• Temple of Andhra Pradesh

    Lepakshi Veerabhadra Temple

    Lepakshi Veerabhadra Temple

    About

    The Veerabhadra temple is an ancient Hindu shrine and pilgrim center located in the town of Lepakshi in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, in India. The presiding deity is Lord Veerabhadra Swamy, a fearsome form of the mighty Hindu God, Shiva. The temple is famous for its carvings which were created by the artisans of the Vijayanagara Empire. The detailed fresco paintings are well preserved and depict scenes from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. Most of the surface area of the temple is etched with elaborate carvings and paintings. The monolithic statue of Nandi the Bull lies a little away from the temple and is reportedly one of the largest in the world. The temple is regarded as a monument of national importance and protected by the Central Government. This popular shrine is a much visited religious site and attracts visitors from far and wide.

    Single stone huge nandi
    Single stone huge Nandi

    Single stone huge Nandi

    Among the 70 stoned pillars, there is one pillar that hangs from the ceiling and barely touches the ground. Known as the hanging pillar, any thin object like newspaper or cloth can be passed through its base. As you enter the village you will spot a giant Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva, facing the front gate of the main temple. This huge statue of Nandi is carved out of a single stone which is believed to be the largest in the world.

    History

    The origin of the temple dates back to the early 1500’s and was built by two brothers, Virupanna Nayaka and Viranna who served as Governors under the Vijayanagar Empire. This was during the reign of King Achyutaraya at Penukonda, who financed the project. The temple also finds mention in the ancient Indian text, The Skanda Purana, as an important pilgrimage site of Lord Shiva.

    Within the temple complex, on the eastern wing, there is a separate chamber with Shiva and his consort Parvathi carved on a boulder. In another shrine chamber there is an image of Lord Vishnu.

    Within the temple precincts, to its eastern side, there is a huge boulder of granite stone which has carving of coiled multi-hooded serpent providing an umbrella cover over a Linga.

    Sanctum

    Sanctum
    Sanctum

    A life-size image of Lord Veerabhadra, wielding arms and decorated with skulls is installed in the Sanctum Sanctorum. The complex also houses a separate chamber located in the eastern wing which depicts carved images of Shiva and Parvati on a boulder. A huge boulder also depicts a carved image of a multi-headed serpent shielding a Lingam. An image of Lord Vishnu is also installed in a separate chamber.

    Vishnu killed veerabhadra

    Vishnu held his mace in his hands and was about to strike at Virabhadra when the latter hurled himself towards him and impaled his trident in his chest. Vishnu fell down on the ground. Suddenly, there sprang a tornado of fire as fierce as the fire that consumed the three worlds at the time of Pralaya.

    Linga in veerabhadra temple

    Lingam in veerabhadra temple
    Lingam in veerabhadra temple

    Lingam in veerabhadra temple

    Within the premises of the temple, on the eastern wing, is a separate chamber with Shiva and his consort Parvati carved on a rock. Another pilgrimage room has an image of Lord Vishnu.

    Within the temple, on its eastern side, is a large stone edifice of granite stone, carved into a coiled multi-hooded serpent, giving a brilliant cover over a linga.

    Hanging pillars

    Hanging pillars
    Hanging pillars
    Hanging pillar
    Hanging pillar

    Hanging pillar

     Among the 70 stone pillars, there is one that hangs from the ceiling. The base of the pillar barely touches the ground and is possible to pass objects such as a thin sheet of paper or a piece of cloth from one side to the other. It is said that the pillar is a bit dislodged from its original position when a British engineer tried to move it in an unsuccessful attempt to uncover the secret of its support.

    Footprint of sita

    Footprint of  god sita

    This footprint is believed to be of Goddess Sita. Interestingly, this footprint is always wet. You can see water from underneath constantly sipping and washing this foot. Although, the source of this water is unknown. Yet, it is believed that since it is the footstep of the divine Goddess, the water appears magically as a sign of respect to her. And you can try to dry or wipe out the water, it slowly seeps back into place.

    Festival

    The temple hosts a ten day festival every year during the month of February. This also includes the much awaited car festival. During this period, the temple is thronged by devotees who come for the blessings of the Lord and to take part in the proceedings.

    Timings: 

    Open 06:00 am and Close 06:00 pm

    How to reach

    By Air: 

    The nearest Airport is located in Puttaparthi, which is about 80 km away from Anantapur.

    By Train: 

    The Railway Station in Hindupur is about 12 km away.

    By Bus: 

    Lepakshi is well connected by bus service to neighboring cities and towns.

    Hotels near the temple

    Lepakshi haritha hotel – https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_RevHotel empire international – https://www.booking.com/hotel/in/empi

  • Temple of Andhra Pradesh

    Mantralayam

    Mantralayam
    Mantralayam

    About

    Mantralayam is a Hindu religious place where the Moola Brindavanam of Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy is located. Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy (1601-1671) was an influential saint in Hinduism. He advocated Vaishnavism (i.e. worship of Vishnu as the supreme God.) and Dvaita philosophy advocated by Sri Madhavacharya. He is considered to be a reincarnation of Prahalada, the devotee who was saved by Vishnu, in his avatar of Narasimha. Shri Raghavendra Swamy is said to have performed many miracles during his lifetime and is believed to continue to bless his devotees to this day and will continue to do so.

    The town is located in the Karnataka border of Andhra Pradesh on the southern bank of Tungabhadra river. Majority of people here are conversant with both Telugu and Kannada languages. You can also find people speaking Tamil.

    History

    Mantralayam is one of the important pilgrimage centers in South India as it is a holy place where the great Vaishnava saint Sri Raghavendra (1601-1671) took his Jeeva Samadhi. Devotees visit Mantralayam to have the darshan of the Brindavan of Sri Raghavendra Swamy.

    As per records, the barren land around Mantralayam along the river banks of Tungabhadra was handed over to the Mutt of Shri Raghavendra Swamy by Nawab Siddi Masud Khan of Adoni. Shri Raghavendra Swamy was the disciple and the successor of Sri Sudheendra Theertharu of Kumbakonam, who taught him Dvaita Vedanta, grammar and ancient literary works and Vedic texts.

    Later, Shri Raghavendra Swamy came to be known as ‘Manchale Ragappa’ by his ardent followers.  He attained Jeeva Samadhi at Mantralayam in 1671. It is believed that Shri Raghavendra Swamy was the incarnation of Bhakta Prahalada, who was deeply devoted to Lord Vishnu. It is also believed that, by attaining Samadhi, Shri Raghavendra entered into the Vrindavana (Sajeeva Vrindavana) and that he will fulfill his devotees’ wishes for another 360 years.

    Today, the small town of Mantralayam is synonymous with the ‘raghavendra Swamy Mutt’, which is known by the name ‘Vrindavana’ (Vrindavan is a holy town in Uttar Pradesh), Mantralayam is also popular for Manchalamma Temple and Venkateswara Swamy Temple.

    Facts abouts mantralayam

    Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy
    Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy

     It is believed that Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy will be in the Brindavan alive for 700 years and blessing the devotees. Also known as Rayaru and Guru Raya by his devotees.

    Manchallamma
    Manchallamma

    Manchallamma

    The village was known by the name Manchali or Manchalaya because of the grama devata or the presiding deity of the village Goddess Manchalamma.

    Even today, before taking the darshan of Raghavendra Swamy, one has to first take the darshan of Goddess Manchalamma and only then proceed.

    There are three chariots in the temple, one plated in gold, the other in silver, and the third in sandalwood. A new chariot is being made of Navaratna Stones (9 Precious Stones) which will be used for special occasions.

     The Saint was visible and audible only to Munro, who received Manthraksha (God’s blessing).The Collector went back and wrote an order in favor of the Math and the village.

    Rayaru was a devotee of Rama and Sri Pachamukha Anjaneya ( the five-faced form of Hanuman).

    Mantralayam was under the rule of Nawab of Adoni. The Nawab decided to test the power of Rayaru, brought a plate of meat covered with a white cloth and offered it to Rayaru. Rayaru sprinkled some water and when the cloth was removed, the meat had turned into fresh fruits.

    Tungabhadra river

    Tungabhadra river
    Tungabhadra river

    Tungabhadra river

    The Mantralayam Temple, located on the banks of river Tungabhadra, is dedicated to Saint Raghavendra Swamy, where his Brindavan, the sacred tomb, is worshipped as the presiding deity. It is a stone structure, believed to have been erected around his mortal frame. This is well decorated and ceremonial worships are conducted regularly to this Brindavan, at various times of the day, as per the laid down norms. The Mantralayam temple has arisen around this tomb.

    Chariots in mantralayam

    Chariots in mantralayam
    Chariots in mantralayam
    Gold plated chariot   silver plated chariot
    Gold plated chariot   silver plated chariot

    Gold plated chariot   silver plated chariot

    Gold plated chariot   silver plated chariot
    Gold plated chariot   silver plated chariot

    Navarathinam pathitha chariot

    There are 4 types of chariots in mantralayam.There are gold plated chariot,silver plated chariot,sandalwood chariot and navarathnam pathitha chariot.

    Festivals in mantralayam

    Festivals in mantralayam
    Festivals in mantralayam
    Maharathostavam aradhana utsavam
    Maharathostavam aradhana utsavam

    Maharathostavam aradhana utsavam

    Timing for opening the temple

    The general timing of the temple is from 6 am to 8 pm.

    How to reach

    • By Air :  The Hyderabad Airport is nearest to the temple at a distance of 236 kilometers from Mantralayam. Once you disembark the flight, you can rent cabs for reaching the temple.
    • By Train:  The Mantralayam Road is the nearest railway station to the Raghavendra Swamy Temple. It is about 12 kilometers from Mantralaya. It lies on the railway route of Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Bangalore, and Hyderabad-Tirupati.
      It takes about an hour to reach the Mantralayam Temple from the railway station. Private Cabs, Auto Rickshaws, Vans, and Buses are available at the railway station, which can take you directly to the shrine.
    • By Road:  Regular bus service is available from all the major South Indian cities such as Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Tirupati, and Bellary.

    Hotels in mantralayam

  • Temple of Andhra Pradesh

    Tirupati

    Tirupati
    Tirupati

    About 

    Tirupati, city, southeastern Andhra Pradesh state, southern India. It lies in the Palkonda Hills, about 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Chandragiri and 67 miles (108 km) northwest of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state.

    Tirupati is known as the abode of the Hindu god Venkateshvara, Lord of Seven Hills. The sacred hill of Tirumala is situated about 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Tirupati in Sri Venkateshwara Sanctuary and National Park. The hill was considered so holy that before 1870 non-Hindus were not permitted to ascend it. At the hill’s summit, at an elevation of 2,800 feet (850 metres), is a temple of great antiquity. The temple, nestled among sacred waterfalls and tanks (reservoirs) and dedicated to Venkateshwara, is a fine example of Dravidian art and is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in India.

    This temple is gloriously described by the Hindu scriptures earthly location where Lord Vishnu resides in the age of Kali.The tirupati balaji or shree venkateshwara swamy temple is one of the most pivotal landmarks of the hindu mythology.holding a magnificent position in the chittoor district of andhra pradesh.

    God in tirupati

    Venkateswara, an avatar of Vishnu is the presiding deity of the Tirupati temple. It is believed that the Moolavirat is Swayambhu (self manifested).

    Names of god in tirupati

    Srinivasa,  Balaji,  Govinda, Venkata Ramana, and more. 

    History

    Lord manifested on the earth to bless the devotees during  the age of kali.once,sage bhrigu wanted to evaluate who amongst the holy trinity was the greatest.when he checked with lord brahma and lord shiva,he was not satisfied,so he went to vaikuntha and kicked to lord vishnu on his chest.Goddess lakshmi was residing in the chest of lord vishnu,she felt insulted and left vaikuntha and came down to the earth.

    Lord Vishnu came in search of his consort Mahalakshmi only to find that only she had taken birth in the family of a king as padmavathi. The lord entered an anthill and started meditating.lord shiva and brahma came there as a cow and calf search of the 

    Lord.shiva in the form of the cow poured its milk inside the anthill to feed the lord on the daily basis.As per the divine plan,both venkateshwara and padmavati met with each other and the gods approached the king to give his daughter in marriage to the lord.

    Famous history on tirupati

    The lord received a huge amount on kuber,the god of wealth to conduct a very grand marriage,the lord stayed on the hills tirumala and a magnificent temple rose in the place.from then onwards,it is said the lord is repaying the loan he received from kuber in bits and pieces.It is said that the devotees make their contributions to help the lord make his payments in a timely manner.

    Idol of the lord venkateshwara

    Idol of the lord venkateshwara
    Idol of the lord venkateshwara

    There are different versions on the real and exact height of the statue of the Lord Sri Venkateswara. But considering the sculpture techniques based on Vasthu and numerics, it appears that the height of the statue of the Lord Venkateswara is 9′ 9″ (nine feet and nine inches) including the crown over the head. Further, the statue stands on a stone pedestal of 18 inches in height.

    Idol survives strong chemical reaction

    It is a scientifically known fact that when raw camphor or green camphor (Pachai Karpooram), a derivative of Cinnamomum camphora tree, is applied on any stone, it leads to cracks and fissures on the object. The idol of Shri Tirupati Balaji, however, is resistant to the volatile chemical reactions of camphor, and bears no marks, even though it remains smeared with the substance most of the time.

    Why do people donate their hair to tirupati?

    The tradition of donating hair in Tirupati Balaji is quite old. According to Hindu belief, the reason behind giving this donation is said to be that Lord Venkateswara repays the loan taken from Kubera. It is believed that the price of hair we give, Lord Venkateswara, gives you ten times more than that. The good thing is that devotees here donate hair of their own free will.

    Interesting factor 

    Six hundred barbers have been recruited here to carry out this task with full tradition.

    These donated hair are sold abroad at good prices.

    Once you decide to offer your hair to the almighty it means that to thank the god you have decided to sacrifice your physical appearance and want to remain loyal to god for his blessings on us.

    The magnificent of tirupati 

    The tirupati balaji temple is rightly called the bhuloka vaikuntam-the abode of vishnu on earth.Thus, it is believed that lord vishnu has manifested himself.In this temple during this kali age to guide and direct his devotees towards salvation.It is said that main idol of lord venkateshwara is so unique and powerful.The charming idol has a number of  miraculous characteristics that are amazing.on the daily basis the idol is magnificently decorated with flowers dresses and ornaments.The temple has one of the massive stocks of golden ornaments used for decorating the lord.

    When was Tirupati built?

    As far as the construction of the temple is concerned, King Thondaiman of Tondaimandalam kingdom constructed the precincts and the towering gateway (Gopuram) of the temple. He also made sure his subjects worshipped the Lord regularly. 

    The construction of the temple too has many legends associated with it. One such legend has it that Lord Vishnu appeared in King Thondaiman’s dream and asked him to construct the temple. The temple was later expanded by various kings and emperors who ruled over the place. Starting from 300 AD,

    One of the earliest recorded evidences state the generosity of Pallava queen Samavai; she had donated precious jewels and 23 acres of land for celebrating the major festivals of the temple. During the Chola dynasty, the temple was developed further as many Chola Kings embellished it with riches. When the Vijayanagara Empire took over, diamonds and gold were donated to the temple. Krishnadevaraya, one of the famous Emperors of Vijayanagara, visited the temple on multiple occasions and contributed to the construction of the temple.

    • The Hathiramji Mutt administered the temple until 1933,
    • In 1966, a court order transferred the administration of the temple to the government of Andhra Pradesh.
    • This order was rolled back in 1979, when the administration of the temple was vested to the members of TTD. 

    Hundi 

    For the first time after lockdown was lifted, Tirumala Lord Balaji temple received hundi income of ₹1.02 crores in a day on Saturday, said Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD).

    The devotees here were earlier restricted from visiting the temple amid the COVID-19 crisis. However, the temple was reopened for the pilgrims on June 11.After reopening, the hundi income crossed ₹1 crore for the first time in one day. As many as 13,486 devotees visited the temple on Saturday and their offerings were counted on Sunday, TTD stated in a release on Sunday.

    Hills in Tirupati

    The names of the seven peaks are Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple lies on the seventh peak -Venkatadri, on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini, a holy water tank. Hence the temple is also referred to as “Temple of Seven Hills”.

    Architecture

    Hills in tirupati
    Hills in tirupati

    Tirupati Temple follows Dravidian architecture. The Garbagriha or the Sanctum Sanctorum is called Ananda Nilayam with Lord Venkateswara as the presiding deity, facing in the east direction. There are three Dwarams (entrances) that lead to the Garbagriha. Mahadwaram from the outer compound wall, Vendivakili, the silver entrance through the inner compound wall and Bangaruvakili, the Golden entrance that leads into the Garbhagriha.

    There are two circumambulation paths around the temple – Sampangipradakshinam and Vimanapradakshinam. The presiding deity is in standing posture and has four hands with one hand in blessing posture, one on the thigh and the other two holding the conch and chakra.

    Festivals in tirupati

    Festivals in tirupati
    Festivals in tirupati
    • Brahmootsavam-celebrate in 9 days-in the month of september and october.
    • Brahmotsavam means a festival to commemorate an offering by Lord Brahma to Lord Vishnu.
    • Adhyayana Utsavam-celebrate in 20 days-in the month of december/january first 10 days has held pagal pathu and next 10 days will be rapathu.
    • Makar sankranti-there are 12 sankranti.but, 4 sankranti is very famous.that is mesha sankranti,karkataka sankranti,dhanus sankrati and mahara sankranti.

    The halls in the Queue Complex are clean, spacious and airy. TTD provides a wide range of facilities in the Queue Complex

     > Annaprasadam is provided for the waiting pilgrims on free of cost.

     > Milk, Coffee & Tea are provided for waiting pilgrims on free of cost at every 3 hours interval.

     > Free Medical facility is also provided.

     > Well maintained toilets , RO filter water are available.

     > Closed Circuit Television, through which devotional programmes and music are relayed

    There are officers to look after the facilities in the Vaikuntam Queue Complex, regulate the queues and attend to complaints.

    Tirupati laddu

    Tirupati Laddu or SriVari Laddu is the laddu sweet offered as Naivedhyam to Venkateswara at Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati.

    Since the introduction of the Tirupati Temple laddu on August 2, 1715, it has been 300 years.

    Tirupati Laddu was registered as Geographical Indications under the category foodstuff under the GI Act 1999. So you will never get laddu outside of temple at any cost. 

    The laddu, which is priced at Rs. 50 each, was sold at Rs 25 as a token of gift to the devotees during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

    Tirupati laddu online purchase

    1.)Pilgrim who wants to buy the laddu online has to be a registered user of http://tirupatibalaji.ap.gov.in/

    2.) Pilgrims have to login into the website,with the credentials.

    3.)Once you login into the website,you can see the order laddu online option.

    4.)Click on the options and fill your details like name,contact,address,etc..,

    5.)Once you select the number of laddus you can go to payment and finish the payment.

    6.) If the payment is completed successfully, you will be provided with an acknowledgment slip.

    7.)You can take the slip to your nearest TTD laddu sale centre and can get the laddu which you have ordered for.

    8.)Please note,currently,TTD is not delivered laddus directly at the customer home,instead,it will be delivered to the nearest  laddus sale counter and the customer can get it and the centre.

    Opening time in tirupati

    According to TTD Board’s official media briefing, the temple darshan timings will be from 6.30 AM and 7.30 AM with around 500 pilgrims allowed for darshan every hour.

    Totally 60,000 pilgrims are allowed in every single day.

    How to go the tirupati

    How to reach Tirupati by Air

    Tirupati airport is nestled in the region of Renigunta. You have to cross only 15 km distance from the core of the main city. Frequent flights are accessible from other major Indian metropolises such as Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore to this place. The adjacent International airport is Chennai from which the place has a good connectivity with different corners of the country and abroad. You can take flights from Tirupati to Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad & other major cities.

    Nearest Airport : Tirupati Airport, Tirupati

    How to reach Tirupati by Rail

    The main railhead of the place is Tirupati Railway Station that is linked with railway stations like Bangalore, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Madurai and Mumbai. Renigunta rail station is very close to the city and is at a distance of 15 km. Renigunta lies on the Trivandrum-Delhi route. Thus, once you arrive at the capital of India, there are various sources to know how to reach Tirupati.

    How to reach Tirupati by Road

    One inquiring about how to reach Tirupati need not worry as there are multiple buses that run in between the major cities towards Tirupati. The prominent transport agencies of the region are APSRTC and KSRTC buses which link every part of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with Tirupati in that order. There are numerous buses from Tirupati to Bangalore(253 km), Chennai (158 km) and Hyderabad (558 km) which will make your journey more comfortable.

    Hotels near by tirupati

    https://www.booking.com/hotel/in/embas –600 meters from padmavathi amman temple.

    https://www.booking.com/hotel/in/hap – 1.5 km from padmavathi amman temple.