Location / Geography
This village called Narayanavanam was prominent at one time. It is located at a distance of 40 kilometres from Tirupati.
The oldest of places – in the whole region, it was called Narayana Puram in Puranas. The Pallavas referred to it as Narayanapuram.
Though Chola emperors called it Narayanavanam it was known as Narayanavaram during the Vijayanagara period. Local people called it Nannaram.
Naraynavanam is situated in the river valley area of Aruna that flows around the town in full view of the deity. A mud fort was built here during Narayana Raju’s reign.
On one side of the river stand, Narayanavanam and kempula Palyam; on the other side stand the shrine of goddess Avanakshamma.
Marriage Venue of Lord Venkateswara
Akasa Raju was the ruler of this town. His brother Tondaman Chakravarty coveted it. This was the place where the parents in law of Tirumalesa resided.
Akasa Raju was born in Narayanavanam, who was childless tilled land in preparation for performing a yagna there. Tondaman was his brother. He found the baby Padmavathi in a thousand petalled lotuses. So he thought that it was no longer necessary to perform yagna and took the baby home. She grew up as Padmavati Devi (part of the story is also mentioned in ‘Srinivasa Mangapuram’ section).
Padmavathi was bought up in Narayanavanam. Moreover, it was here the marriage of Lord Venkateswara was celebrated.
All the three crores of deities came to see the marriage celebrations of Lord Venkateswara. Siva and his ganas who came were especially enamoured by Narayanavanam.
They chose to reside in Sadasiva Kona, Kailasanadha Kona, Ramagiri and Surutpalli on river banks and in other holy places.
Lord Venkateswara seeing Padmavathi Devi for the first time
Mother and Son Vakula Mata and Srinivasa obtained land to build an Ashrama in lieu of which they made the promise of the first worship, first offering and first darsan to Varaha Swami and lived happily there.
One day an angry elephant created havoc on the ashrama. Srinivasa got on to the back of a wild horse and chased the elephant. The elephant made him trail to the flower garden which was far away on the outskirts of Narayanapura where he saw Padmavati taking a stroll in the garden.
Padmavati and Srinivasa fell in love with each other.
They were form in their resolve to get married. Mother Vakula negotiated, sage Narada mediated, the Swami went in the guise of an erukalasani, a soothsayer, to the king's quarters.
With the money of 14 crores which Srinivasa borrowed from Kubera matters moved smoothly and the marriage of Srinivasa and Padmavati was celebrated in a grand matter.
History of the place
Narayana Raju was the grandson of Tondaman Tirayan. People believe that Narayanavanam derived its name from Narayana Raju.
Goddess PadmavathiDevi testified to Tallapaka Chinnanna that she belonged to the Padmasali Caste. The whole village is peopled by the padmasali community.
Kalyana Venkanna is seated in all splendors in the temple which has a seven-storeyed Rajagopuram- the main entrance.
There are many other deities in the temple. There is a legend about the arrival of the God Kalyana Venkanna which is narrated in the famous Sri Venkatachala Mahatmyam.
After the marriage, returning from his mother in law’s place, the divine couple, in their turmeric dipped clothes, sanctified Appalayigunta, Tondavada and Srinivasa Mangapuram on the way to Tirumala.
Srinivasa fulfilled the desire of his mother, he kept his promise to his consort and to fulfill our desires – He self manifests – stands there in Tirumala in this form for our worship.
This is interminable relation that Swami has with Narayanavanam.
Akasa Raju is considered to be the one who first built a temple for Srinivasa. He drew up youthful images of his son in law and daughters.
As centuries passed various Pallavas, Cholas, Yadavas, Saluva Reddys and kings of Karveti Nagaram rebuilt the temple many times and installed many more images of Gods.
Temple and it's Area
The main Rajagopura of the temple was built by Emperor Krishnadeva Raya. It has seven tiers and looks beautiful as it rises to a height of 150 feet. The second gopura was built by Veeranarasimha Devayadavaraya. This has three tiers and is topped by kalasas. The temple has balipeetas in all the four corners.
In front of the Narayanavaram temple, we have the temple of Anjaneyaswami. There are also temples of Virabhadraswami, Sakti Vinayaka, Agasthyeswara and Avanakshamma (Kalikadevi).
The temple tank is at a short distance from the place where the Boat festival takes place every year. Similarly, Brahmotsavam is also celebrated.
The purificatory festival pavitrotsavam along with all other festivals is celebrated here. This temple complex can be described as the city of Vishnu.
Narayanavanam – as its name indicates, flourishes with its splendour of forests.
Arjitha sevas/ Utsavams
In this temple weekly, monthly and annual festivals are being celebrated according to the Vaikhanasa Agama. They follow the solar calendar. The sankalpam is also done according to the solar calendar.
Daily there is Suprabhataseva for the Lord. In the same manner, archana and Ekantaseva are performed.
Abhishekam is performed on Fridays. Kalyanotsavam (Arjita), Teppotsavam, Brahmotsavam and Pavithrotsavam are celebrated in a big way. Facing the main temple is the temple of Anjaneya.
To its south is the temple of God Parasaresvara. On the way to Chitrangi fort, we see first the temple of God Virabhadraswami. At the entrance of Chitrangi fort, we can have darshan of the Sakthi Ganapati temple.
Best God Among 3
The Gods once intended to perform a yagna on the bank of river Ganga.
Sage Narada who was going by, asked them as to whom they would offer outcome of the yagna. The great sage Bhrigu said that the yagnapala would be given to the best of the Trinity. The sage set out to find out the best of the three was.
He went to Brahmaloka first. Angry at seeing Brahma with Saraswati he cursed Brahma that he shall have no shrine of worship.
In Kailasa angry again on seeing Siva and Parvathi, he cursed that he would be worshipped only in the form of a Linga.
In Vaikunta on seeing Vishnu very happy with Mahalakshmi, the enraged sage kicked Vishnu on his chest. Mahalakshmi who resides on the chest of Vishnu was offended. She felt insulted.
On the pretext of massaging the sage’s feet Sri Maha Vishnu plucked out the eye on the sage’s feet and cured Bhrigu of his pride. The humbled sage went away thinking that God Vishnu who touched his feet to be the best among Gods.