Interesting and Lesser known facts about Lord Venkateshwara as well as Tirupathi Temple
Tirumala Tirupathi Balaji Temple or Lord Venkateshwara Swamy Temple is located around 10 kms north-west of Tirupathi in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh. is one of the most sacred temples in Hinduism and whole India. Tirupathi temple is the renowned place choosen by Lord Vishnu as his alternative celestial home, Bhooloka Vaikuntham. This temple is situated on peak of Tirumala hills town and is the home of Lord Balaji who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, hence Lord Balaji is also known as Lord Venkateshwara and popularly known as "Shri Venkateshwara Swamy Temple". The Lord is also known as Balaji, Govinda, Vaddikasulavada, Venkataramana, Srinivasa, Venkateshwara, Venkatachalapathy and Edukondalavada (lord of seven hills). Brahmothsavam and Vasantothsavam are the two main festivals celebrated here with utmost devotion and fanfare.
Tirumala Tirupathi Balaji Temple
This temple has some fascinating and surprising facts that keep attracting both devotees and tourists in equal in number, as well as people from other religion background to know the culture and tradition of India. The Tirumala hill shrine comprises of seven hills named as Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrishabhadri, Narayanadri, and Venkatadri. The central temple of Tirumala lies on the seventh hill called Venkatadri for which the temple is also called as "The Temple of Seven Hills".
Venkateshwara Swamy-The Lord of Seven Hills
Let's reveal the surprising yet lesser known facts about Lord Balaji as well as Tirupati Temple.
1)The body temperature of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy is always 110 degrees F inspite of staying 3000 ft above the sea level due to which the Lord sweats. The back of the Lord is always moist inspite of cleaning it many times with a peace of cloth. When the ornaments are removed for sacred abhishekham done with water, milk, curd, honey and other substances on thursdays it is noticed that they are very warm. There is also a traditional belief in vogue that Balaji has a third eye which he opens at the time of Abhishekam. The one who keeps his ears on back of the Lord can hear the sound of an ocean.
Lord Venkateshwara Swamy Tirupathi Temple
2)As Goddess Lakshmi is resting on the heart of Swamy. Every Thursdays, during Nija Roopa Darshanam, the Swamy is decorated with white sandalwood paste. When this decoration is taken out, the imprint of Lakshmi Devi remains on it as it is and this imprint is sold by the temple authorities.
Nija Rupa Darshanam of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy
Goddess Lakshmi imprint on Chest of Lord Balaji during Abhishekam
3)The Deepam lit (earthen lamps) in inner Garbha Griha Sanctum Sanctorium infront of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy is said to be Akhanda Jyothi (Deepam), these oil lamps are lit thousands of years ago. No one knows who ignited these lamps and when but the pujari say's that these lamps are lit always in good condition.
Earthen Lamps in Grabha Griha of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy
4)As there is a custom in Hindus to not see behind the lights and fire when someone dies, similarly, the flowers removed from Swamy are thrown at the back of Swamy. It is said that the pujaris do not look at the back of the Swamy that entire day. There is one water resource (Jalpatam) behind the Lords back in which these flowers and water used for abhishekam to Lord are immeresed in. Those flowers are flushed around 20kms from Tirupathi to Verpedu named village (on way to Kalahaasti).
Flowers thrown back of Lord Balaji
5)The Moola Vigraha of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy is having real hair on his head which when washed never tangles nor gets fold like nots, it is always silky smooth in texture.
Moola Vigraha of Lord Venkateshwara Swamy
6)All the necessary items like milk, curd, flowers, Ghee and others used to serve the Lord in the Garbha Gruha are brought from a village at a distance of 23km to the Lord's Shrine. There is also a flower garden in this village. The people living in this village follow strict rules and traditions where the women of this village follow a tradition of not wearing blouses. No outsiders are allowed to enter in this village except the villagers.
Flowers brought from village to worship Lord Balaji
7)The Venkateshwara Swamy is daily worshiped with 7 types of garlands in which they use 27 types of flowers and 7 types of leaves each weighing 500kg and 100ft height. All these 7 types of garlands are very auspicious and has different names like:- Sikhamani Haram, Saligrama Mala, Kantha Sthali, Vakshasthala Lakshmi, Shanku Chakramulu, Kati Saram and Thiruvude Mala.
Flower Garlands used to worship the Lord Balaji
8)The Idol of Lord in Garbha Griha is applied with special camphor 'Paccha Karpooram' (Cinnamomum camphora) which is highly volatile and has many chemicals. The other stone idols when applied the same camphor for few days on regular basis will show cracks on them which doesn't occur in Lord's case.
Lord Balaji with Paccha Karpooram on Lord
9)The Venkateshwara Swamy is worshipped with Agama shastras and 4 types of rituals are conducted like Prathakala Aradhana, Madhyanakala Aradhana, Sandhyakala Aradhana and Pavalimpu Seva.
10)The Idol of Lord is placed to right side of the Garbha Griha which is visible as placed in the center. Only on keen observation this difference can be made out by one from outside the temple.
Lord Venkateshwara seen inside of Garbha Griha
11)From ancient times the first darshan of Lord is done by Sannidhi Golla who belong to Yadav community. The custom of lightening lights (deepam) infront of Lord is first lit by these people of Sannidhi Golla and is followed even today from several years.
12)The stick (gunapam) used to hit the Lord by Ananthaalvar is still present at the entrance of this Temple, before the construction of maha dwaram, on right side of the main gate. There is one legend associated with it as once upon a time when Ananthaalvar was worshipping Lord with utmost devotion, Lord appeared as a small child infront of him and started disturbing him. Distrubed by the child Ananthaalvar took one gunapam and hit the boy to make him leave that place. That stick threwn made an incision on the chin of the boy. That mark is still visible on the Lords chin, since then the tradition and practice of covering the chin with sandalwood paste is followed till today.
Tirumala Balaji Temple Maha Dwaram
13)The origin of Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy is said to be around 1800. It is said that the temple of Lord was closed for about 12 years in 1800. The reason behind is one of the Kings of that time had punished 12 culprits who did offence near the temple, and he hanged them backside of the temple wall. Having darshan of Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy is same as having the darshan of lord in Garbha Griha.
Vimana Venkateshwara Swamy on Golden Gopuram
14)Every day a new & sacred Dhoti (bottom) and Saree (top) are used to decorate Swamy. These are given as Blessing of Lord, to the newly married couples and the one who performs a special seva to the Lord.
15)In a week the Lord is worshipped as Ambal (Goddess Uma Devi) for four days, as Vishnu for two days and Shiva for one day.
16)The Natural Arch at the entrance of Tirumala Hills, is located 1 km north of the temple and considered unique in the world as it resembles like hood of a serpent Adisesha, a geological magic which represents the facial structure of Lord Balaji itself which is also known as Silathoranam in Telugu where 'Sila' means the rock and 'Thoranam' means an arch. It is said that main deity in Tirumala temple is of the same height as the height of the Arch ie., 8 m in width and 3 m in height in the Garbha Griha. Lord Vishnu is said to have put his first foot down at a place called Srivari Padalu, which is the highest point of Tirumala hills, Second step at the location of this natural arch and the third step is stated to have been placed where his idol is now worshipped in the temple at Tirumala.
Silathoranam- Natural Arch in Tirumala Hills
Silathoranam-Natural Arch on Tirumala Hills
Silathoranam right part is Shankha and left is Chakra
17)The Tirumala Temple arranges a vast daily programme of food service called "Nitya Anna Danam" conducted by TTD serving 1,20,000 people approximately on a daily basis.
18)Devotees of Tirupati temple can never go back without getting the Srivari Laddu prasadam which is the most delicious and best naivedyam of Lord Balaji. The renowned sweet is enriched with dry fruits and nuts which is a registered Geographical Indicator (GI) after a serious issue of black market which was developing around the preparation and distribution service of these laddus.Kashmir pashmina, Darjeeling tea and Kancheepuram silk have all been granted GIs.
Tirupati Lord Balaji Laddu
19)All the Temples Architecture, in Tirupathi are built of Dravidian Style in pyramid shaped towers which are constructed of sandstone, soapstone and granite.
20)According to Varaha Purana, during Treta Yugam, this town is a part of the legendary 'Ramayana'- Lord Sri Rama resided here along with Sita Devi and Lakshmana on his return from Lankapuri.
21)The 90 degrees tilted view of Tirupati Hills is believed to be in the shape of Lord Balaji.
90 Degrees Tilited View of Tirumala Hills
22)There are many inscriptions on the temple wall which are historically, culturally and linguistically relevant. It is also believed that over the years, some of the inscriptions have disappeared beyond recovery. The temple also shows the mark of several empires like the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and Yadavarayas among the rest of the ruling empires of those times.
23)The famous suprabhatam song
, or the wake up song, is not played in the temple during the Dhanurmasa month which falls around December-January. It is believed that the Lord does not sleep during this period.
How to Reach: There are various types of transports available to reach Tirupathi like Own transport, Government Buses by Road, Trains from all parts of the country and Flights from all the major parts of the cities of the country. It is around 600 km from Hyderabad, 138 km from Chennai and 291 km from Bangalore.
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