The Ananda Nilayam Vimana : The Vimana that rises above the two talas containing lions in the cardinal direction of tirupati temple. Above it is the gala or neck adorned with a salakoshta surmounted by simhalalata in the centre with panjara similarly surmounted in the centre with panjara similarly surmounted on each side. Above this is the round domical sikhara adorned with the lotus design all over and one the top is tha kalasa. There are many vaishnav sculptures on the vimana which is encased by gilded plates. The presence of lions usually shown in the griva portion of the vimana is a note worthy feature. Lions are usually shown in the griva portion of a devi shrine. The lion symbol, However is not exclusively used only as a sakti symbol. Both the vaikhansa and Pancharatra agams which govern a vaishnava temple, clearly lay down that either a lion or garuda may be placed on the corners. The vimana as stands at present was built by vira narasina yadavaraya of the 13th century A.D. As it imbues ananda (bliss) to the devotees it has been called ananda-nilaya-vimana.
Tirupati Temple – The image of the lord Venkateswara
The image of the lord is in the sthanaka or standing posture. His eyes are in same drishti showing divine grace on the devotees who assemble to offer worship. The face is beaming with joy and wears a divine smile. He is richly adorned with flowing locks of hair some of which rest on his shoulders. The neck is clapsed conch-like and the body has the grace and majesty of a lion. He has four arms, the upper two being culled to hold the chakra and the sankha . The lower right hand is the varada hasta style and led lower hand in the katyavalambita pose. when the idol itself is not exactly in the tribhanga pose the body below the waist has taken a slight tilt to the left, and the knees themselves are bent and opened slightly outward giving it a peculiar grace and charm. Lakshmi is held in the right chest in the sitting pose the figure of the lord is depicted wearing a dhoti from the waist downwards. There is a katibandhamot the waist band. The legs and feet are beautifully shaped, are strong and they are models of perfection. It is of great significance that the idol here does not conform to any agamic rules for the simple reason that the lord is above all rules.
The idol is splendid specimen of a divya manohara murti. He is to one and all. an embodiment of the eternal principle which is imperishable, and which out of its own grace and kindness, stretches forth its hand, and touches man to make him remember what he really is, and to recover as soul. A darshan is a spiritual experience is self which one feels completely different from what he was before. Many go to him with a long list of requests and prayers. but whether one’s request is fulfilled or not, anyone turning to him with sincerity and prayer, will fell the power and presence of an intangible and agreeable sensation over powering his troubled emotions.
If ever any proof is required that temples are living institutions, the shrine at tirumala temple presided over by lord venkateswara, is a vertible truth. Tirumala temple has thus been a unique shrine.
Time seems to stand still in the holy shrine of sri venkateswara. mytholgy and legends blend to make current history. Pilgrims of today and time honored traditions of the past appear to create the paradox of timelessness and living history. In fact, Indians soul lies in her spirituality and her temples whose origins are shrouded in the mist of legends, continue to be the pulsating centers which keep this most ancient and yet living religion of the world alive. among them, tirumala has the pride of places as one feels the presence of the divinity while stepping in the hills.
Great institutions belongs to the people, belong to history, yet their daily administration is a responsible task. The tirumal tirupati devasthanam administration, acknowledges with humanity the infinite grace and guidance sreenivasa, who enabled it to meet its demands creditably and honorably. Today the ttd administration has become the guiding institution for the Hindu temple administration all over the country. On the eve of the 75 years of the board of trustees as established by the British and reconstituted by independent India of its dedicated service- a period trivial when compared with the hoary past of the temple it would be worth while to remember that tirumala tirupati devasthanam had rendered great contribution to the cause of religion and service of humanity.
Tirupati Temple – East India Company
After the fall of the hindu kingdom many temples including the temple of lord venkateswara came under the supervisory and protective control of the muslims rulers. After the decisive victory in the carnation wars which commenced in 1744, the temples and their lands came under the possession of the east india company in 1800 A.D. According to ancient records, there were 187 villages belonging to the lords estate, apart from two scores of villages granted to the temple by kings, chiefs, noble men and other in different provinces of the vijayanagar empire. The British government gathered detailed information on the assets and liabilities, income of expenditure, food-offering of each day, religious services and festivals and on the origin, history and different deities after taking charge of the tirupathi tirumala temples. the information furnished by various officials is compiled into a record called the sawal-jawab-patti.
In 1843 vwhen the british divested itself of the direct management of native religious institutions. the adminstartion of shrine of sri venakteswara with a number of estates was entrusted to the mahants of the haathiramji mutt and for nearly a century till 1993 the temple was under thier administartive charge. In 1933 by a special act passed by the chennai legislature, the tirumala tirupati devasthanams committee was assisted by a religious advisory council in regard to religous matters and ryols advisory council in regend to the management of estates of TTD.
Today tirumala tirupati devasthanams is a conglomerate of temples brought under the first schedule 2 of the act 20 of 1987 enacted by andhrapradesh government. It is managed by a trust board constituted by the state government. The executive officer, Financial advisory and chief accounts officer, chief vigilance and security officer, conservator of forests and chief engineer in various spheres of activity. Besides there are officers like law officer, public relations officer, marketing officer and educational officer to look after various wings of administration. Tirumala Tirupati devasthanam utilizes major part of its revenue for maintenance and management of the temples including conduct of daily pujas according to the agamas and customs, decoration of the deities, with ornaments, clothes, flowers etc. All the tirupati temple festivals are observed meticulously and special programmers are arranged on these occasions. At present there are over 18 temples under its management including the tirupati temple if lord venkateswara swamy and chandramouleswara swamy in rishkesh.
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