The Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which administers the shrines in and around Tirupati, never tires of telling devotees that a trip to Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, is complete only with a visit to Tiruchanoor. Yet, only a fourth of the devotees who throng the hill shrine visit Tiruchanoor, the abode of the Lord's consort, Goddess Padmavathy, on the plains. Tiruchanoor, also known as Alamelu Mangapuram, is only three km from Tirupati. The story goes that Bhrigu Maharishi, puffed up by pride, kicked the Lord on His chest in His abode, Sri Vaikuntam. The reason: the Lord did not notice Bhrigu's presence. Angry with the Lord, who chose to deal with the arrogant maharishi in His own way, Lakshmi leaves Left Vaikuntam. She came down to earth to perform penance, seated on a red lotus, in Padma Sarovar lake. Vishnu followed Her, but could meet Her only at the end of 12 years. As She was found on a Padma (lotus), She came to be known as Padmavathy.
The present structure was built by the Yadavarayas, local rulers, after the decline of the Cholas in the 13th century.
Goddess Padmavathy is seated in the Padmasana, on a lotus, with a lotus in each of Her upper hands. She is draped in a silk saree, enveloped by garlands, flowers and jewellery, mostly diamonds and rubies.
There are other shrines in the temple, notably the ones dedicated to Sri Krishnaswamy, to Sri Sundararaja Swamy and to Sri Surayanarayana Swamy, besides Sri Balarama.
How to get there
Buses ply between Tirupati and Tiruchanoor every five minutes. Buses, cars, trains and airplanes ferry people from all parts of India to tirupati. And, for those from abroad, Chennai, 160 km away, is the nearest international airport. Bused that go directly up to hills ply at regular intervals from CMBT in Chennai. AC buses ply up to Tirupathi. Tirupati also has a busy railway station that receives trains from Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad Madurai, Mysore, etc.
The Srinivasa complex is a huge Devasthanam guest house, near the Tirupati bus terminal. Hotels and lodges cater to all tastes.
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