English News Updates – 23-04-2013
Brahmotsavams from May 22
The annual Brahmotsavams at the temple of Lord Venkateswara in Rishikesh in Uttaranchal is scheduled to commence
from May 22 with Ankurarpanam on the previous day.
The nine-day annual fete will kickstart with the traditional Dwajarohanam in the auspicious Karkataka lagnam between
9.15 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. on May 22. The important days of the festival are Kalyanotsavam on May 28 followed by
Rathotsavams on May 29. The religious carnival will conclude with Chakrasnanam on May 30.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) management is making elaborate arrangements for the conduct of the festival.
There will be regular discourses on all the days during the festival under the aegis of the TTD’s Dharma Prachara
Parishad and the artistes of the Annamacharya project will give devotional performances. The Dasa Sahitya Project is
also gearing up to despatch bhajan and kolatam troops to Rishikesh.
NRI devotee donates Rs 16 crore to Balaji temple
In a princely offering, an NRI devotee from US today donated Rs 16 crore to the famous hill shrine of Lord
Venkateswara at nearby Tirumala.
M Ramalinga Raju, an entrepreneur based in the United States, handed over the offering in the form of a demand draft
to top temple officials, temple sources said.
They said this was the first such large cash offering made by an individual devotee from overseas.
Raju presented the DD to Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Chairman K. Bapiraju and the temple Joint Executive
Officer K.S. Srinivasa Raju at the temple.
He requested the TTD, administering the cash-rich ancient temple, that Rs 11 crore be used to make a golden garland
“sahasra nama mala” weighing about 35 kg and utilise the balance Rs five crore for the construction of a free-meal
complex for pilgrims at Tiruchanur near here, they said.
This is the second large cash offering since last month. On March 27, a Chennai-based pharmaceutical firm had
donated Rs two crore to the hill shrine, they added.
Magadi’s ancient temple
Karnataka is home to many temples dedicated to the deity of Venkateshwara or Balaji.
Apart from Chikka Tirupati, the temple near Magadi is also famous in the vicinity. The ancient structure, known as
Lakshmi Ranganatha kshetra was built by the Cholas in the 12th century. However, it was renovated several times by
successive rulers and local chieftains in the region.
The temple is situated near Magadi road, which is six km from Magadi town and 45 km from Bangalore. The beautiful
gopuras were built by Vijayanagar emperor Krishnadevaraya in the 16th century and later renovated by King
Jayachamaraja Wodeyar of Mysore. There are structures inside the sanctum sanctorum which were also built by the
Cholas and later renovated. According to legend, sage Mandavya and Vasishta installed the idol of standing image of
Lord Vishnu, which is known as Ranganatha.
The idol is about three feet tall, one hand in a mudra, which suggests that the deity fulfills all the wishes of
people who pray to him here, according to local belief. There are sub shrines dedicated to Rama, Sita, Anjaneya and
Venugopala Krishna. Behind the main shrine, there is a small temple dedicated to ‘Putta Ranganatha.’
The temple of Goddess Lakshmi is also near this shrine. There is a Garuda kamba (flagpost) which mentions the
offerings made by Emperor Krishnadevaraya in 1524 AD. There are beautiful pillars inside the temple. Tipu Sultan is
also said to have patronised the temple. The stepped well or kalyani (sacred pond) is on the right side of the
temple and many rituals are conducted here.
Yelahanka NadaprabhuKing Kempegowda built a watch tower near the Thirumale temple. Even now, the ruins of the tower
can be seen. His grandson, Kempegowda II also renovated the temple. Magadi was their last capital and it is believed
that they visited regularly to this temple. The area is surrounded by trees, ponds and small hillocks. Several
species of birds thrive on the trees here. The condition of the Magadi road that leads up to the temple is good, so
the journey can be an enjoyable one for the visitors.
Thirumale or Laksmi Ranganatha khsetra is situated near Magadi road and about 45 km from Bangalore. Limited bus
services are available from the city, but it is advisable to have your own vehicle to reach there. The famous
Savanadurga is 10 km and Magadi is only six km from here. It is better to carry your own food and water.