Tirupati, a world famous divine destination, is the landmark of Lord Balaji temple. It is located in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh and is dedicated to the worship of Sri Venkateshwara swamy, an incarnation of Vishnu. Tirupati is also referred to as “Kaliyuga Vaikuntam”, as it is the abode of Lord Vishnu, who can free humans from all troubles in Kaliyugam. Tirumala, the actual location of the temples in Tirupati, is part of the Seshashalam Hills. No one exactly knows the first sighting of the idol, but legend has it that the statue was found by a shepherd in the hills, covered with mud. Later, it was worshipped by many kings and particularly under the reign of Sri Krishna Devaraya, the temple gained lot of fame. This temple is now under the administration of the 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 Venkateswara Swamy Temple At Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh:
This is the richest temple in the world in terms of donations received and is also the most visited temple. Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple is situated in a hill town called Tirumala at Tirupati. It is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of Vishnu. The temple is also known as “the temple of seven hills” which was constructed in Dravidian style architecture. During the annual festival of Brahmotsavam, the temple is visited by 500,000 pilgrims.
2. Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple:
Sri Padmavathi Ammavari temple is dedicated to Goddess Padmavathi, the consort of Sri Venkateswara swamy and thus it is believed that Tirupati Darshan remains incomplete if one does not seek the blessings of Goddess Padmavathi by visiting this temple. The temple also houses a shrine of love between Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Maha vishnu. The temple conducts festivals like Navaratri and Theppotsavam or the boat festival.
3. Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy Temple:
Sri KalyanaVenkateswara Swamy temple is located in the west of Tirupati and is regarded as the lord-prescribed alternative for Tirumala Devastana. The temple holds a great significance and importance for newly married couples who are forbidden by tradition to visit the Tirupati temple located at the mountain top. The temple celebrates Kalyana Utsavam every day and Brahmotsavam in the month of February and March.
4. Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple:
Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple is an ancient temple located in Tirupati was constructed in 1130 A.D by Saint Ramanujacharya, a renowned Sri Vaishnavite. The temple is currently dedicated to Lord Sri Govindraja Swamy but earlier the presiding deity of the temple is Sri Parthasarathi Swamy. The temple resembles the architecture of South Indian style.
5. ISKCON Temple:
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON temple is also located in Noida. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and has beautiful deity of Radha Madhav. The temple performs various rituals, prayers and kirtanas. On Sundays, the temple serves prasadam to one and all present there. The temple is very prominently visited during festivals like Sri Krishna Jamashtami, Radha Ashtami, Gaur Purnima or Holi and Ekadashi.
6. Sri Varaha Swamy Temple:
Sri Varaha Swamy temple is situated in the banks of River Pushkarini and is dedicated to Varaha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to popular belief, it is rumored that Lord Venkateswara had to ask for permission from Sri Adi Varaha Swamy to stay in Tirupati. Thus, devotees have to visit this temple and offer ‘naivedyam’ before visiting the Venkateswara Swamy temple.
7. Japali Teertham:
Japali Teertham lies amidst of dense forest in Tirumala and to reach the temple, one has to walk a good one km through roads with beautiful surroundings. The temple houses a temple dedicated to Lord Hanumana and behind it, there’s a holy well named Sita Mata Kund. Pilgrims looking for peaceful atmosphere with serenity and purity must visit this temple.
8. Sri Prasanna Venkateswara Swamy Temple:
Sri Prasanna Venkateswara Swamy temple is located at a distance of 14 km away from the main town and is dedicated to Venkateswara Swamy in the posture of ‘Abhaya Hasta’ which is considered to be the ultimate blessing posture. There’s also an idol of Vayu Bhagavan who is said to be a powerful source to liberate chronic illness of kalyuga. Annual Brahmotsavam is celebrated here widely.
9. Sri Bedi Anjaneya Swamy Temple:
Sri Bedi Anjaneya Swamy temple is located opposite to the temple of Sri Venkateswara Swamy. All neivedyam offered to Lord Sri Venkateswara and Sri Aadhi Varaha Swamy is brought to this temple. Pilgrims must visit this temple if they want to complete their Tirupati Yatra. Brahmotsavam is the major festival celebrated here.
10. Sri Kapileswara Swamy Temple:
Sri Kapileswara Swamy temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and is another important temple near Tirupati. This temple has been named after the great sage Kapila Maharshi. Impressed by his penance, it is told that Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Kapila Lingam to bless his devotee. The majestic waterfall forms a beautiful background to the temple and is called Kapila Theertham.
11. Kodanda Rama Temple:
Kodanda Rama temple is another most visited destination in Tirupati, after Balaji temple. This 10th Century temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Sri Ramachandra murthy, who is an incarnation of Sri Maha vishnu. The campus has two temples, one for Rama with Lakshmana and Sita. Another small temple for Hanuman. It is said that Lord Rama resided in this place during his return from Lanka.
12. Sri Chennakesava Swami Temple:
This temple is located in the village Tallapaka, the birth place of the singer Annamacharya. It is said that this temple is more than a thousand years old and was constructed by the Matti Rajas. There are two other sub temples in this campus- Sri Kamakshi Sameta Sri Siddewarawami and Sri Gopala Swami Sametha Chakrathalwar.
Tirupati is definitely one of India’s amazing places that is worth a visit. Apart from the famous Balaji temple, these temples mentioned here are hidden gems. While some are popular with the devotees, the others are not often known. These temples have great history and also have mesmerizing architecture. They have unparalleled beauty and have also been patronized by many kings and queens during the gone by era. Next time you visit Tirupati, do not forget to plan a tour to these temples.