Friends, we have so far covered Kancheepuram Varadaraja Perumal Temple (“Perumal Koil”) and Srirangam (“Koil”).
Today, we are going to visit Tirumala Tirupathi (“Hill”) and Kalahasti. (The last three photographs in the album is the Kalahasti temple, famous for its Vayu linga, one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams, representing wind.)
Undertaking the journey by steps from the foothills of Tirupathi to Tirumala must be the ardent desire of any devotee seeking the blessings of Lord Venkateswara often fondly called as the Lord of Kali Yuga. The journey starts from Alipiri, the place at the footsteps of seven hills in Tirupati and we need to cover a total of 3550 steps.
I attempt to bring you the flora, fauna, the various deities (Dashavatarams) and the details of Alwars (Tamil poet-saints) who has performed mangalasasanam (praying that the holy shrines be happy all the time!) on the Lord of Tirumala, Lord Venkatachalapathy as I traversed through those glorious steps along with the ever increasing stream of devotees chanting His name “Govinda” all the way.
“Tirumala is located 3,200 feet (980 m) above sea level and covers an area of approximately 10.33 square miles (26.8 km2). Surrounding the hills are seven peaks of Seshachalam range, Eastern Ghats namely Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple of Sri Venkateswara is on the seventh peak (Venkatadri).”
“Lord Venkateswara Temple is a landmark Vaishnavite temple situated in the hill town of Tirumala at Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Venkateswara, an incarnation of Vishnu, who is believed to have appeared here to save mankind from trials and troubles of Kali Yuga. Hence the place has also got the name Kaliyuga Vaikuntham and the Lord here is referred to as Kaliyuga Prathyaksha Daivam. The temple is also known by other names like Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Temple, Tirupati Balaji Temple. Lord Venkateswara is known by many other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa.”
“Srikalahasti town is named after Sri (spider), Kala (snake) and Hasti (elephant) that once worshiped Shiva Lingam here and attained Moksham (liberation).”
“Srikalahasti temple, situated 36 km away from Tirupati is famous for its Vayu linga, one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams, representing wind. The temple is also regarded as Rahu-Ketu kshetra and Dakshina Kailasam. The inner temple was constructed around 5th century and the outer temple was constructed in the 12th century by the Chola kings and the Vijayanagara kings. Lord Shiva in his aspect as Vayu is worshiped as Kalahasteeswara.”