The Temples of Tirupati – The Krishna Temple

This is the earliest of the temples now found atTirupati. The Govindaraja shrine was built adjacent to this shrine with a wall inside separating them. The innermost gopura was built in the 13th century before this shrine and two more gopuras were added in line with this in subsequent times.
The earliest reference to this shrine is in an inscription of 1445 A.D. which makes provision for an offering to be made to the god on the Rohipi-nakshtram day (1-212). Another record, dated 1494 A.D., refers to offerings made on the Uri-adi day (11-116). A third inscription refers to the practice of Krishna distributing oil on several festive occasions of Govindaraja (11-127). One record refers to offerings made to Krishna on the Sri Jayanti day and to his being seated on a pial during the Vaikhasi and Am festivals 01-} 32). One record of 1512A.D. refers to a Sandhi offering made to this god (IH-20). Other inscriptions, dated in J 541 and .1542 A.D. also refer to this god (IV-166 and 169).
This shrine is to the west of the two sections of die Chitrakuta- mantapa which is common to both this shrine and that of Govindaraja. The enclosed part of the shrine consists of the Mukhamantapa Which contains four rows of four pillars each, and a pillared pradak- shina on the south, west and north. The northern and southern sections contain three pillars each and the western section contains four pillars, all of the early Chola type. Inside thepradakshina are the Garbhagriha and Antarala. Both these structures stand on an adhishtana which consists of upana, Kumuda, patta, patta, gala and tripatta. The walls of the Garbhagriha are decorated with the series-three pilasters, koshta surmounted by torana with simhalatata above and three pilasters. The walls of the Antarala are decorated with the series-pilasters, koshta surmounted by torana with simhalatata above and pilaster.
The sanctum contains three images. In the centre is the image of Vishnu, seated with the left leg folded and resting on the seat and the right hanging, holding chakra in the upper right hand and samkha in the upper left hand and keeping the lower right hand in abhaya and the lower left in Sukatunda. On either side is the image of a1 devi seated like Vishnu holding a lotus in one hand and keeping the other hanging,
The central image is mutilated and therefore declared unfit for worship. This shrine has been closed for a long time.
The decorations on the walls of the Garbhagriha and Antarala indicate a 8th or 9th century date for this shrine.

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