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History of Tirupati Tirumala Venkateswara Temple


The magnificent history of the Tirumala Balaji temple spans for several centuries. Tirumala is one of the 108 sacred shrines of the Sri Vaishanava tradition. The Seven hills of the Tirumala are the said to represent the Seven hoods of Adi Sesha.

The earliest of Tamil literature (dated between 500 B.C & 300 A.D), mentions Tirupati as Thrivengadam which used to form the northern most border of the Tamil Kingdoms.

Kings belonging to the Chola, Pandya and the Pallava Empire were devotees of Lord Venkateswara and they vied with each other in endowing the temple with rich offerings during the Vijayanagar dynasty. The statues of Sri Krishna Devaraya and his consorts were installed in the temple, in his own life-time and they can be seen even today.

After the decline of the Vijayanagar dynasty The Maratta general, Raghoji Bhonsle, visited the temple and set up a permanent donation for the conduct of worship in the temple. He also presented very valuable jewels to the goddess, including the great emerald which is still preserved in a box named after him. Among the later rulers who have endowed large benefactions are the rulers of Mysore and Gadwal.

After the fall of the Hindu kingdoms, the rulers of Karnataka and the Britisher have stepped into their shoes and many of the temples came under their control.

In 1843 when the East India Company divested itself of the direct management of non-Christian places of worship and of native religious institutions, the administration of the Temple of Sri Lord Venkateswara with a number of estates was entrusted to Sri Seva Dossji of the Hathiramji Mutt at Tirumala as Vichranakarta and for nearly a century, till 1933 the temple was under the managerial charge of the mahants.

In 1933 a special Act approved by the Madras Legislature, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Committee was invested with the powers of administration and manages through a Commissioner appointed by the Government of Madras. This committee was assisted by a Religious Advisory Council in consider to religious matters and a Ryots Advisory Council in look upon to the management of the estates of the TTD.

Today, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (T.T. D) which maintains 12 temples and their sub temples is a conglomerate of temples brought below the first schedule 2 of the Act 20 of 1987. This was enacted by Andhra Pradesh government. It is managed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the state government, Executive Officer who is the Chief Executive of the administration. He is assisted by two Joint Executive Officers, Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer, Deputy Executive Officers, Security Officer and Chief Engineer in various spheres of activity. In addition there are other officers for Law, Welfare, Public Relations, Marketing, Educational and others to look after several wings of management.

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