Dwaraka Tirumala is an ancient holy place and a popular pilgrim center in Andhra Pradesh. Popularly known as 'Chinna Tirupati' (small Tirupati) hosts lord Venkateswara shrine. This is the only south faced temple in South India and unique temple having two deities of lord Venkateswara in one sanctorum. People of this area, who could not go to Tirupati to visit Sri Venkateswara swamy, usually come here and do their offerings to the lord assuming this as equal to Tirupati.
Legend / Sthala Purana
This pilgrimage center is called "Dwaraka Tirumala" after the great saint, "Dwaraka" who located the self manifested idol of Lord "Sri Venkateswara" after severe penance in a ‘Valmikam’ (ant hill). The devotees call Sri Venkateswara as Kaliyuga Vaikunta Vasa. This place is also called “Chinna Tirupati”.
As per Sastras North Indian rivers like Ganges and Yamuna are considered to be more and more holy as they go up to the origin and south Indian rivers like Krishna and Godavari are more and more holy as they go down the river to its mouth to the Sea. It is why there are numerous shrines and holy bathing ghats, at close intervals, on both sides of the great grand rivers Krishna and Godavari in their lower regions.
The region covered by our Dwaraka Tirumala is commanding the top most conspicuous position in India, being garlanded by these two great Indian rivers Krishna and Godavary, as pointed out by Brahma Purana.
The devotees who wish to go and offer their donations, or tonsures or any other offerings to Lord Venkateswara, Lord of Tirumala Tirupati, called as “Pedda Tirupati”, due to some reason, if they are unable to go there, they can offer their donations, prayers and worship in Dwaraka Tirumala temple.
Dwaraka Tirumala is a famous temple from the ancient times. According to some Puranas, the temple is popular even in Kruta yuga and is still attracting the devotees. According to Brahma Purana, Aja Maharaja, the Grand father of Lord Sri Rama also worshiped Lord Venkateswara for his marriage. On his way to the ‘Swayamvaram’ of Indumati, he passed by the temple. He did not offer prayers in the temple. The bride Indumati garlanded him, but he had to face a battle with the kings who came to the Swayamvaram. He realized that the battle was thrust on him for ignoring the temple on the way. After realizing this, Aja Maharaja prayed to the Lord Venkateswara. Suddenly the kings stopped the battle.
It is a great wonder to see two main idols under one Vimana Sikharam. One idol is a full and complete statue. The other is a half statue of the upper portion of the form of the Lord. The upper potion of the form is a self-manifested idol located by Sage "Dwaraka". The saints of the yore felt the prayers to the Lord are not complete without worshiping His holy feet. So, the saints joined together and installed a full statue behind the self-manifested idol, to worship the feet of the Lord according to Vaikhanasa Agamam.
It is believed that the prayers to the smaller statue of the Lord will lead to Moksha, and the big form stands for Dharma, Artha and Kama. The Tiru kalyanotsavam is celebrated twice a year. One for the self manifested idol in the month of “Vaisakha” and the other for the installed idol in the month of “Aswayuja”.
Magnificience of the Sanctum Sanctorum
On entering the sanctum sanctorum, one feels a most inspiring and enchanting experience. The presiding mythological deity Lord Venkateswara is visible upto the Bust size and the lower portion is imagined to be in the earth. The holy feet are said to be offered to Bali Chakravarthi in “Patala” for his daily worship. The full size idol of Lord Sri Venkateswara standing at the back of the main idol is said to have been installed by the great social reformer Srimad Ramanuja of the 11 th century. The idols of Padmavathi and Nanchari are installed in the Arthamandapa facing east. This is a full equipped shrine to be a Divyasthala.
Combination of Shiva and Vishnu On Adisesha
The most peculiar aspect here is that the hill appearing to be a serpant in form, even to the naked eye, confirms the mythological version that Anantha, the serpent king has taken up this terrestrial form of serpent hill and is carrying God Mallikarjuna on the hood and Lord Venkateswara on the tail, thus creating a happy and harmonious compromise of Vaishnavism and Saivism at a single place.