History of Sri Venkateswara Swami vari Nitya Kalyanotsavam, Tirumala
How it started
The son of Tallapaka Annamacharya is Tallapaka Pedda Tirumalacharyulu. His son is Tiruvenkatanathan. He is also called as Chinnanna. He started Kalyanotsavam to Srivaru at Tirumala, during 17-07-1546. He arranged an endowment of 120 Varahas to be paid to the treasury of Srivari temple, from the income of Mallavaram village of Kondaveeti Siramayi area, towards expenses incurred in conducting Kalyanotsavam. When it started for the first time it was celebrated for 5 days. Special food offerings were offered to the deities during these five days. The Utsavams were conducted with great religious fervor. Every year the Panguni month(Phalguna in chandramana) begin with Anuradha nakshatra and end with Uttarashada nakshatra. This Kalyanotsavam started in the year 1546 by the Tallapakkam family believing Lord Srinivasa to be their Son-in-law and Goddess Padmavathi to be their daughter.
The grand son of Tallapakkam Annamacharya, Tallapakka Chinna Tirumalacharyulu (Insccription No. 354-GT) introduced newly the Kalyanotsavam Seva in Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple, Tirupati on 17-08-1547 for 5 days in the months of Chittirai and Thai. It was conducted grandly and ended with the star Rohini on the fifth day. The inscription in regard also clearly elaborates about what Naivedyams should be prepared on each day, How much Dakshina should be given to the Pradhana Archaka, Jeeyangar etc. This utsavam is celebrated in Sri Lakshmidevi Mantapam (Pundarikavalli Thayar Sannidhi) at Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple, Tirupati.
During these Utsavams started by Tallapakkam family themselves, they were being given only betel leaves and betel nuts Tamboola as bahumanam. Around 250 Varahas are spent to conduct this Vaivahikotsavam. Out of the income from the village ‘Nediyam’, 150 Varahas were deposited into the treasury of temple towards the expenses incurred to conduct Kalyanotsavam. It was instituted by Tallapakka Chinna Tirumalayyangar. It was conducted annually for five days, without fail, in Tirumala and Tirupati temples. Also the income from Tuppili agraharam and the income 400 Rekhai Nanams from Ambattur of Nagari Sirimayi area were being utilized. This income is spent not only for Sri Govindaraja Swamy Kalyanotsavams, but also for the daily offerings for Sri Venkateswara Swamy, Tirumala. During the Kalyanotsavams, there were grand processions around four mada streets, special food offerings were offered to the deities. For this Marriage festival, Bridegroom is Lord Malayappa Swamy and the brides are Sridevi and Bhudevi. There were colorful celebrations all around the region with great festive atmosphere.
The participants of the festival including Pradhana Archakas, Jeeyangars, Ekangi, Vedaparyanadars and other Kainkaryam performers were duly given Dakshinas and other emoluments. In the course of time the amount 150 Rekhai Nanams were not sufficient for the Utsavam. Then the son of Pedda Tirumalacharya, Tiruvedayyan (Tiruvengalanathan), who was enjoying the income of the village Devarayapalli of Vinukonda Siramayi, Kondaveedu Kingdom decided to spend this for the festival. It amounts to 470 Rekhai Nanams annually and this income in the year 19-02-1554 were deposited into the ‘Sri Bhandagaram’ (Temple treasury). This amount is spent for conducting the festival and the remaining amount is used to offer Naivedyams to the deities. (from inscription No. 419-GT).
The Marriage festival conducted to Lord Venkateswara were conducted with more Naivedyams during 13-01-1558, by Tiruvengalanathan. Also on the beginning day of the 5 day Kalyanotsavam, the ritualistic flog hoisting(Dwajarohanam) was introduced during his tenure. (The Dwajarohana usually conducted during Annual Brahmotsavams, but there is provision in Vaikhanasa Agama, to conduct the same in other Utsavas).
Kalyanotsavam as an Arjitha Seva
The Kalyanotsavam turned into a Arjitha (Paid) Seva in the course of time. And the initial charges was Rs. 500-00 during the tenure of C. Anna Rao as the Executive Officer. During initial stage the Kalyanotsavams were conducted whenever the devotees pay for conducting. Later on it was being performed daily, as the popular saying ‘Nitya Kalyanam Pachha Thoranam’, it was in great demand even now by devotees. It is termed as a Sraddotsava/Kamyotsava, in Vaikhanasa Agama, among three Utsavams that can be performed to Lord Vishnu. The other two were Kalotsava and Naimittikotsava. When devotees feel happy on the blessing of Lord Venkateswara, they take a vow to perform this Kalyanotsavam by paying the prescribed amount by TTD. At the beginning this Seva was at Rs. 500-00 and later on increased to Rs. 550-00, Rs. 1000-00, Rs. 1500-00, Rs. 2000-00, Rs. 2500-00. This Rs. 2500-00 Kalyanam is called Pedda Kalyanotsavam. The Pedda Kalyanam grihasthas are seated in the first few rows and also given more laddu and vada prasadams. In those days, around 15 people can participate in this Seva at the beginning, then later on decreased to 10 members, then to 5 members.
Then coming to Prasadams, in the beginning the quantity given to the Seva devotees is more and tastes very delicious also. The devotees who paid Rs. 500-00 towards Kalyanam were getting 30 big laddus, 30 vadas, 30 dosas, 30 appams and Anna prasadams like Pulihora, Dadhyodhanam, Chakkera Pongali, Pongal in large qualtities which can be more than sufficient for a family of 20. Also around 15 members can participate in Utsavam and then the darsan of Mulavirat. They were also getting Vastra bahumanam. A new pratyeka kalyanam for Rs. 750-00, admitting two people was introduced during the days when there is only Rs. 2500-00 Kalyanam. This has lead to increase the participants due to the low price and many pilgrims from all classes have got nod to participate in this Seva.
At present the Kalyayanotsavam Grishasthas are honored with One cotton Upper cloth, one blouse piece, 2 Big Laddus, 2 Vadas, 5 Small Laddus as Bahumanam after performing the Seva and they can collect the same from the Temple’s Vagaipadi, situated near the free Anna Prasadam distribution counters (inside the temple comples) in the second Prakaram.
Important Information to the pilgrim participating in Kalyanotsavam:
1.Pilgrim should come with atleast two printouts (If booked through www.ttdsevaonline.com site) of such confirmation slips along with original proof of ID and to produce the same at VQC-I for verification to get entry for Seva / Darshan and the other one while collecting the privileges.
2.Grihasthas should wear dhoti and upper cloth for Kalyanotsavam, which involve Sankalpam.
3.All bookings (Internet mode of booking) are FINAL : No postponement / advancement / cancellation is allowed.
4.In the event of not availing the Seva on the specified date, No refund will be made under any circumstances to the pilgrims.
5.The admission for the sevas like Suprabhatham, Thomala, Archana, Astadala Pada Padmaradhana, Sahasra Kalasabhishekam, Tiruppavada will be made through Vaikuntam Queue complex-I only and for Sevas like Kalyanotsavam, Dolotsavam, Arjitha Brahmotsavam, Arjitha Vasantotsavam, Sahasra Deepalankara Seva will be made through Supatham entry.
6.T.T.D reserve the right of cancellation of the seva under any special circumstances.
7.The visiting Pilgrim should produce the original ID proof (already given while booking the Seva ticket / Accommodation) at the time of availing the Seva / Accommodation.
8.The Pilgrims whose photos are printed on the receipt page only will be entitled to avail Seva/Darshan performance.
9.Please contact Helpdesk no's : +91-877-227 7777/ 223 3333 / 226 4252 , 91-877-226 3922 for any enquiries.
Place of Performance inside Temple
When it started, the Kalyanotsavams were held at Bangaru Vakili (Mukha Mantapam or Maha Mani Mantapam). Lord Malayappa Swamy is seated on a Simhasana facing east and opposite him, the Thayars Sridevi and Bhudevi are seated on another Simhasana (near Garudalwar shrine). The Homakunda also placed infront of Lord. Since the devotees were limited in the beginning, the place in Mukha Mantapam sufficiently catered to the needs. When the number increased, to accommodate more numbers, the performance of Seva shifted to Old Kalyana Mantapam. (As the name implies this Mantapa is located in the Vimana Prakara, to the south of Sanctum, near Srivari Yagasala. It was also recently being used for ‘Coins Parakamani’ (the Place for counting the coins offered in Srivari Hundi by pilgrims) ). As the time progresses, this Mantapa also became crowded when the number of tickets grew, again the venue shifted to the Second Prakaram in the Ranganayakula Mantapa, to the right of Dwajasthambha. After a few years, TTD has decided to permanently shift the venue to ‘Sri Venkata Ramana Swamy Kalyana Mantapam’, in the Sampangi Prakaram (Second Prakaram), to the South of Sanctum. Any ritual which involves conducting Homas, must be done so to the South of Lord as indicated in Vaikhanasa Samhithas. This is the reason, all the venues for this Utsavam is to the south of Sanctum, since Kalyanotsava involves performance of Homams. In this Mantapa around 600-700 couples can take part in the Kalyanotsavam. Since this is the most sought after Seva equally by rich and poor to get their wishes fulfilled by the divine mercy of Lord Srinivasa, the demand for this Seva is on the upscale all the time.
How to Book this Seva
Now the same Kalyanotsava Seva costs Rs. 1000-00 and there are no Pedda Kalyanam or other variations. At present, there is only one Arjitha Kalyanam for Rs. 1000-00, which admits two people for the Seva and darsan of Mulavirat. There are totally five methods of booking this Seva in TTD.
- Devotees can reserve the tickets through Advance Booking before 90 days of performance of the seva (subject to availability). They have to contact TTD Arjitham office to know about the Vacancy of the Seva and then book the tickets by sending a Demand draft for Rs. 1000-00 along with a requisition letter for the Seva. DD should be drawn on any nationalized bank favouring The Executive Officer, TTD payable at Tirumala/Tirupati. They have to take a photo copy of the DD and letter for any future correspondence, since all future correspondence with TTD will be, by duly quoting the DD number.
- There is also one Vijaya Bank counter at CRO (Central Reception Office) office, Tirumala Hills. Devotees can try in this counter for current booking quota of Kalyanam tickets. The counter opens by 8:00 AM in the morning and devotees have to buy tickets the previous day of performance of this seva.
- In South India, it is customary belief, for many devotees, that the newly wedded couple will go on for a pilgrimage to Tirumala in their Marriage outfit and then participate in the Kalyanotsavam seva of Lord Srinivasa. So for this reason, the TTD has reserved 20 tickets per day to accommodate newly wedded couples, who visit Tirumala for the purpose. These tickets can be purchased on the previous day, in the counter provided separately at CRO office, Tirumala.
- Devotees can try for Discretionary Quota at The JEO Camp Office, Gokulam Guest House, Tirumala the previous day to get the tickets.
- Devotees can also book this Seva on the net through www.ttdsevaonline.com.
The Kalyanotsavam at present begin at 12 Noon in the Abhijit lagnam and end at 1:30 PM in the afternoon. Lord Malayappa Swamy with consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi are taken from Sanctum to Kalyana Mantapam after the Madhyahnika Aradhana (Second Bell). Lord alone is kept on one Simhasana and consorts on another Simhasana to the right side of Lord.The devotees have to report at Supatham entry, by 10:00 AM, to enter the temple for Seva. They are allowed at 10:30 AM to enter into the temple and Sankalpam for the couple is performed by Vaikhanasa Priests , after which they are allowed to be seated in Srivari Kalyana Mantapam in the Sampangi Prakaram (Second Prakaram of Tirumala temple).
The custom of the temple is that, the Vaikhanasa Archaka has to wear an Yellow Dhothi, for performing this ritual. The Archaka gets ready and wait for ‘Vochi’ (Vochi is the person, who performs the duty of guarding the Kainkaryam Archaka to the temple by carrying a fire torch in his hand and takes care that no one touches the Archaka, till he enter the Kalyana Mantapam). The Kalyanotsavam Kainkarya Archaka and the Brihaspati (or Vaadyar, who recites all the vedic hymns during Kalyanotsavam) will follow the Vochi to the Kalyana Mantapam in the temple. By the time the Archaka and Vadyar enter the Kalyana Mantapam, the other Vaikhanasa Archakas complete individual Sankalpams for the Seva to all the devotees. The Archaka will perform the Pada Seva of Lord Malayappa Swami and Thayars. Vadyar will get ready the Pavitrams, Kurchas and other articles used for the Vaidika procedures. The seva will begin sharp at 12:00 Noon.
Kalyanotsavam is also called as ‘Vaivahikotsavam’ in Agamas. The ritual begin with Devatha Prarthana and Sabha Vandanam. The Archaka takes the Kurmasanam facing east and sit before the Oupasana Agni Kundam and on the other hand Vadyar will takes the seat facing north. The Archaka wears the Pavitram (made with sacrificial grass) on the ring finger of right hand. Invocatory hymns and Dhyana Slokas of Bhagavan Vikhanasa Maharshi are recited.
Punyahavachanam will be conducted to ritualistically purify all the Articles, Place used for Kalyanotsavam of Lord. Varuna Devatha Aradhana, followed by Viswaksena Aradhana is performed with as many as 13 Upacharas. The purified water in the Kalasam is sprinkled on all the articles, Homa kundam and the Mantapa.
Sadyo Ankurarpana follows next to the Punyahavachana. Ankurarpana usually indicated to be performed during the night time only in Agamas. But during certain occasions where the same has to be performed in day time, is also permitted by Agamas. This Sadyo Ankurarpanam is one such procedure.
The dikpalakas in the earthern pots are invoked and worshipped. Also Soma (Moon) is invoked and worshipped in Ankura Dhanyams. Different Upacharas are given to all the invited gods.
Pratisara Bandhana: In this ritual, Adisesha is invoked in the ‘Kankanams’ (The yellow thread which is tied to the right hand of Lord, Thayars and the Archaka) and is given several respectful oblations with water, flowers, tulasi and akshathas. Swasti Sooktham is recited.
Lord Srinivasa is worshipped with Shadupacharas beginning with Aasana, Padya, Arghya, Achamana, Neerajanam and Pranamam. The Kankanams are tied to the right hand of Lord Srinivasa and to the left hand of the consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. The Archaka also wears the Kankanam on his right hand.
The Agni Pratishta, Aagharam is performed according to the vedic rites, followed by Prayaschitta Homa.
Vaikhanasa Archakas will offer New Vastrams to Lord Malayappa Swamy and Thayars Sridevi and Bhudevi. They will also perform Pada Prakshalanam and Koorcha dharana for the Lord. The Maha Sankalpam for the ritual will be recited with a descendant of Tallapakkam family take part to perform the Kanyadana for this marriage ritual. After Maha Sankalpam the gotra Pravaras for the Lord and Thayars are recited.
The gotra pravara of Lord Venkateswara
“AngIrasa bArhaspatya bhAradwAja trayArshEya pravarAnvita bhAradwAjasa gOtrOdbhavasyA ….
Gotra pravara of Sridevi Ammavaru
bhArghava chyavana aUpnuvAna aUrva vaIdala pAnchArshEya pravarAnvita bhArghavasa gOtrOdbhavIm …
Gotra pravara of Bhudevi Ammavaru
kAsyapAvatsAra naidhruva trayArshEya pravarAnvita kAsyapasa gOtrOdbhavIm …
After reciting the gotra pravaras of Lord and Thayars, the Vaikhanasa Archaka performs Tiru Aradhanam to Lord and invokes goddess Sridevi and goddess Bhudevi in the two mangalyams, worshipped with Upacharams and both are touched to the right hand of the Lord. Mangalya dharanam is performed followed by Pradhana Homam, Laaja Homam and Prayaschitta Homam, Antha Homam, Purnahuthi. The raksha (the holy ash from Homakunda) is applied on the forehead of Lord and Thayars as well as the Archaka himself wears it on 12 important places.
Now the Archaka along with Tallapakkam descendant will perform Vaarana Mayiram Kainkaryam by rolling two coconuts in between them in remembrance of Lord’s playful leela’s with godadevi. The Mala Parivarthana will also be performed. The flower garland of Lord and Thayars are exchanged.
The Thayars are now taken to the Lord’s Simhasana and Lord prettily sits with the Thayars. Archakas will perform Akshatharopanam Kainkarya to Lord where in the turmeric akshathas are exchanged from Lord to Thayars and the Archaka will receive Parivattam, Satari honors for performing this Kainkaryam. At the end, Karpoora Nirajanam is given to the Lord and all the participants will receive Honor in the form of Tamboolam.
Maha Naivedyam is offered to Lord Srinivasa and Circar Harathi is performed. The devotees will get the blessing of Lord with Sri Satari and they are allowed to have the darsan of Mulavirat in the Sanctum.