Front View of the Temple
Lord Vishnu in the form of Sweta- Varaaha lifts & Saves the Earth
When the deluge flooded the world, the Earth was submerged in the flood, then Sri Mahaavishnu who lay on the banyan leaf incarnated as Swetavaraaha and pulled up the Earth from the flood.
He destroyed Hiranyaaksha who tried to hinder him and, re-installing the Earth, asked Lord Brahma to start creation afresh, and then Sri Mahaavishnu incarnated as Swetavaraaha, wished to stay here on earth for some time to punish the wicked and save the good.
Manifestation of Lord venkateswara on Venkatadri
Frustrated over not finding his consort anywhere, Lord Vishnu took an ant-hill on Venkatadri under a tamarind tree as a dwelling place, besides a Pushkarini.
Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, taking pity at the plight of Lord Vishnu, made up their mind to serve him in the guise of a cow and calf.
Surya – the Sun God informed Lakshmi of this and requested her to sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country assuming the form of a cattle care-taker.
The Chola king sent the cow and its calf to graze on the Venkata Hill along with his herd of other cattle. Discovering Lord Vishnu in the ant-hill, the holy cow everyday emptied her udder into the ant-hill and thus fed the Lord.
Over a period of time, the queen noticed that the cow was not yielding any milk and chastised the cowherd severely for its peculiar behavior.
Cowherd hits Lord Vishnu
The cowherd trying to investigate the cause followed the cow and discovered to his utter shock that the cow was emptying her udder over the ant-hill.
In his anger, the cowherd aimed a blow with his axes on the head of the cow but accidentally hit the Lord Vishnu who rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow’s life. On seeing Lord Vishnu bleeding, the cowherd fell down and died.
On the death of the cowherd, the cow returned to the king with blood stains on her body, bellowing in the presence of the Chola King. An anxious king followed the cow to the scene of the incident, the ant-hill, where the King found the cowherd lying dead on the ground.
Lord Vishnu cursed King
While the King stood wondering how it had happened, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill and cursed the king to become an Asura (Demon) for the fault of his servant.
Entreated by the king who pleaded innocence, the Lord blessed him by saying that his curse would end when he was adorned with the Kireetam (crown) presented by Akasa Raja at the time of his marriage with Sri Padmavati.
To atone (make amends or reparation) the sins of raising the axes against the Lord, the cowherd's atma (spirit) received the rare boon from the Lord, which is that, he and his descendants enjoy the privilege of opening the main door in the Lord's sanctum sanctorum in due course.
How Aakaasaraaja was blessed with a child
In course of time, the Chola king was reborn as Akasa Raja and though he ruled well. But he had no children for a quite a long time. He was advised to perform yajnam or sacrificial offering to the gods.
As advised by his prospector, he was cleaning and ploughing the land where the sacrificial worship was to offer he found a lotus with a thousand petals made of gold.
Even as he wondered at it, he found an extraordinary beautiful female child. As child was born in a lotus or Padmam, she was named as Padmaavatti.
Lord Vishnu reincarnated as Srinivasa (or presented himself after penance in the ant-hill) as the son of an elderly woman-saint Vakula Malika Devi. Vakula Devi was Yasoda in her previous birth, Lord Krishna's foster-mother and was unhappy in that life for not seeing his marriage.
As per the boon received from Krishna, she was reborn as Vakula Devi and enjoyed the rare spectacle of witnessing the celestial wedding of the divine couple.
Srinivasa saving Padmavathi
That day srinivaasa , mounting a horse went down to Venkataadri into the neighboring forest on a hunt and killed many wild and ferocious animals. Then, seeing a large elephant chase to kill it. It took him a twelve mile away to a garden of Padmaavati and turning back lifted its trunk and trumpeted and saluted srinivaasa and went into garden.
As the elephant disappears, srinivaasa saw padmaavati. Then padmaavati with playmates hid behind a tree, frightened by the trumpeting elephant. Seeing them srinivaasa went to them.
Enthralled by her bewitching beauty, Lord Srinivasa lost interest in other activities and told his foster mother Vakula Devi about his love for Padmavathi. He also revealed his identity as Lord Vishnu and narrated her about her past life as his foster-mother then as Yasodha.
Lord Srinivaasa turns to Lord Venkateswara
Along with Brahma and Rudra, Srinivaasa reached the vicinity of river Suvarnamukshi. Being under the Wedding Vow, srinivaasa could not go up hill for the six months. Therefore he decided to stay at “Agasthyaashramam or the heritage of Agasthya”.
In about six months after this celestial marriage, Goddess Maha Lakshmi who left the lord, in the past in a huff after sage Bhrigu kicked Lord Vishnu on his chest, her dwelling place, came to know that her husband married again and came to see him in disbelief.
It is said that the Lord turned himself into a granite statue right in front of his two spouses when they together encountered him over his remarriage.
Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva then appear before the confused queens and explain the main purpose behind this entire complex episode, the Lord's desire to be on the holy seven hills for the emancipation of the mankind from the perpetual trials and tribulations of Kali Yuga.
Goddesses Lakshmi and Padmavathi also turn into stone idols expressing their wish to be with their Lord eternally. Goddess Lakshmi stayed with him on the left side of his chest while Goddess Padmavati rested on the right side of his chest.