The temples of tiruchanur -The Padmavati Shrine

This shrine, situated to the north of the Alagiyaperumal shrine, is the object of main attraction for the pilgrims at Tiruchanur. Sri  Padmavatidevi, housed in it, is described as the consort of Sri Venkatesvara. This goddess is wrongly identified with Alarmel- manganachchiyar. Numerous inscriptions from the Tirumala temple statethatAlarmelmanganachchiyar adorns the right side of the bosom of Sri Venkatesvara. Out of over a thousand inscriptions found in the temples of Tirumala, Tirupati, liruchanur and Jogi-mallavaram, not (me mentions a goddess named Sri Padmavad. Alate and undated record mentions the Padmatirtha, of Srisukagrama or Tiruchanur and not Padmavatidevi. The architecture of the shrine indicates a very late date. The inscriptions of this region stop practically with the end of the first quarter of the 17th century. This shrine may therefore be taken to have come into existence some time towards the end of the century;
This shrine resembles the shrine of Govindaraja at Tirupati in many respects. It consists of a Garbhagriha and an Antarala with a pillared verandah on three sides and the Mukhamantapa on the fourth. Before these is a pillared mantapa with another oblong open pillared mantapa at a lower level before it. To the farther east is the Kalyanatnantapa, with a small shrine in its centre. The walls of the shrine end with the back mantapa and are built of large blocks of stone rivetted into each other. There is a low sunk cornice above, devoid of any decoration. The roof is plain. The Vimana, which. , rises above the garbhagriha is one storeyed and contains kuta, sala and kuta. Above is the griva with lions at the four comersr> The Sikhara is round and decorated with four gables surmounted by simhalalatas. There is a double lotus above it containing in ity centre a gilded Kalasa.
The open mantapa in the front has six rows of six pillars each, all of the Vijayanagara style. There are a gilded  Dhvajastambha, and a Balipitha between the central pillars  of the two back rows. Beyond this and at a higher level is another mantapa whose sides are closed with walls and whose front is fitted with wooden frames having iron bars. There are two rows of four pillars each in this hall, all of the Chola style. There is a raised square between the four central pillars. Beyond this is the Mukhamantapa with a shrine projecting on each side. The northern shrine houses an image of Ramanuja and the southern shrine contains the icons of Garuda and Vishvaksena. Beyond the Mukhamantapa are the Garbhagriha md Antarala with a pillared varandah on the south, west and north as in the Govindaraja temple at Tirupati. Alow parapet wall connects these pillars. Most of these pillars have wome out Chola capitals while a few are Vijayanagara pillars. There is a narrow space of about three feet between the verandah and the Garbhagriha and Antarala which seems to have been originally open but subsequently closed with slabs of stone reaching up to the roof of the two structures in the centre on all sides.
The outer side of the Garbhagriha is decorated with the series -three pilasters, Sala-koshtha, and three pilasters. The walls of the Antarala contain die series-two pilasters, sala-kostha and two pilasters. The kapota above is adorned with a row of nasikas surmounted by simhalalatas. The space between the front wall and the verandah on either side is closed by a low wall and against these are located the images of two Dvarapalikas. The Garbhagriha contains the image of Sri Padmavatidevi, seated in padmasana and holding a lotus in each of the two upper hands. Her lower hands are in Abhaya and Varada.

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