Sri Padmavathi Temple

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Thiruchanoor Padmavathi Amman Temple is very famous Hindu Temple for Goddess Lakshmi located in Andhra Pradesh.

People from all walks of life and various corners in the world visit Tirumala to have the darshan of Lord Shri Venkateswara Swamy.

Pilgrimage to Tirupati is incomplete without a visit to Shri Padmavati Devi temple at Trichanoor (it is also called as Alamelumangapuram or Alivelumangapuram).

 

Shri Padmavati is the divine consort of Lord Shri Venkateswara.  As Goddess Shri Padmavati, a manifestation of Goddess Mahalakshmi had risen from Padma (meaning lotus flower), she is called as Padmavati.  Goddess Lakshmi gave darshan to Lord Venkateswara on a red Lotus flower in Padma sarovar lake at Tiruchanoor after His deep penance for twelve years. Trichanoor, also called Alamelumanga Puram, is just five kilometers away from Tirupati.

At Trichanoor, Devi is worshipped as the main deity. Sitting in Padmasana, she is represented with four hands, two of them each holding a Lotus and the front two hands showing Abhaya and Varada mudras (positioning of hand and fingers) protecting the devotees and assuring them to fulfill their desires.

According to Padma Purana, once sage Bhrigu was entrusted with the task of finding out the most Supreme one among the Trinity.  First, he went to Kailsh. Nandi Deva did not permit him to go in but somehow, he managed to secure permission, but Lord Shiva was sporting with his consort Sri Parvati and paid no attention to Bhrigu. Cursing Shiva, Bhrigu came to Brahma. The latter did not even get up to receive him thinking that Bhrigu was after all his son. Cursing Brahma too, Bhrigu came to Vishnu who was  fast asleep. Unable to control his anger, Bhrigu kicked Him on the chest.  Goddess Lakshmi who was also on the chest received part of the kick. Lord Vishnu woke up and pleaded guilty. The sage was pleased with his inquiry to Bhrigu’s foot.

In protest against the arrogance of the sage, Goddess Lakshmi left the abode of Shri Vishnu.  Unable to bear the separation, Lord Vishnu came down to earth and wandered for days and months. Reaching Kolhapur, he worshipped Lakshmi’s image in the temple, set up by sage Agasthya. An aerial divine voice directed him to go to Swarnamkukhi river bank, to do penance there for twelve years worshiping Goddess Mahalakshmi with lotus flowers and only then Goddess Mahalakshmi would grace her darshan and accept reunion. He reached Tiruchanoor and dug a tank that is now called as Padma Sarovar (Padma Pushkarani). He prayed Lord Satyanarayana Swamy to let the lotus flowers remain in full bloosom. Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared before Him on Karthika Sukla Panchami day, standing on a red lotus flower with lotus in two hands.  She came forward to unite with the Lord.  She chose to remain there in the name of Padmavathi,  as she had risen from Padma(meaning lotus) flowers.  The same tank dug by Lord Mahavishnu and  Lord Suryanarayana Swamy adored by Mahavishnu are now existing and receiving worship with the same Lord Balaji in Tirumala.

According to ancient scripts,  Tiruchanoor occupies a very important place. Under the Pallavas, this formed a part of Tiruvengadakootam and under the Cholas it became a part of Rajendra Cholamandalam. In the eighth century, the village was totally a Shrivaishnava settlement. As Lord Venkateswaras temple at Tirumala was not of easy access, a new temple called Tiruvalankoil was constructed at Tiruchanoor to house a representative idol of Lord Shrinivasa.  At the end of ninth century, the place came under the patronage of Cholas.  Shaivism gained support and importance.  Consequently, the temple of Lord Shiva was erected at Jogimalleswaram. Again, with the decline of the Chola power and the rise of Yadavarayas, Shri Vaishnavism regained support and temple was constructed for Goddess Padmavathi.

Among the important festivals held at Tiruchanoor, the Brahmotsavam of Goddess Padmavathi is celebrated during the month of Karthika masam (Nov-Dec). On that day, Lord Shrinivasa sends a costly saree, a blouse piece, holy Tulasi, Turmeric leaves and food offerings as birthday gift to his consort Padmavathi. All these gifts are brought to Tiruchanoor on a specially decorated elephant with great honour and paraphernalia.  Then the Goddess and Chakrattalvar are taken in a procession,  in the ivory planquin along the streets of Tiruchanoor for a holy bath in the tank Padma sarovar.

Lakshmi Pooja is conducted as per strict sastraic tradition and devotees aspiring for wealth eagerly participate in this.
Marriage of Goddess Padmavathi and Lord Venkateswara is performed in this temple as in Tirumala between 10.30am and 12 noon everyday.  This is a temple, where any prayer is still answered provided there is sincerity and devotion in the heart of the pilgrim.

The great Vaishnavite saint and Telugu Bhakti poet Shri Annamacharya, was a staunch devotee of Shri Alamelu Mangamma. Most of his creative writings, songs, are  either inspired by or centered around the deity. Most of the famous and popular Kritis of Annamacharya personify her benevolence and grace.