As records have it, the Sri Vaishnavite saint Bhagawad Ramanujacharya laid the foundation stone for the Govindaraja temple and consecrated the idol inside the sanctum sanctorum the same day in 1130 AD. (File photo: DC)
Tirupati: Tirupati celebrated its 893rd "birthday" on Friday, marking the day of consecration of the presiding deity at the Lord Govindaraja Swamy temple in 1130 AD.
People from all walks of life congregated in the streets of the old town of Tirupati, -- the four mada streets created around the Govindaraja Swamy temple in 1130 AD and commemorated the city's birthday on a grand scale.
As records have it, the Sri Vaishnavite saint Bhagawad Ramanujacharya laid the foundation stone for the Govindaraja temple and consecrated the idol inside the sanctum sanctorum the same day in 1130 AD.
On the same day, he also created an Agraharam surrounding the temple for the priests who serve at Lord Venkateswara's hill shrine in Tirumala. Since they used to wake up before sunrise and return by dusk in those days.
Prior to the creation of Tirupati, there was only Tirumala to the north and Tirusukanoor (present Tiruchanoor) to the south. Since the priests trekked up the Tirumala hills on a daily basis, there was a need to build a township to accommodate them. Ramanujacharya was the one who laid the foundation stone for the Govindaraja temple and created the Agraharam, which became the first step towards building the township.
It was then developed at an equal distance from the two existing villages that formed Tirupati," explained city MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, who was instrumental in finding out the inscription that has a mention of the consecration.
To commemorate the occasion, locals organised a procession on the four mada streets around the temple, which are now named as G. Car Street, Netaji Road, Beri Street and Gandhi Road. The procession was headed by MLA Bhumana, Mayor Sireesha, and deputy mayors Bhumana Abhinay Reddy and Mudra Narayana.
Earlier, accompanied by Tirumala Pedda Jeeyar and Chinna Jeeyar, they offered prayers at the Sri Ramanuja statues inside the Govindaraja temple complex, from where denizens joined the procession.
For what looked like a 'festive occasion,' the four mada streets were decked with saffron festoons, mango leaves, and plantain trees. The residents poured turmeric water at the feet of the participants, while religious gurus chanted hymns throughout the procession. Artists dressed up as Lord Venkateswara, Saint Ramanuja and Sri Krishna Devaraya, marched along the procession, adding more elegance to the grand event.