Dwaraka Tirumala temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara. The temple is very popular in these parts of the country and is often referred to as ‘Chinna Tirupathi’ in local parlance, which translates to mini Tirupathi. The name Dwaraka is from the legend of the great saint ‘Dwaraka’, who is said to have found the Swayambhu idol of the Lord here after a rigorous penance. The temple has been referred to in many ancient texts, according to which the temple’s origins can be traced back to the Krutha Yuga. It has been a tradition that if for some reason devotees couldn’t go to Tirupathi, they can seek the blessings of the Lord here. The temple consists of a towering five-level Rajagopuram to the south and Gopurams on all three remaining directions. Alwar temples are lined against the prakarams on each side and the entire complex is tiled with sandstone. The observable aspect is that of the flower plants lined along the complex. Only the upper part of the image of the Lord is depicted inside the sanctum. Legend has it that the lower part extends to ‘Paatala’, roughly the underground world according to Hindu mythology, where Bali Chakravarthi worships the feet of the Lord. This image of the Lord is Swayambhu or naturally manifested. A full size image of the Lord is also present inside the Sanctum and is said to be consecrated by the great Srimad Ramanuja around the eleventh century. It is believed that the Swayambhu image is worshipped to get Salvation and the consecrated image is a representation of Dharma ,Artha and Kama. Interestingly, the Lord’s marriage or Thirukalyanam is celebrated at different periods for each of the two idols. The temple complex also houses the shrines of Lord Anjaneyaswami and Garuda Swamy, the Deeparadhana and Alwar Temples.
According to ancient Indian texts like the Brahma Purana, the Lord is worshipped here even during the Krita Yuga – one of the four Yugas in Hindu mythology. Much of the present temple is constructed under the patronage of Mylavaram Zamindars. The Vimana, Mantapa, Prakarams or outer walls and Gopuras – towers are constructed by Dharma Appa Rao around the eighteenth century and during the nineteenth, queen Chinnamma Rao contributed significantly to the temple.
Legend has it that Emperor Aja, grandfather of Lord Rama, worshipped the Lord here to seek blessings for his marriage. Once, while on his way to attend the Swayamvaram of Princess Indumathi, the king just passed by this place and did not pay respects to the Lord. At the Swayamvaram, Princess Indumathi did choose the King but that turned out to be of no use, as he still had to win over the other kings. The Emperor realized his folly of not paying a visit to the temple en route, sought the blessings of the Lord, and only then the battles stopped. The great saint Dwaraka is said to have undergone a severe penance here in an anthill and found the Swayambhu image of Lord Venkateswara here. Legend has it that the lower part of the Lord’s image extends to Paatala Loka or the underground world, where Bali Chakravarthi enjoys the privilege of worshipping the Lord’s feet.
This pilgrimage centre is called "Dwaraka Tirumala" after the great saint, "Dwaraka" who located the self manifested idol of Lord "Sri Venkateswara" after severe penance in a 'Valmikam' (ant hill). The devotees call Sri Venkateswara as Kaliyuga Vaikunta Vasa. This place is also called "Chinna Tirupati". As per Sastras North Indian rivers like Ganges and Yamuna are considered to be more and more holy as they go up to the origin and south Indian rivers like Krishna and Godavary are more and more holy as they go down the river to its mouth to the Sea. It is why there are numerous shrines and holy bathing ghats, at close intervals, on both sides of the great grand rivers Krishna and Godavary in their lower regions. The region covered by our Dwaraka Tirumala is commanding the top most conspicuous position in India, being garlanded by these two great Indian rivers Krishna and Godavary, as pointed out by Brahma Purana.
The devotees who wish to go and offer their donations, or tonsures or any other offerings to Lord Venkateswara, Lord of Tirumala Tirupati, called as "Pedda Tirupati", due to some reason, if they are unable to go there, they can offer their donations, prayers and worship in Dwaraka Tirumala temple.
Dwaraka Tirumala is a famous temple from the ancient times. According to some Puranas, the temple is popular even in Kruta yuga and is still attracting the devotees. According to Brahma Purana, Aja Maharaja, the Grand father of Lord Sri Rama also worshiped Lord Venkateswara for his marriage. On his way to the 'Swayamvaram' of Indumati, he passed by the temple. He did not offer prayers in the temple. The bride Indumati garlanded him, but he had to face a battle with the kings who came to the Swayamvaram. He realized that the battle was thrust on him for ignoring the temple on the way. After realizing this, Aja Maharaja prayed to the Lord Venkateswara. Suddenly the kings stopped the battle.
It is a great wonder to see two main idols under one Vimana Sikharam. One idol is a full and complete statue. The other is a half statue of the upper portion of the form of the Lord. The upper potion of the form is a self-manifested idol located by Sage "Dwaraka". The saints of the yore felt the prayers to the Lord are not complete without worshipping His holy feet. So, the saints joined together and installed a full statue behind the self-manifested idol, to worship the feet of the Lord according to Vaikhanasa Agamam. It is believed that the prayers to the smaller statue of the Lord will lead to Moksha, and the big form stands for Dharma, Artha and Kama. The Tiru kalyanotsavam is celebrated twice a year. One for the self manifested idol in the month of "Vaisakha" and the other for the installed idol in the month of "Aswayuja".
Temple Tour (Holy places in the Temple)
- Sri Swamyvari Temple
- Anjaneya Swamyvari and Sri Garuda Swamivari Temples
- Sage ‘Dwaraka’ Statue
- Alwar Temples
- Deeparadhana Temple
- Four corner Mandapams
- Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya Statue
The Executive Officer & Joint Commissioner,
Sri Venkateswara Swamy vari Devasthanam,
Dwaraka Tirumala (China Tirupathi) – 534 426
West Godavari District., Andhra Pradesh, India
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