshi Sameta Sri Siddewarawami and Sri Gopala Swami Sametha Chakrathalwar.
Tirupati is definitely one of the amazing places in India worth visiting. Apart from the famous Balaji Temple, these temples mentioned here are hidden gems. While some are popular with devotees, others are not often known. These temples have a rich history and also have fascinating architecture. They are of unparalleled beauty and have been visited by many kings and queens in past times. Next time you visit Tirupati, don’t forget to plan a visit to these temples.