Tiruchirapalli

Take a tour of majestic Tirupati temple from the comfort of home

J. Ramanan and Vrinda Ramanan, authors of ‘Tirumala Kaliyuga Vaikuntam,’ made frequent visits to the sprawling temple complex for two years as part of their research for the book.   | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

Writers J. Ramanan and his wife Vrinda Ramanan have released a glossy coffee-table book on the sacred sanctum of Sri Venkateswara Temple commissioned by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in Andhra Pradesh, with a view to archiving the hallowed Vaishnavite shrine’s rich heritage.

Titled ‘Tirumala Kaliyuga Vaikuntam,’ the 248-page book includes a lavish spread of over 300 photographs (selected from at least 10,000 taken by Mr. Ramanan, who is also an avid lensman and professional architect), accompanied by illustrations and writings on various aspects related to the temple complex’s history, legends, art, architecture, flora and fauna, festivals, and so on.

“We were approached by TTD officials three years ago, after they were gifted a copy of our book ‘Srirangam Bhooloka Vaikuntam’ where we chronicled the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in detail. The Tirumala temple complex is more than 1,300 years old, and the authorities felt the need for a similar volume as a document of social record,” Mr. Ramanan told The Hindu.

Both Mr. Ramanan and his wife Vrinda, who is a trained Bharatanatyam artiste, mountaineer and a columnist, made frequent visits to the sprawling temple complex for two years as part of their research for the book. TTD’s archivists also provided rare photographs and information to add depth to the tome.

“We have covered the entire gamut of facts related to the temple - from the legend, history, art, architecture, the daily, weekly and monthly festivals, flora and fauna of the hill on which it is located, and the role of TTD. We also got to see the arrangements made here for water supply and waste management, and 12 places of worship related to the temple,” said Mr. Ramanan.

The Ramanans have donated the first 1,000 copies of the book to the TTD as an act of ‘seva.’

There are photo spreads on some of the rites that have made the temple town of Tirupati famous – the delectable ‘Laddoo Prasadam,’ a sweet offering that has been made here since 1715 with its own Geographical Indication (GI) tag, and the tonsuring of hair for goddess Neela Devi, the consort of Lord Vishnu.

For readers who are not comfortable in English, the book has nine QR codes, which when scanned, link the device to devotional songs explaining the relevant sections online. Local Carnatic vocalists Champa Kalkura, R. Kashyap Mahesh and Murali Krishna have rendered the songs.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:40:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/take-a-tour-of-majestic-tirupati-temple-from-the-comfort-of-home/article34401395.ece

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