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Venkateshvara: The Powerful Lord Vishnu Avtar

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The presiding deity of the Tirumala Venkateshvara Temple in Tirupati, Sri Balaji District, Andhra Pradesh, India, is the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of Venkateshvara. Various other names are also used to refer to Venkateshvara.

Venkateshvara is known by many names such as, Srinivasa (in whom Lakshmi dwells), Narayana (the creator and destroyer), Perumal (the great lord), Malaiyappa (the lord of the Hill) and Govinda. In Telugu, he is commonly known as “yedu kondala venkanna” or the god of the Seven Hills.

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Literally, the name Venkateshvara means “Lord of Venkata.”. Venkata, the name of a hill in Andhra Pradesh, and ishvara, which means “Lord,” are the two words that make up the word. The words “Venkata” and “destroyer of sins” are derived from the Sanskrit words vem (sins) and kata (power of immunity), respectively, in the Brahmanda and Bhavishyottara Puranas.


At the Tirumala Venkateshvara Temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, tens of thousands of devotees donate a sizable sum of money each year. The explanation for this is given in a legend.

When choosing a deity for a ritual, the sages once debated the issue. Bhrigu was chosen by the sages to choose the god. A test of the gods was decided upon by Bhrigu. He first went to the King of Svarga, Indra, who ignored the sage and was preoccupied with watching the apsaras dance in heaven.

Bhrigu cursed Indra, saying that he would always be known as an egoistic soul throughout the universe. He then went to see Brahma. Brahma was busy with his four heads, meditating, creating the world, and spending time with his wife, Saraswati. He was also reciting the Vedas. He went to Shiva next. Shiva’s wife, Parvati, was sitting at his feet while he was in deep meditation.

Shiva was cursed by Bhrigu to only be worshiped as the formless lingam. Bhrigu finally visited Vishnu. Lakshmi was at Vishnu’s feet while he dozed off on Adishesha. Bhrigu was embarrassed when he first saw Vishnu’s feet when he arrived. He struck Vishnu on the chest in a fit of rage. Vishnu began giving Bhrigu’s feet a foot massage after becoming awake and showed him a lot of hospitality. The sages were instructed to perform the rites for Vishnu by Bhrigu, who was pleased. As a result of their argument, Lakshmi left Vaikuntha because she believed that Bhrigu had insulted her subtly by striking Vishnu where she resided on his chest.


The presiding deity of the Tirupati temple is Venkateshvara, a Vishnu avatar. The deity is regarded as Swayambhu (self manifested). The deity is endowed with the powers of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as well as the Trimurti, and some sects think that Venkateshvara also possesses the powers of Shakthi and Skanda. Venkateshvara is praised by Sage Annamacharya as the “Supreme Lord,” who manifests as the form that the devotee prefers, whether it be Dattatreya for yogis or Shiva for Shaivas.

Ramanujacharya came to Tirupati in the 12th century to resolve a disagreement between the Saivites and Vaishnavites over the identity of the deity housed in the Tirumala temple. The Naalayira Divya Prabandham was introduced by Ramanuja, who also simplified the rituals at the Tirumala temple in accordance with Vaikanasa Agama tradition. In 1119 A.D., in coordination with Tirumalai Ananthalwan, he also established the Tirupati Jeeyar Matha to institutionalize worship of the deity and oversee temple rituals.

To this day, the Jeeyars continue to see to it that the Ramanuja-established rituals are carried out. The deity is said to be as old as Tirumala’s “Shila thoranam.”. Tirumala has a long history of outstanding fame. North Indians call the deity “Balaji.”. According to the scriptures, Venkateshvara is the savior of all those who are in need during the Kali Yuga. Many devotees and emperors, including Krishnadevaraya, have honored Venkateshvara.


The Venkateshvara Suprabhatam is the first and pre-dawn prayer offered to Venkateshvara at Sayana Mandapam, inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Tirumala Temple. The Sanskrit phrase “Suprabhatam,” which translates to “morning salutations,” is used to rouse the deity from his heavenly slumber. The Venkateshvara Suprabhatam hymns, which have 70 slokas and are divided into four parts by the words “Suprabhatam,” “Stotram,” “Prapatti,” and “Mangalasasanam,” were written by Prathivadhi Bhayankaram Annangaracharya in the thirteenth century.

The philosopher Vedanta Desika created the ten-decad Dayashataka, a Sanskrit work, in adoration of the god.

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One of the greatest Telugu poets and a fervent follower of Venkateshvara was Tallapaka Annamacharya (Annamayya), who composed 32000 songs in his honor. All of his songs are categorized as Sringara Sankirtanalu and Adhyatma Sankirtanalu and are sang in Telugu and Sanskrit.

FAQs: Venkateshvara

Why was Tirupati closed for 12 years?

A strong belief on a legend about the actual existence of Swamy is found in the region. The incident goes like there was a king of unknown name who killed 12 people for a crime they committed and hanged them on the gates of this temple. The temple got closed for 12 years and Swamy made an appearance.

Which God is Venkateswara?

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

What is the Speciality of Balaji Temple?

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 the main idol of Lord Venkateshwara is so unique and powerful.

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