August 16, 2009

Tirupati Balaji got married here - Narayanavanam

Site Name: Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Narayanavanam, 95 kms from Chennai city, 35 kms from Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh state, India
A rare temple where Balaji along with his consort Padmavati found in the same temple complex
Nearest Railway Station: Tirupati

Nearest Airport: Chennai, 70 kms away from this site,  is the major airport nearby
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Chennai and Tirupati; public transport is not dependable though
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai; Tirupati is an alternate option; Nagalapuram and nearby places do not have good accommodation facilities though
Restaurants: Go to Tirupati for good restaurants

Narayanavanam is a small town near Puttur in Andhra Pradesh state. As you can visit this place conveniently from Chennai city, I am writing about this place too in my series of posts on Chennai. Narayanavanam is located at a distance of around 35 km from Tiruppati and 95 km from Chennai. The town has become popular because of the ancient beautiful temple, Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple.

The current temple was built during the Vijayanagara period. However, the temple has a very old story. As per the legend, the king Akasha Maharaja had a son and a daughter. The daughter was Padmavati, an incarnation of Maha Lakshmi. She fell in love with Venkateswara a.k.a Balaji, an incarnation of Vishnu, and got married with him at Narayanavanam. Her brother built two temples for Lord Venkateswara, one at Narayanavanam, and another in Tirupati (the most famous Balaji temple of Tirupati). You can find a grinding stone in the temple, which is considered as sacred as it is believed to be used for grinding turmeric during the marriage of Venkateswara and Padmavati.

In Tirupati, Lord Venkateswara and Padmavati are not in the same temple. However, the specialty of Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple is that both Venkateswara and Padmavathi are present in the same temple. The main shrine of this temple has Lord Venkateswara. Near the main shrine, there are idols of Dasavatar and Alwars found. In the prakaras (circumambulatory passage) , you can find the shrines of Padmavati, Andal, Ranganath, Prayag Madhav, Ram along with Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, and Rajamannar.

When you go to Tirupati, ensure that you visit Narayanavanam too. If you are travelling from Chennai, you can cover this place along with the other two places mentioned below on the same day, as all three shrines fall on the same high road from Chennai:

1) Suruttapalli temple
2) Nagalapuram temple

Happy travelling.

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