The Temples of Tiruchanur

Tiruchanur, popularly known as Chirtanur, is a village situated three miles to the south of Tirupati. This village was known as liruchchogiitur and Tiruchchukanur in earlier times and one late inscription calls it Srisukagrama. Tiruchchoginur is now represented by the small hamlet of JogiMallavaram, situated about a furlong to the west ofTiruchanur. Tiruchanur was also known as Vadirajapuram in the sixteenth century. In Pallava times the village was situated n the Kudavumadu in die Tiruvengadakkottam while in the Chola times this area came to be assigned to the Rajendracholamandalam or Jayamgondachola- mandalam,
Tiruchanur is of great importance in the history of the Tirupati region, particularly for the evolution of religious activity therein. This region came under the influence of Vaishnavism as early as the eighth century. There was an important Vaishnava settlement at Tiruchanur by the beginning of the ninth century. Though Tirumala and Sri Venkatesvara were known by this time, the hill continued to be inaccessible and could not attract many pilgrims. The Vaishnavas at Tiruchanur established a Tirumantrasalai and carried on proselytising activity. They also constructed a Tiruvilankoil and set up in it an image of Sri Venkateswara as a representative of the original god of the Vengadam hill. Tiruchanur being situated in plain Country, this proxy temple of Sri Venkatesvara attracted large numbers of pilgrims who came here and paid their homage to the Lord. The Cholas conquered Tondamandalam in which the Tirupati- Tiruchanur area was situated by the end of the ninth century. They Wtfe patrons of Saivism and Saiva influence reached this earstwhile VMlhnava stronghold ofTiruchanur. A Siva temple, named after
Parasaresvara, was constructed in the western part of the village (in the present hamlet of JogiMallavaram) and it soon grew popular. The decline of Chola power about the middle of the thirteenth century lead to the rise of many local chieftains to independence. The Yadava rayas were the most powerful of these chieftains and zealous patrons of Vaishnavism. About the time of their rise to independence, a temple dedicated to Alagiyaperumal or Krishna appeared in Tiruchanur. Vaishnavism obtained unprecedented patronage during the days of Vijayanagara rule and a Varadaraja temple came to be built at Tiruchanur in the sixteenth century. This Vaishnava enthusiasm culminated at a still later date in the construction of the Sri Padmavati temple in this village.
Tiruchanur is important for five temples, four of which exist even to this day. These are the Tiruvilankoil, the Krishna temple, the Parasaresvara temple, the Varadaraja temple and the temple of Padmavati.

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