Koneti Rayala Swamy Temple (also known as Venkateswara Temple) is a famous Hindu Temple of Lord Venkateswara located in Keelapatla Village, Andhra pradesh, 47 km from Chittoor, 55 km from madanapalle, 7 km from palamaner.
Keelapatla is in forest area with fertile lands, full of bamboo bushes and honey. History says that this temple was constructed by the Regents of Pallava Kings in the 9th and 10th centuries. This temple in Thondu Mandal speaks of the styles of Pallava and Chola culture. Here in the Village of Keelapatla, Lord Venkateshwara is called as Konetirayadu.
When Saint brughu came to earth after kicking on the lord vishnu’s chest and forgiveness by lord about saint’s sin Saint Kashyapa advised him to establish the lord idols in 7 different place which shows the features of lord venkateshwara swamy. So he established(prathista) lord in 7 different place i.e., dwaraka tirupathi(near vijayawada),kalyana venkateshwara swamy (srinivasa mangaapuram) keelapatla (near palamaneru), diguva tirupathi(near mulbaagal, karnataka), etc.., but all these places are hidden by the saint with his magical powers that only the devotees can view. Because there is no existence of lord venkateshwara to the tirumala. that means All these temples are established befor the arrival of Lord venkateshwara to the earth.
After lord’s arrival Brughu came to the existence with agasthya maharshi and the he removed his powers and the common people came to know about these idols(vigraham) under the tree’s. after that the kings came forward to build devasthanams (temples) to the lord venkateshwara swamy of brughu establishments. History says that Sathavahans, Pallavas, Renuti Cholas, Rastrakootas Banus, Chalukyas, Pandyas, Yadava Kings, Vijayanagar Emperors, Matli Kings, Moghul Kings, Arcot Nawabs, Tippu Sultan, Britishers and Palegars ruled over this area.
In the 15th century, the poet Thallapaka Annamacharya praised in his lyrics, Lord Venkateshwara with different names. One lyric begins with the word “Konetirayadu”. This is the famous Annamayya lyric “Podagantimayya mimmu Purushothama, Nedayakuvayya Mammu Koneti Rayadaa”
Lord Venkateshwara is worshiped throughout the world. He protects all those who seek refuge in him.
Lord Tirumalavasa (Venkateshwara) in Keelapatla village is very handsome. The idols of Lord Venkateshwara at Tirumala and at Keelapatla village are identical. The Lord at Keelapatla is Kalpatharu (A heavenly tree that gives boon), Chintamani (A celestial power) and Kaamadhenu (the heavenly cow that gives all). According to legend,
Lord Venkateshwara at first placed his foot here at Keelapatla and then reached Tirumala. Till today, this is believed by all devotees. Govinda Govinda!! The old literature of Lord Keelapatla Konetiraya disappeared in due course of time but in his lyrics, the poet and composer Annamayya mentioned the name of Konetiraya. Another unknown poet in his Astakam also mentioned the name of Konetiraya.
In the sanctum of the temple, Koneti Rayadu like Tirumala Devar, is standing with his “Kati Varada Hastas”, natural “Sankhu Chakras” and with the impressions of Sridevi and Bhoodevi, on the chest. It makes a person think whether this Konetiraya is a duplicate of Thirumala Deva, who has come down to this village. Huge Jaya Vijayas (watchmen at the gate of the Lord’s Place), an ancient Chennakesava idol with his two wives, five Alwars, Bhoovaraha Moorthy, Garudalwar, Anjaneya Swamy Statues, all can be seen in the temple and they speak the ancient glory of this place.
After having the darshan of Lord Koneti Rayala Swamy, the devotees proceed to Tirumala; there is a footpath through this forest area. On the Way to Tirumala, there are resting places that give relaxation to the piligrims.
Some devotees still walk through this foot path these days. Forest, hills, rivers also become friendly to the piligrims and they make their journey without worrying about the risks. Man can achieve anything by having self confidence and belief in the Lord. For good deeds, the Lord will extend his co-operation to the devotees.
God says “I am not in the hearts of Yogis, not in Vaikuntam, not in Ravimandal, but i will be there where I hear the voice of Govinda! Govinda!. These words were said to the saint, Narada by the Lord himself, according to hindu mythology. The following phrases describe this.
“Naa Aham Vasami Vaikunte , Na Yogi Hridaye Ratha, Mad Bhaktha Yuthru, Gayathi Thathra Thistami Narada, Govinda Govinda”
Lord Keelapatla Konetiraya equally shows his powers, beside the physical structure with Lord Tirumalaraya. So he is called AAPADA MOKKULAVADU and VARAALA VELUPU
The Villagers of Keelapatla are offering their services, to renovate the Koneru (pond) and the Temple. For Daily archanas and utsavas, the funds are insufficient. The immovable properties are useless as they fetch nothing. Under these circumstances, the TTD has to assist in funds for the renovation of this temple.