Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vari Devasthanam
Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vari Devasthanam. in DwarakaTirumala, is also known as Chinna Tirupati. The temple provides an alternative to the citizens of coastal Andhra, who would otherwise have to take the long trip to Tirupati.
According to the Puranas, the temple existed even in the krita Yuga. Sage Dwaraka, who did penance here, was told by Lord Venkateswara to install His idol, which was lying hidden in an anthill. Te fascinating aspect of this temple is the presence of two Moolavars. The deity in front only half visible, above the waist is said to be the original. One version is that the half-submerged form is that of the lord, as He appeared after pushing Emperor Bali to the netherworld. It is said that Bali had desired that the Lord's feet should always rest on his head, a desire which was granted; hence the half hidden form. Another version is that the Lord's feet are on sage Dwaraka's head, as per his wish. Sri Ramanuja is said to have installed the other image in a standing postion behind the swayambhu idol in the 12th century, as it was felt that it was not desirable to offer prayers to a half-visible deity. The vimana, mandapam, gopuram and prakaras are later additions, belonging to the 18th and 19th centuries.
The temple is located on a small hill, and is approached by a fleet of steps. The courtyard is ringed by shrines for the Vaishnava Alwars and Sri Ramanuja. There is a big vacant space in front of the temple on the open hill, a portion of which is protected by a canopy. On one side are shops, including the Devasthanam prasadam stall, and, on the other, a huge statue of Annamacharya, the composer of Myriads of sankeerthanas on Lord Venkateswara.
There is another temple up the hill, dedicated to Sri Mallikarjuna, an aspect of Shiva. The hill is said to be shaped like Adi Sesha, the divine serpent, with the Shiva temple at its hood, and the Vishnu shrine at its tail. With plentiful affordable accommodation, in picturesque surroundings, Dwaraka Tirumala is a good destination for those who would like to combine pilgrimage with leisure.
How to get there
Bhimadole (15km), on the Howrah-Chennai route, is the nearest railway station, but (some) express trains stop at Eluru (42km) on the same trunk line. Frequent bus services connect Dwaraka Tirumala with Bhimadole, Eluru, and other parts of Andhra Pradesh. Vijayawada (80km) is the nearest airport. Buses coming from Bhadrachalam, travel south via Ashwaraopet and Jangareddigudem.
Te Devasthanam runs a number of choultries and guest houses, besides many cottages, some with AC. Reservation is accepted two months in advance.
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