|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2009)|
|Proper name:||Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple|
|Architecture and culture|
|Primary deity:||Sri Venkatachalapathy|
Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Trivandrum, Kerala, about a minute walk from the southern gate of Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. It is also known as Srinivasar kovil, Perumal Kovil, Iyyengar Kovil or Desikar Sannidhi. The temple was built in 1898. The pooja's in kerala temples are based on the Namboodiri sambradayam, instead this is the only temple in Kerala dedicated to Vaishanavite Vadakalai Sambradayam.
The deity of this temple is Sri Venkatachalapathy. It is said that one Ranga Iyengar of Veeravanallur saw the idol in a pond near his house around 100 years ago.
The idol was installed by Sree Ranganatha Satagopa Yateendra Mahadesikar, 40th Azhkiya Singar according to the 'Paadmasamhitai' (One among the three Samhitais) of the 'Paancharathra Agamanam'. As per the instructions of the Jeer, the eldest son in Ranga Iyengar's family has been the main priest of the temple and has also in charge of its administration for the last three generations. The daily rituals in the temple are being carried out according to the Vadakalai System.
Though the spiritual origin of the temple can be traced to Tamil Nadu, the temple does not have a 'Gopuram'. However the temple cannot also be said to be according to the Kerala style as the Sreekovil is plain construction, devoid of the intricate carvings so common in Kerala temples. The temple had a terrace(another feature of the Tamil style).
The temple's main deity in the Garba Graha is SriVenkatachalapathyPerumal. The sanctum sanctorum houses the idols of Alamelu Mangai Thayar and Padmasini Thayar. There are also shrines for the Hindu deities Navaneetha Krishnar(Santhana Gopalan), Peria Thiruvadi, Garudar.; in this temple.
The temple also has an installation of the idol of Kulasekhara alwar, who ruled over this land many centuries ago. As a mark of respect to the king who was a devont Vaishnavite, a sannidhi has been constructed where along with the idol of Kulasekhara Alwar the idols of Nammalwar, Thirumangai alwar, Bashyakarar(Ramanujar). Are also consecrated Vishwarksenar(is said to be the escort of Sree Venkitachalapathy).
Darshan, Sevas and festivals
Most of the Vaishnava festivals including Vaikunta Ekadasi, Thiru Aadi pooram and Aadi Swathi, Janmashtami, Alwar Thirunakshtram are celebrated. During other national and religious festivals Pongal, Deepavali, Vishu & Onam temple are decorated with lights and flowers.
Desikar was born under the constellation of Sravana in the month of Purattasi of Vibhava year as per the Tamil Almanac. [September - October 1269 AD]. Every year in the month of Purattasi Brahmotsavam conducted here. The festival starts from 10 days before the Thiruvonam day(Desikar Thirunakshatram). In these days, the Special Abhishekams also done for All Moolavar & Utsavar deities. And in the Evening Vedam and Divya Prabhanda Parayanam conducteed here. On these days Perumal goes through the Maada Veethi (this ritual is called as the “perumal purapadu”). The festival ends with Theertha Vaari for Venkatachalapathy Perumal & Vedanta Desikar.
An attractive feature of the festival is the Garuda Vahanam, where the main deity placed a top the idol of Garuda is taken out in procession on a richly decorated palanquin that resembles the one on which Lord Vishnu is taken out during the Theerthavari at the Padmanabhaswamy temple. The Garuda Vahanam is taken out on all the Saturdays of the Purattasi month.
In Maargazhi, the important festival of this month is the recital of Thirupavai. The poems were composed by “Andal” an important devotee of Lord Perumal. Next to this comes the vaikunda ekadasi festival in which perumal use to be seen in Sayana alangaram (Like in Thiru parkadal)