Associated with Sri Venkateswara Swamy Tirupati, The Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple is one of the earliest proofs’s of the everlasting bliss of Sri Venkateswara. It is an ancient Hindhu-vaishnavite temple situated at the heart of the Tirupati city in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh state in India. The temple is one of the earliest structures in Tirupati and also one of the biggest temple complexes in Chittoor district. The Tirupati (down hill) city is built around this temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is referred to as Govindarajaswamy. Govindarajaswamy is believed to be the elder brother of Lord Venkateswara.
History of Govindaraja Swamy Temple
A large number of inscriptions found in this temple and in the Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala help to locate its history. The earliest of the records belong to the year 1235 A.D when the Chola King, Raja Raja III was ruling the place. In the year 1239 A.D the queen of Viranarasinga of Yadavaraya made a gift for decoration of the chariot and carrying necessary repairs. The temple came in for greater importance in 1506 A.D. during the rule of Saluva dynasty of Vijayanagar and from then onwards different rulers in a different way developed the temple. It is built by the Nayakas, the successors to the Vijayanagar Empire.
Before consecrating Govindarajaswamy as presiding deity, Sri Parthasarathy Swamy was the presiding deity of the temple. Kotturu, a village at the foot of Tirumala hills was shifted to the vicinity of Sri Govindarajaswamy Temple which was later emerged into city of Tirupati.
Significance of Govindaraja Swamy Temple
- It’s outer Gopuram which is visible from a quite a distance.
- Govindaraja Swami Temple has two main shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. The shrine to the north is Sri Govindaraja and The shrine to the south is Sri Parthasarathi (Lord Sri Krishna as the charioteer of Arjuna).
- The idols of Rukmini and Satyabhama (Krishna’s wives) are also found here. The original temple had Sri Parthasarathi on the main altar. ‘Sri Ramanuja’ added the Sri Govindaraja deity around 1130 AD.
- Nearby shrine is dedicated to Sri Ramanuja and on the left of the second entrance is a ‘Kurma’ Deity, Lord Vishnu as a tortoise. There are carvings depicting the pastimes of the Ramayana and Lord Krishna’s pastimes on the second gopuram.
- Sri Govindarajaswamy temple is a huge complex with many other sub shrines in it. Parthasarathy temples, Kalyana Venkateswara Temple are of more importance among the sub-shrines. There are also shrines dedicated to Pundarikavalli, Andal, Chakratalwar, Alwars, Lakshmi Narayana Swamy, Anjaneya, Tirumala Nambi, Bhashyakars.
Timings of Govindaraja Swamy Temple
- Govindaraja Swamy Temple is open for darshan from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm.
- 5:30 am to 6:30 am takes place the Viswarupa sarva darshan.
- 8:00 to 8:45 a.m takes place the Archanantharam darshanam.
- From 1:15 p.m to 4:45 p.m takes place the Sarvadarshanam.
- From 6:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m Sarvadarshanam again takes place.
Festivals at Govindaraja Swamy Temple
- The Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple is home to many festivals of great perchance and importance. On every Saturday festival there is an onrush of visitors seeking blessings to gain health and immediate wealth.
- All the festivals of this temple are held here with great aplomb. These involve Bramhostavam, Float festival, Rathasapthami and other utsavam’s that are held at Tirupati or surrounding temples.
How to reach Govindaraja Swamy Temple
- By air: The nearest airport to Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple is Chennai international airport, Chennai which is 108 km away from Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple.
- By rail: The nearest railway station to sri Govindaraja Swamy temple is renigunta train station which is 10 km away from Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple.
- By road: bus and car services are available on a fair amount basis. This makes the journey to the temple easier.
Hotels nearby Govindaraja Swamy Temple
- Hotel Bhimas Deluxe at G Car Street, Tirupati is Easily reachable from Tirupati RailwayStation (0.25 km). This hotel in Tirupati provides comfortable accommodation.
- Hotel Fortune Select Grand Ridge is one of Tirupati’s five star hotels located at the intersection of Chennai-Bangalore highway, on the Tiruchanoor road. This hotel is located just beside Shilparamam Theme Park .
Places nearby Govindaraja Swamy Temple
- Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple- This temple dedicated to Sri Rama is situated within a distance of about a kilometer from Tirupati Railway station. The Temple was built to commemorate the visit of Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Sita to tirupati, while returning from Lanka.
- Alamelumangapuram(Tiruchanur) Tiruchanur, also known as Alamelumangapuram, located about 5 kms from tirupati is also an ancient sacred place. The Temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi, the consort of Lord Venkateswara is situated in this place. It is said that the visit to tirumala is fruitful only after a visit to sri Padmavathi devi temple at tiruchanur.
- Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple is situated at an easily commutable distance of 12 KM to the west Tiruapti. It’s regarded as the lord-prescribed alternative for Tirumala Devastana, and has been bestowed with great divine power.
- An important Lord Krishna temple renowned as the Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple. This is the only Krishna temple located in the vicinity of Tirupati, depicting the Childhood of Lord Krishna. It is located at the town Karvetinagaram, located at a distance of 42KM from the Tiruapti.