Saturday 22 December 2012

The two Tirupathis of Karnataka

There is only one Tirupathi and that is in Andhra Pradesh but did you know that there are two other towns by the same name and with the same deity in Karnataka. These towns are  Bangaru Tirupati and Chikka Tirupathi.
Both these towns are in Kolar district and they are near Bangalore. The Bangaru Tirupathi temple has been closely modeled on the original Venkatehwara Temple in Tirupathi.,
This temple is built on rocks and it dates back to the period of Brigu Rishi. The peculiarity of this temple is that the darshan of the Lord is through a window with six holes in the sanctum.
The hillock leading to the temple is about 40 metres in height. At the base the hillock is a image of Garuda, the Vahana or vehicle of Srinivasa.
The first thing that strikes a person when sees the temple is the beautiful Gopura. 
July and August (Shravana Maasa) are particularly busy months here as there are several festivals.
The temple is located in the small village of Guttahalli, 29 kms from Kolar.
The temple also has a idol of Padmavathi. The priest says it was installed sometime in the mid 19th century.      
Is located 29 km from Kolar in place called Guttahalli. This is a very famous temple which resembles the famous Sri Venkateshwara Temple of Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh.The temple is built on rocks which dates back to Brigu Maharushi's days.At Guttahalli, you'll find the temple on a hillock that is about 40 metres high. Just below the hillock is Garuda, Vishnu's vehicle. The small Kalyani or water tank is sight to behold.
Another Tirupathi in Kolar is the Chikka Tirupati in Malur taluk. This is 40 kms from Bangalore.
It has a beautiful temple of  Prasanna Venkatesha. Here too he is standing with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi.
The right hand is in Varada hasta (the hand that grants boon to devotees). 

There is a beautiful legend that is associated with the deity. The Sthala Purana says that the main idol of Prasanna Venkatesha was consecrated by Agni,  the God of Fire.
The story of the temple is told in the Kandava Dhana Kanda of the Mahabharata. It says at the end of Dwaparayuga, Agni developed severe stomach pain and indigestion after accepting “Havis” (offerings) from yagnas performed during those days.
Agni came to Arjuna and Lord Sri Krishna and sought their help.
Arjuna asked Agni to eat the medicinal herbs in the Kandava forest.
Agni ate the entire medicinal forest. While Agni was devouring the forest, both Arjuna and Krishna stood guard so that the fire would not be extinguished. Unfortunately, Takshaka, the King of snakes, was trapped in the inferno and got injured.
When he came to know that Agni was the cause of the fire, an angry Takhsaka cursed Agni who suddenly lost his tejas (brightness).
Agni then approached Shiva from help. Shiva, in turn, advised Agni to pray to Vishnu for solace. Agni prayed to Vishnu who helped him regain the tejas.
A grateful Agni then consecrated the idol of Vishnu, or prasanna Venkatesha here. The idol is made from Krishna shila (black rock) and it is about three-and-a-half feet tall.
The right hand of the idol is held up towards the sky in what is called Aabhaya Hasta,  while in Tirupathi  the hand is pointed towards the Earth.
Each of the two temples is unique in its own way and you can visit both of them in a single day. Chika Tirupathi is just 45 kms from Hoskote.
If you are in south Bangalore, take the St John’s Road, Sarjapur Road and town and after the buys stand turn left for Chikka Tirupathi. You can also take the Whitefield, ITPL, Hope Farm Circle to the temple.
Both these temples conduct poojas and perform seves as per the practice at Tirupathi. The best occasion to visit the temples would be on Vaikunta Ekadashi which is a very specials occasion for Vishnu.