A brief historical study of Thiruppathi Venkateswarer temple

Thread: A brief historical study of Thiruppathi Venkateswarer temple

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  1. virarajendra said:
    Author - Virarajendra


    A brief historical study of Thiruppathi Venkateswarer Temple


    The Thiruppathi Temple is located in the south of Venkadam Hills and south-west of Kaalahasti temple in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. From the ancient times the Venkadam Hills found reference in the Tamil Literature of the relevent periods, and around 650 B.C. the great Tamil Grammetical work "Tholkaappiam" makes the first mention to Venkadam stating that the northern and southern boundries of then Tamil Nadu were "vada Venkadam then Kumari aayidai Thamil koorum nalulakam (the great region where Tamil was spoken in between northern Venkadam [hills] and southern Kanyakumari [sea])". This is further confirmed by reference in the Tamil Epic "Silappathikaarem" of the 175 A.D. as "Nediyon kuntramum (Venkata hills) Thodiyol pauvamum (Kanyakumari sea) Thamil varambaruththa (Tamil boundaries) than punal nannaattu" (refer chapter - venit kaathai). Further in the epilogue (nootkatturai) of "Silappathikaaram" it is stated the boundaries of then Thamilakam was "Kumari, Venkadam, Kuna (east) Kuda (west) kadalal (sea) mandini marungit than Thamil varaippu". The "Sangam period Poetess "Kaakkai Paadiniyaar" has referred to same as "Vadakkum, Thetkkum Kudakkum Kunakkum - Venkatam, Kumari theempunal Pauvam entru an naan kellai". Another Sangam period Tamil Literary work "Ahanaanooru" mentions that Venkatam region belonged to the "Thondaiman kings" as "Vinai navil yaanai virat poar Thondaiyar ina(thu), malai thavalum eatraru nendunkoattu oangu vell aruvi Venkadaththu"

    The Thiruppathi Temple being in the south of Venkadam Hills formed a part of 'then' Tamil Nadu. This temple has as many as 1060 Inscriptions on its walls of which almost all are in Tamil Language, and was greatly patronised by the Pallava, Chola, Paandiya kings of Tamil Nadu and subsequently by the Vijayanagara and Nayakkar kings.

    At the holy shrine Thiruppathi it was God Thirumaal (Vishnu) who was worshiped as God Venkateswarer - the God of Venkatam hills. With the occupation of this region by the Nayakkar kings of Andhra Pradesh from the 16th century, the temple of God Venkateswarer was "re-named" as "Thiruppathi Balaaji" Temple. Further with the formation of new States within India after Independance, unfortunately the famous "Thiruppathi Temple" (and "Kaalahasti temple" the major part of which was built by the Tamil Emperor Rajendra Chola - 1 {A.D.1011-1044} 'of then Tamil Nadu') fell into the newly formed Andhra Pradesh.

    A Song on God Venkateswarer of Thiruppathi in Telugu - Courtesy - YouTube

    The antiquity of God Venkateswarer Temple at Thiruppathi

    The first ever reference to God Thirumaal at Venkatam hills is found in the great Tamil Epic of Chera Nadu (Kerala) namely the "Silappathikaaram" of the second century A.D. as follows:

    "......வீங்குநீ ரருவி வேங்கட மென்னும்
    ஓங்குயர் மலையத் துச்சி மீமிசை

    விரிகதிர் ஞாயிறுந் திங்களும் விளங்கி
    இருமருங் கோங்கிய இடைநிலைத் தானத்து
    மின்னுக்கோடி யுடுத்து விளங்குவிற் பூண்டு
    நன்னிற மேகம் நின்றது போலப்
    பகையணங் காழியும் பால்வெண் சங்கமும்
    தகைபெறு தாமரைக் கையி னேந்தி
    நலங்கிளர் ஆரம் மார்பிற் பூண்டு
    பொலம்பூ வாடையிற் பொலிந்து தோன்றிய
    செங்கண் நெடியோன் நின்ற வண்ணமும்

    Silappathikaaram - by Ilango Adikal, Kaadu Kaan Kaathai

    Courtesy - YouTube

    Courtesy Rammaruthy - YouTube

    Courtesy Princess Music Services (Pvt) Ltd - YouTube

    The Venkateswarer Temple of during the period of Pallava kings in Thondaimandalam

    During the period of rule of Pallava kings in Thondaimandalam in the year A.D.846 Thanthivikkramar (Dhantivarman) - (A.D.796-846), the Ulakapperumaanaar the Chola king of Chola Nadu deposited thirty kalanju of gold as capital from the interest of which gifted a lamp for the image of Perumaanadikal installed in the Thiru-Ilangkoyil built for Thiruvenkadaththu Emperumaanadikal at Thirusokinoor (present Thiruchanur) at Kudavuur Nadu of Thiruvengada Kottam (district of ancient Tamil Nadu and present Andhra Pradesh).

    From the above it could be noted the Thiruvenkadaththu Emperuman (Venkadeswarer) temple was built of granite stone by the Pallava king Dantivarman in stone, from it's earlier structure in burnt bricks and sand. This is confirmed by the fact that there are no Inscriptions found in this stone temple belonging to any earlier Pallava kings.

    The Venkateswarer Temple of Thiruppathi during the period of Tamil Vainava Saints (Alvaars)
    In the seventh century A.D. the great Tamil Vainava Aalvaars (Saints) have sung individual Pasurams and some also complete Pathikams on the God Thirumal (Vishnu) in Tamil.

    Among the twelve Tamil Vainava Aalvaars of Tamil Nadu of the period 'seventh to nineth century A.D'. Periyaalvaar, Aanndaal, Kulasekara Aalvaar, Thirumalisai Aalvaar, Thirupaanaalvaar, Thirumangi Aalvaar, Poikai Aalvaar, Poothatthuaalvaar, Peyaalvaar and Namaaalvaar have sung holy hyms (paadalkal) in praise of God Venkateswarer of Thiruppathi in Tamil which are seen in the Tamil "Naalaayira Thivya Pirapantham". The Kulasekara Aalvaar of nineth century explicitely says in his Tamil composition the "Perumaal Thirumoli".....that the God Thirumaal (Venkateswarer) was atop the Venkatam hills which is referred as - "Thiru Venkatamalai mel" and extols him as "Thirumaale, Nediyone, Venkatavaa nin 'koyil vaasal' adiyaarum vaanavarum arambaiyarum kidanthu iyangum"

    The Tamil Naalaayira Thivya Pirapantham Paadal composed by Kulasekara Aalvaar (Kulasekara Perumal (A.D.800-820) the great Tamil Chera (Kerala) King of Kodungallur on God Venkateswara of Thiruppathi of Andhra Pradesh is played in the video below.

    Courtesy : Ramesh Krishnakumar.

    The Vainava Saint "Kulasekara Aalvaar" was earlier the Tamil Chera king who ruled the Chera Nadu (Kerala) from his capital city Kodungallur in Kerala, who in addition to the Tamil "Perumaal Thirumoli" also composed "Muhundamaalaa" in Sanskrit praising the greatness of God Venkateshwara. The second part of the video below plays recital of this composition "Muhundamaalaa".

    Courtesy - YouTube

    The Venkateswarer Temple during the period of Chola kings in Tamil Nadu

    Among the Medieval Chola Inscriptions one refers to the donations made by "Devi Ammanaar" the daughter of the Chera king (Cheramaanaar) and wife of Paraanthaha Chola - 2 (also known as Sunthara Chola) who died in the "golden palace", and on this day his queen the "Devi Ammanaar" made donation of (a jewellery) Utchippattam (forehead wear) made of 52 kalanju gold, 6 Rubies, 4 diamonds and 28 Pearls to the God represented as "Venkatadevar" by Paraanthahadevar' queen 'Ammanaar' (for the merit of the king).

    The Venkateswarer Temple during the period of Paandiya kings in Tamil Nadu

    The Venkateswarer Temple during the period of Vijayanagara kings in Thondaimandalam.

    Thiruppathi Devasthanam Inscriptions - Vol 1

    To be continued

    Last edited by virarajendra; 15th May 2018 at 10:55 PM.
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