About Tirumala Hills – How Tirumala Hills got its name
Tirumala is located 3,200 feet (980 m) above sea level and covers an area of approximately 10.33 square miles.
In ancient literature, Tirupathi is mentioned as Aadhi Varaha kshetra. The Puranas associate the site with Lord Varaha, one of the Avatar of Lord Vishnu. The Varaha shrine is said to be older than the main sanctum of Venkateswara.
The origins of the Tirumala Hills lies in a contest between Vaayu (God of Wind) and Adisesha(the first serpent). During Dwapara Yuga, Adisesha blocked Vayu from entering Vaikuntam as Lord Vishnu was in the company of His consort, Lakshmi. An incensed Vayu challenged Adisesha to a fight to decide the stronger between them, Vayu was tasked with trying to blow off Adisesha from the Holy Meru mountain while Adisesha was asked to protect the peak with his hood. After a long time, Vayu appeared to yield and Adisesha lifted his hoods assuming that he had won the contest. Vayu then blew away one of the peaks. The peak landed near the Swarnamukhi river and is currently known as Seshachalam hill. A variant to the legend is that the contest created pandemonium on earth and Brahma, Indra and other gods pleaded with Adisesha to relent. When Adisesha obliged, the peak (Ananda hill) and Adisesha were blown off Meru and landed near the banks of river Swarnamukhi. When Adisesha was dejected with his defeat, the Gods converted Adisesha into the seven hills with the hood named as Seshadri hill or Seshachalam hill or Venkatadri hill. Another variant to the story is: Adisesha, fatigued by the contest was instructed by Lord Venkateswara to rest on Earth in a place that he chose for his stay in Kali Yuga
The seven peaks of the shrine represent seven heads of Adisesha. Tirumala is one of the 108 Divya Desams
And seven heads are named as Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.
About Tirumala Hills Names
1.Vrushabadri Hill – Hill of Nandi, Vahana of Shiva
The first hill is known as Vrushabadri. In Kruthayuga, near Thumbura Theertha in Tirumala there lived a demon named Vrushabhasura who was a devotee of Lord Siva. As he was an asura, he had the inborn demonic quality in him and he used to daily cut his head and offer the same to Lord. By Lord Siva’s grace, he would immediately get back his head. When Lord Siva graced him and asked him to choose any boon, he said that he wanted to have a fight with Lord Siva. Lord Siva granted his wish and the fight between the devotee and the Lord Siva continued for many days. Finally, Vrushabhasura was defeated. But Before dying as a mark of his attaining salvation at this place he asked Lord Siva to name this hill by his name. So this hill is called by his name as Vrushabadri.
2. Anjanadri – Hill of Lord Hanuman.
Kesari, the king of Vanaras (monkeys), married Anjanadri. They were childless for many years. So Anjanadri went to a hill near Akasa Ganga and did penance for several years. Later Vayu (wind god) gave fruit to Anjanadri. As a result of eating that fruit given by Vayu, she gave birth to Lord Hanuman. As Anjanadri did penance on this hill it is called as Anjanadri.
3. Neeladri – Hill of Neela Devi.
Nila Devi (or Neela Devi) is the third consort of Lord Vishnu, the other two being Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. In Paramapadam (Sri Vaikuntham) Sri Devi is seated to the right of the Lord, and Bhu Devi and Nila Devi to His left. The Veda sings the glory of Goddess Nila in Nila Suktam.
The first devotee who gave her hair to god is Neela Devi. Lord Srinivasa named this hill by her name as Neeladri. When Lord Srinivasa was hit by a Shepard on his head, a small portion of his scalp becomes bald. There is no hair growth over that place and this was noticed by Gandharva princess, Neeladevi. She felt such a handsome face should not have any defect. Immediately she cuts a portion of her hair and implants it on his scalp with her powers. As hair is considered as the beautiful aspect of women, Lord Srinivasa notices her sacrifice and he said all the hair given to him by devotees in Tirupati belongs to Neeladevi. Giving our hair to god is the symbol of leaving our ego. The word “Talanelalu” also came from her name.
4. Garudadri – Hill of Garuda, the Vahana of Lord Vishnu.
As we all know Garuthmantha (Vahana of Lord Vishnu) killed his cousins (Kadruvas children, snakes). After killing the snakes to wash away the sin, he started praying for Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu was pleased by his prayers and came before Garuthmantha. Garuthmantha asked Lord Vishnu to allow him to come back to Vaikuntam. Lord Vishnu said he will be coming as a Swayambu on the Seven Hills and asked him to stay there in the form of a hill. This hill is called by his name as Garudadri.
5. Seshadri – Hill of Sesha, the Dasa of Lord Vishnu.
Most important peak among the Saptagiris is Seshadri. Seshadri is named after Adishesa, divine Serpent on whom Lord Vishnu rests. There is a story behind this hill. During Dwapara Yuga, Vayu (wind god) reached Vaikuntam to visit Lord Vishnu. Adisesha did not allow him inside as Lord Vishnu was taking rest with his consort Lakshmi Devi. Vayu was not ready to go back without visiting Lord Vishnu, and they started to argue with each other. Lord Vishnu himself came to them, but they still continued the argument, that one is better than the other. Finally, Lord Vishnu said Adishesa should hold the Anadha Shikara, one of the peaks of Meru Mountain and Vayu should try to blow off Adishesa from Meru Mountain.
6. Naraynadri – Hill of Narayana (Vishnu)
Narayana Maharshi wanted to do Penance to see Lord Vishnu. He asked Lord Brahma to show an appropriate place where there won’t be any disturbances for his Penance. Lord Brahma showed him a place where he did Penance for Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu was pleased by his prayers, appeared before Maharshi. Narayana Maharshi asked Lord Vishnu to give a boon so that the hill will be popular by his name. So this hill is called by his name as Narayanadri.
7. Venkatadri – Hill of Lord Venkateswara.
Lord Srinivasa resides on this Hill.
The sacred temple of Sri Venkateshwara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatadri, and lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini.
The Sanctum sanctorum called the Garbha Griha is where the main deity of Lord Venkateswara resides. The deity stands majestically to a height of eight feet, in the centre of the sanctum directly beneath a gold gilded dome called the Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana. The exquisitely wrought deity called the Mulabera is believed to be Svayambhu(self-manifested), according to the legends. Further, no human being is known to have either sculpted or installed the deity in the shrine.
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