Other Idols in Tirumala

Other Idols in Tirumala

The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple located in Andhra Pradesh, India contains idols of Lord Venkateswara, idols of Lord Vishnu in the form of Rama and Krishna. Apart from these idols, the temple contains the idols of other gods as well and these are worshiped individually or receive a portion of daily prayers. This page provides the details of these other idols that are as important to the prayer in Tirumala as the main deity himself.


Vishvaksena Idol

Vishvaksena Idol in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple

Vishvaksena is a trusted attendant of Lord Vishnu and is believed to be Vishnu's attendant who is in-charge of the Lord's wealth. Vishwaksena is considered to be very powerful with the abilities to create and destroy life with his thought.[1] Vishvaksena is also considered as the commander-in-chief of Lord Vishnu's army.[2]

The idol of Vishvaksena in the TTD temple used to be placed in the 'Ramar Medai (Elevated platform for Rama)[3] and is currently seen in the temple space outside the sanctum sanctorum. The idol is seen in the seated position with the right leg bent at the knee and the resting freely from his seat but not touching the ground. The left leg is folded and goes beneath the right leg. The arms of the idol is in the exact replica of Dhruva Bera (main deity)- the upper two holding a sankha and chakra, the right lower in Avgana hastam (blessing posture), and the left lower hand is in Gada hastam (palm resting on the hip).[4]

The exact date of installation of the idol is not known or recorded in the temple epigraphs.

The idol receives the share of the daily worship in the temple. The idol is included in the weekly Sahasra Kalasabhishekam along with Sri Malayappa swami and his consorts and the main deity.[5] The day prior to the start of the annual Brahmotsavam, the Vishvaksena idol (Lord's commander-in-chief) in the company of other idols related to Vishnu - Ananta (Lord's Conch and war announcing instrument), Garuda (Eagle and Lord's vehicle) and Sudarsana (Lord's weapon), are taken to the Vasanta mandapam (Spring hall) and oversee the Ankurarpana ceremony (sowing nine types of seeds for germination in decorated earthen plates). After the ceremony, Visvaksena is taken in a procession when he is believed to inspect the correctness of all the arrangements made for the festival. After the procession Vishvaksena is honoured by an Asthanam (seat)in Tirumala-raya mandapam. After recital of holy chants, he goes to Ankurarpana mandapam with Ananta, Garuda and Sudarsana and stay there during the entire Brahmotsavam period.[4][6]

In the temple complex, on the north-east corner, there is a separate temple with an installed idol for Vishvaksena.[7] The temple is called Sri Vishwaksena Temple and daily prayers are offered to the deity as per the Vaikhanasa agamam.[4] The deity in this temple is adorned with the garland adorned on the main deity, the previous day.[4]

Sugriva idol

The idol of Sugriva, the monkey-king and friend of Lord Rama, is seen with folded hands in a stance resembling prayer to the Lord. According to the temple legend, the idol is seen in a scene of the Hindu epic Ramayana. Sugriva is seen with folded hands after he prays to Lord Rama, not to grant protection to Vibishana.

The exact date of consecration of the idol is unknown though it is believed to have been installed along with the idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana. The idols of Hanuman and Angada are also believed to have been installed at the same time in the Ramar medai (Elevated platform of Lord Rama). When the idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana were moved inside the garba griha, the idol of Sugriva was moved briefly as well. In the mid-1990s, Sugriva's idol along with other idols were moved to a room outside the sanctum sanctorum, where pilgrims are provided with blessings and thirtam (holy consecrated water).

Angada idol

The idol of Angada, the monkey-prince and son of Vali and Tara and the nephew of Sugriva, is seen with the right hand pointed out. According to the temple legend, the idol is seen in a scene from the Hindu epic Ramayana when Angada is pointing towards the southern sky to indicate the arrival of Vibishana as Sugriva prays to Lord Rama, not to grant protection to Vibishana - the brother of demon-king Ravana.


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