Tirupati - A Divine Destination
Tirupati City is located in the southeastern part of Andhra Pradesh State.
It lies about 152-km northwest of Chennai in the Palkonda Hills. Tirupati is
known as the abode of the Hindu god Venkateshvara (also spelt as
'Venkatesvara'), "Lord of Seven Hills". About 10-km northwest of
Tirupati, at an elevation of 750m, is the sacred hill of Tirumala, which was
considered so holy that before 1870 non-Hindus were not permitted to ascend
Back To History - The Ruling Dynasties
Tirupati was developed mainly by the contributions made by kings during
their rule. Almost all the kings from great dynasties of the southern
peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine
of Tirupati. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of
Thanjavur (a century later), the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and
chieftains of Vijayanagar (14th - 15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord
and they competed with one another in endowing the temple with rich
offerings and contributions.
The decline of the Vijayanagar dynasty did not affect the contributions to
this place as many nobles and chieftains from all parts of the country
continued to pay their homage and offer gifts to the temple. Raghoji
Bhonsle, the Maratha general, visited the temple and set up a permanent
endowment for the conduct of worship in the temple. He presented valuable
jewels to the Lord, including a large emerald, which is still preserved in a
box named after the General. Among the later rulers who have endowed large
amounts are the rulers of Mysore and Gadwal.
During the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty contributions made to the temple
increased enormously. Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his
consorts installed at the portals of the Tirupati temple, and these statues
can be seen to this day. There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the
main temple at Tirupati.
After the fall of Hindu kingdoms, came the Muslim rulers of Karnataka and
after their downfall the British took over, and many of the temples came
under their supervisory and protective control.
In 1843 AD, the East India Company divested itself of the direct management
of non-Christian places of worship and native religious institutions.