Lord Venkateswara will now have a new carrier for his sojourns on the Seven Hills.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) authorities are getting a new palanquin (Pallaki) prepared for carrying the deity in procession during religious proceedings. Lepakshi, the flagship brand of Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation, has bagged the order and is in turn getting it done by its team of artisans.

The palanquin presently in use, which was gifted to the temple by the Maharaja of Mysore, is believed to be over a century old. As the worn-out carrier has become creaky and shaky, the TTD decided to have a new one in its place. The mammoth rosewood piece, weighing upward of 750 kg, measures 6.3 in length and 4.3 in width. Ten workers are slogging for over four months to give a shape to the palanquin. C. Subramanyam Achari, a native of Kuppam, heads the team of artisans. “We have chiselled ‘Vahanams’ for temples like Bugga Ramalingeswara temple in Tadipatri and Kapileswara temple in Tirupati, but this job is really remarkable,” says Achari, a recipient of the State government’s award for wood carving in 2001.

The side walls have images of ‘Dasavatharam’ interspersed with ornately-sculpted ‘Simhams’, images of ‘Lakshmi Varaha’, ‘Yoga Narasimha’, ‘Kamadhenu’, ‘Maha Lakshmi’, Lord Venkateswara with Sridevi and Bhudevi, Garuda, Hanuman, Venkateswara playing dice with Hathiram Bawaji etc. In fact, there is an exhaustive series on ‘Krishna Leela’, involving mythological episodes of Krishna such as lifting of ‘Govardhanagiri’, ‘Kaleeya Mardhana’, ‘Bakasura Vadha’, ‘Radha and Krishna rocking on a swing’, Vasudeva crossing the river with infant Krishna on his head, ‘Yashoda Krishna’ and so on.“It is a great fortune for us, as it will be remembered by a generation of devotees,” Lepakshi Senior Manager K. Sreehari told The Hindu.

  • The present palanquin is worn-out and has become creaky and shaky

  • Lepakshi has bagged the order and is in turn getting it done by its team of artisans