Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tirumala - Tirupati - General

Tirupati is one of the holiest places in Hinduism and is well known as kaliyuga vaikuntam by its devotees. Tirupati, or Aadhi Varaha Kshetra, as it is known in the Puranas (Scriptures on Hindu Mythology), is an important mountainous pilgrimage site in the Hindu world. It is dedicated to Vishnu the second deity of the Hindu Holy Trinity who assumes the role of preserver of the cosmos. In this temple Vishnu resides as Venkateswara, an avatar or incarnation of Vishnu. The goddess Sri, or Lakshmi (Vishnu's consort), resides on the chest of Venketeswara thus he is also known by the epithet Srinivasa (the one in whom Sri resides). The deity is seen by devotees as the Kaliyuga varada, that is the boon-granting lord of Kaliyuga (the fourth age of Hindu horology). Tirupati is held in particular reverence by the Vaishnava sect of South India, known as the Sri Vaishnava. Sri Venkateswara has another polular name Tirupati Thimmappa. Tirupati Thimmappa is very much alive in janapada (Dalit and Backward Castes) culture of south India. When people take piligrimage to Tirupati, they chant 'Tirupati Thimmappana Padakke Govinda'or 'Ezhu Gundala Vada Govinda'

Tirupati is the second richest religious institution after the Vatican City and is one of the most revered Hindu temples in India. The temple has universal appeal in India, regardless of state of origin.

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