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Tirumala and Srinivasa Mangapuram

IthamAtmabhuva: KalpE hArdAmbhOjabhuvO harE: |
AdaU kRutayugE jambUdvIpE bhAratavarshakE ||
MAsE bhAdrapadE vishNutithoU vishNusamahvitE |
SiddhayOgE sOmavare giraU nArAyaNAhvayE ||
(Padma Purana)

According to Sri Venkatachala Mahatyam Padma Purana, during the first manvantara, Svayambhuva, on a first kruta yuga, Lord Vishnu self-manifested as Lord Srinivasa on the sacred Venkatachala Hills in the auspicious bhadrapada month, dwadasi tithi, Monday – Siddha yogam. He appeared on his own will to bless the mankind from all the ill effects of Samsara. That’s the reason Lord Srinivasa’s lower right hand shows the feet and the lower left hand at the side. These mudras suggest that those who surrender unto His lotus feet, the ocean of Samsara is knee deep only. Such is the unlimited mercy of Srivaru.

Lakhs of devotees from all parts of the world visit the Hill shrine for a fleeting glimpse of Lord Venkateswara. It is the greatest moment of happiness for all the pilgrims to have his wonderful darsan. The indescribable and unsurpassed beauty of the Hill-God as represented in the Sanctum, every minute detail from head to foot thereof, is splendidly well formed and the whole icon is exquisite, delightful to the eyes and fascinating for the mind. Lord Srinivasa’s darsan accordingly, does not appear the same to all. Each devotee carries his own impression in his heart and mind. This is the unique character of Tirumala temple.

All these unique experiences lead to consecrating new temples for Lord Venkateswara throughout south India, even during the good old days. Some notable temples dedicated to Lord Venkateswara are.

  1. Sri Kalyana Venkateswara temple of Srinivasamangapuram
  2. Sri Kalyana Venkateswara temple of Narayanavanam
  3. Sri Prasanna Venkateswara temple of Appalayagunta and
  4. Sri Timmappa Swami temple of Tondavada.

Among these temples, the Srinivasa Mangapuram temple is unique and there it has lot of similarities with Sri Tirumala temple. This temple is situated in the river basin of Swarnamukhi. It has two tributaries, river Bhima and river Kalyani. Srinivasa Mangapuram temple is at the banks of river Kalyani. This deity is popularly known as ‘Sri Kalyana Venkateswara
Swamy’. This temple is situated at a distance of 10 miles to the west of Tirupati. The nearest town is Chandragiri. This is atleast 500 years old according to the available evidences.

Sri Venkatachala Mahatyam Bhavishyottara Purana elaborates an interesting legend about this temple. After the celestial marriage of Lord Srinivasa with goddess Padmavati, newly wedded divine couple were going to Adivarahakshetra (Tirumala). On the way, near the convergence of three holy rivers, Swarnamukhi, Bhima and Kalyani, they visited the Ashram of Sage Agastya. After the formalities, Lord Srinivasa told the sage they were on the way to Varaha Kshetra. On hearing this, sage Agastya suggested that as per the ancient Sastra, newly wedded should not go to pilgrimage or holy theerthas and as such, he requested them to stay in the Ashram and camp for 6 months. After 6 months, Lord Srinivasa and Goddess Padmavati were very happy with the hospitality of the sage and told that I will manifest here in my Archavatara form and bless all my devotees as ‘Kalyana Venkateswara’. And from then onwards, those devotees wishing to get married are blessed with marriage etc. (Children, House, prosperity). Later this place was developed into a popular pilgrimage. Before the temple was consecrated, this place was known as, ‘Siddha Kutti’, ‘Siddha Kootam’, ‘Srinivasa puram’. There’s an inscription dt.1433 which states that this village was given as an Inam land to 24 Vedaparayanadars, who were known as ‘Maha Janas’ in the inscription. They were allowed to enjoy the income of this village and perform Vedaparayana Kainkaryams in Tirumala temple. During 1540 AD. the Vijayanagara Emperor ‘Achyuta Devaraya’ donated this village as Inam to Tallapaka poets.

There was an interesting oral tradition regarding Srinivasa Mangapuram temple in Tirumala Srivari hereditary Archaka families. There are four families namely, Paidipalli, Gollapalli, Peddinti and Tirupatiamma gari, who were worshipping Lord Venkateswara since many generations. Among these four, two of them belong to Bharadwaja gotram and the other two belong to Kausika gotram. As per their family practice, the Vaikhanasa Archakas belonging to Bharadwaja gotra used to render Archakatvam services in Sri Tirumala Venkateswara temple, Sri Adivaraha Swami Temple. They are also said to have worshipped Tiruchanur Padmavati Ammavari temple, and Srinivasa Mangapuram temple. This is one of the chief reasons that many details of Mangapuram temple are very similar to the traditions at Tirumala. In the course of time, due to some unknown reason the temple soon became dilapidated. But the temple was reopened and consecrated in the year 1940. During 20-04-1967, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams took over this temple and developed it multifold.

Some of the striking similarities of Srinivasa Mangapuram and Tirumala Srivari temple are briefly given below : Lord Srinivasa’s self manifested icon at Tirumala is about 9 feet in height whereas in Srinivasa Mangapuram, the icon is about 10 feet height. Many of the features of Srivari Dhruva Beram are seen in this Icon. Also the worshipping mode in these temples are same and it is according to the ancient Sri Vaikhanasa Bhagavachastram preached by Bhagavan Vikhanasa Maharshi. The temple’s Vimana over the Sanctum is almost a look alike of Tirumala Srivari ‘Ananda Nilayam’.

In due course, this temple has always been developed along the lines of Tirumala for the unique reason that the icon here represents Tirumala Srivari Mulavirat (main deity at Tirumala) the only difference being height of the icon. The Sanctum of this temple is a square that measures 12’ x 12’. According to Agama texts, a temples outer structures like the Sanctum, Vimana, and other Mandapams size is determined by the height of the main icon. Kalyana Srinivasa is about 10’ height standing on a lotus pedestal, similar to Tirumala. The Vaikhanasa texts mention about three major varieties of icons. Sthanaka (standing), Aaseena (seated) and Sayana (Recumbent). Each of these varieties further classified into four types. Yoga, Bhoga, Viraha and Vira. According to Sage Bhrighu’s ‘Khiladhikara’, a Vaikhanasa text, the ‘Yoga’ type of icon is worshipped by ascetics, recluses and renuncients whose sole interest is salvation or Mukti. ‘Bhoga’ type suggested for worldly aspirations such as prosperity and enjoyment. The ‘Vira’ type, is sought by those who seek strength, power and success and the ‘Abhicharika’ type, by sorcerers and magicians engaged in the black art of evil charms and inciting hate.

Accordingly, the icon of Kalyana Srinivasa is in standing (posture) and is alone in the Sanctum bereft of consorts, carrying Conch and Discus.This clearly explains that, the Kalyana Srinivasa icon is sthanaka-yoga-vira Murthy as suggested by the ‘Khiladhikara’.

The sanctum of Srinivasa Mangapuram temple also houses several other icons. In the Antarala, to the South, a stone icon of Sri Lakshmi Narayana is consecrated, to the North, stone icon of Lord Ranganatha Swamy is seen. An icon of Bhoga-Srinivasa, said to be once worshipped by Tallapaka poets is worshipped as Kautuka Bera. Utsava deities of Lord Srinivasa, with consort Sridevi and Bhudevi, Koluvu Srinivasa, Ugra Srinivasa, the icons of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lakshmana, the icons of Rukmini, Satyabhama and Venugopala Swamy are worshipped daily. These icons are similar to the Panchaberas at Srivari temple in Tirumala.

Due to the heavy influx of pilgrims at Tirumala temple, devotees some times are often dissatisfied longing for more time to have divine darsan of Srivaru. Also due to the very little space available inside temple, sometimes it might get difficult to accommodate all devotees to Arjitha sevas. For them, the temple of Srinivasa Mangapuram is a real blessing, as all the sevas are performed here in the same manner as in Tirumala . The Kalyanotsavam is very special at this temple and those who perform the seva here are blessed with eternal prosperity and wedded bliss according to the local lore. Devout pilgrims feel bless ed to have darsan of Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy and also they are much happier to have witnessed all the Mulavirat Arjitha Sevas. Whatever the devotee wills, the final cision vests with Srivaru. Srivaru always bless his dear devotees, with what is good for them, whether they ask or not.
|| Om Namo Venkatesaya ||

I have taken this article from SAPTHAGIRI magazine February -2017 more information click here ( )

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