Appalayagunta is situated at a distance of 20 kilometers from Tirupati. It is on the Tiruchanur-Chennai route.
A festoon arch welcomes pilgrims making it easy to spot the place. Lord Prasanna Venkateswara appears along with Goddess Padmavati Devi.
Meaning of the name - Appalayigunta
Appalayigunta is a corrupt form of Anruna Lake.
The lotus tank is located at some distance from the temple. All the lotus flowers mainly are offered in worship to Padmavati Devi.
At one time there was a bad debtor who borrowed money from one and all. However, there was one man from whom he did not borrow any money.
But the fellow alleged that he too lent money to the debtor. The debtor was offended.
He wrote: “I did not borrow any money,” on a stone and threw it into the tank, the stone did not sink, it floated on the water! So people began to call it Lake Anruna.’ In course of time, Appulayya gunta i.e. the debtor’s tank took the form Appalayigunta.
History of the Temple
Nobody knows when the temple was built. But there is a damn sasana of Venkatapati Ray on the entrance wall of the temple dating back to 1585 A.D. Hence the temple must have been built prior to this.
The temple was maintained by the native Karveti Kings. In 2006, on April T.T.D took over the temple, performed the mahasamprokshana and started developing it.
Prominence of the place
The lord of Tirumala married Padmavati Devi in Narayanavanam, while returning to Tirupati the couple rested at Appalayagunta for some time in their turmeric dipped clothes.
A yogi called Siddheswara was meditating there, when he opened his eyes he saw the divine couple.
Overwhelmed with joy he fell at their feet, he prayed to them to remain in Appalayagunta. The Kind god blessed the yogi by giving him their images. That is how the god came to be in this place here.
Arjitha Sevas and Utsavas
The ‘Tiruvilamkoyil Perumanadigal’, ‘Tirumantrasalai Perumanadigal’ and ‘Tiruvenka tattu Perumanadigal’ mentioned in the sasanas of Tiruchanur are considered to be the Bhoga Srinivas, Koluvu Srinivasa and Ugra Srinivasa respectively.
But it is surprising that there is no idol of the god for worship. The idols worshipped in nearby temples.
Srinivasa Mangapuram Kalyana Venkateswara, Appalayigunta Prasanna Venkateswara, Narayanavanam – Kalyana Venkateswara are also often mentioned as Prasanna Venkatesa and Kalyana Venkatesa in the temple’s sasanas.
Whether these names refer to the Lord of Tirumala or to the deities in other place is matter which can be determined only of further research.
Birth star - Sravana - Brahmotsavam
The birth star of Lord Prasanna Venkateswara is “Sravana”, and hence in the month of “Jyeshta”, annual Brahmotsavam will be celebrated for 9 days. The Lord here has a palanquin and other procession vehicles for His procession. In these Brahmotsavams, Lord will be taken in a procession around the Village.
Around 100 sq. yards far from the temple, Lord Hanuman’s mandapam is situated hosting 5 feet tall which faces the Lord Prasanna Venkateswara.
People believe that he is powerful and many pilgrims find resemblances between him and “Bedi Anjaneya” of Tirumala! Priests here present their offerings first to Lord Venkateswara, then to Lord Hanuman and later to the Bali peetham.
After understanding the importance of this particular Abhaya Venkateswara Swami, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam took this temple under its control from 23-09-1988 and is maintaining its ancient glory.