The temple of Balaji or Venkateshwara on Tirumala hill above the town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh has become a focal point of contemporary religion in India, attracting crowds of all ages, faiths and nationalities. However, not much is known about the God, except this ability to answer prayers and performs the most improbable miracles. Not many people are aware that the sanctity of the God and the hill is over two thousand years old. What makes the temple so popular, and what are the beliefs of the people, are questions that this book has tried to answer.
This book is a collection of the folk legends about Venkateshwara, the sacred Tirumala hill and its many lakes and waterfalls, his miracles, and the beautiful rituals and festivals associated with him. He is a manifestation of Vishnu the Preserver, and his association with the other incarnations is well documented.
There are rare photographs of the God, his gold and diamond jewellery, the various other bronzes and sculptures contained in the temple and the images of the festivals for which Tirumala has been famous from time immemorial. The illustrations of the stories have been executed in the Tirupati style of drawing.
This book would be of equal interest to the layman, the scholar and the devotee, and a valuable addition to every home and library.
About the Author
Dr. NANDITHA KRISHNA obtained her Ph.D. from the Department of Ancient Indian Culture, University of Bombay, specializing in Hindu iconography and ethno-archaeology.
She has been researching, writing and lecturing extensively on Indian art, culture and society, as well as the environment which is her passion.
She has authored 'The Art and Iconography of Vishnu - Narayana' (D.B. Taraporevala & Sons, Bombay), 'The Arts and Crafts of Tamilnadu' (Mapin Publications, Ahmedabad), 'Manuscript Painting of the Sarasvati Mahal Library' (Sarasvati Mahal Library, Tanjore), 'Madras - Chennai' (C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation, Chennai), co-authored 'Ganesha' with her mother Shakunthala Jagannathan (Vakils, Feffer & Simons Ltd.), edited 'Shakti' and 'Kanchi' (both C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation), and writer books for children on the environment.
Dr. Nanditha Krishna is the Director of the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation at Chennai (Madras) and of its constituents, the C.P. Art Center, C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Institute of Indological Research, Saraswathi Kendra Center for Children and C.P.R. Environmental Education Center.
1. The Lord of Tirumala
2. Legends of Venkatesha
3. The Sacred Hill
4. The Sacred Tank and Holy Waters
5. Vishnu - Narayana
6. Incarnations and Manifestations of Vishnu - Narayana
7. Origin, History and Administration of the Temple
8. Images of Lord Venkateshwara and Other Deities
9. The Temple of Tirumala, Tirupati and Tiruchanur
10. Rituals and Offerings
11. Prayers to Balaji - Venkateshwara
12. The Relevance of Balaji - Today
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