Tirumala the dwelling of lord venkateshwara, is reputed as the most antediluvian temple in India. Sastras, Puranas, Sthalamahatmyams, and Alwar hymns, unequivocally declare that in the kali Yuga one can attain mukti only through worshipping lord Venkateshwara.
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is in the hill town of Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is 138 km from Chennai and 291 km from Bangalore.
Generous epigraphic evidence about the the distant past of the temple is available and has been collected and published by the Tirumala tirupati devasthanams. The temple itself is belived to have survived from very ancient times.
Lord Venkateswara made Tirumala his dwelling five thousand years ago. Even before him it was Lord Varahaswami who had made Tirumala his home. The Tirumala Hill comprises seven crownings expressing the seven heads of Adisesha, thus earning the name Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri,and Venkatadri. The temple is on seventh hill called Venkatadri, and is also known as the "Temple of Seven Hills". Venkateswara is known by other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa.
The temple is the one of the richest pilgrimage center in the world, after the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, of any faith and the most-visited place of worship in the world. There are several urban myths accompanying with the appearance of the Lord in Tirumala. According to one legend, the temple has a murti of Lord Venkateswara, which it is rumored shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga.
Many followers have continued to construct grand entrances on the ramparts of the temple over productions. In Tirumala the east facing Sri Varahaswamy temple is placed in the North West corner of the temple tank. As per tradition, we have to first visit Sri Varahaswamy temple. Lord Srinivasa sought a gift of land measuring 100 square feet from Varahaswami, which he granted. In return, Srinivasa assured him with a agreement deed that he would be paid the first worship and offerings by the devotees. This tradition is in trend to this day at Tirumala and Lord Varahaswamy continues to receive the old traditional worship. Lord Venkateswara feels happy, only when the followers have their darshan of Varahaswami first. One can see the one foot square copper plate near murty. It is said to be the written agreement deed presented by Lord Venkateswara to Sri Varahaswami. The deed resembling the brahmi script are found on it.
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